Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 9, 1998, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman

Good Old Days


Clark County News


December 1868


Hans Johnson is making preparations for a grand Christmas Ball at the O’Neill House on the evening of Dec. 25th.  Tickets are available and Hans is going to make the affair a “big occasion.”


Our friend, Arch Day, proprietor of the new hotel at the Black River Bridge, six miles south of here, will give a Christmas Ball. The event will be held, at his house on Friday evening, Dec. 25. 


Last Saturday, a teamster, named John Harvey, better known as the nickname of “Milwaukee,” met with an accident.  He was thrown from the wagon when the wagon wheels fell into a rut.  His right shoulder blade was fractured in the fall.


Last Sunday morning, there was a fire in the hotel at Kingston which damaged the building. H. Stiles who works at the King’s Mill informed us of the news.  G. W. King, Esq., proprietor of the hotel tried to subdue the flames.  The pipe from the bar-room stove passed up through a bedroom on the second floor. The overheated stove pipe set fire to some combustible material in the room.  King tried to smother the flames with a blanket and came out of the experience, injured.  The hair on top of his head was burned off and the skin on his face was blistered.  The embarrassment also adds to his injury.


Last week, the stage line between Black River Falls and here started carrying the mail daily, except Sundays.  It is great news to us.  It is the first time we have enjoyed the privilege of daily communications with the outside world.  The railroad to Black River Falls has been completed which enables Clark County to receive benefits from the railway service at that station.


A letter from Norway addressed to Peter Anderson of Neillsville, was lost on the road running east of town, between here and Thos. Reed’s place.  Anyone finding the letter please leave it at the Neillsville post office and receive a suitable reward.


West Wisconsin Railroad has reduced its freight charges to ten cents on a hundred pounds.  Wheat is carried to Milwaukee at 40 cents per hundred, or 24 cents per bushel.


The farmers living on the prairie west of Neillsville, as far west as 25 to 40 miles, find Neillsville a good marketplace.  Within the past few days, a large number of teams have come in bringing flour, feed, wheat, oats, etc., which are readily sold.  The farmers return home with lumber and other goods.


A special meeting at the school house last night was largely attended.  It was decided that the school building should be used for purposes other that (than) teaching school classes.  The meeting will undoubtedly have a great influence on a vote of the district in making some changes.


A small collection of houses about 12 miles west of here, with a large steam saw mill, hotel, etc., receives its name from the energetic proprietor of all the surroundings, Geo. W. King.  King has inaugurated the custom of giving a grand ball at the advent of each new year.  Less than two years ago, the place where “Kingston” now stands, was in the midst of an unbroken forest.  It now will witness its second New Year’s Day.  Several couples from Neillsville plan to go to Kingston for the New Year’s festivities.


C. E. Adams Store has 2,000 pounds of choice butter for sale.  They also have a number of trunks, valises and an assortment of horse blankets for their customers to purchase.


December 1933


On Sunday, Dec. 3, at two o’clock, the members of the Pleasant Ridge Methodist Church gathered for dedication of their new building.


Bishop J. Ralph Magee, bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church was leader of the ceremony.  Pastor of the church congregation, Rev. Paul B. White, led the call to worship.


Other area clergy took part in the service; Rev. E. H. Vornholt, pastor of the Neillsville Reformed Church; Rev. Geo. W. Longnecker, pastor of the Neillsville Congregational church; Rev. A. N. Chapman, pastor of the Loyal Methodist Episcopal church.


November milk prices have been slightly higher than payments in October.  Wisconsin average return has been $1.06 per hundred-weight.  That price is 11 cents above a year ago.


Farmers selling milk to cheese factories received an average price of 98 cents for November.  The return for milk sold to butter plants was $1.00 per hundred pounds.  Condensaries paid an average price of $1.18.  The November return to farmers selling milk for city market distribution is $1.41 per hundredweight.


There are 1,272 men at work in Clark County on civil works jobs, as of last week.  The first payday amounted to approximately $9,000 for the county.


In Neillsville, the projects under way Tuesday, were the ball park at the Fairgrounds, grading on First Street, the Rock Dam at the waterworks, a tennis court at Schuster Park, and painting the city hall.  The proposed plan to lay the water main at Hawthorne Hills Country Club golf course was turned down by the CWA at Madison, despite the fact that the city was to furnish all the materials.  The city is making another appeal to the state department for an O.K. on this project.


The sewage project proposed at Greenwood was also disallowed at Madison.  According to reports, the CWA is not approving any project which a city or community would carry out regardless of help from CWA.  The aim is to provide only for those jobs which would not be undertaken during the ordinary course of events.


Robert Kurth, county director, states that of 60 projects his office has approved, 40 have been returned with the state administration’s approval.  The others are expected to be OK’d within a few days.


The CWA office states that it has noting to do with the hiring of farmer’s teams of horses.  That decision is left up the fore-man of the jobs, as they are on the scene and in a better position to hire teams from farms close to the job site.


All townships within Clark County have road projects underway, as well as projects in all villages and cities with in the county.


Clark County’s plans for forest crop area are nearly completed.  The proposed forest tract in Clark County includes 2,350 forties in Butler, Mead, North and South Foster, Seif, Hewett, Levis, Dewhurst, Washburn and Sherwood townships lying principally in the old drainage district.


Chairman and assessors of these townships have been notified of a hearing to be held Jan.4 at the courthouse at which time the final steps in the project are to be taken.


Several Hawthorne and Basswood trees are being planted on the Hawthorne Hills golf course, according to J. Baer, owner.  A hedge of Hawthorne is being planted along the south edge of the course, east of Schuster Park, a distance of 20 rods.  The planting is under the direction of C. E. Huyssen, Marshfield.  (The golf course was sold later and is now known as the Neillsville Country Club Course.  D.Z.)


