Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 3, 1992, Page 40

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Good Old Days" Articles 



Good Old Days 

(Click on Photos to enlarge them)    



By Dee Zimmerman


Once again, a new school year has started in the Clark County schools.


The Neillsville high school graduated its first class consisting of three members in 1875.  Each year after the school grew in attendance as the importance of an education was realized.


A 1914 Neillsville High annual disclosed the following information: “The high school’s aim was first to equip more fully for life both those students who came up through the grades in the city schools and those who completed the course in country schools, by giving them further scholastic training, teaching them much of practical value, establishing good mental habits, and building character; second to prepare for higher institutions of learning those students who wish to go to normal schools, colleges, or the state university.


The doors of the high school are open to all the young people of the county (or elsewhere in the state), who desire to gain more education.  If the student comes from a town or village in which there is no high school, his home town pays his tuition.  Board in private families’ homes can be had at reasonable rates.  In some instances places may be found where students can work for their board.  A number of students rent rooms and board, themselves.  Books are provided by the school board, a rental fee of $2.25 per year being charged.  This fee also covers some school supplies.


Neillsville, Wis. High School

*The above photo was not originally part of this article.  It was submitted by the family of Peggy L. Walter and was taken from a postcard booklet titled, "Souvenir Letter" Neillsville, Wis.


The Manual Training department was started in 1909 and steadily grew in usefulness and popularity.  The program was offered the first two years of high school and is optional (the increasing demand for that class necessitated an additional room in 1915.)  Twenty-four weeks were given to shop work and twelve to mechanical drawing.  The shop was equipped with lathes, benches and necessary tools. 


Domestic Science is training in practical homemaking; clothing, selection and care; plan, cook and serve meals; know the value of foods and their place in the diet; plan, furnish, decorate and care for a home, etc.


Commercial course was established in 1913 and intended for those who wished to enter the business life in their future.  It offered typing, shorthand, bookkeeping, arithmetic, commercial correspondence, commercial law, and allied subjects, toward the end of the course practical experience in downtown offices is given as a part of the work.


Teacher’s training courses were established after the Legislature’s decision to allow such, in the year of 1913, to about thirty state high schools with Neillsville being of those.  The object of the course is to prepare those who expect to teach country schools.  Graduates of the course may teach five years without further examination.  The Short Course also provided in about ten high schools (Neillsville being one of the ten).  The work began November 9th and continues eighteen weeks.  It is intended for boys and girls who cannot begin school in September and continue till it closes in June.  A special teacher and room are provided and pupils are allowed to elect the studies they may need most.  Credit is given for the work as in other high school classes.  Short course pupils may also participate in athletics, music and other school activities.


Athletic Association – this organization fosters the athletic interests of the school.  Basketball and football are maintained, and it is planned to add baseball and tennis this year (1914).  Wednesday evening inter-class basketball games are interesting events.  Each class has its own teams.  Gymnastic classes for both boys and girls will be conducted and credit given for the work.”  Music – Musical activities is a strong factor in school life.  The orchestra, mandolin club, chorus, both boys’ and girls’ glee clubs and quartets give all who are interested in music an opportunity for developing their talents.  A music director is employed to look after music interests. 


(The above history is from the 1914 school annual.)


Reading from left to right: Top row: Allen, right guard; R. Thompson, tackle; Ruddock, left half-back; Ure, right half-back; Brameld, guard; Olson, left end; Kuenning, coach.  Middle row: Hauge, tackle; Bronstad, right tackle; Arndt, left end; Buffington, left guard; Wagner center.  Bottom row: Kurth, tackle; F. Thompson, right end; Williamson, full back; Svirnoff, quarter back; Crosby, guard; Weaver, left tackle.  (Quotes from 1921 High School Annual)  The 1921 football season of the Neillsville High was the most successful in its history.  The opening day of practice saw about twenty men out, but many had not had enough knowledge of football to stick; nevertheless enough men stayed out to organize a good fast squad.  Coach Kuenning selected his men for their respective positions very carefully and thereby developed a squad that worked together like a clock.



Robert Olson,

Member of the 1922

Neillsville High School Basketball team.



“The Midgets” Elementary School 1924 Basketball Team;  Back row: Dimps Gluch and Jake Hoesly (who coaches the team).  Middle row: (first boy not identified), Gilbert "Gib" Olson and Starwall.  Front row: Roy Shaw, Bradberry and Walter Hemp.  This group of boys went into high school playing basketball together.  Their high school team won area games and went to the State Basketball tournament competition where they lost, but at least had the enjoyment of being part of the finals.



