Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 9, 1998, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


September 1868


The County Board of Supervisors met in the village of Neillsville last Saturday and issued a call for a special election.  The election will be on Saturday, Oct. 3 for the people to vote upon a proposition made to the county by the Green Bay and Lake Pepin Railway Company.  Those in favor in the county paying $100,000 in bonds for one hundred shares of the company’s stock are required to vote, “For the Railway Proposition,” those opposed, “Against the Railway Proposition.”


There was at first considerable opposition in the county against issuing bonds.  The railway company would issue 100 shares of capital stock in exchange for $100,000 of corporate bonds of Clark County, payable to treasurer of the company in ten years.


The question is – Would it be worth $100,000 more to the community for the road to cross Black River at the mouth of Cunningham Creek, than at the East Fork?  What can we expect from the railroad when it is completed?  Should we not buy their stock, the chances of the road coming where we want it is decidedly against us.  But if we take their stock they bind themselves to touch a point as near as five miles of here.


G. W. King informs us that a wealthy gentleman in Ohio, who owns considerable land in this county, has given him assurance on the railway proposal.  He plans to erect a steam saw mill in the Town of Lynn (Sec. 24, 1 East) worth $25,000 as soon as the railroad touches the Clark County line.  Our timber will then have a choice of two markets, east or west; capitalists see this advantage.


New settlers are continually coming into our county.  To see immigrant wagons moving along the roads is no unusual sight and it is hailed with pleasure by old residents.


Five immigrant wagons arrived here yesterday and four wagons came in together today.  Those who arrived today were from Nebraska.  We inquired, “Why from the West?”  One of the men said he had been in our county once before and liked it.  Most of the newcomers are taking up land under the Homestead Act.  Our population is increasing faster than ever before.  People south of us generally believe we live in a pine forest and on a sandy, productive soil. They have heard we send a vast amount of pine timber to market each year.  They find out their mistake when they arrive, but aren’t sorry they came.


The Clark County Poor Commissioners, E. H. McIntosh, Wm. Welsh and Charles Sternitzky, had a meeting on Monday of last week.  At the meeting, they purchased the L. R. Stafford farm called the Southard place, a short distance east of Hoesly’s farm, in the Town of Weston.  The sum to be paid is $2,500, which is said to be a fair price.  Several improvements have been made on the farm, though we think a less expensive one would answer every purpose as well.  It is good property, however, and the county will lose nothing by purchasing it.  Our county’s poor people will have a nice farm to live on.


Emery Bruley invites people of this vicinity to his blacksmith shop on the north side of O’Neill Creek, opposite the saw mill in Neillsville.  Bruley is prepared and ready to do all kinds of blacksmithing.  He keeps a general jobbing shop and has on hand a good stock of ready made work.


S. C. Boardman is a surveyor and general land agent in Neillsville.  He will locate land warrants or college scrip, select pine and farm lands, pay taxes, examine titles, etc. He has pine and farm lands for sale, for cash or on time payments.


O. P. Wells owns the Clark County Hardware Store located on Main Street, Neillsville, across from the O’Neill House.  He has a well-selected stock of goods such as: stoves; cook, parlor and box; shelf and heavy hardware; large supply of plows including the iron beam plow; bar iron, shoe shape, nail rod and bolts of all sizes; farming utensils such as spades, shovels, hoes, grub hoes, pitch forks, rakes, cradles, sickles, hay and harvest tools of every description. Lumbermen’s supplies; whoorf’s celebrated axes, broad axes, adzes (a carpenter’s tool for chipping D.Z.), saws, files.  Single and double aker saws; shingle frows, shingle shaves; Horse and ox nails of all kinds and sizes; A Choice of tin, copper and sheet iron-ware on hand; A full line of carpenter tools, aws (saws), chisels, hand axes, augers and planes; Also a large supply of sash, glass and putty.


C. E. Adams has the One Price Store with offerings direct from Chicago and New York.  It’s the largest stock of dry goods, groceries, boots and shoes, hats, furnishing goods, and lumbermen supplies ever exhibited in Neillsville.  The grocery department has a choice of teas, coffees, spices, raisins, sugars, syrups, smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, plug tobacco, Hamburg cheese, dried fruits, soaps, candles, cross-cut saws, whoorf’s axes and everything else that belongs to the dry goods or grocery trade.


For the past five years I have enjoyed the trust of the people and with their confidence I will continue in the future to have the one price system.  Chas. E. Adams


September 1908


Twenty years ago the value of a piece of land in Clark County was determined by the amount of standing timber upon it, the value of eh land itself being a negligible quantity.  Ten years ago cut-over lands ranged in price from $5 to $10 per acre.  Today these same lands are selling at $15 to $30 per acre.  Land looked upon today as almost valueless will in years come to be worthy of a mere investment.  It will be sold years later at ten times and more the original investment.  (Good advice, but how many of us, in our younger years, took it seriously? D. Z.)


A new Farmer’s Cooperative Creamery has been organized in western Pine Valley and eastern Hewett.  It will be known as the Pine Valley Creamery Assoc.  The following officers have been selected: Fred Sauerberg, president; Fred Wiesner, treasurer; O. M. Orvold, secretary.  Land for the creamery site has been secured on the south side of the railroad track in Sidney.  Work will begin at once on the new building which will be 28’ by 60’.  The site of the creamery will enable the products to be shipped directly without necessity of hauling it to the railroad. 


Tuesday afternoon, Edmond’s planning (planing) and feed mill in Granton was totally destroyed by fire.  The fire seemed to have originated near a gasoline tank and it was but a few minutes before the entire mill was wrapped in flames.  Prompt action taken by the fire department kept the fire from spreading.


