Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 28, 1998, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


The Good Old Days 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News of 1898


Work has begun on the new iron bridge across the Black River near Hatfield.  There will be three stone abutments and two spans.  Each span will be 74 feet long.  The structure will cost about $24,000.


The residents of our city should “wake up” if they have the welfare of our city of heart.


Anyone who thinks that the interests of a city of our size will take care of themselves will find himself much mistaken.  Efforts must be made in their behalf.


Our stove factory, which put many a dollar into circulation among farmers and laboring men, is about to move out.  The spoke mill may determine to follow the same course very soon.


The washboard factory has not done a stroke of work for over a year and the same status prevails with our large furniture plant.


What a vast lot of capitol is tied up in these properties.  What a great benefit it would be to the city if those industries which are today idle, could once again be operated.


The furniture factory is under foreclosure proceedings, on a $15,000 mortgage, the limitation will be up next July.  If the property is sold under the hammer, it may go at a nominal sum of $4,000 or $5,000.  The machines and power will be removed and the buildings dismantled.  (The furniture factory burned, being destroyed before liquidation plans were finalized. D.Z.)


Fred Vine formerly of Pleasant Ridge area, east of Neillsville, stopped in the city on his way from Madison.  He had been serving on the grand jury and will return to his position as the Lac du Flambeau Indian Agent.


Last Friday afternoon, a farmer from Levis with sleigh and team ran into a hard snow drift at Harian’s hill.  The sleigh and load of hay tipped over dumping the hay upside down and remained there over night. Saturday morning, Sam Boyd came along with a horse and cutter belonging to Tom Kelley.  The horse shied past the pile of hay, fell to the ground and while floundering in the snow calked himself badly.  Having been recently sharp shod, as he cut a bad gash in his left hind leg from gambrel joint to hoof.  Kelley thinks the horse can be saved, but he won’t bet much on the salvation of the farmer who left the hay on the highway to scare horses and inconvenience travelers.


There will be a 10-cent sociable meeting at the Odd Fellows Hall, Feb. 8, given by the D or R. Odd Fellow members and their wives who are cordially invited to attend and bring a basket of food to eat.


During the next six weeks I will accept a few thousand feet of lumber in exchange for dental work.  See Leason, the dentist.  Judge O’Neill’s first regular term of court in the district will be held at Black River Falls in March.


January 1918


In order to save bookkeeping and other lines of expense, the business men of Neillsville are contemplating the question of all going on to a cash basis.  At a recent meeting, nearly all business agreed with the idea.


Advertising specials – order your barley flour at Bruley’s, 60˘ per sack.  Feed your hens meat scraps, from Farmers Co-operative Elevator Co. and you will get lots of eggs.  Bruley’s Elevator pays $3.75 per cwt. for buckwheat.  Mrs. Rudolph Franz’s cows are producing more milk than she has need for, so give her a call, Green 71.


The Badger Theatre in Neillsville has been sold to W. D. Martin of Frederick, Okla.  Martin was formerly in the newspaper business but has had a great deal of experience in the movie field.  P. Bronstad, the former theatre owner, has been a great help with the band and other lines of music.  We hope he stays here.


Several teams of horses and owners are hauling loads of sand and gravel from Bandelouis’ gravel pit for the new cattle barn at the fairgrounds.  Any farmer who can spare time to haul a few loads of gravel will help a good cause.  There is always a man at the pit to help with the loading.


The rooms at the Court House are open Monday evenings for the making of gauze and muslin surgical dressing for the servicemen.  We need more workers as there were only 14 in attendance last week.


Christie has a new store keeper, Frank Derby.  Derby has a large assortment of new goods and groceries in the store.


Jan. 17, Dr. Garfield, fuel director of the United States, issued an order directing the closing of many factories and other industries for five days and for ten Mondays beginning Jan. 21.  The order has been directed for the purpose of saving fuel for war time purposes.  Certain exceptions are being made as to the five days closing, such as factories engaged in working up perishable food items and printers of daily papers.  Mondays will be observed as holidays.  Stores closing Mondays, except for sale of foods, drugs, saloons, places of amusement like bowling alleys and nearly all office buildings.  The Neillsville area businesses will observe this order.


Everyone is urged to eat less bread to save wheat for other countries.  Use four pounds of wheat flour instead of five pounds.  Eat corn bread, rye bread, oatmeal bread, barley scones, rice and potatoes in place of bread.  Share wheat with the Allies.


January 1938


A new conservation club for the protection of wildlife was organized at the Granton Village Hall last Friday evening.  About 80 representative leaders from the village, leaders from the surrounding villages, surrounding townships and Neillsville city were present.


L. G. Bluett acted as temporary chairman and O. D. Macomber as secretary.  An election of officers was held, results as: L. G. Bluett, pres.; L. St. Dennis, vice pres.; Mike Zaradka, sec.; Frank Preston, treas.; Director – Herman Braatz, Town of  Grant; Fred Bartz, Town of York; Carl Yankee, Lynn; H. Knoll, Town of Fremont; Clayton McCann, Town of Sherwood; R. Mortenson, Town of Washburn; Allen Covell, Neillsville. 


