Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 8, 1998, Page 18

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


April 18, 1868


In the town of Weston’s election, a variety of town tickets were in circulation, and some have since been found with the strange heading “Fenian Town Ticket.”


The old two-story frame building which has stood so long on the corner of the alley opposite Hewett, Woods & Co.’s store (5th & Hewett), is soon to be moved to another part of the village.


All who wish to participate in a lively game of baseball, or those who would like to witness the sport, are invited to be present on the grounds west of the residence of Orson Bacon, next Friday afternoon at two o’clock, if it is fair weather?  (Bacon’s residence was on the southwest corner of Grand Ave. and 4th Street, now the Roberts residence. D.Z.)


Wm. Orr has given us names of the persons elected to the offices in the Town of Mentor, this spring.  Supervisors: Orin Wilson, Chairman, Wm. Doty and Oliver Buell; Treasurer: Thos. Hurst; Clerk: S. A. Wise; Assessors, W. R. Thomas and J. Coat. Justices of the Peace: Asa Webster and John Russel.  Constable, Addison Warren.


A small amount of rain fell the early part of last week, raising water in the creeks high enough to start out a few logs.  The water is now lower than it has been any other year at this time.


We have been informed that the post office at Weston Rapids is to be discontinued and one established at the Lumbermen’s Hotel, to be called Staffordville.  W. H. Race is to be the postmaster. 


Last Tuesday a team of horses hitched to a light wagon ran away.  The team was tied to post near the flouring mill down by O’Neill Creek.  Some boys nearby were throwing stones and a stone hit one of the horses.  The horse became frightened, jerked loose from the hitching post and the team fled wildly up the road, north, toward Staffordville where they were stopped.  The horses’ owner, David Robinson, who was in charge of the horses had been in town trading. A few bundles lying in the wagon at the time the team started were scattered promiscuously along the road.  No serious damage was done, but the runaway incident badly scared Robinson.  Some severe imprecations were brought upon the mischievousness of the young boys for their carelessness.


The firm of Hewett, Woods & Co. intend (on) building four dwelling houses this summer.  The dwellings will be on the west side of the street running south of this village, opposite the residence of Mr. Dayton.  The houses are to be two stories high, 16’ x 24’.  This will aid materially to supply the increasing demand for more dwellings here and prove a profitable investment.


Hewett, Woods & Co., of Neillsville, recently sold logs to a firm in Davenport, Iowa.  All logs bearing their mark which are in the Black River and its tributaries, excepting O’Neill Creek, are in the sale.  It is estimated the sale will include nearly twenty million feet of lumber, though a safe bet is made at twelve million feet.


The O’Neill Saw Mill in this village is turning out a considerable amount of lumber this spring.  The saws, an upright and circular, are doing good to produce so much and many laths are also being manufactured.


See Samuel Green, Gunsmith in Neillsville:  Repairs guns, clocks, locks, etc. and executes all kinds of work in the locksmith and gunsmith line.


W. T. Price’s Stage line runs from Sparta to Eau Claire, daily, except Sundays.  We leave Sparta each morning on the arrival of the trains from the East and West, arriving, when the roads are good in twenty hours and in time to connect with stages from Durand, Hudson and Chippewa Falls.  We leave Eau Claire each morning arrive in Sparta in time to connect with trains going east and west, passing Black River Falls.


April 1918


For the first time in the history of Neillsville, it has gone dry.  The dry’s vote won out in the election on Tuesday by a majority of 8 votes.  The campaign was very quiet, no speaking being carried on by either side, but some literature was distributed by both sides.


April showers wash and clean old Mother Earth of winter’s germs and impurities.  Hollister’s Rocky Mountain Tea does the same think for your body, purifies and cleans you thru and thru.  Tea or tablets available at Sniteman’s


For Sale – one portable steam engine, two extension top surreys and one top buggy.  They will be sold at a great bargain.  H. Schroeder, executor of the Estate of Oscar Weinberger.


Buy a silo now, cheap.  For a short time I will sell you a clear fir, creosoted silo 12’ x 24’ for $212.55.  Other sizes and kinds are as low as $141.00.  Fred Puttkamer, agent


Rush Hake is the owner of a new beautiful Country Club Overland car.  Geo. Zimmerman has a fine new Nash automobile.  Ed Kutchera and Matt Scherer each have purchased new Dodge cars.


There will be a patriotic rally at the Reed School on Wednesday evening, April 10.  Everyone is cordially invited. 


D. J. Williams, of Hillsboro, has bought the Hamilton House near the Neillsville depot and is fitting it up for business.  The hotel will be open for the public about April 15.  Williams traveled on the railroad several years, making wide acquaintances with other travelers and knows the fine points of hotel service.


Thursday evening, April 11, Ludwig B. Korth, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Korth, residing east of Neillsville, and Isa Estelle Pitts, of Tioga, became man and wife in the Reformed parsonage.  Rev. D. Grether officiated (at) the marriage ceremony.


