Index of "Good Old Days" Articles

Clark County Press, Neillsville--Transcribed by Sharon Schulte

April 21, 1999, Page 28


Clark County News

April 1934

A record number of voters went to the polls in the City of Neillsville for this year’s Spring election, as the number of ballots totaled 1,085.

Fred Stelloh is the city’s new mayor. Other offices are: Assessor, L.C. Miller; Alderman, F. D. Callway, George May, John Palmer, Henry Frantz and O. W. Lewerenz, Supervisor.

The surface of Lake Arbutus presents the appearance of being covered with black ice, following last week’s flood. Several people who visited the lake, on Sunday, reported the unusual sight. During the low water this spring, the ice sank to the bottom where it became imbedded in the mud. The flood raised the ice which came down the Black River and lodged in Lake Arbutus.

A very pleasant party was given at the home of Mr. And Mrs. C. E. Bollom, Sunday, in honor of their 25th Wedding Anniversary. The Bollom family has lived here three and a half years, making many friends during that time. A bountiful dinner was served and a delightful social time enjoyed by all.

Otto Lowering has cut off the over hanging eaves and cornice of the canopy in front of his filling station on Fifth and Hewett Streets corner. The roof alteration enables large vans and trucks to get in to the station for service. A large sign will be constructed for the front of the station.

Jack Herrick, Jr., of Mead, and Emma Jeleric, of Hendren, were united in marriage Saturday at the Clark County Courthouse. Judge O. W. Schoengarth performed the ceremony.

Neillsville High School won first place in a recent Forensic Meet. The speech competition was represented by five schools which included Osseo, Mondovi, Durand, Augusta and Neillsville. Neillsville’s first place winners were Grace Grow and Archie Stockwell. Second place winner was Robert Dahnert. Third place winners were Jeanette Zimmer, Donald Gall and Lowell Schoengarth.

Fishing licenses were sent to 20 cities, villages and towns in Clark County, on Monday, by Calvin Mills, town clerk. All fishermen who use rods and reels must supply themselves with a fishing license at a cost of $1.00 or face the possibility of being arrested by conservation officials. Non-resident license fee is $3.00. A resident license is good from May 1, 1934 to April 30, 1935.

The Curtiss State Bank has been given permission by the Wisconsin State Banking Commission to establish a branch bank at Owen.

Owen has been without banking facilities since October 13, 1933, when the State Bank of Owen was closed. A.M. Erickson, cashier of Curtiss, will be in charge of the Owen branch.

A number of relatives and friends gathered at the farm home of Mr. And Mrs. W.H. Shilts, on April 13, to help them celebrate 52 years of marriage. The Town of Washburn couple are still hale and hearty, although they are past 79 years of age. They carry on with their farming where they have lived for the past 35 years.

Be sure to attend the Waffle Supper on Saturday, April 21, at the Moose Hall. They will serve waffles with syrup, sausage and coffee, starting at 5 p.m. Cost is 25 cents per plate.

The elm hedge which has long graced the driveway at the Joe Baer residence at the corner of Clay and Fifth Streets, was taken up and transplanted along the east end of Hawthorne Hills golf course on Highway 10.

Phil Zimmer, railroad brakeman, who was laid off more than three years ago when the depression hit the railroads, was called back to work. Flood damage done to the railroad necessitated many work trains being sent out.

The Mohr boys, Chris and Fred, with friends Leslie Cook and Andrew Wightman, went fishing near the mouth of Wedges Creek and got 24 nice fish.

John W. Kile, age 35, is Clark County Supervisor, Town of Butler, Rt. 3, Thorp, and one of the youngest members of the board. He has been a town supervisor for four years and road superintendent two years. Kile is married and the father of seven children.

Shop at May & Ruchaber’s grocery store for specials. Home owned store flour, 49 lb bag, $1.59; Boston brand coffee, lb., 21¢; uncolored teas, ½ lb. Pkg. 18¢; 3 lbs prunes, 25¢; 2 lbs. soda crackers, 23¢; Red River potatoes for seed, 100 lbs. $2.48.

Miss Olga Botnen and Joseph Haas were quietly married at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Saturday morning at 8 o’clock, April 28, Rev. Peter Weber officiating.