Shop at W. G. Woodward Co. in Neillsville.  Buy now and save!  Ladies’ pure silk chiffon stockings, reg. 85¢ now 66¢; Men’s fleece undershirts, 25¢; Boy’s sweaters, cotton, in assorted colors, 35¢.  Heavy weight printed flannel, 19¢ per yard.


Roehrborn’s Store is celebrating Cheese Week by offering these specials; eat more cheese, good for your health and your pocketbook.  American cheese 15¢ lb; whole, brick cheese, 13¢lb; Limburger, 25¢ lb; Liederkranz, 25¢ lb; Munster, 17¢ lb; Pabst-elt, 16¢ lb; Cottage cheese, 12¢ lb; cook cheese, 15¢ lb; Swiss cheese, 23¢.


Does coffee fray your nerves like a buzz-saw?  Try Postum – it contains no caffeine!  Postum is simply wheat and bran slightly sweetened and roasted to bring out the rich, delicious flavor. 


Unger’s Shoe Store has ladies graceful pumps in suede or kid leather, black or brown, prices of $1.95 to $3.95.


Richard Selves of the Town of Grant donated a fine pig to the Ladies Aid of the Congregational Church.  A roast pig supper will be held next Thursday evening at the church parlors.


Notice to churches – under the CWA, churches of all denominations desiring to do any repairing on their buildings or property can secure labor from the CWA board.  The congregations must furnish the materials for the projects.


December 1948


C. W. Myre has been appointed city treasurer of Loyal.  He succeeds Earl Thiesen who has been in ill health.  Thiesen was appointed to the treasurer’s position to succeed Hal Voight, two years ago.  He was elected city treasurer in the spring of 1947, when the change-over was made from village to city.


Hy Carl, Greenwood High School’s star backfield man this year, is under consideration for a berth in the all-state football teams. The teams will be announced at a banquet to be attended by 10 outstanding state football players and their coaches to be held Dec. 18 in Madison.  Hy Carl and his coach, Paul Thompson, have been invited to attend.


Oluf Olson, Sr., has resigned as janitor of the Clark County courthouse, a position he has held for the last 34 years.


Olson’s resignation is to be in effect as of Jan. 1, 1949.  However he has assured the county committee that he will stay on the job until a suitable successor has been trained.


Olson is probably one of the oldest in the state – if not the oldest – courthouse janitor in the state.  He is 78 years old.


The courthouse is full of memories for a man who has been attached to it for so many years.  Judge Schoengarth and Ben Frantz, the county judge and clerk of court, are the only ones remaining who were there to greet Olson when he came down from Abbotsford in 1914 to take over the janitor’s job.


In the eyes of Olson, Judge James O’Neill was the “most outstanding man” to ever serve Clark County in public capacity.  The old Judge O’Neill was a warm and human man, Olson recollects, as well as a good judge and a public spirited citizen.


Back in those early days of his tenure, Olson was supporting a family with nine children on a very slim salary.  He started working for the county at $60 per month.  It was close going and when the time came for the annual Clark County fair, the courthouse closed down so employees could attend the second day’s events.


As Judge O’Neill left his chamber, he met Olson in the hallway and inquired whether the Olson Family was going to take in the fair.  “No,” replied Olson.  “We can’t afford it.”  The judge pulled three dollars out of his pocket and pushed it into Olson’s hand.


“You take your family to the fair,” Judge O’Neill instructed.


Olson did take his family to the fair.  After buying their tickets, there remained but a few cents of the three dollars.  A man at the fair gate told Olson, he should sign up for a prize to be given to the family with the largest number of children attending the fair.  The prize was five dollars.


The Olson’s and their nine children won the prize.  Later, Olson tried to return the three dollars to Judge O’Neill, but; “He wouldn’t take it,” Olson recalled.


Each winter, except one during the entire 34 years he was janitor, the courthouse has been kept warm by burning wood.  Olson estimates that an average of 175 cords has been burned each winter.  That would make approximately 5,775 cords of 36 inch wood that he has fed into the courthouse furnace.


Olson was born in Norway on Feb. 4, 1871, son of Arne and Ellen Olson.  When he was 14 weeks old, his father left for the United States to make his mark in a new country.  A year later he sent for his wife and baby and they came directly to Clark County.


The family spent the first winter in what is now the City of Greenwood.


The next spring the elder Olson found a piece of land in the Town of Mayville much to his liking and he homesteaded the property.  The home farm is now owned and operated by at (a) nephew, Wayne Olson, who is the son of Olson’s youngest brother.


The oldest of a family of eight children, Olson has known what it is to work.  He started working at home when he was about eight years old, and has been at for the last 70 years.


At the age of 14, Olson left home. He worked at logging, at firing railroad engines with wood and stationary plants for the railroad.


“From that time on, I never depended on my parents for food, clothing or shelter.”  Eight years prior to coming to Neillsville, to take over the janitor job, Olson acted a (as) village marshal and street commissioner at Abbotsford.  For the first quarter of a century on the janitor job he did the work alone – except when his children helped him at times.


Eight of Olson’s children are living; Ellen Johnson, Mrs. David Daniel, Mrs. Ewald (Sarah) Schwarze, Gilbert, Mrs. Albert (Fern) Holt; Kenneth, Mrs. Lowell (Mildred) Dorn, and Oluf Thomas.


Did you know there’s no express elevator to success?

      You have to take the stairs one step at a time.


No one was ever blinded by looking on the bright side of things.


The means of travel in the late 1800s was by horse and buggy.  A horsehide robe was wrapped around the passengers’ feet and legs in an effort to keep warm.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Lowe)


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Good Old Days Christmas Card Collection!



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