The Moose Club hosted a card party Monday evening and it was well attended.  There were 15 tables of people who enjoyed playing bridge, 500 and Schafskopf.  High scorers were – Wayne Potter and Mrs. Joe Schield at bridge; Mr. and Mrs. Art Kunze won at 500, Carl Hoffmann and Mrs. Evelyn Gerhardt took high honors at Schafskopf.  The door prize, a beautiful cyclamen plant, went to Art Kunze.  Everyone enjoyed a lunch before leaving for the evening.


Inspection of the model home at Second and Oak Streets, built by O & N Lumber Co., is in progress.  The home has been purchased by Dr. Lee.  The public is invited to view the new home on Thursday, after 2 p.m.


Over 60 hunters and a large group of hunting dogs will participate in a fox and wolf hunt in central Wisconsin counties on Sunday.  The group will gather at Pittsville at 9 a.m., driving to Sherwood where they plan to comb a 12-square mile area in the predator hunt.


Milo Mabie, Walter Dangers and other Neillsville sportsmen are organizing the event.


John M. “Soda Ash” Horan of Milwaukee, a great uncle of George and Jack Tibbett of Neillsville, celebrated his 100th birthday at Milwaukee on Sunday.  A notable party in his honor was held by the officers of the Milwaukee Railroad, including president, Scandrett.  Horan has worked for the railroad for 83 years.  His son has been an employee for 50 years.  At the age of 100 Horan is still actively employed by the railroad company.  Horan saved Milwaukee Railroad thousands of dollars through being the first to use soda ash to clean and lengthen the life of engine boilers.


Plans are completed for the Presidents Ball to be held at the Armory Saturday evening.  The purpose is to celebrate the birthday of President F. D. Roosevelt.  Funds raised from the Ball will go to the Warm Springs Foundation for treatment of infantile paralysis victims. 


Music will be furnished by Gale Hiles orchestra and admission has been set at 45 cents and 30 cents.  During intermission everyone may listen to the speech of the president from a radio in the armory.  Everett Skroch is the local chairman being assisted by a committee. 


The following young men from Clark County have enrolled for service at the CCC camp at Perkinstown.  H. L. Trewartha took the delegation to the camp.  Those enlisting were: Earl Chaffey, Chili; Matthew Johnson, Greenwood; Emil Dusak, Neillsville; Frederick McIntyre, Neillsville; Stanley Rogalski, Thorp; Kenneth Gilbertson, Owen; Wm. Eibergen, Granton; Edward Barton, Granton; Mark Wagner, Stanley and Robert Brown, Neillsville. 


(My recent travels through some of our country’s national forests and reading plaques or brochures on the developmental history revealed many work projects were started during the early ‘30s.  The CCC [Civilian Conservation Corps] worked on construction of dams, roads, picnic areas, etc., making areas within the parks accessible to tourists.  Sometimes we tend to overlook or not appreciate what all went into making those beautiful scenic places accessible for us to view.  Many young men within Clark County participated by joining the CCC during the ‘30s when there were no other employment opportunities available.  One of those men, Robert Zank, a Clark County-area native, brother of Frank Zank, Neillsville, and Walter Zank, Fairchild, shared some of his experiences. D. Z.) 


Robert Zank joined the newly-formed Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933, at age 24.  There were no other jobs available during the Great Depression, so young Zank, joined the corpsmen working on federal projects.  Each man earned $30 a month and sent $25 of the earnings back to their families.


Zank’s first assignment was to work on parks and forestry service in Wisconsin.  Later, he was transferred to Pekin, Ill., where he worked in soil conservation for 40 months.


Soil erosion prevailed along rivers and on farmlands.  He worked at planting trees, filling in washouts and land contouring to save the soils.  The work was done by hand, using shovels and wheelbarrows.


The Corps was administered and supplied by the U. S. Army.  The Army built barracks for the corpsmen to live in.  Their living was much like the Army – the issued clothing and Army food.  Eventually Zank became a crew leader which gave him a pay raise of $15 per month.


While stationed at Pekin, Zank became acquainted with the area and the people who lived there.  When he heard the Corn Products Co. may be hiring, he put in an application.  He had learned the welding trade through Crops training and that training enabled him to be hired as a welder and pipe fitter at Corn Products.  The company name was later changed to Pekin Energy Co. and Zank worked there until retirement in ’79.


There were probably other men who learned a trade while in the CCC, a trade which provided them with a lifetime occupation.  (Working with the CCC, the men served a great role in our country’s development.  Completed projects all still visible and enjoyed by those of us at this point in time.  D. Z.)



The best think about the old-fashioned blacksmith was that when you brought him your horse to be shod,

He didn’t think of thirty other things that needed fixing.


Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there!


A sharp tongue and a dull mind are often found in the same head.



A Seventh Street view circa 1890, with board walk crossing Goose Creek (in right foreground).  The 200 block, south side of street had one building on it.  The 1874 Courthouse dome and Presbyterian Church spire are visible in the background. 



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