Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

March 24, 1999, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

IN THE Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


March 1879


The farmers of the surrounding area have been doing a great deal of logging on their own.  All the vacant lots about Gallaher’s Mill, in Neillsville, have been filled with logs of various kinds, brought in to be saved (sawed) principally upon shares.  There are enough logs piled up to keep the mill running constantly for three months and more are still being hauled in everyday.


When will people stop endangering their lives by driving over the rotten old bridge across Black river, at Arch Days hotel?  For several months the new bridge a few miles below has been completed and a good road made to it, but yet there is no evidence that a single team has traveled over it.


Wanted – Cole & Pashell’s want 10,000 pounds of Beeswax for which they highest market price will be paid.


Peter Johnson, who recently has quite a tussle with the Grim Reaper, is again up and about his business.


There will be a short Lenten service at the Episcopal Chapel in the Neillsville High School building, on next Friday evening, March 14.  All are cordially invited to attend. 


Diphtheria is still marking a victim here and there in this vicinity.  Last week, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Foote were called to mourn the loss of their little daughter, Edith.  They have the sympathy of their many friends.


Last Monday and Tuesday, Neillsville saw the annual “coming out of camp” and the streets have been crowded with “the boys” who have been detained here longer than usual.  In most instances, they are waiting for money to be sent from the southern part of the state to pay them off. The suddenness of the thaw and breakup left but few contractors prepared to pay off.  It is expected the necessary funds should arrive by the middle of the week.


The steam mills, owned by L. W. Gallaher, and generally know (known) as the Neillsville Planing Mills, was lost to a fire.  Gallaher has added on to the business, from time to time, until it became a general manufacturer of sash, blind and door factory as well as a saw mill and machine shop.


Just how the fire originated can not be ascertained, but it is believed that it was caused by a spark from the smoke stack having blown into, through or under the roof. The fire was discovered about 5 o’clock on Monday afternoon. The fire progressed too quickly to save the building.  General attention was given to removing the machinery and to preventing the flames from extending to adjoining buildings.  Nearly all of the machinery was saved, except that belonging to the sash and blind factory, which was on the second story of the main building.  The engine passed through the fire but was not seriously damaged, it can be repaired.


At one time, it appeared about certain that the two story building, directly north, owned by Geo. Lloyd, would surely go, but the Fire Company prevented that from happening. 


Gallaher estimates his loss at $4,000, upon which there was no insurance.  It is his intention to rebuild and he expects to have the saw mill running within six weeks.


Subscriptions to the amount of $800 were raised in this village to aid Gallaher in rebuilding his mill.  Mechanics within the village are extending to him a helping hand in reconstructing the building.  The new structure will be 60x84 feet and two stories high.


A roaring hoax was created this past week up in one of the logging camps.  Men coming down from other camps brought word to town that Tom Garvin, of Neillsville, foreman in one of Hewett & Woods camps, had been shot dead by one of the men he was settling up paying him his wages.  By nightfall the word had reached town and a great deal of excitement prevailed, as Tom Garvin is a respected resident of this vicinity.  R. F. Kountz, county Sheriff, started for the camp with a warrant taken out for the arrest of the murderer.  Many others started for the logging camp, to learn the details for Garvin’s family.


Arriving in the camp, they found all was quiet, and Tom Garvin with the rest of the men in camp was sound asleep in their bunks.


The fellows were all routed from their bunks by the authorities who were demanding an explanation over the false rumor. 


The boys explained that as they were waiting around in camp for orders to breakup, for amusement they set out to frighten the 15-year-old Coates lad who lived near camp.  Setting up an argument, one of the fellows took an old shot gun, loaded with some powder only, and fired at Tom Garvin, who keeled over saying, “I’m dead.”


The hoax act was too much for the young lad as he took off with his hair standing on end and told everyone what he had seen.  He then started for Garvin’s home which was, ten miles distance, to carry the sad news to Garvin’s folks.  As he told the news, he fully convinced that it was the truth.


The boys in camp kept carrying on the farce by tying up the fellow who had fired the shot gun.  The young lad’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Coates, came into the camp to learn more about the incident for themselves.  They came upon a big row, whereas the fellows were pretending to hang the make believe culprit.


Finally, the culprit got loose and ran into the woods pursued by lumberjacks brandishing knives.


Well, Mr. and Mrs. Coates left camp more frightened than their boy had been.  The result was the Coates’ spread the terrible news as wide as they could.  As though that wasn’t enough; a couple boys from camp left to tell another false tale – that the sheriff and his posse were beaten off and all were badly wounded. 


Thus the boys at Hewett & Woods Camp had their fun, but it caused much solitude and a night of grief for the Garvin families.  Though the lumberjacks carried their joke rather far, these sham rows seem to happen every year upon the breaking up of camp. 


The fellows cause considerable anxiety and trouble with their pranks, but on the whole, they cause enough amusement to off-set it. 


Susan B. Anthony, the world renowned lecture, will deliver her lecture, “Woman Wants Bread and not the Ballot” at Fire-man’s Hall, here, on Saturday, April 5.  It will be held under the auspices of the Friendship Fire Company.  Admission will be 25 cents and reserved seats, 35 cents, can be obtained at Crandall’s Drug Store.


The Town of Grant, District No. 1, submitted the following list of pupils whose grade standing was 9 or above on a scale of 10: Alonzo Huckstead, Mamie Lynch, Josie Counsel, Willie Counsell, Geo. Wightman, Bertie Huckstead, Marcia Wightman, Hattie Reed, Willie Wilding, Montie Wren, Jimmy Owens, Myron Wilding, Oscar Counsell and Geo. Wilding.


