Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

June 23, 1999, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

IN THE Good Old Days 

Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


June 1894


Within this past week, Neillsville has seen frost kill its garden plants and a couple days later, the thermometer registered 96 degrees in the shade.  Such extremes of heat and cold seldom come together.  (The weather presented surprised back then, too. D.Z.)


Co. A W.N.G., 3rd Wis. Infantry, our Neillsville militia company, has had no flag since the old one was destroyed in the old opera house fire years ago.  A new silk banner ought to be purchased for the soldier boys. The cost for a flag such as most state companies have is about $80.  It has been suggested that the business men of the city chip in and buy a flag for the boys. If not, perhaps a Banner Ball would bring in the desired amount, with the opera hall and music being contributed.


The Granton cheese factory is being built and it won’t be long before it is finished, as the work is being rushed.  Neillsville, take care and watch their progress.


The big Ringling Bros. Circus will be in Neillsville, July 14.  Watch for their posters.


E. H. Powell of Eidsvold drove down Friday with a load of 500 balsam and spruce trees for sale.  The tree roots were packed in wet moss, and withstood the journey well.  Of course, we had to take a dozen and set them out at the Ring property, out at Ross’ Eddy.


A. B. Adams & Co. of Chicago has secured options on six forties of land west of Black River, near Grand Avenue Bridge.  Several of our citizens have given the firm options on land for sale.  Mr. Pardridge and Wright of Chicago have been looking the city over with a view of negotiating sales.


R. J. MacBride’s house is being painted by Campbell & Roberts.  It is a wine color with dark green trimmings and light yellow sash (window frames).  That’s a great change from the pure white of many years past.


Last year, the Geo Prentiss farm was sold by James O’Neill to Greg Poppe for $3,000.  This week, Poppe sold the farm to Wm. Hudstedt of Chicago, a wealthy Dane, for $4,000.  Clark County lands are increasing in value.


The candidates for Clark County Sheriff are: Sheldon of Thorp, Wicker of Colby, H. Myers, R. M. Campbell, Duck Wheaton, Gene Webster, and Alex Holverson of Neillsville.


We don’t know if this fellow tends to his garden himself, but County Clerk H. M. Root has the cleanest potato patch around about town.


Will Oldham, of South Pine Valley-Levis area, had to put down one of his good horses last week.  The horse had a broken leg just above the fetlock joint, while rolling in the pasture.  They could do nothing for the animal’s leg.


The doctor was called out to care for Mrs. Aaron Oldham last week, and it is reported she is feeling better now.


The farm crops in the Towns of Sherman and Unity are much in need of rain, having been missed by the rains which fell in other parts of the County.


The Thomas boys, of the West Weston area, made a trip over to the spruce swamp one day last week, and brought home some fine trees to set out around their place.


Some crusaders will be holding meetings in the Redmond Church after camp meetings are over.  The crusaders have been staying in the store building at York Center.  The other evening during a thunderstorm, lightning struck the store building.  A brick was knocked from the chimney by the lightning and passed a few inches of one of the women.  Several persons were severely shocked, some remaining unconscious for a short time.  The building started on fire but was saved from much damage when Willie Fulwiler and Fred Benedict put the fire out.


Some man has invented an electric wire saw which is claimed will cut down a tree in one-eighth the time of an ordinary saw.  If introduced in the pineries it is thought that this new implement would soon supersede the wood choppers and sawers (sawyers).


The Ringling Bros. World’s Greatest Exhibition ever seen under canvas, is to be in Neillsville, Saturday, July 14.


This great aggregation requires three railroad trains to transport it from city to city, while exhibitions are given in three rings, on two elevated stages and upon a quarter mile track, under the largest canvas pavilions ever erected.


The menagerie is the most complete zoological collection in America, while the circus performance is a constant succession of wonders.  The acrobats, gymnasts, aerialist and riders number over 100 of Europe and America’s highest salaried artists including Lundin, the modern Samson, whose marvelous feats of strength have created a sensation.  The Brothers Hermann, the world’s greatest aerialists; the Gilet family; the great Parsian acrobats; Jose Ashton, the world’s famous equestrienne; Mike Rooney, America’s greatest bareback somersault rider; Akimota’s troupe of Imperial Japanese; Wm. Irvin, the champion head balancer, and scores of other high class performers.  The menagerie embraces the only giraffe in America.  The largest and heaviest hippopotamus ever captured; two herd of performing elephants, and other curious wild beasts.  A horse fair comprising 350 of the finest blood stock that money can procure, the head stallion weighs over 1,800 pounds; a mammoth aquarium of marvels; schools of horses in surprising drills and maneuvers; thrilling two and four horse chariot races, gladiatorial contests and exciting Roman gala day sports; a gorgeous spectacular entry.  It will be the best all-round circus performance ever given under canvas.  (At the age of eight, I felt fortunate to see a Ringling Bros. Circus performance with my family.  It was an exciting experience even though it couldn’t have been as large as the 1894 performance put on in Neillsville. D.Z.)


The brick school in District 1 of Unity and Colby is nearing completion.  C. O. Graham is the builder, and when the building is finished, it will be one of the finest in Clark County.


The German congregation in Granton held a mission fest last Sunday.  It was a great success in spite of the rain; people came from Loyal, Neillsville, Nasonville and other parts of the county.


After many hard days of drilling for water, drillers have had to give up finding water for Steve Welsh on Pleasant Ridge.