Save wheat – eat potatoes!  We are being told by those best in position to know that the present war conflict may practically be decided during the next 60 or 90 days.  Men and guns will not decide but food will and food means wheat.  The armies and navies of the Allies will be desperately in need of wheat during the next sixty days or until the new wheat crop is available.


The Neillsville Post Office will move.  A government contract was awarded to Aug. Schoengarth to place the post office in the building now occupied by the Neverman barber shop.  Twenty feet will be added to the building and new fixtures will be put in.


The Clark County Board voted at its recent session to buy all the wool in Clark County.  They will have the wool made into yarn at nearby woolen mills, the yarn to be used by the Red Cross.  A committee of County officials will have charge of the purchase.


April 1933


An early morning blaze destroyed Dresden’s barn on west Seventh Street.  Bert Dresden’s home and store building situated a short distance away were seriously threatened by the fire.  Two horses owned by Van Gorden & Son elevator were led through the blaze by Dresden and escaped injury.  Dresden’s taxicab, which was not insured, was destroyed.


The fire discovered by Walter Oelke, employed at the Al Aboard Lunch, was on his way home at 1:30 a.m. when he saw the flames.


The Tim Powell’s and Dresden’s occupy living quarters in the upper part of the store building.


It is not known how the fire started.  However, Dresden stated he had often found vagrants sleeping in the barn so the fire may have started from a discarded cigarette.


Beer license fees were set by the city council. A tavern will pay a license fee of $25 until July 1 the beginning of the fiscal year.  Taverns will be closed from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. and restaurants must cease selling beer between those hours.


A shortage of pretzels, limburger cheese and some sausages were reported by Neillsville merchants this week as a result of the return of 3.2 beer sales.  James Paulus, who is wholesaling beer, said the demand for beer has been so heavy that they have been barely able to keep up.


The Pleasant Ridge Church has set dedication services to be held on Easter Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the new church building.  The District Superintendent Rev. A. D. Willitt will preach the sermon.


The former edifice was destroyed by fire in late October, 1932.  The old brick church stood in the community for more than 50 years as the center of religious life.  Exactly when church services were started on the Ridge is not clear.  However, some people say Rev. John Holt, who was the second Methodist minister to serve the people of Neillsville regularly, held services on the Ridge as early as 1859.  In a letter which Rev. Holt wrote to James O’Neill in the year 1897, reviewing his work on a large circuit here in 1859, he listed “Maple Ridge” as one of his preaching places.  Preaching services were held in school houses and private homes for a considerable length of time before building the first church.


In April of 1881, the people of the Ridge purchased land from John and Julia Nichols, which has been the sight of the Ridge Church from that day to this.  In the warranty deed which was made out April 16, 1881, to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the following trustees were named: Frederick J. Vine, Sim Blackman, Thomas Huckstead, Henry Huckstead, M. Byrns and William Wilding.


In the Feb. 28, 1882, issue of Neillsville Times, the quarterly conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was to be held at the new church on the Ridge on Mar. 4 & 5, the Rev. Geo. Case, presiding elder, conducting the services.


Rev. J. E. Webster, Methodist minister, was in charge of its building and delivered his last sermon in Sept. 1883.  Rev. Webster had served the congregation for three years.


The 1933 membership roll recorded 49 active members in the Pleasant Ridge Methodist organization with an average attendance of 65 and 70 for Sunday worship.  (The 1933 building remains on the site although it is no longer a Methodist Church home and can be see at the intersection of Highway 10 and Miller Avenue.)


Last weekend, friends and relatives helped Mr. and Mrs. Ed Short celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary at Shortville.  Everyone gathered at their home for the celebration.  The ladies brought an abundance of food and before noon the men folks came.  A big dinner was served and all remained through the afternoon and for supper.  The ladies stayed later to help wash up the dishes.  It was a happy time for all.


Martin O’Brien, of Neillsville passed away at the age of 93, on April 4.  O’Brien had lived in the Neillsville vicinity for the past 52 years.  Born in Ireland, he came to Quebec, Canada on Jan. 1, 1840 while a child.  He engaged in the ship building business there where he grew to manhood.  He married Mary Garvin and they came to Clark County in 1881, purchasing an 80-acre farm in the Town of York.  His wife passed away in 1924 at the age of 87.  Her mother had reached the age of 106.


The elder O’Brien engaged in deer hunting at the age of 82 and continued to go fishing until he was 90.  His son, William, took over the family farm in 1916 when he and his wife moved to Neillsville.  Other surviving children are Martin, Rockford, Ill; T. J. of Minneapolis; and Mrs. John Krejci, Neillsville.


A large throng attended the sunrise Easter services at the Indian School on West Fifth Street, Sunday, services which were under the direction of Rev. P. B. White.


The Old Hanson Home in Greenwood, circa 1910

(Photo from the George Bishop Collection, at

Clark County Jail Museum)



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