Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 1, 1999, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days 

Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


December 1874


George L. Lloyd has been doing an extensive business in the stove trade during the past few weeks, and is till setting up a few every day.  The “Maple” is the parlor stove that pleases all, making it quite difficult for him to supply the demand.  Next to the “Maple,” the “Acorn” gives the best satisfaction.  Besides these two named, he has many other styles, costing less, but filling the bill.


The telegraph line between Neillsville and Mormon Ripple is now nearly completed. All it lacks is the wire and a few more poles, which will be put in place in a few days.


Ren Halstead proposes keeping Christmas in a becoming manner, and as usual is willing to help others enjoy that holiday.  A dance at Whitcomb & Carter’s Hall, Humbird, on Christmas night, Dec. 25, is the way he plans to contribute to the general enjoyment of the community and all who know Halstead know he will do it up right.


Mrs. James Reddan will give an oyster supper at her residence in the boarding house on Wednesday evening as a benefit for Rev. Hendren.  Supper will be served at ten o’clock p.m., at $1.00 per couple. Husbands bring your wives; young men your ladyloves and old bachelors your bosom companions, and have an old fashioned good time.


The Neillsville Graded School has now been in operation for one month.  Mr. Miller has been chosen as principal of the school, a wise selection as are the teachers who work with him.


During the past few months, Geo. A. Austin & Co. has been making many improvements on their mills here.  Among those is the celebrated Key City middling purifier now used in all mills where first class work is attempted.  Last week a new bolting cloth was added, and they can now justly claim to have one of the best mills in the state.  The Neillsville Mills now turn out the best brand of flour to be found in our market, and as good as can be found in any place.


Mrs. Rella French, editor of the American Sketch Book, is now in town preparing to write up the history of Neillsville and its surroundings.  The Sketch Book is a neatly printed monthly publication containing 40 to 60 pages.  It is partly devoted to the description of some city or town, the remaining pages being filled with choice literary matter.


The committee appointed by the Clark County Board to procure and adopt a plan for a new Court House to be built in this village, met at the present Court House this week.


They propose a budget of $10,000 for the construction.  The plan adopted was furnished by C. J. Ross, of La Crosse, one of the best architects in the Northwest.  The building will be 96 feet in length and 64 feet in width, two stories above the basement.  There will be six large offices and four vaults on the first floor.  The court room, sheriff’s office and one jury room will occupy the second floor.  The outward appearance of the building, judging from the sketch on exhibition, will be very fine.  It will be an ornament to the village of Neillsville and a credit to Clark County.


The following contracts for building material were awarded Monday, the bids having been received on Saturday:  David Wood, 100 cords of stone at $5.80 per cord, to be delivered on the Court House grounds by June 1, 1875.  The stone will be furnished by Hatch’s Quarry, and is said to be the best in the community. Edward King and Fred J. Vine were awarded the contract for furnishing brick, to deliver 400,000 number 1 brick on or after July 1, 1875, as required at $7.00 per thousand.


C. M. Miller and O. P. Wells have purchased the Greenwood stage line formerly operated by Wm. Begley.  They propose to run a daily stage and mail delivery line between Greenwood and Neillsville.  Stages will leave Neillsville at 7 a.m. arriving in Greenwood at 10 a.m., then leave Greenwood at 1 p.m., arriving in Neillsville at 4 p.m.


December 1939


George A. Ure has been appointed a Police Justice for the City of Neillsville to fill the unexpired term of Judge A. E. Dudley.  Judge Dudley died Dec. 5 after being struck with a heart attack.


Ure held the office of Clerk of Circuit Court in Clark County for 18 years, starting Jan.1, 1911, under Judge James O’Neill.


A former member of the Clark County Board of Supervisors, Ure was chairman of the Town of Lynn from 1902 to 1911.


For 25 years Ure served as secretary of the Lynn Mutual Insurance Company, and during that time he was a member of the board of directors, a position he still holds.


In private life, Judge Ure had a varied career, ranging from timber scaler during the early days of Clark County, to railroad fireman, stockholder in a Mexican rubber plantation, prospector in the Alaskan gold rush of 1898, part-owner of the old Republican in Neillsville and former president of the First National Bank.


At the turn of the century, Ure served as Captain of the local National Guard unit.


Clark County is the hub of the nation’s casein production.


Casein, the curd or cheesy part of milk, aka protein, is widely used in the manufacture of various useful articles including high grade paper, buttons, and paint.


Figures released this week by the crop reporting service of the Wisconsin and United States Departments of Agriculture, based on dairy point reports for 1938, show that Clark County produced 2,598,000 pounds of casein more than Chippewa County, ranked second in the state with a production of 1,472,000 during the year, or 1,100,000 pounds.


A child health center, sponsored by the Women’s Civic Club, was held in the Union church parlors at Granton on Dec.8.  It was highly successful with 23 babies brought in by their mothers for examination and advice.  The clinic was conducted by Mrs. Elizabeth Stewart, county nurse, and she was assisted by Dr. Small and a nurse from the Wisconsin State Health Department.


What happens when you go to see a doctor, and the doctor is busy being doctored?  The answer is; you wait.


Herbert Schwarze’s visit to the doctor was occasioned by a paining great toe – result of a previous night’s engagement in the recently organized inter-city basketball league. Dr. William Olson and Dr. M. V. Overman also appeared in the lineups with Schwarze.