The Neillsville City Council amended a new ordinance commencing the first of May.  Water taken from the city mains through meters shall be paid quarterly.  The first 8,000 cubic feet or 60,000 gallons of water will be 20 cents per thousand gallons.  For over 8,000 cubic feet and up to 16,000 cubic feet it will be 15 cents per thousand gallons.


A prominent business man and pioneer of Clark County, John MacMillan, passed away here this week.


MacMillan was born in Storm Mont, Ontario, Canada in Nov. 1844.  At the age of 13, he left home to take up the battle of life and to hew his way to success and fortune.  He went to Michigan, residing there for four years.  He then came to Wisconsin and started to learn the lumbering business from the ground up.  Starting the venture, he became a woodsman and also worked on the lumber rafts on the Mississippi River.  Although much of his time was spent in the woods, he made Neillsville his home when he wasn’t in the woods.  His schooling in the woods was time well spent, as is attested by the eminent success he later made in his business operations. 


In the early ‘70s he was associated with the late F. D. Lindsay in lumbering, under the firm name of MacMillan and Lindsay.  He was later superintendent of the Black River Improvement Co.  During this period of his business, sagacity began to have its reward.  He was shrewd in his investments and rarely erred in his judgments.  Successful in his business operations, he still, at the same time, was energetic in his efforts to develop Clark County.


MacMillan, at one time, was associated as manager and director of the Iowa-Wisconsin Coal Co. and also had large holdings in western timber.  He had a great interest in the Neillsville Bank and was a director of the institution at the time of his death.


In 1875 MacMillan married Mary McIntyre of Cornwall, Canada, and they came to Neillsville to make their home.  They had four children, Donald, Beatrice, Eva and Mrs. Frank Wing.


On Sept. 8th, Carl R. Braatz and Louisa Junchen were married at the Grant Lutheran Church.  After the ceremony a reception was held at the home of he bride’s father.  The young couple will complete their lives together at the groom’s farm.


September 1938


Neillsville has 35 new residences and ten new business buildings added to the tax roll this year.  Most of these buildings have been built in the last two years.  From 1935 to now, new buildings and improvements were exempt from taxation, which accounts for a big boost in the assessed valuation of the city, which totals $178,800 for the above.


The ten new business buildings placed on the assessment rolls were: B&F Machine Shop, $4,000; Joe Zilk’s service station, $6,000; Ed Hanchman store, $3,600; Irv Feirn’s service station, $4,000; Carl Gassen’s machine shop, $1,400; Art Carl’s shop building, $3,000; Elsie Bishop’s Cleaning Shop, $1,400; American Stores replacement, $5,000; Neillsville Milk Pool addition, $22,000; Tibbett Ice & Fuel new shop, $500; Hauge addition, $1,500; Deep Rock Oil Co. addition, $2,600.


Flying over Neillsville at a rate of four miles a minute, Thursday morning, Howard Hughes and his party of four, in their round-the-world flight, gave many of our citizens quite a thrill.  The silver plane passed over here quickly with the roar of the two 550 H.P. motors plainly heard.


Dr. M. A. Foster, Optometrist, who began practice in Neillsville one year ago in June, is moving her modernistic office equipment from Black River Falls to this city.


Dr. and Leo Foster purchased the John Moen home on South Oak Street recently.  They have one son, Jackie, who will enter the eighth grade this fall.


The Neillsville Press was sold this week to Wells F. Harvey of Sturgis, Mich., by A. F. Ender and Sons.  Harvey, who comes highly recommended and with a wide experience in the newspaper business, takes immediate possession.


A little over a year ago A. F. Ender came here from Rice Lake and purchased the Neillsville Press.   Later, he and his sons also purchased the Clark County Journal here and shortly afterwards; the Granton Herald and the Granton Leader, then all of the papers were consolidated with the Press.


Harvey is a newspaper man of mature experience.  He was 14 years owner and publisher of the Pioneer, a daily at Big Rapids, Mich.  He also published the Osceola County Herald, a weekly at Reed City, Mich.


Harvey will have the help of three sons, Robert, John and Wells, Jr.  The Harvey’s will make their home in Neillsville.  There are three children, located elsewhere, two of them being married and the third a student in college.


A feature at the Clark County Fair this year will be a “Tin Lizzie Race.”  Several aspiring dare-devil dirt track drivers are tuning up their ancient crates of Model T’s for the “tin can” races on Sunday.  The race, starting at 2:30 p.m. is sponsored by the Junior Chamber of Commerce which will offer cash prizes totaling $100.


Clark County residents have been busy repairing heavy damages done the first part of this month by flood waters.  Vicinity streams were raised to all-time levels of from 16 to 20 feet, caused by heavy six-day rains north of the county and heavy local downpours.


An embarrassing discovery was made by a prominent Granton resident, Carl Carlson Berg, made by himself.


Until a short time ago, Berg believed the first citizenship papers he took out after coming to the Untied (United) States in the 1870s from Oslo, Norway, insured him lifelong voter’s rights.


So he held a number of public offices, including member of the school board of the Town of Lynn for 36 years, and was one of the chairmen and organizers of the Town of Lynn.


A few weeks ago, hearing of a C. I. O. organizer who got into trouble because he did not have his final citizenship papers, Berg started checking his own citizenship status.


Berg discovered his first citizenship papers hadn’t been valid since 1912.  He was in the courthouse this week attempting to straighten out the matter.


Fred Lear, far right, holding a horseshoe in his hand, owned and operated a blacksmith shop on Grand Avenue in the early 1900s.  The shop was located in the middle of the 500 block, east side, now site of a parking lot north of First Financial.  Fel-Gross Chevrolet started using the building for their business in the late ’56.  The old building was razed about ten years ago.



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