They were attended by Mrs. A. Gustman, a friend of the bride and B.J. Haas, the groom’s brother. After a wedding breakfast at the home of the groom’s mother, the young couple left for Milwaukee and other places in southern Wisconsin.

The groom grew to manhood in Neillsville, was educated in Neillsville schools and high school. For some time, he was a clerk in Dangers Store, and for several years, has held a position in the Farmers store. The bride is the daughter of Mr. And Mrs. Ole Botnen of Neillsville. She too was educated in Neillsville and after leaving school, took a position in the A & P Store, later working at the May & Ruchaber’s store where she has been employed for many years.

The newly wedded couple has a host of friends in and around this city.

"Baby Face" Nelson, member of the John Dillinger gang of gangsters, paid a sunrise visit at the farm of Joe Gregorich, about three and a half miles north of Greenwood on Hwy. 73 the other day.

Nelson, apparently fearing to take a chance on driving his stolen Plymouth car in daylight, pulled into the Gregorich farm about five o’clock in the morning on Friday. He parked his car out of sight in an empty shed. Gregorich wasn’t aware of his presence until there was a knock at the door. After Nelson entered and learned there was no radio or telephone in the house, he asked for breakfast. While Mrs. Gregorich was preparing the meal, Nelson accompanied Gregorich to the barn. While having no idea as to Nelson’s identity, Gregorich was suspicious of the stranger’s behavior. He refused to let Gregorich out of his sight, even accompanying him into the haymow when he threw hay down.

After helping Gregorich carry the milk to the house, he went in for breakfast. Noticing that Gregorich was showing signs of suspicion, Nelson asked, "What makes you so nervous Joe? You don’t think I’m Dillinger do you?" "No," replied Gregorich, "but you might be a member of the gang." Nelson laughed loudly at the remark and said," That’s a good one. I’ll tell my ma about that."

After eating the meal, Nelson asked Gregorich if they always ate that kind of food and when Gregorich told him that "times are hard" and they were unable to buy more food then what they had, Nelson gave him $20 for groceries.

Nelson said he wanted to go to Neillsville, and asked Gregorich to drive him down there. Gregorich said he did not have new license plates and was afraid he would be arrested. Nelson told him not to worry about that, adding he would pay their fine if they were arrested. They left in Gregorich’s Ford Coupe, stopping for gas in Greenwood. Nelson ordered Gregorich to stay in the car and he paid for the gasoline. A short way out of Greenwood, Nelson changed his mind about going to Neillsville. They headed east and stopped once more for cylinder oil at a filling station.

As they passed St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield, Nelson asked to be let out at a drug store, but when Gregorich said he was afraid of going down Main Street with the old license plates on the car, Nelson consented to be let out on a side street. Nelson said, "So long Joe, " and shook his hand.

Gregorich returned to his farm at once, going to the shed to look at the car Nelson had parked in it. Nelson had said he would send a mechanic to get it. Looking in the car, Gregorich found an empty mail pouch and other items used by rural mail carriers. He decided the car was one stolen by Nelson from a mail carrier near the scene of the recent Dillinger shooting affray at Mercer, as he had heard about.

Gregorich drove to Greenwood to notify the authorities and after looking at newspaper photos, identified the stranger who was at his home, as the notorious "Baby Face" Nelson. Sheriff Olson checked the car license number and found it had been issued to Goertz, the mail carrier.

Gregorich said Nelson had conducted himself in a gentlemanly manner and he saw no evidence of a gun on him. When he washed up before eating, he took off his coat and laid it on the porch. He was wearing a checkered shirt, brown tweed trousers and shoes similar to those worn by CCC camp boys. Gregorich asked him if he was a CCC man and he said, "yes." Nelson pulled out a large roll of currency when he gave Gregorich $20 and said he made lots of money on the side as a bootlegger. He added, "I may make more money now than you do, but in 20 years you’ll be richer than I am". He displayed much fondness for Gregorich’s baby boy and said goodbye to the child when he left. He said he had a wife and youngster at home. Finally, Nelson gave Gregorich another $10 to buy new license for his car.

It was later reported that Nelson had purchased a second-hand Chevrolet car at Marshfield. The machine was a 1929 model with disc wheels. There have been no clues of his whereabouts since he left Marshfield.



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