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Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 3, 1997, Page 14

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days

By Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News


December 1882


The Excelsior Gas Light Company of Chicago will submit a proposition at the adjourned meeting of the county board to light the Court House and other county buildings with gas lights.  It would be a great improvement on the present method for lighting the buildings and would also be a saving. 


In company with several other citizens, we responded to an invitation to be present at the illumination, for the first time by gas, of the residence of Hon. F. D. Lindsay.  W. J. Blackburn, representing the Excelsior Gas Light and Mfg. Co., was present.  Twenty-one burners were used drawing from one of the company’s twenty-five light machines set up for the occasion.  The test proved satisfactory and established the fact a gas machine is superior to kerosene lighting.


The fixtures used in Lindsay’s residence are elegant, consisting of a magnificent four light chandelier in the parlor and a chandelier nearly as handsome in the sitting room.  The other principal rooms are supplied with two-light chandeliers and bracket burners have been placed where extra lighting is necessary.


Amongst other improvements, recently made, is a model heating furnace.  Lindsay now has the most comfortable and convenient dwelling in the city.


A large supply of venison has been received at this market and shipped to other points, during the week.  The slight fall of snow last week has enabled hunters better hunting conditions.  Henry Myers returned from the woods with a splendid pair of deer horns the other day, and he flies all to pieces if asked where he bought them.


There was a raffle held at Dr. Thomas’ drug store in Greenwood.  H. M. Root became winner of a full set of Dicken’s words, well bound, for the small sum of one dollar, by a score of 79 out of a possible 108 on a wheel of fortune.


Geo. W. Trogner has purchased a first-class ten horse power engine and boiler to be used in his wagon shop.  The increase in his business has made it necessary to invest in a means other than that hand-powered to enable him to more quickly get out the work coming to his shop.


The busiest place in this city is Hewett’s Store, where a full stock of anything and everything is available.  The best bargains may be secured on dry goods and notions.


At the meeting of the Neillsville City Council last Saturday evening, the offices of the city marshal and street commissioner were salaried.  The salary of the offices, combined, was fixed at $500 a year.  Under the order granting the salary, the city marshal is required to be on duty until 11 p.m.


Levis News – Poverty Flat, known as the Wedges’ Creek House before the flood, is again deserted.  No light gleams from the stately mansion on the hill.  We often wonder why the water rises so suddenly on the creek.  We did not, in the past, see the great sea of water at the mouth of Wedges Creek.  We must have less water or the people of Levis will have to be provided with wings or web feet in order to navigate.  We expect the Black River Association will have something to say about the high water in the spring.


Leidholdt’s dance at Fireman’s Hall last Thursday evening was well attended and a success in every particular.  However, the dance held at Leason’s Hall on the North Side proved a total failure.  It may be the many posters announcing Leidholdt’s dance were well placed and scattered.



December 1907


The Youman’s Stock sale was the largest ever held in this vicinity and attracted many outside buyers.  Stock was sold for good prices to purchasers from Milwaukee, Longwood, Bright, Duluth, Westboro; and representatives from Jean Duluth Stock Farm as well as several from Alma Center were buyers.


Lizzie Hagedorn, Town of Weston, is learning the dress maker’s trade in Neillsville.


Last Saturday evening, two wolves had Pat Lyden treed in the hay meadow.  They kept Pat busy breaking off branches to throw at them.  To his relief, the wolves caught sight of his pet dog and while they were giving him chase, Pat was able to get down from the tree.


Farmers of the Christie area held a meeting at Lange’s creamery for the purpose of organizing a Farmer’s Creamery Co.


T. E. Brameld’s store had the latest patterns in Haviland China as well as salads, berry sets, water pitchers, chop plates, sugar and creamers, cups and saucers and all kinds of novelties.


December 1932


For the first time in the history of Clark County, the county did not have funds enough on hand to meet its monthly payroll of about $2,400, due Dec. 1st.  Court house officials and employees are wondering when they may expect their pay.  There likewise are no funds for payment of the widowed mothers and blind person’s pensions.


The county board at its session two weeks ago authorized the county to make a loan of $120,000 to carry it along until the next taxes come in, but as yet no financial institution has come forward with that amount of money.  One Milwaukee bank was willing to lend $60,000 but would not go above that figure.  Presently, the income to the county is about $200 per day while expenses are far in excess of that amount.


The Clark County Board adopted a resolution at their recent session whereas they will permit the sale of tax certificates at the face amount without adding fees and interest.  The offer will stand open for a period of six months.  This discount, it is hoped, will move a considerable amount of certificate out of the county treasurer’s vaults and put cash in the treasury.


