Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 27, 1999, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


January 1919


Fred Williams has opened a livery at Jerome Shaw’s barn on Court Street in Neillsville.  It is the first barn south of the Neillsville High School.  Williams has single and double rigs and three hacks which are well equipped for funeral occasions.  It is an up-to-date livery with good teams of horses and reliable drivers. There is a feed stable also available.  Phone no. 29 when in need of hiring a rig.


The new Clark County Sheriff, M. M. Weaver, of Loyal, is here and has taken official possession of the key to the Clark County Jail.  He has the handcuffs all polished up and is ready for those who make breaches of the peace and can serve a civil process on shot order.  We, at the newspaper, have known Weaver since he was a small boy.  We are fully convinced that law and order will prevail in Clark County during the next two years.


Frank Jackson of Colby is the new District Attorney.  He is a husky and resourceful young lawyer, prepared to work hand-in-hand with the sheriff in enforcing the laws.


Mrs. L. Williamson, who has been in charge of the campaign to secure adoption of French war orphans, has made a recent report.  The rural schools have adopted six orphans and the Levis Sewing Circle has adopted one orphan.  The quota for Clark County is 132 of which 28 are needed to fill the quota.  Any person or organization wishing to make an adoption: call Mrs. Williamson.


On Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m., Citizens of Neillsville and vicinity are invited to attend a meeting at the Opera House.  The purpose of the meeting is (to) secure the new Indian School for this locality.  Business and professional people, as well as other men and women who are interested, are invited to attend.


Last week, John VandeBerg closed a deal, acquiring the A.C. Turner farm of 40 acres in the York Center community.  The purchase price was $3,600, not including personal property.  VandeBerg purchased the farm for his son, Alvin, who now resides in Marshfield and will move to the farm in the spring.


The Ladies Aid of the Presbyterian Church will serve a six o’clock dinner in the church basement on Thursday, Jan. 16.  The menu will be roast pork, gravy, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, coleslaw, squash, pickles, rolls, dark & light cake and coffee.  The price is 35 cents per person.


Oscar Gerhardt returned from New York Wednesday morning, after being mustered out of the Navy.  He expects to go to the state university to continue his college studies.


Arthur Opelt has bought the Adam’s farm and plans to move there soon.


The Town Line Cheese Factory paid $3.76 per 100 lbs of milk during December and the Riverside Cooperative Cheese Co. paid $3.71 per l00 lbs. of milk.


Forest Rowe, of York Center, sold his Ford touring car to Herb Free: Free plans to convert the car into a truck.


H. W. Huntley was lifting grain sacks, last Friday, and got a kink in his back.  He has been greatly inconvenienced ever since.


The meaning of the triumph of Prohibition will be discussed by Judge O’Neill and other local speakers at the Methodist Church next Sunday evening.  Everyone is invited to the 8 p.m. meeting.


Be sure to attend the dance Saturday night at the Shortville Hall.  It’s been some time since there has been a dance.  So, everyone turn out that night and we will have one of those old good times that makes Shortville famous and keeps it on the map.


January 1944


Lieut. Col. Herbert Milton Smith is Clark County’s man of the year, as selected by the Clark County Press.  In the year just ended; Lieut. Col. Smith was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart for leadership and heroism at the Battle of the Beaches at Buna, New Guinea.


The selection of Herbert M. Smith as the Man of the Year was made without consulting him, and in the knowledge of that, if he were consulted, he would disapprove.  But in his service on New Guinea, Lieut. Col. Smith made history pass beyond individual control.


In the Buna campaign, the Japanese battle effort reached its highest tide.  The Japanese forces were beaten back, making one withdrawal after another, with power and prospects continually waning. Service at Buna was rendered at the critical spot, and in the nick of time.  The men of the United Nations who served there, served where it could help the most. They stood at the turning point of history, and it is to their everlasting credit, and to the future hope of their country, that they did not fail.   


The gross cash income of the average farm family in Clark County in 1943 was about $2,700.  The average net cash income after all costs and proper charge; ranges from $850 to $1,100.


Clark County has lost 20 percent of its adult male population due to the war times.  The lack of manpower within the County was the No.1 story of the year on the home front.


The growth of Clark County has dropped by ten percent or more, the population less by 4,000.


The 25 school buses in Clark County are estimated to travel 225,000 miles in one year.  That is a distance equal to nine times around the globe.


A Fourth War Loan campaign is to begin in Clark County on January 16.  A quota has been set at $621,500 which is $353,000 less than the total quota assigned for the Third loan, and $224,150 less than what was actually raised in the Third loan.


Everyone who has a job or savings should invest at least $100 – if possible $200, $300 or $500.


Volunteers will be working to sell these Bonds, and each person in the county will be called upon at home, at work or some other place.


The Tibbett Ice and Fuel Co. are rebuilding their ice house on O’Neill Creek.  One of the walls had fallen in.  Workmen started repairing the building, but it was decided then to tear it down.  A new structure will be built, replacing the old and will be ready to store the 1944 ice harvest. 


The first ice house on O’Neill Creek was a log structure which stood for many years.  It was later supplemented, as the business demanded, by a new frame structure nearby.  On a list of earlier ice makers would be placed the names of William Neverman and his son, Otto Neverman, and also the late Vet Marsh.


James Paulus bought the business of Vet Marsh, and made use of two ice houses near the site of the present one.  In 1911 Paulus and Kurt Listeman constructed the present concrete dam to replace the old wooden dam below the bridge.


