Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 15, 1993, Page 28

Transcribed by Sharon Schulte

Index of "Good Old Days" Articles

The Good Old Days

The Schuster family

Front row: Gertie, Mr. and Mrs. Herman Schuster, and Irma. Second row: Carrie Lee, Kernel, Jeff and Mattie.


Hopefully, warmer weather will be here soon and with it will be the various summer outdoor activities that we have been anxiously awaiting.  One of those activities will entail packing up some brats or wieners and goodies to go with it for a picnic in the park.


Our county has many picnicking facilities, such as each town or city has one or more parks and the various campsites, also have picnic tables and outdoor grills for picnicking.

Schuster Park entrance as it was originally marked with a main entrance plus small entrance on each side for pedestrians and tourists. A shale covered road wound its way through the park and has since been hard surfaced. The entrance has been replaced with two "stone sentinels."


The City of Neillsville has the Northside Park and Schuster Park (located on the southeast side of the city).


Schuster Park was the first to be developed (in 1919) when Jefferson (Jeff) Schuster and his wife donated a 10 acre track of land to the city for a park with the provision that the city maintain it and keep up the grounds.  Jeff gave the land with the park in mind as a memorial of his father.


In the beginning, there were two pieces of playground equipment, a huge slide and a large merry-go-round which took the strength of two or three youngsters to get it in motion, up to a good speed, followed by a well aimed jump on a seat for the thrilling ride.  For a country-living kid in the 20’s, that was a big event, going to Schuster Park and being able to ride on those (in a  kid’s view) hue rides.  There were only the two playground rides until years later, when monies from the Listeman Foundation were appropriated to buy many additional pieces which were set up and are there now.


Mr. And Mrs. W. L. Hemphill had the gazebo (upper shelter) erected in 1927, as a gift to the city.


In 1954, thirty trees were taken from Schuster Park and transplanted on the Memorial Hospital grounds.


A second picnic shelter was erected and donated by the Neillsville Lion’s Club about twenty years ago. 

The Schusters enjoying a picnic.

Counter clockwise with bottom left: Charlie Lee, Lute Marsh, Jeff Schuster, Carrie Lee, Gertie Schuster, Edithe and Mattie Shcuster.


The old Grand Avenue bridge, which spanned O’Neill Creek was dismantled when the street went into reconstruction and a new bridge was installed.  The old bridge spans, with the ornate design and the words “Grand Avenue” at the top of each, were salvaged to be placed over “Goose Creek” that winds through the north side of the park.


Summer weekends and evenings are busy times at Schuster Park.  Family reunions, company and Club picnics, people gather to enjoy the cool, shaded area with picnic facilities and playground area for the children as a relaxing place to get together.


Not only local people but many vacation travelers going on Highway 10 stop to rest for a while when they see the park.  As one set of grandparents said, “We stop there every year when driving to and from Green Bay and Minneapolis with their grandchildren.  It is such a nice park and the grandchildren enjoy the playground after they eat their picnic lunch.  It is a pleasant place to stop for a break in our traveling.”


Apparently the Schuster family also took pleasure in picnicking and camping as there are photographs of them doing that.  Their memories of those fun outings is no doubt the reason Jeff designated their gift of the land to be used as a park in memory of his father, Herman.  Herman Schuster was editor and owner of the Deutschlander (German) newspaper which was printed in Neillsville.


Jeff’s sister, Mattie (Schuster) Marsh moved to and lived in California for many years.  She willed land to a son, who in turn, gave the land to be used as a park that is named Marsh Park in memory of the Marsh family (also formerly Neillsville residents) and is located on the lakeshore at Kirkland, California. 


As we know, Schuster Park is greatly appreciated by many and a sign that Jeff’s gift lives on as generation after generation shares its rewards in recreation and the great outdoors.


Jeff Schuster, William Campman and Charlie Grow in Jeff's downtown Neillsville Office.


Lake week’s photo of the G.W. Trogner Shop building being moved up 9th Street had been a mystery as to what its destination had been.  We couldn’t see any building in that area which resembled the photo.  Monday morning the mystery was solved when the phone rang and Doris Simek said, “When I picked up last week’s Press  and came to the “oldies” page, I told Bill, there’s our house!  “In 1947, Bill and Doris heard the building was for sale and to be moved from the Grand Avenue lot.  They inquired about it and decided to buy, paying $200.00 for the building.  They purchased a lot at 1405 Bruley, had a basement built and Henry Marquardt moved the building upon it, then was remodeled into a comfortable house, which they still call “home”.


(Corrections in last week’s article:  The Jenkin’s home is located on Grand Avenue.  Also, Jean Kuhn and Betty Trunkel’s brother is John Trogner, Jr. of Stoughton.)


(Thanks to Evelyn Walk, Ruth Ebert, Pat Struble and the Clark County Historical Society for information and photos in this week’s article.)




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