Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 29, 1999, Page 16

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

In The Good Old Days 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


December 1899


The question now agitating the Neillsville Bank and the barber shops, when does the twentieth century begin?  Business is suspended at intervals every day to discuss the questions.


The year 1899 was of great magnitude for the Neillsville freight and shipping business.  Agent Whitcomb permitted some of us to examine some of the depot records for the past year.  We make no attempt to get detailed statistics of shipments made in less than car load lots, except on butter and eggs, as a vast amount of other produce such as hides, wool and other things have been shipped in smaller quantities.


We find that during the year 1899 there have been shipped 100 cars of lumber; 59 cars, logs; 53 cars, cattle; 28 cars, sheep; 12 cars, hogs; 25 cars, potatoes; 25 cars, oats; 11 cars, rye; 16 cars, wagon stock; 124 cars, barrel stock; 7 cars, wool; 18 cars, wood; 6 cars, furniture; 4 cars, cheese; 4 cars, junk iron; 7 cars, peas; 5 cars, stoves; 5 cars, horses; 13 cars, hay; 2 cars, spokes; 1 car, flour; 2 cars, broom handles; 2 cars, ties; 6 cars, lumbermen’s supplies.


The lumber shipped figured at the average rates paid for hardwood during the past year would approximate the sum of $150,000; the logs, not less than $30,000 which represents only a portion of the revenue on what was shipped.


The total amount of freight forwarded from Neillsville during 1899 was about 10,000 tons and the amount of freight received was nearly 8,000 tons. As if that were not sufficient to keep Fred Whitcomb, Harve Rickard and their assistants at the depot busy, during the year railroad tickets sold amounted to $14,000.


Luethe & Schroeder Co. shipped out 16,000 chickens; 2,000 turkeys, several hundred ducks and geese and about 800 pigeons.


Emil Ketel is the holder of the first “back pay” check from Uncle Sam that has been issued to a Neillsville boy of the Spanish War.


Balch & Tragsdorf have been busy the past few days transferring their goods into the new big store and getting ready for their grand opening on Saturday, January 6.


While returning from a trip west of the Black River one night last week, Dr. Conroy’s team of horses got off of the road, over-turning his covered cutter on a sharp turn.  The team was traveling at a fast speed at the time and at once broke into a wild run. With great difficulty the doctor succeeded in getting out of the inverted rig, but did so with little injury.  The team ran on into the city.  One horse was slightly cut and the cutter was somewhat jammed up.


Last Saturday, Drs. Lacey, Conroy and French preformed two operations for appendicitis.  One patient was Miss Jennie Alexander, living south of the city, the other, Elmer Austin, a young man of about 20 years, who lives west of Neillsville. Both operations were successful and at present writing the patients are doing well.  These two make a total of 16 appendicitis operations that have been performed by the physicians of Neillsville during the past three years.


Brisk business in the village of Loyal has forged ahead tremendously during the past year.  The building improvements of 1899 have been several. What is said to be the finest private building yet erected in Clark County is G. W. Allen’s new solid brick structure, with three stories and basement.  Among other buildings mentioned area large double building, put up by Wric & Mulligan; a two store brick veneer harness shop built by J. C. Davel, furniture store by C. M. Taylor, furniture store by Chas. Rhemhimer, wagon and paint shop by Karrup and Ayers Bros.; new basement and other improvements at the Weaver House, remodeled building by L. E. Chamberlin as well as improvements in other business buildings and a long list of new residences being added to the town.


The Uncle Tom show last Thursday night was greeted by a packed house and was in a measure worthy of its patronage.  The actors were good in their respective roles, but the features of the entertainment were the Jubilee singers, the moving pictures and the allegory at the close of the program.


A Review of 1954


Two great building projects were completed in Neillsville during 1954, the new High School building and the Memorial Hospital.


The John Schmidt family, residing south of Loyal has had six sons in Uncle Sam’s service since the opening of World War II, which is a record.  Their son, Anthony was the sixth to join the Armed Forces.


The Carl Zschernitz family of Neillsville has also sent six boys to the armed service since the opening of World War II.  The sixth was Melvin, who left for the service in January 1954. 


The All ‘Board was moved from downtown Neillsville to the James Milton place near Dells Dam.  It was an old railroad passenger coach, long used in Neillsville as a restaurant.  Many local people will remember having enjoyed the good hamburgers and other foods served at the All ‘Board counter with its unique décor.


Charles Pralguski of Withee, formerly of Loyal, returns after having spent more than three years at Thule, 800 miles north of the Arctic Circle.  He was foreman of an asphalt plant, which supplied material for an air base. 


The Travelers Motel was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Walter of Clintonville.


Frank B. Harcey was installed as pastor of the Congregational Church, Neillsville.


The old iron bridge across the Black River at Dells Dam was sold to Max Phillips of Eau Claire for $900.  The old bridge had stood many years at the head of Lake Arbutus.  It was the main river crossing for traffic to Merrillan and the south- west.  Highway 95 now runs over a new concrete bridge, about a quarter mile upstream from the location of the old bridge.  The old bridge was erected by the Elkart Bridge and Iron Co., which won the contract by its bid of $6,666.66.  The bids were received in 1916.  Then came World War I. Steel zoomed higher (in) price and the contractor lost heavily.