Charles Goldhammer next acquired the business and was there only a short time, but long enough to build a new ice house, the one recently torn down by the present owners.  Goldhammer built it about 25 years ago.


Next in line, owners were Dave and Henry Ross, owners for several years.  They sold out to the present owners, George and Jack Tibbett, in 1929.


Eight Neillsville people played golf last Sunday, January 23, on the local golf course.  The players were Otto Zaeske, William Whaley, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Hepburn, Mr. and Mrs. William Campman and Mr. and Mrs. William Chesemore.


Golf on January 23 was something to tell about in central Wisconsin.  However, Zaeske says that is not the whole story.  Not far from the third tee, near the old apple orchard, the players came upon some green grass.  The grass had grown considerably, and the grass was green near the first green.  A little more of this mild weather and the golf course will look green all over. 


In local annals, the story goes that there was one year long ago when golf was played in every month of the year.  But even then, the soft weather was not as persistent as now.  For, instance, Zaeske played on New Year’s Day, on Sunday, January 9, as well as last Sunday.  (I don’t remember that unseasonably warm winter of 1944 being blamed on the global warming trend, do you? D.Z.)


A 1938 Memory


Last October, an article appeared in “The Good Old Days” which brought back memories to one family when they read The Press.


A paragraph read, “Special – Apples $1.19 per bushel at H. H. Van Gorden’s in Neillsville.”


As a popular radio commentator would say…”Here’s the rest of the story”…


The year was 1938, a time when many families experienced the need for more cash to purchase necessities to get them through the winter months.  When an opportunity to work was discovered, many would willingly take the job for whatever meager monetary gain could be obtained. 


Alvin Schutte and his family had moved to a farm near Fairchild in the spring of 1938.  That fall, when farm work was minimal, Schutte found employment picking apples at an orchard.


While working at the Sky-Hi Fruit Farm, Schutte made an agreement with his employer to purchase some apples.  He bought 40 bushels of apples for $1.00 per bushel to resell back in his home area, hoping for a small profit.


Returning to be with his family the following weekend, plans were made to pick up his purchase of fruit.  On Saturday morning, Schutte, his wife Ethel, and two sons, Don and Marv, left home in their 1936 Ford stock-box truck.  They drove to the Sky-Hi Fruit Farm north of Baraboo, near Highway 12.  They loaded the bushel baskets of apples onto the truck box and started driving back on the highway.


After driving a few miles, the truck’s right rear tire blew out.  The truck’s front end went up into the air, skyward, leaving the road.  The truck’s occupants could see the ditch getting nearer in front of them.  As the truck’s front end came back down to the highway’s surface, it righted itself, and didn’t tip over.  The action of its movements was due to the single cross-spring on the rear axle of the truck.  (Those who remember the 1936 Ford trucks will recall that that type of rear axle spring was an unusual design of the ’36 model. D. Z.) 


Without too much delay, Schutte was able to locate a spare tire to replace the ruined tire on the rear wheel. Car and truck tires of the 30s and 40s weren’t of the best quality.  New tires were expensive, so you tried to patch the old inner-tubes, reinforced with boots or bought used tires which were often retreads.


Putting the spare tire on the wheel and making sure the right amount of air was pumped in, the family was ready to go on their way.


As Schutte started driving the truck, he became concerned about too much weight on the truck, fearful of another tire blow-out.


Near the highway, was a dance hall.  He drove into the driveway and found the dance hall owners who gave Schutte permission to store 20 bushels of the apples in the hall until he could return to pick them up.


Once again on their way homeward, the family proceeded without any more traveling problems or delays. 


A week later, Schutte returned to the dance hall to pick up the apples he had left there previously.  Arriving home, he removed the cover on a bushel basket to recheck the apples, seeing how the perishable produce had fared the transportation.  Having packed many bushels of apples while working at the orchard, Schutte knew how the top layer was arranged in an artful way for an appealing appearance.  He also noticed the work of art had been disturbed with two or three apples missing from each bushel basket which had been stored in the dance hall.


Evidently, there had been a dance held at the hall during the time the apples had been stored in the building.  The dancers had selectively taken only two or three apples from each bushel basket.  Evidently, the temptation of eating the freshly picked apples, conveniently stored in a corner of the ballroom, had been overpowering.


With the entire apple purchase at his home, Schutte started taking the bushels of produce around Clark County, trying to sell them for a small profit.  He drove from town to town, place to place, attempting to sell his produce.


Returning to Neillsville, Schutte still had a few bushels of unsold apples left.  Wondering what he could do with the left-overs, an idea came to mind when he met Harry Van Gorden on the street.  He asked Van Gorden if the Van Gorden business could buy the apples for a dollar a bushel.  Van Gorden replied, “Sure, we’ll pay you a dollar a bushel.  Take the apples down to the feed mill and we will sell them to the farmers when they come in to buy grain or grind feed.”


A week later, an ad appeared in the Press, “Apples, $1.19 per bushel.”  Van Gorden’s Mill made a mere 19 cents per bushel profit and Schutte was relieved to have sold all of the apples.  ( That concludes the rest of the story. D.Z.)


(In 1911, James Paulus and Kurt Listeman, photo)


In 1911, James Paulus and Kurt Listeman financed the construction of a concrete dam which replaced the previous wooden dam.  (Photo courtesy of the Clark County Historical Jail Museum)




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