Last week’s wind storm took down elm trees at Thomas Huckstead’s farm; blew down Wm. Schlinsog’s log barn, smashing his self binder; and did damage at Emile Yahr’s farm in the Pleasant Ridge area.


June 1944


R. Wahlen has sold his cheese factory to Mr. Sandmeyer of Spencer.  The Wahlens purchased the factory in 1926 and have made cheese there ever since.  The Wahlens expect to move to Neillsville soon.  Hansen Fifield will be the new cheese-maker at the factory.


A beachhead has been established by Allied forces along 100 miles of the French coast.


In hearing the great news of the invasion effort in Europe, many Clark County people thought of their sons, brothers and friends who were helping in the effort. 


Some of the local fellows serving in Europe are: Lt. Lowell Huckstead, air corps, troop carrier, towing gliders to strategic points in France; Adolph Schaub, a paratrooper; Sgt. Kenneth Kannenberg, a glider mechanic; John Bauernfeind, parachute rigger with the Ninth Air Force; Staff Sgt. Raymond Giwojna, tail gunner on a Liberator; Sgt. Norman Drescher, ordinance service of the air corps; Sgt. Jack Crothers, bombardier on a Flying Fortress; Sgt. Willie VandeBerg, waist gunner of a Flying Fortress; Sgt. Robert Dahnert of the army; Pfc. DeWayne J. Schwienler, member of a tank destroyer unit; Joseph Beaver, corp. technician; Pfc. Donald Gress of the army ordinance; Capt. Oscar Gluck; Pvt. Lawrence Schultz; Pfc. Al Nesbitt; Cpl. Gordon W. Campbell of the corps of engineers; Sgt. John Genteman; Capt. William E. Ender, member of the staff of a division headquarters, and this list isn’t complete.


Stamps for the federal tax on autos have been placed on sale at all post offices.  These stamps cover the federal tax of $5 per vehicle, due July 1, and the stamp must be affixed to the windshield not later than that date.


Recent Clark County marriages have been those of Miss Cecilia Tasse, of Marshfield, became the bride of Richard Weyer, of Loyal; Miss Helen Schlinkert, married Pvt. Conrad Kaiser; Miss Viola Prust, of Granton, was wed to Sgt. Joseph Mathis; and Miss Alice Flink, of Unity, married Bernard Tesmer, of Loyal.


Forty years have gone by since the Neillsville School electors have authorized construction of a new building for public schools.  About 25 years have gone by since the last of the indebtedness was retired for the construction of the high school building now in use.  An entire generation has gone by without the raising of funds by taxation to replace the school plant, which has meanwhile undergone constant depreciation and obsolescence. 


Even the names of the men who were active in securing the last school building for Neillsville are hardly more than memories.  These men were: L. M. Sturdevant, director; George E. Crothers, treasurer; S. M. Marsh, clerk; Joseph Morely and C. S. Stockwell, members of the original building committee, along with three members of the school board.


At that time Neillsville, then, as now, the county seat had hardly begun to recognize its opportunity as an educational center.  Then a high school education for a country boy or girl was not an acknowledged necessity; it was an unusual opportunity for the exceptionally fortunate.  The high school was essentially a town affair, for the town and the little fringe around it.


Prior to 1904, when the present high school was authorized, the high school had been held on the second floor of the present South Side Grade School building.  And, if the high school of that day needed more room, and occupied a room finished off in the attic, by the same token the grades needed more than one floor, and had their hold upon a slice of the second floor.


The physical separation of the high school from the grades was not accomplished without a throe.  The building committee named above had reported in favor of a separate building for the high school upon the same ground, but when it came to a vote of the electors, the first reaction was not favorable.  Another survey was called for, with a report from a building committee on the feasibility of adding to the old South Side School building.  There upon, the old building committee quit cold, and a new committee was appointed, consisting of Charles F. Grow, George W. Trogner, M. C. Ring, J. D. McMillan, and A. B. Marsh.


The new committee came back with the same report, advocating construction of a new separate high school building upon the same grounds.  The committee estimated that the structure could be completed for $20,000, but Judge O’Neill seemed to have his doubts; so he offered a resolution providing for the expenditure of $25,000, and the electors specified, in their votes, that the building be erected at its present site.


The South Side building which was then about 30 years old was set aside for the exclusive use of grades.


In the beginning, the new high school building was very roomy; it even housed the public library.  On the north side, a story-and-a-half gymnasium indicated an acceptance toward physical education. There was even indoor plumbing.  At that time, there was no commercial education, or home economics or agriculture, or experimental physics and chemistry.


But the high school building had hardly been finished and occupied before the demand upon it exceeded its planned capacity.  Soon, a new library building was built, removing the public library from the school, which gave some additional space.  Next, classes were started for an agriculture department, a room for the band, laboratory for chemistry classes, home economics class room, space (for) gymnasium classes; the building has become too crowded.


The Neillsville Rotary Club, as an organization and Fred Bullard as a member of that club and of the community, have performed a public service in bringing to a head the discussion of a school site.  They have secured the agreement of the heirs to sell the Dickey property on the east side of town at $1,500.  The Dickey property contains more than 15 acres, and is located east and south of the water tower. 

The Neillsville High School building, erected in 1904, was located on the south side of East Fifth (Fourth) Street in the 200 block.  It served the school’s needs until a new building was built two blocks east, at a new site.  (The new High School was opened for classes in the 1954-55 school years.  Dmk)


After a half century of being filled with classroom activities, the 1904 High School building was vacated (in 1954).  After setting empty for a few years the building was razed in the late 1960s.



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