Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

February 25, 1993, Page 24

Transcribed by Sharon Schulte

Index of "Good Old Days" Articles


Good Old Days

Were you there? On a Thursday, May 15, 1952….the day of a Big Sale at Penney’s Store, corner of Hewett and 5th Streets in Neillsville?

A fire the week before, on May 8th had caused some smoke and water damage to merchandise which necessitated a "Sale".

Many people went shopping on that day. The doors opened at 10:00 a.m. with the sale in progress until 4:00 p.m., a six hour sale. During those six hours, $20,000 in merchandise stock was sold. That had to be a lot of items when you read some of the prices of the goods that were on sale.


As the photo shows, people were lined up on the sidewalk and into Hewett Street waiting for the Penney's Store doors to open on the morning of May 15th, 1952. A Fire Salvage sale was held on that day and drew many customers to take advantage of the bargins.



Lloyd’s Hardware Store was on the northeast corner of the intersection. Frank Hemp’s Store was on the southeast corner with an outside stairway which led to the second floor apartments. In 1917, Minnie Waterpohl occupied one of the apartments. (Quinlan’s lived in the second apartment). Fern (West) Kuehn remembers visiting her grandmother, Mrs. Waterpohl, while she lived there and occasionally played on the outside basement door, which is visible along the building.


A Neillsville Hewett Street scene, photographed in 1903, looking north on the four hundred block.

The building, with April 9 sign on the side, was owned by Tom Hommel. It was a theatre used by itinerant players to perform their shows to the Community.

To the right of the alley, was a Millinery & Hot Shoppe. In 1903, a boardwalk ran along the buildings and streets. It is interesting to note that the three buildings shown on the four hundred block are no longer there, ninety years later.

Does anyone have photos and/or information about the CCC camp which was located in the Hatfield area during the 30’s? If you can help us with this, please call or write: 715-743-2600 or P. O. Box 149, Neillsville, WI 54456.

(Note: Remember, this phone number and/or address were from 1993 – please do not attempt to contact at this time).

Compiled by Terry Johnson:

Twenty-Five Years Ago

"Judge and Mrs. Lowell Schoengarth and family, accompanied by Neil Armitage and David Roberts, spent Saturday skiing at Hardscrabble."

"Mrs. Martin Feuerstein, Mrs. August de Kennan and Mrs. Gerald Schmidt of Neillsville, were guests Monday afternoon of Mrs. Glenn Short."

"Selz Farm Given Recognition Again

The Selz Farm at Humbird is one of eight Wisconsin breeders which have qualified for the ‘Progressive Breeders’ award of the Holstein-Friesian Association of America, it was announced this week. The award is the highest recognition obtainable by a breeder of registered Holstein cattle. This is the seventh time Selz Farm has qualified for the recognition."

Fifty Years Ago

"One of the first major jobs for Neillsville in the New Year will be to reopen the hospital. Toward this end a hospital committee representing five Neillsville civic organizations, has launched a drive to sign up at least 200 members in a Volunteer Hospital Association."

"Marriage in Clark County hit a low during 1942 and a further slump is expected this year, with the war probably to blame, according to County Clerk Calvin Mills. One hundred ninety-eight couples applied for licenses in 1942 as compared with 236 over the previous year."

"Archie Van Gorden, known locally as ‘Red’ Van Gorden, is in Australia, recuperating from malaria. He was in a hospital some six weeks, is under treatment still …and is likely not to be in active service again for sometime. Archie ranks as captain, and was in charge of a central supply store in New Guinea prior to his sickness."

In the Kiwanis room of the old Neillsville Bank, local women gathered Tuesday through Friday afternoons from 2 to 5 p.m. to make surgical dressings for the Red Cross. Two evening sessions were also held each week. The dressings would be used in the war. Quota due March 12 was 34,650 dressings. About 275 women were enrolled to help, with average attendance at a session being about 18. Mrs. H.M. Smith and Mrs. Archie Van Gorden supervised the project. Both H.M. Smith and Archie Van Gorden were serving in the war.

For each shift of Red Cross bandage making, three instructor-inspectors were on duty to see that all dressings made conformed to Red Cross standards. Instructor-inspectors were: Mrs. Richard Becker, Mrs. Herbert Brown, Mrs. William Campman, Mrs. Albert Dahnert, Mrs. Hugh Haight, Mrs. E.A. Hauge, Mrs. William Hemp, Mrs. Georgia E. Holte, Mrs. Belle Howard, Mrs. Albert Kuhling, Mrs. James Musil, Mrs. John Perkins, Mrs. Arne Peterson, Mrs. Lillian Schweinler, Mrs. Ernest Snyder and Mrs. George Zimmerman.

Seventy-Five Years Ago

The County Council of Defense urged citizens to eat more potatoes and less bread. Potatoes could not shipped to the war, but wheat could be shipped to feed our soldiers in France. "The more potatoes we eat the less bread we shall want, and the more wheat will be released for the army."

"Unite The Two." The suggestion has been made that as the county poor house has become inadequate and a new one must be built in the near future, the county board shall sell the present poor farm and buy a new site of sufficient size to use for the poor farm and also the proposed new county asylum for the insane, both to be superintended by one man, thus saving expense. They might be both heated by one heating plant, and other great economies effected. The matter will be brought up and thoroughly threshed out before final action is taken."

"Aeroplanes are now regularly carrying mails from Italy to Sicily, to and fro over the route attempted by Daedalus and his son, Icarus in Grecian mythology, when the sun melted the wax with which they had fastened their wings, and they fell into the water and were drowned."

One Hundred Years Ago

"Mrs. Angeline Demarce, age 121 years, is dying at Chippewa Falls."

"Jackson County reels like a man de jag, under a burden of eight candidates for county judge."

"Fred Hutzicker is the happy possessor of a plucked otter overcoat for which he paid $300."

"The Knights of Pythias had a very pleasant little jollification Monday night in celebration of the 29th anniversary of the establishment of their order."

"The full set of seats for the new opera house arrived this week. There are three classes, the chairs for the gallery, of which there are 250, 356 of the second class, and 144 of the first class for reserved seats. They are perforated seats and those on the floor are fitted with hat-holders, and the seats tip up."

"Wanted. A young lady from the city, artistically inclined to learn the photographic art. H.C. Peters."

"James O’Neill was at Milwaukee last week on business."


My Mom and I were there somewhere in that crowd at the J. C. Penney sale.  I recall we went in the front door, did our purchases, and went out a side door to get out.  What a massive crowd.  Don’t remember what I purchased.   Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon



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