March 1934


Farmers buying hay through the Neillsville market used 135 car loads during January and February, according to figures obtained from E. H. Wry, depot agent.  Hay is selling at between $14 and $16.50 a ton.  In addition to hay being shipped in, large amounts of other feeds are being bought for farm use, owing to the shortages resulting from last year’s drought.


Some of the visitors at Lake Arbutus, when the water was low, may have seen an old marble slab lying on an island near the mouth of East Fork.  The marble slab was once a headstone of the grave of James Spires.  The site of the grave is usually covered by the waters of the lake.


Some sixty years ago, James Spires a young man working as a log driver was drowned near that spot and his companions buried him by the Black River.  Later on reaching La Crosse, the crew joined in purchasing a headstone and had it erected at the grave. 


On Friday, March 2, Tom Glendenning, perhaps the only survivor of that river driving crew, passed away at his home near Boyd, age 82, and was buried Monday at Alma Center.


One of Merrillan’s old landmarks, the Campbell Hotel, burned to the ground on Wednesday evening.  The hotel was located next to the railroad depot.  Firemen from the fire departments of Merrillan, Black River Falls and Alma center worked all night to keep the flames from adjoining buildings.


Mr. and Mrs. Charles Helbling, owners, the night clerk, and four girl employees; Vera Ray, Evelyn Helbling, Ruth Olson and Marian Erickson, were in the building when the fire was discovered at 2 a.m.


Helbling has been the owner of the hotel about ten years.  The structure was erected in 1894 by West Snow who came from Whitehall.


In about 1900 the Campbell brothers purchased the property and made extensive alterations.  It was one of Merrillan’s best known landmarks, having been patronized by thousands of the traveling public. 


Highway patrolmen for the year in Clark County have been chosen and are as follows:


As state highway patrolmen: Elmer Christman, Withee, section 1; Ed Zschernitz, Neillsville, section 2 and 17; Charles A. Whitted, Neillsville, section 3; Earl Zimmerman, of Neillsville, section 4; Robert Kissling, Loyal, section 5; Herbert Stange, Greenwood, section 6; D. Schultze of Thorp, section 7; and Harold Elmendorf, Granton, section 8.


As county trunk patrolmen: Math Janson, Chili, section 1; Charles Krosinski, section 3; Ceril Alexander, Owen, section4; Earl Erickson, Withee, section 5; Henry Fress, Sr., Thorp, section 6; Dan Schultze, section 7; R. R. Dake, Dorchester, section 8; L. W. Smiley, Curtiss, section 9; Einor Peterson, Withee, section 10; Herbert Stange, Greenwood, section 12; Fred Wallmuth, Merrillan, section 13; Harry Unteidt, Colby, section 14; (and) John Coulthard, Pittsville, section 15.


The federal government has just passed legislation to provide for an examination of all school children in Wisconsin.  The purpose of this medical and dental examination is to determine the effects of the depression on the children of the state.  Permission sheets have been distributed to each school, and should be filled out and returned to the teachers at once.  This examination is free to all children in the first to sixth grades.  The government asks parents to cooperate with the examining physicians, dentists, and nurses.


The executive board consists of Dr. Shief, Dorchester; Dr. Thomas, Greenwood; Dr. Bradbury, Drs. Rosekrans, Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Millard, Neillsville.  Dr. Foley of Dorchester is chairman of the board.


While in Neillsville Saturday evening, Ed Selves discovered a stranger making off with his Chevrolet coupe.  Luckily, he was near enough to inform the man of his mistake.


Although the car was in motion, the would be thief peacefully turned it over to Selves and departed from the scene promptly.


About sixty people of Pleasant Ridge attended church services Sunday afternoon.  Gerald Robert, the little son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Kuehn was baptized at the service.


Last Friday, while blasting with dynamite in the Pleasant Ridge gravel pit, a fragment of frozen earth crashed through the top of Lewis Scholtz’s car.


St. John’s Lutheran church enjoys large attendances at its mid-week services.  Over 1600 have attended the past four Lenten services.  The largest attendance was 475.  One evening Rev. Wm. A. Baumann will deliver his fifth sermon in the series of sermons on the Happenings on Mount Calvary this evening.


Neillsville High School’s boys’ basketball team won the championship while at the tournament in Abbotsford, 20 to 17.  Neillsville’s first game was with Loyal, which it won, 36 to 17; the semi-final with Owen was 25 to 7.


The Neillsville team members are: Harold Feirn, Mitchell White Rabbit, Hugh Horswill, Oluf Olson, Lowell Schoengarth, Clifford Arndt, Harley Jake, Carroll Schield, and Murry White Rabbit.


Having won the district tournament, Neillsville now goes to Madison to enter the tournament for Class B Championship of the state.  Monday evening, Neillsville’s first game will be played with Brodhead.


Clark County was notified Monday by the State Conservation Commission that 1,923 forties had been accepted for entry under the forestry crop and county forest reserve laws.  The Towns and the amount of acreage accepted are as follows:


Sherwood, 53 forties; Washburn, 110 forties, Levis, 49 forties; Dewhurst, 242 forties; Hewett, 286 forties; Mentor, 185 forties; Seif, 95 forties; South Foster, 386 forties; Hendren, 2 forties; North Foster, 354 forties; (and) Butler, 161 forties.


Bishop’s Dry Cleaning Shop was located at 122 West Sixth Street in Neillsville. Elsie was an excellent seamstress and her husband, Joe was known as a fine tailor of men’s suits.  It is believed that Joe is the man seated near the stove.  (Photo circa 1920)



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