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Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 17, 1997, Page 10

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


By Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


December 1867


The grand ball and oyster supper at the Neillsville House last night was a magnificent affair.  The supper was “dished up” in an elegant and tasteful manner.  The meal was enjoyed by all who attended.  The attendance was large but not crowded.  Music was provided by the Hall & Halsted’s band.  At three in the morning the happy throng quietly dispersed, all declaring that this was the grandest ball of the season.


The O’Neill House will be closed to the traveling public as of the last day of this month.  Mr. O’Neill, the proprietor, and our Member of Assembly elect, will spend the winter in Madison.  We are confident the interests of this district will be faithfully attended to while our capable representative has a voice in the Wisconsin Legislature.  We are sorry to hear that in the consequence of his being away, the hotel will not be open and hope satisfactory arrangements can be made with someone who can keep the business running. 


One hundred and sixty acres of good pine land lying in the northern part of this county, was sold the other day by Eugene Parmerter for $1,280.  Prices for pine-covered land ranges from $5 to $8 per acre.  December 1 was the coldest day of this season, with the thermometer ranging 17 degrees below zero at half-past seven a.m.


The Black River Logging Association will hold their annual meeting on the 19th day of February at the County Court House, in this village.  Business to be transacted will relate to the log drives in the spring.


On Saturday, Dec. 21, Professor Coon will close his singing school with a grand concert at O’Neill hall.  A very attractive program has been arranged consisting of duets, solos and sentimental songs.


A dance will be held at the new hall and tavern which was put up last fall at Mormon Ripple, half-way between here and Black River Falls.  Next Tuesday evening, many from here will be going to the party.


The new Town of Mentor, in the western part of Clark County, is rapidly adding to its real worth with substantial improvements.  What was eight months ago a complete wilderness, with no sign of habitation, there is now a brisk little settlement.  In the midst of a thick, heavy forest, there are several dwellings, a hotel and a steam saw mill that is now running day and night.  The mill turns out about 15,000 feet of lumber every twenty-four hours, excepting Sundays.  G. W. King is proprietor of the mill, hotel and some of the other buildings.


Lumbermen’s Hotel narrowly escaped total destruction by fire early Tuesday morning, through the carelessness of one of the servants, who left a burning candle sticking on a pine box.


After the sound of the alarm, the house was filled with confusion; some guys with one boot on, others with neither hat, boots or coat; some looking for a lost garment while other sensible individuals went to work vigorously at carrying buckets of water to put the fire out.


December 1897


Everyone’s invited to Town of Grant hall New Year’s night for a dance.  Tickets will be 50 cents.


Archie Day and wife have moved into town and live in Wheeler Curtiss’ house.


A kid fell off a bobsled going down main street hill the other day.  He nearly lost a lung with his crying but no bones were broken.


Frank Fuchs, the baker, has purchased Ole Haug’s Confectionery Store on 5th Street, now possessing the two businesses to be combined into one. 


Fred Huntzicker has purchased a live deer and will make a park for it on his Court Street lot.  It will be a curiosity to most of our citizens and especially to some 877 licensed hunters who never got a glimpse of one during the late hunting season.


Badger State Telephone Co., according to H. H. Heath local manager, has completed the lines throughout the city.  A switchboard, lightning arrester, etc. have been installed at the Neillsville Bank’s central office.  Miss Dude Hommel presides over the keyboard which is in full operation.  Additional phones are being put in as rapidly as the crew can work.


Clark County has apportioned $8,061.10 for the county schools income fund.  The amount will be distributed on the basis of $.914269 per person of school age as required by law.  The school’s moneys will be received by the county on payment of state tax, on the first Monday in February, 1898, when it will be transferred over to the treasurers of the several town-ships, cities and villages.


Letters have been received from the Neillsville boys who are digging for gold in Alaska.  Charley Breed and associates are located at the mouth of the Big Salmon River and plan to prospect in the good gold stream, about 300 miles from Dawson city.


Charley Gates is setup in a log cabin which they were able to build for their winter quarters.  They paid $100 for a sack of flour.  Prospecting for gold hasn’t been paying off; they have found very little, so far.


Frank Hewett is staying along Big Salmon River.  They built two boats and left to cross Lake Bennett.  Half way across the lake, they realized the boats weren’t large enough to carry them and their provisions.  They went to shore and reconstructed the boats.  Many more similar experiences slowed their progress in reaching their destinations.  The men’s main food has been plenty of whitefish and trout caught from the lakes and streams.


Hi Horst and Geo. Huntzicker also are located along the Big Salmon River.  Crossing Canada, they learned Canadian mining laws had changed.  Filing a claim, you get only a 100 ft. claim and every alternate one goes to the queen.


