Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI
August 26, 1993, Page 28
Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.
Index of "Good Old Days" Articles
Good Old Days
By Dee Zimmerman
The past 100 years has to have been a century of more changes than any preceding century. There are some who have lived through that span of years, able to remember the first automobiles, the invention of the aero plane, the advancement of medical technology, and the list goes on.
One of the people having lived during that era is Mayme Imig of the Neillsville area. On August 10, Mayme celebrated her 104th birthday. She was born in 1889 at Avalon to Charles and Kate Appleyard. She was the oldest of five children.
The family moved to Jefferson shortly after Mayme’s birth, then to a Clark County farm in 1900. Their farm was located on the west bank of the Black River and along the road now known as Grand Avenue. The farm is still in the Appleyard family, being owned by Melvin and Margery Appleyard and son David.
Most of Mayme’s education was procured at the Neillsville schools. Living near the city, she walked to and from school everyday. Apparently, she enjoyed learning and the education system because she became a student of the Teachers Training Course while in high school. The Neillsville High School offered the course to junior and senior year students who were interested in becoming rural school teachers. Students that contemplated becoming teachers could early in their high school work, become familiar with the requirements of the course. Each year some students took the teachers training course, under the direction of Miss Hammond.
When Mayme enrolled as a freshman, there were forty students, including herself. Other students were: Geo Barton, Murray Benedict, Sadie Blackman, Clare Braun, Ruth Brule’, Helen Derning, Bernard Dodte, Arthur Flynn, Ben Frantz, Ruth Garfield, Nora Glasow, Henry Hokenson, Grover Huntley, Anna Johnson, Freda Jones, Clara Ketel, Alfred Kutchera, Bessie Leighty, Mary Kearney, Ellen Lueloff, Clara Lynch, Fay Marsh, Harvey McKenzie, Laura Mertes, Frances Schiller, Mary Sherlock, Ernest Snyder, Hugh Sturdevant, Katie Schmidt, Lucille Titus, Elsie Tragsdorf, Ivan O’Brien, Charlie Wilkie, Jessie Wolff, Elona Wolff, Walter Schultz, Katherine Austin, Will Marth and Placido Hommel. Of those forty, only eighteen continued through the four years, graduating in 1909.
Mayme (Appleyard) Imig who graduated from
Neillsville High School class of 1909
There were extra-curricular activities such as football, girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball and baseball. The teams traveled via-train for the away games at Augusta, Marshfield, Granton and Black River Falls.
After graduating from high school and receiving a teacher’s certificate, as well, Mayme searched for a teacher’s position. She found an opening in a rural school south of Neillsville.
She traveled by horse and buggy to teach that first year. The next teaching position was at the Mound School, northwest of Neillsville, and the last position was at Uncle Sam School located three or four miles north of Neillsville on Highway 73. Her teaching salary was between $20 and $30 per month which included the janitorial duties of maintaining the school building.
While she was a teacher at the Uncle Sam School, she boarded at the Henry Imig farm which was a short distance south of the school. At that time, she became better acquainted with Arthur Imig and a romance developed. Their families had known each other when both lived in Jefferson County.
Arthur Imig and Mayme Appleyard were married on June 11, 1914, at the
Appleyard home north of Neillsville on Grand Avenue
Mayme and Arthur Imig were married on June 11, 1914, at the Appleyard home. Her husband had graduated from the University of Wisconsin Farm Short course in 1906 and later took over the family farm from his parents. They took up residence at the family farm some time after their marriage.
Well-kept scrap books with clippings and mementos of family and community interest through the years – wee put together by Mayme, which makes an interesting history.
The Imigs were diligent at record keeping, being able to reflect upon receipts and disbursements. A copy of some 1915 entries of their ledger revealed some astonishing prices, such as:
2 lbs. of butter and clothes pins…75¢; 1 copper washing boiler…$3.00; 4 lbs. of beef…60¢; 1 lb. of Coffee…30¢; 1 month’s telephone bill…$1.00; 1 pkg. jello, 8 oz. bananas…47¢; 2 lbs of raisins…28¢; 1 dozen eggs…17¢; Post office box rent…25 ; 1 head of lettuce…10¢; 1 month’s electricity bill…$1.15; 1 pkg. turnip seeds…5¢; 1 ¾ lbs. of beef steak…30¢; 1 lb of wieners…18¢; 1 lb. of cheese…23¢; 1 ring of bologna…21¢; 4 spools of thread…20¢; Hired Mr. Wilson, 1 day’s labor 75¢.
Those who have resided in the Neillsville area remember the Imig farm with its all white buildings. Henry and Louisa Imig purchased the farm from J. H. Reddan in 1901. When the farm was first developed it was known as the “Cawley Farm,” one of the oldest farms in the county, consisting of 240 acres at the turn of the century. Upon arrival at the farm, Louisa stood on the farm yard, looked around at the countryside and said, “What a beautiful view. We will call this Plain View Farm,” a name it carried for many years.
Henry and Louisa Imig in front of their farm home
The Imigs were pioneer breeders of purebred Holstein cattle which were sold all over the United States and some to foreign countries. Their farm held the significance of owning the first gold medal sire in Central Wisconsin. An award from the Holstein-Friesian Association of Wisconsin, reading “..for pioneer participation in the breed organizations and contributions to the advancement of the Holstein breed.” It was presented in 1965, the diamond jubilee year of the association.
Plain View Inga, Ex-95, was Leader’s most famous daughter and a famous
Clark County cow, owned by the Imigs; Inga was the first cow to be named
Grand Champion at Waterloo, Chicago and the Royal Winter Fair, all in the same year.
She was consigned to the National Sale in 1953, and purchased by Pabst-Knutson
All of the duties required in the farming operation didn’t keep them from contributing some time to church and community work. Mayme was a charter member of the Good Neighbors Homemakers club and served as its first president of the organization of which she was a member from 1936-1979.
She taught a Sunday school class at the First Congregational Church from 1937-1952, and also served as Sunday school treasurer.
Their family was actively involved in numerous organizations such as 4-H, of which Mayme was a leader, the Grange and Clark County Holstein Breeders Association.
Arthur and Mayme had three children who grew up on the family farm. Harold and Elton continued the farm operation six-years after their father’s death in 1953. Harold lives in Oregon, Elton resided on the farm until recently, but still is a Clark County resident. A daughter, Dorothy Seif, lives in Wisconsin Rapids. There are 14 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.
The Imig Family – front row: Harold and Elton, back row:
Arthur, Mayme and Dorothy
Reflection upon the Imig history shows a strong family relationship led by a great matriarch, and example of the pioneering spirit that has made our country a leader in farming and community trends. This outstanding strength may be a reason for Mayme’s longevity as well as the fact that her one grandmother, Anna Smith, lived to be 100 years old, a genetic trait.
(Thanks to the Imig family for sharing their photos and information)
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