While this resolution does not specify that certificates may be redeemed at face value by owners of real estate on which they are issued, it may be possible to construct its provisions so that this may be done.


Under direction of the city council, a portion of the city hall has been partitioned off for eight bunks to be installed.  The bunks will be made available for transient “floaters” – men without a residence who travel from town-to-town during the winter months.  The bunks will be equipped with straw ticks and blankets.  An old cookstove has been set up on which water may be heated.  Some system to provide lunch tickets will probably be established.


The Neillsville Community Club has received 3,160 yards of various kinds of cotton cloth from the Federal Government.  The material will be distributed to needy persons in the 15 southern Clark County townships.  Other agencies are distributing cloth to the central and northern townships.  Town chairmen have reported families in their respective towns needing clothing.  Some overalls and socks are also being donated.


Clayton I. Vine, Town of Grant, died as the result of a fall while volunteering his time in rebuilding the Pleasant Ridge Church.


Vine had spent most of his life on the Ridge, growing to manhood on the family farm, which had presently been his home.  Vine became a graduate butter and cheese maker at the University of Wis., a trade which he worked at occasionally.


Survivors are his wife, Nettie (Smith Osgood), and two children: Anita (Gorske) of Wilton, Donald, at home: and one step- daughter, Marion (Austin), of Watertown, and one sister, May (Harriman), of Alden, Mich.


Francis Schweinler and Richard A. Hemp both of this city, have purchased the Mosinee Times and will take over the publication.


Schweinler worked for the Neillsville Press since 1925, the day after he graduated from high school.  Hemp, who attended Carthage College in Illinois and River Falls Normal School, has had considerable experience in the editorial department, having made a study of journalism. 


The Depression is forcing many destitute persons suffering from illness to ask the towns and county for medical relief.  Town officials and the county are called upon to pay medical bills which are proving a heavy burden to the communities.


In medical cases which are not considered acute, the patients are sent by Judge O. W. Schoengarth to the State General Hospital of Madison.  There, they are taken care of at the rate of $2.38 per day.  To this charge must be added the cost of transportation both ways.  During the past year these cases cost the county $5,706.73, this amount being half the charge as the State contributed the other half.


The amount paid out locally, by the towns is estimated to be between, $16,000 to $20,000 yearly.  This sum is in addition to the county and state’s $10,288.26 payment on health bills.


There have been widespread desperate circumstances for area farmers, but an occasional ray of sunshine does break through.  Those who had the foresight to keep a flock of chickens on their farm are rewarded with good egg prices.


George May, of Sanitary Market, in discussing the egg market, reported on that day he had paid an area farmer $35.03 for his flock’s week’s production of eggs.  On the previous week May had paid the farmer $28.60 and the week before, $26.40 for eggs.


Another farmer stated his income from eggs would total about $150 for the month.  The retail price for eggs this week had been 34 cents per dozen whereas last summer, the lowest was ten cents per dozen.


Clark County city and rural school children are busy selling Christmas seals, having received the seals and score sheets recently.


For the past three years, Neillsville has placed in the upper five cities having the highest per capita sales.  This excellent support has been greatly appreciated by the Wisconsin anti-tuberculosis association.


There must be some of you readers, other than me, who remember going door-to-door in the 1930s in an attempt to sell the Christmas seals for one cent each.  A full sheet of 100 stamps, at a penny each cost took awhile to sell, with an average sale of five cents. D. Z. (Transcriber remembers selling the Christmas seals, door to door, in the later 1940’s, but I do not remember what the price was.)



Burnin’ daylight won’t keep you warm.


If you don’t work, you might freeze to death.




If the horse is already out of the barn,

Leave the door open in case he comes back.


Never close the door to opportunity.




LaBonte’s Lunch, a novel restaurant, was established in a renovated railroad passenger coach by Louis LaBonte.  The business was started at Stanley, Wis. in May, 1930.



Sold by LaBonte, the railroad car café was later moved to Neillsville and placed on the H. J. Brooks lawn, between the Rooster Bar and American Legion Hall.  The business was purchased by Frank Ouesnell, and then operated by him and his brother, Harvey.


During the early 40s, Julia Reber owned the business, struggling with the war-time rationing program.  If the sugar quota allotted for her restaurant ran out, she would have to close the business for a day or more until more rationing stamps became available for making pies.  A well filled plate of food cost fifty cents, with seconds at no extra charge.  Being an excellent cook, Reber’s Café, was a popular eating place.


Later, in the 40s, Reber sold the business to Nell and Hallie Horswill.


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