December 1917


Residents of East Lynn community were in a state of excitement last Saturday morning.  The early risers saw what looked to them like a monster air ship of the Zeppelin type.  The daring and fearless gazed with wide-eyed wonder at the contraption that was flying on a south-westerly course.  The timid people sought safety in their cellars while the animals took to the swamps.  As no bombs or projectiles were dropped, the pilot must have been on a peaceful errand.


On Nov. 27, George Frei, Jr. and Miss Angeline Schuld were married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  Guests were invited to the home of the bride’s parents for a celebration after the ceremony.


Free with every purchase of three dollars or over, receive a beautiful reproduction of a genuine California Gold Dollar in pure Gold Plate.  It comes in the plain coin, charm or pendant, or stick pin at Nelson’s Jewelry Store.


County Clerk Ole Anderson is supervising a logging job being done by Oscar Youker in the courthouse yard.  A number of shade trees are being cut out as there is too much shade for a good lawn.  The wood will be used to keep the courthouse warm this winter and help to ease the high cost of heating.


Cash Eide has sold his farm in the Town of York to a Mr. Elmhorst, a gentleman who is moving, from Illinois.  The Eides are moving to Mapleworks.


Knorr & Rausch of Granton have appointed Kearney Davis salesman in charge of the new Ford Warehouse and garage in Neillsville.  The solid brick and cement building is nearly finished.  The big new garage on Fifth Street will be a much better looking building than the old Reddan House that used to occupy the site.


Buy an Eastman Kodak at Sniteman’s, price starting at $2.50.  They also have boxes of stationery, from 25¢ to $2.00.


So great has been the increase in Red Cross work for the soldiers, the knitting sessions have been moved and will be held in the Carnegie Library basement.  There will now be more room at the courthouse for other Red Cross projects.


The New Stewart phonographs are on sale at H. H. Eberhardt's furniture store.  The machine sells for $7.75 and will play 15 records in fine tune.


December 1937


Do your Christmas Shopping at Schiller’s Furniture: Living Room Suites for only $59.50 & up.  A wide selection of bed-room furniture in maple and walnut starting at $39.  Five piece breakfast sets with extension or drop-leaf table and four solid wood chairs at $9.95, wooden end tables $1.55 & up; card table, 90¢; set of three matching floor lamps $5.95; coffee tables in different shapes and sizes $4.25.


All truckers must apply for a truck permit as of Jan. 1, 1938.  An inspector will be at City Hall to explain the transportation act to all truckers on Friday, Dec. 31.


December 1942


Relics of Clark County’s early days are slowly being assembled in the forestry department office on Sixth Street, just north of the county jail.


Over the last few years, County Forester A. C. Covell has assembled a collection of mementos of the days when the noise of woodsmen’s axes rang out through the timbered land of the county.


One of the prizes among the collection is a “windfall,” a piece of an old tree trunk bearing markings of a quarter-section in the original government survey.  The tree once marked the south quarter corner between sections 17 and 20 in the Town of Dewhurst.


The bark had been peeled for about a foot in length and six inches in width. Although the tree was marked in 1847, 95 years ago, the tooled “1/4” and “S” is still visible.  The marks were placed there by James E. Freeman, who ran the original government survey line.


The tree stump was found a couple of years ago by forestry department men.  The upper part of the tree had been chopped off above the quarter-section bearing the markings, and the section bearing the markings was lying on the ground.  A new quarter-section post was put in its place as the originally marked wood was added to the forestry department’s collection.


Three log stamps, used by logging firms in the old days to identify their logs, also are included in the collection.  The log stamps resemble a heavy sledge hammer head, except an identification mark or initials of the logging concern are raised.  The stamp was put on the log by striking the end with the raised letter side of the sledge.


Two of the log stamps have been definitely identified.  One, bearing the initials “PSD”, was the stamp of Payton S. David-son Co. which operated extensively in the Town of Dewhurst in about 1860.  The other stamp bears the initials “MCD”, and has been identified as the mark of the McDonald brothers, who operated in Sherwood and Washburn in 1860 or 1870. 


The identification mark of the third stamp hasn’t been established.  It could be “VV”, or “W” or “M”.  Someone believes it is the stamp of Island Mills.


Other articles in the collection include a hand-wrought cant-hook which was found at the landing site of the old Chippewa Valley Log & Boom Co.  There is also a “fit ring,” a plain, round iron ring about three inches in diameter.


The collections of antiques are kept at the forestry department’s office for the time being.




Love consists in this that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other. – Rainer Maria Rilke




Lack of understanding is a great power.  Sometimes it enables men to conquer the world. – Anatole France 




An old style buggy parked along a board walk in Greenwood in the late 1890s


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