Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

February 7, 1996, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Good Old Days


“Clark County News, January 1876”


By Dee Zimmerman


The Division – January 8th, a meeting of the prominent citizens of this county, who do not favor a division of the same, was held at the law office of O’Neill & Sheldon, in this village.  The meting was organized by the election of Mr. Jas. O’Neill, president; H. J. Hoffman, secretary; John Reed, Treasurer, and the appointment of an executive committee consisting of five members. 


Js. Hewett, John S. Dare and H. J. Hoffman were appointed to represent the interests of Clark County before the legislature, with instructions to oppose any division and to use all honorable means to prevent the changing of its present boundaries.


K. W. Ingham, of Colby, addressed the meeting in the interest of the Colby-Dorchester division, which, if granted, would take off towns 27, 28, and 29, ranges one east and one west, as stated in our issue of last Saturday.  Messrs. Hewett, Dore and Hoffman left for Madison last Monday where they will probably remain until they are able to determine how the matter will be decided when brought before the legislature.


Ren Halstead, having disposed of his interest therein to Mr. Charles B. Hackney, retired from the Halstead House, Humbird last Wednesday morning.  Ren, with his jovial fun-loving disposition, made one of the best of hosts, and all who have known him in that capacity will regret to hear that he has ceased to provide for the wayfaring public.  Whether Mr. H. intends remaining in Humbird or seeking another field of operation we have not been able to learn, but whether he goes or stays we wish him success in all things.


At the meeting of citizens held last Tuesday at Dickinson’s store for the purpose of providing more effectual means of protection against fires in this village, a proposition to purchase a Champion Chemical Engine, manufactured at Louisville, Kentucky, met with universal favor and it was the sense of the meeting that one should be purchased.  The engine will cost five hundred dollars the greater part of which has already been subscribed, the engine, mounted on trucks, would cost much more, and the proposition made to this village furnish one without full equipments is the first of the kind ever made by the company manufacturing them.  If purchased, it will be mounted on the Hook-and-Ladder trucks, now owned by the village, which will not only be much cheaper but more convenient than mounted in the way they are usually sent out.  Every person owning property within the limits of the village should be willing to contribute something towards making the purchase. 


Gates & Head, dealers in and packers of fresh and salt meats, have done the heaviest business in that line ever done in this village during the present season.


February 1876:


Thirty-six degrees below zero was the record of last Wednesday morning.


Several couples from this place attended the leap year party at Merrillan last evening.  Particulars: next week, if considered a safe piece of business.


Campbell, Watson & Hommel are building a fire-wagon that is a fire-wagon.  It is designed to carry a supply of buckets for the company, and the Champion Chemical Fire Extinguisher ordered from Louisville, KY.  It is a masterpiece of mechanical ingenuity.


500 barrels of heavy pork for sale at E. Bruley’s cheap for cash.


The soft weather of the past week has materially injured the sleighing on the roads, and wagons are again in use to some extent. 


The Neillsville Brass Band has been reorganized and the boys are now in training under the leadership of Frank E. Darling.


February 1896:


Thursday night a caravan of cutters, loaded with a crowd of happy Neillsville people slid out for the county poor farm, to have a dance, a feast, and a frolic.  Gallons of bivalves and baskets of grub both substantial and delicate were taken with the party and a couple fiddlers and there you are.  They danced and fed and turned that official abode of misfortune into a picnic, with Will Woodward chief cook and can opener, and Charley Bradford leader of the graceful minuet.  The crowd had a geewhollopin’ good time, as the folks say in Punkin’ Holler, and came home feelin’ improved. 


A 50-Horsepower boiler in the Smith saw mill at Pittsville exploded with terrific force last night.  The engine house was totally demolished, but no lives were lost.  Low water in the boiler is supposed to have been the cause of the explosion.


Oscar Eisentraut had his arm dislocated at the wrist yesterday morning and one of the bones of the forearm broken, while working among the logs at Wren’s mill.  He was rolling a log with a cant hook and a sudden blow wrenched the arm.  Dr. Berry was sent for and reduced the fracture in good shape.


The old bear saw his shadow on the second.


February 1906:


A Neillsville visitor wrote the following summary after his January 1906 visit to the city:


“Neillsville is a city of some less than 7,500 inhabitants, mostly people.


It sits on seven hills, like Rome, and roams in a zigzag speckled manner of its environs.


It also has a county seat, and circuit court bench, to sit on.  It has a stand pipe and several dry goods stores, as well as a city council and other fraternal orders.


It is bounded on the east by Granton and M. C. Ring’s stock farm, on the south by a broad expanse of landscape and scenery, on the west by H. B. J. Andrus and Black River, and on the north by Staffordville of which Neillsville used to be a suburb until Dick Kountz and Fred Whitcomb got the railroad in town.


Agriculture and other fine arts are practiced extensively.  Horticulture also flourishes and grafting is frequently restored to.


An automobile was seen in that town not long since and created quite a stir.  Most of the horses except George Rude’s pop horse were afraid of it.  The papers say a few machines will be purchased there next year.  One wealthy resident will get one run by benzene with two seats and a tunnel.”