And, when Schwarze arrived at the Greenwood Clinic in quest of relief for his paining great toe, he found:


Dr. Olson raising a ruckus while Dr. Overman labored over a splendiferous big blister on the bottom of his colleague’s foot.


This past week, we have had a couple of pioneer days stories shared with us.


Pioneer Frank Lang told some of his memories of living in Clark County.


Two sights have a world of meaning to Lang, an old-timer.  Those are Cawley Creek and the big barn which his neighbor, John Zajac, built this spring.  He goes over Cawley Creek in traveling to and from Neillsville.  It is the now-inconspicuous stream jut north of the Imig school house.  The Zajac barn can be seen every time he looks that way, for his farm and that of John Zajac are both in section nine, Town of Seif.


(The former Zajac farmstead is now the home of Randy and Natalie Hauge. D. Z.)


Cawley Creek reminds Lang of the days when he drove logs down the stream.  Back then the creek was really something, with swift running water in the spring, and plenty of it.  Lang used to ride the logs in it, and occasionally he slipped off and took a wetting. If nowadays we hear great tales of the prowess of men who rode the logs, the glamour would somehow be lessened if we could know how many times they lost their footing and went into the drink.  At least, so says Lang, and he ought to know, for he admits many dunkings.


It was dangerous business.  To break a jam meant imminent peril, with everybody for himself.  If you were in the way of flying logs, you had to get out on your own steam.  Everybody else was busy with his own affairs.  After braving the perils of flying and rolling logs all day, the men slept in tents along the stream in the month of April, with spring rains running around them and through the tents as they slept. They gathered up rheumatic twinges, to last them into the days of lesser perils.


Twenty-five years ago Lang went into the wilderness of the Town of Seif.  He undertook to clear a farm, and has accomplished that.  Lang has 120 acres, and to farm it is simple, compared with the labors of clearing it and of farming it when the stumps were thick.  He recalls the labor of raising and caring for hay in the old stump days.  Then the stumps were so thick that the wagon could not be driven in the field.  The hay was cut with a scythe and carried to the wagon. When the season’s hay crop was in the barn, it was a major accomplishment.  The work was not much like that upon the Zajac farm this summer, when the hay was stowed away by modern machinery into the new barn.


To him, life in Clark County looks good, and relatively easy, as compared to the labors of the pioneer days.


The William H. Edens of the Town of York celebrated their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary a few days early, as it is on Jan. 7.


The celebration was held in a far different community of York then (than) when the Edens arrived in Clark County 40 years ago.


Woodlands have been transformed into pastures and fields by sweat of the brow and bite of the ax.  The industry of countryside has changed in the 40 years that passed from that of lumbering to farming.


Yet, somehow, the spirit of hardy early settlers of Clark County, the spirit of which has typified pioneer Americans, was not lost in the anniversary celebration.


While scores of friends and neighbors joined the children and grandchildren of the Edens for the occasion, the honored couple looked back on their early trials in a new country.


Nearly all of the Town of York was woodland when the Edens settled there with their children in 1900.  They moved from Plymouth, where Eden had been a shipping clerk. With typical pioneer spirit, they had traded their Plymouth home for their three 40’s, almost virgin land in York.  And there was a peculiar thing about their trade, as the Edens recalled:


The land had come to a Civil War veteran, Mr. Corbett, who had a cork leg and had taught Edens’ Sunday School class.  He acquired the land through a gambling debt.


When the Edens arrived, they found their 40 in woods, with the exception of an area of about three acres, which had been cut, but had not been stumped.  That spring Edens had furrows plowed between the stumps, and planted corn.  The crop’s yield was 70 bushels.


Working side by side, Eden and his wife started clearing their land. And whenever it came to using a two-handled saw, Mrs. Eden was there doing her share of the pushing and pulling.


“I don’t recall which end she used,” Eden remarked, “but it doesn’t make much difference.  One end pulled as hard as the other.”


The children, too, came in for their share of labor in building up the farm and the home.  Like all children of early Clark County families, they learned to work and they worked hard.


At that time York Center consisted of a post office operated in connection with a county store, by A. Benedict.  The post office/store later became the site of Abie Turner’s service station.  Besides the post office, the Edens had six “near” neighbors.  They were: Mrs. Stella Mortimer, whose place was taken over by a son, George; Clyde Smith on the farm later owned by Mrs. Julius Drescher; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Dean, who moved to Oregon; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Zwick, who sold their farm to Emil Korth; Mr. and Mrs. Julius Voight whose son, Hank, took over their operation; and Mr. and Mrs. Al Garvin, who lived where Elmer Garbisch would later take up residency.


Mr. and Mrs. Eden were married Jan. 7, 1890, in a church in the Town of Rhine, Sheboygan County.  Their children are: William G. of Hardwood, Mich.; Miss Erna Eden of Milwaukee; Mrs. Donald Kier of Nasonville; Mrs. Ervin VandeBerg of York; and Hans J. of Rockford.


The Kurth Country School of Clark County was located three miles east of Neillsville along Pleasant Ridge.  This 1902-03 photo of its students and teacher; has only two names, listed as Frank and Ben Brown.  Does any one have a copy of this photo, which includes all or most of the students’ names that appear on it?



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