 (Photos courtesy of Ken Olson.  Thanks to Ken, Jake Hoesly for information on photos and Jeanne Reuther for giving us the 1921 Annual copy.)




Compiled by Terry Johnson




The NHS Class of 1957 was holding its 10-year reunion.  The planning committee was: Ronnie Ziegler, Arlene (Trachte) Abrahamson, Janice Mayer, Pat (Miller) Hagen, Bill Zank and Nancy (Holt) Tresemer.




Something New and Useful:  The latest thing placed on the market in the line of waterproof garments is the Trench Coat.  It is the finest thing for Wisconsin weather of either season.


“SCHOOL TO OPEN SEPTEMBER 17; was postponed one week; owing to need of children in canning factory work.”   “The officers of the canning factory have asked the school board to defer the opening as it is necessary to use as many school children as possible in picking and snipping beans.  The factory is crowded to capacity at present and is working night and day to save the bean crop before the frost comes.”


A listing of teachers was given for the North Side School (grades 1-5), the South Side School (grades 1-8) and the High School.  The Principal of schools was Edgar T. Henderson.


A promotion was announced to encourage attendance at the county fair: “on the last day of the fair coupons will be issued to all season ticket holders and a fine purebred bull will be given to some lucky person.  Only season ticket holders will have a chance at this fellow…”


H. F. Zimmerman was the editor of a new magazine which appeared September 1, called the Clark County Economist.  It was “devoted to the up-building of Clark County while at the same time publishing news of a local and general interest.”  It had a good support by advertisers and 1200 copies were printed and nearly gone, according to the September 6 issue of the Press.  A year’s subscription was 25¢.


The Monday Progress Club held its first meeting of its new year on Monday, September 3.  The club met twice a month, in most months, from September to May, ending with its Annual Meeting the first Monday of May.  The club was a part of the State Federation of Women’s Clubs.


“The Wisconsin National Guardsmen at Camp Douglas are ready and waiting for formal call to move to Camp MacArthur at Waco, Texas, and it is believed the first week in September will witness the departure of the first units for the south…  The Texas camp is described as being level and on fairly Highground.  The buildings are roomy and well ventilated, and telephone and street car service is excellent.  The soldier’s quarters are electric lighted and every convenience is offered.


“The rural free delivery carriers of the county met in annual convention at Granton on Monday.”




“A. Barton’s new house on the north side is now nearly completed and presents a very handsome appearance.  The Fricke house on the north side near Barton’s is also well along, and will be ready to occupy soon.  The new houses which Emery Bruley has had built on Eighth Street fill in the vacancy very neatly.  The building record this year is on the whole fully up to that of 1891, which was without a precedent in the city’s history.”


“Contractor Stevens is putting on some fine jog shingle work along the sub-cornice of the new Unitarian Church.”


“Workmen are drilling a well at the little white school house over in the Orson Cornwell neighborhood.”


E. B. Oakley, principal, issued this public notice:  “The undersigned [principal] will be at the High School on the afternoon of each day from Sept. 5th to Sept. 10th, inclusive, from 2 to 5 o’clock, to enable pupils needing new books for the coming year to secure them before school begins.  It is hoped that as many as possible will take advantage of this opportunity and thus prevent much confusion.  School begins Monday, Sept. 12th.”


“Miss Minnie Tolford teaches during the coming year at Humbird.”


“Prof. Chas R. Van Hise of the Wis. University, professor of metallurgy and a leading geologist, visited Neillsville… and was taken… to examine a ledge of red granite at Ross Eddy, which he pronounced to be an excellent quality of granite and of great value, especially for building purposes.  There are other deposits along Black River.  Prof. Van Hise stated that this section of the state was destined to become prominent as a granite producing country.”


“An excursion train leaves at 10 a.m. today [September 8, 1892] for Black River Falls and will be loaded with Clark Co. people intent on taking in the Jackson Co. Fair and visiting our neighboring city.  James O’Neill got the train by guaranteeing the sale of 150 round trip tickets at 65 cents each, and we doubt not that over that many have been sold.  It is a good idea and everybody ought to go.”


“Ed Crossett and Aug. Schlender now own and operate the rifle range adjoining the city hall.”


“John Gaden, Husky Turner and three others went to Dakota, Monday to work in the harvest field.”






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