W. H. Huntley, the Neillsville Marble and Granite man, and Ira J. Wolff, the carriage painter, were calling on friends and looking after business interests in Greenwood, Tuesday.


J. W. Davis, of Loyal is a marvel in cutting and carving wood, especially making canes.  His brother Ted Davis is carrying a cane carved from hickory that is a novelty and a fine piece of work.  Davis recently carved out a fine cane and sent it to President Roosevelt.


A large dam will be built across the Black River at a point about fifty feet from the railroad bridge at Hatfield.  F. Rundle, of Dells Dam, was down at Hatfield last week and “sized up” the situation.  He says the dam will be for the purpose of establishing a power plant for an electric railroad to be built from La Crosse to Superior.  There are fifty men working there now, having cleared a thousand acres and more to do.


February 1926:


Warren Hake, who lives southeast of Neillsville and is one of the most ardent radio fans, picked up Aberdeen, Scotland, Station 2BD, on the evening of Jan. 25th, and brought in the reception loud and clear on a 3-tube Radiola.


At the regular meeting of the board of directors of the Dairy Exchange Bank, H. M. Root resigned as president of that institution.  Mr. Root’s resignation was accepted and Senator W. L. Smith was elected president and Mr. Root vice-president.  H. M. Root has been with the Dairy Exchange Bank since its incorporation as the Commercial State Bank in 1898.  He was cashier of the bank until 1916 when he assumed duties of president.  Soon to be 80 years of age, he wished to be relieved of the active duties of the bank in Neillsville.


City of Neillsville Council Meeting approved application for privilege of standing pop corn wagon on the corner of Sixth and Hewett Street, also license to sell cigarettes and soft drinks, signed by Tom Bruley, read to council.


Early Monday morning the Elliot block in Owen, which stood south of the Woodland Hotel was destroyed by fire.


Horse Sale at Bruley’s Barn in Neillsville on Saturday, Feb. 20: Car of draft horses, ages 4 to 7 years, straight from a farm in South Dakota.  W. G. Shanks, proprietor:  R. M. Horswill, auctioneer and G. C. Youman’s, clerk.


February 1946:


Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Lavene, married Jan. 6 at St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Marshfield, are making their home on the farm of his grandfather, Emil Winkelman, Town of York, which they have rented.


Dr. J. H. Brooks who practice dentistry in Neillsville more than 45 years, has sold to Dr. Carroll N. Schield, and will retire.  He will remain for a short time with Dr. Schield, who is already in possession.  Dr. Brooks came to Neillsville in 1900, just after his graduation from Northwestern.  He went to the O’Neill House, at the time the leading hostelry of this section.


Harry Roehrborn and Herman Moen returned Sunday from a four weeks trip through the southwestern part of the United States.  They traveled a total of 5, 366 miles through sixteen states.


Dimple Irene French Oakley, the youngest of four daughters of B. F. French, pioneer of Neillsville died in Los Angeles, this past week.  Bereft of sight or hearing, yet found means of expressing a brilliant intellect.  She wrote articles for magazines published for the blind.  Dimple was born in Neillsville in October 1869.  The family resided in the Town of Levis, near the river and later in Neillsville on the present library site.  She became the bride of Edward Oakley, local superintendent of schools.  They were married in 1896 and lived in Neillsville until they move to Los Angeles in 1912.


Moving to Los Angeles, Dimple was able to live near all three of her sisters and two brothers –Dr. John French, eminent physician, and Edwin.


It’s been a long row, but the City of Neillsville now nears end of debt.  A $2,000 bond payment in May will mark the end of debt which is the final payment on the city hall construction debt.


Post office buildings costing $85,000 each have been recommended for Greenwood, Owen and Thorp, in Clark County.


Paulson Garage, corner of Fifth and Grand, has been sold to Charles Perko of Willard.  This is the building often spoken of as the Moose Hall.  The building was constructed by Peter Paulson in 1914.  It was the first garage building in Neillsville and housed the original Ford agency here as well as the Dodge agency, Mr. Paulson having represented both lines.  The building has been in the Paulson family since Mr. Paulson’s death and has been rented to the Moose Lodge, which occupied the upper floor, and to Wm Whaley, whose garage occupied the second floor.


Perko will develop the location for his farm implement agency.


A crown of 1,000 fans packed the gymnasium to watch Greenwood high cages in an important game, a final score: of 37 to 22 victory, over Loyal, putting them atop the southern 3-C conference on Tuesday night.


Oluf Olson celebrated his 75th birthday at the courthouse on Monday.  He gave a party for his friends there, with the help of Mrs. Olson, providing rolls, doughnuts, dill pickles, cheese and coffee.  His friends bought a box of cigars for him.  Now a box of cigars for Olson is a long smoke, for when he smokes a cigar, he makes a business of it, taking his time and doing nothing else.  Olson has completed 31 years as janitor at the courthouse.  He is still going strong. 


Main Street, Owen, WI with the renowned Woodland Hotel in the foreground, circa 1920


Granton Main Street scene in 1913



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