A total of 559 deer were legally killed in Clark County’s hunting season of 1953.


Three new mayors were elected by cities of Clark County: Art Carl of Neillsville; John Snedic of Greenwood and W. F. Nolecheck of Thorp.  In Loyal, M. W. Erickson was re-elected, receiving 260 votes to 169 for E. W. Sterr.


Powdered milk is offered for local use at 3 ½ cents per pound, under conditions specified by the Federal Department of Agriculture.  The low price is made in an effort to reduce the heavy accumulation of milk powder in the hands of the government.


Mrs. Carl Opelt, staging a real Mother’s Day, served 55 persons at their family table, 25 guests for dinner and 30 for supper.


Edward Winter, son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Winter of the Granton Community, was ordained to the Lutheran ministry.  He was the first member to enter the ministry from Zion American Lutheran Church, south of Granton.


The Clark County Chapter of the Red Cross decided to set up a Blood Bank for the county. The Blood Bank is to be sustained by increasing the budget from $5,000 to $7,500 at the annual roll call.  The county also undertakes to supply 1,200 pints of blood annually.  The bank for use within the county will be maintained upon a permanent basis in Memorial Hospital, Neillsville, but it may be drawn upon by a resident of Clark County wherever in the United States his need may be.  For the blood there will be no charge, but for the hospital and medical service there will be the customary charge.


Public debt of Wisconsin is up 40 per cent in five years.  Increase is chiefly due to borrowing for the construction of school buildings.


The Rev. Walter Scott, son of Neillsville, recently preached his first sermon here in his home church.


There are two new doctors who have joined the Neillsville Clinic; B. W. Lyne and Thomas N. Thompson, Jr.


Three Neillsville boys took a 1,000 mile trip, of which they did about 900 miles on their bikes.  The boys were Paul Manz, Jon Swenson and Skipper Lee.  The rest of the miles were done riding the Soo line. 


Clement Jaeckel, 28, of Cudahy, dropped from the railroad bridge near Withee to the rocks below, 15 or 20 feet.  He was caught while walking on the bridge as a train came traveling over the bridge also.  He sustained a broken rib and a cut on his left elbow.


Fifteen school reorganizations have taken place in Clark County this past, according to Clayton Wright, County Superintendent.


An increase in tuition tax is faced by those parts of Clark County which are outside high school districts.  The increase is $26,960.54. The total tuition tax is $307,846.52.


The equalized valuation of Clark County is marked down by a little more than half a million dollars as compared with the previous year.  This is the valuation as officially reckoned by the state taxing authority and as accepted by a committee of the County board.  The decrease takes into account a drop of more than a million dollars in farm values and an increase of about half a million in urban values.


The first baby born at the new Memorial Hospital was Kay Linette Haines, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Haines.  In accordance with its earlier offer the hospital auxiliary, pays all the hospital cost of this first baby.


Neillsville lost its lone passenger train this year.  The only plain citizen on hand to bid it farewell was Art Haugen, who, as a postal employee, had handled mail from this train for 30 years.


A modern milking parlor has been established in Clark County, set up by William Krause, Jr. and Victor Nielsen.  The partners are concentrating on the milk business.  They own little land and intend to purchase most of the feed needed for their dairy herd.  They will concentrate on the production of milk.  Their cows have the run of a loafing shed and are not confined.


Bruce J. Beilfuss, local Circuit Judge, has been chosen chairman of the Wisconsin Board of Circuit Judges.  In that capacity he will, for a year, assign judges to sit in districts where outside judges are needed.


The Blue Moon Foods, Inc., of Thorp, is becoming a part of Foremost Dairies, Inc. This unites it with a national dairy organization, operating all over the United States.


By a vote of 123 to 4, the Unity School District has decided to unite with the Colby Union Free High School.


Thorp Finance Corporation made the year 1954 memorable by the completion and occupancy of its new office building at Thorp.


(The December 1, 1999, issue of the Press ran a photo of students and their teacher of the Kurth School, Town of Grant, three miles east of Neillsville, Pleasant Ridge area, taken in about 1907.


Three people called or stopped in to help identify some of those in the photo.


The little boy, third from the left, front row, is George Hubing.  Behind George, at left, with hat drawn over his eyes, is Art Hubing.  On the right side of George is Charles Hubing.  Also in the front row, to the right, the boy with only top button buttoned, wearing stocking cap and knee length pants, is Elva (Bud) Howard.  At the right of Howard, second row, is Bert Hubing.  Vernie Howard is believed to be the boy on left of George Hubing in front row.  The tall boy in the back row is a Jahr. Ernest and Anita Kuechenmeister are in the photo, the girl wearing a hair ribbon is believed to be Anita.  Miss Kuechenmeister was possibly the teacher at that time.  Our thanks to those who took time to come or call with information. D. Z.)



One of Loyal’s first businesses was the Weaver house, located on the east side of Main Street on the present site of Mike’s Tire Shop.  Improvements which included brick veneer were made in 1899.



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