Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 31, 1995, Page 32

Transcribed by Crystal Wendt & Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Good Old Days


By Dee Zimmerman


After last week’s article about the Civil War and a14th Wisconsin Volunteers Regiment, Company I article was printed, we received a letter and visit from Don Ayers of Neillsville, giving some additional information in regard to the Civil War veterans.


“A number of names of men who lived in Clark County and enlisted in this company are missing, and I am sure their families would like it printed.”  Enclosed is a complete list.


Also, “Gustavus A. Ayers (note spelling), my grandfather’s brother, Lewis L. Ayers, both came to Clark County in 1855 from Pennsylvania.  Gustavus Ayers enlisted in “I” Co. 14th Reg. Oct. 9, 1961 (1861), by E. O. Jones at Black River Falls, Wis., for the term of three years, and was mustered into the military service of the United States on the 30th day of January 1862 at Fond du Lac, Wis.


Born in Columbia County, Penn., his place of residence was Neillsville.  His enlistment was credited to Pine Valley, Clark Co., Wis. Gustavus Ayers was engaged in the Battle of Shiloh, April 7, 1862, and died of typhoid fever, May 2, 1862.  He was buried in Shiloh Cemetery along with 61 others of the 14th Reg. Co. “1.”  Other Clark Co. men buried there are: F. A. Cullen, W. R. Lesherness, Charles Bacon, Henry Ross, Harvey E. Frost, Gottlieb B. Schlinsog, and John J. Rockwood.”


Additional members of the 14th Reg. Co. 1 from Clark Co. were: Charles W. Foote, William S. Covill, Hy G. Chamberlain, Benjamin Folsom, Edward Houghton, John F. King, Edward H. Markey, Andrew J. Manley, Washington Short, Cyrus O. Sturgeon, Thomas Vine, Ferdinand Wage, and Thomas Whitemore.


Our thanks to Ayers for the additional information


There has been a discovery made while I have done this historical column these past three years – that is the need for each generation to write down or record their family history to be passed on through the family.


Frequently, I receive a letter or telephone call, someone searching for any list of information I may be able to find about a family name.  That person wants to know about their ancestry.


As teen-agers or young adults, we have little interest in our family tree.  However, as we grow older, our thoughts change, we begin to have an interest in our roots, wanting to know more about the lives of our grandparents, great-grandparents, etc.


Last week, we had an experience here at the Press office in regard to a family seeking their genealogy.


Two men came in, one carrying a photo album and the other, two brown-tone photos, mounted on the gray-brown chipboard backing.  They introduced themselves, visiting from Norway. 


The brown-tone photos had the photographer’s name, “Juve and Neillsville, Wis.” stamped in gold colored ink on one corner.  That style of photography was done during the late ‘80s, early 90’s turn of the Century era.  That photographer’s logo was their only clue as to where to search for one person.


The family name was Berg; their great-grandfather had remained in Norway while 10 brothers and sisters had immigrated to the United States.  They were here for 15 days trying to locate families of those 10 siblings.  They had done well in their limited time, as Neillsville was one of their last stops.  Some relatives were located in communities of the Madison area and a reunion with over 100 relatives was planned for this past weekend.


While the two men were here, which was only about 25 minutes, as their scheduled time allotted; we were able to locate information on a Carl Berg who purchased land in the Town of Fremont during 1882.  The photos were taken in 1899, views of the house and farm yard as well as one of the 40’ x 60’ barn.  They had a date of 1885 as to when the barn was built.  Their great-grandfather’s brother had returned to Norway in 1900, giving him the two photos of his Wisconsin farm-stead.


At this point, we aren’t sure if Carl Berg is the family we are looking for, as they didn’t know the first name; however the dates they had coincided with the Town of Fremont family.


This is an example of a genealogy search and a reason for the recording of family history to be passed on to the next generations.  As in the future, some family members may yearn to know who and where their relatives are, to become acquainted with the extended family.


Four young Neillsville men who made up the saxophone section of a band, we are assuming, (Left to right): M. Scherer, Leo Miller, Tubby Lowe and Bob Lee.


The 1928 Neillsville High School Band, shortly after girls could participate in the instrumental music department.  (Left to right) front row: Buster Brown, Lowell Schoengarth, Robert Schiller, Robert Unger and Welton Brooks.  Second row: Mary Neverman, Virginia Kleckner, Chester Wagner, Vernon Scholtz, Edward Frantz, Donald West, Marie Walk, Gertrude Walk, and Marion Huntley.  Third row: Francis Welsch, Dale Herrian, Harold Frantz, William Gallagher, Herbert Kurth, Mr. O’Neil, Clarance Gangler, Henry Hauser, Lester Zaeske and Warren Hemp.  Fourth row: Herbert Borde, Arthur Gress, Herbert Keller, Walter Weaver, Fredrick Anderson, Irving Gerhardt, Owen Higgins and Dale Schwienler.  (Photo courtesy of Mary (Neverman) Lauer)


The Water Works and Grand Avenue Bridge as both appeared in circa 1910.

(Photo courtesy of Gertie [Gress] Hagedorn)




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