Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

July 14, 1999, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

IN THE The Good Old Days  

Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


July 1934


The Neillsville Kiwanis Club members were guests on Monday evening of the 655 Company of CCC at Camp Arbutus, and enjoyed the supper, the program and an hour or two later, visiting the various buildings of the camp.


The supper was served in the dining hall, all enrollees and officers of the camp being seated and served at the same time as their guests.  It was a substantial and well prepared meal, the Kiwanis doing full justice to the menu.


After supper, a short program was given. Wm. Onstad who has charge of the educational and recreational work in the camp, presided over the program.  J. E. Tenny who has charge of the Conservation work and Captain Haas, in charge of military discipline and training, presented the welcome.  Everyone present joined in singing, “America.”  A response to the addresses of welcome was given on behalf of the Kiwanis Club by F. D. Calway.


Enrollee George Smith, a member of the camp, gave an outline of the Civilian Corps accomplishments to the present time.  The following: 75 miles truck trails; 81 miles telephone line; 30.5 miles fire breaks; 93.4 miles trail side clearing; 11,553 man-days fire fighting; clean-up of 154 acres; 351.5 acres forest stand improvements; 570 acres planting of Norway, White and Jack pine; 15,385 acres tree and plant disease control; 181 miles lineal survey; 2, 558 acres topographical study; 314,180 acres timber estimating, forest type.  They have completed building eight bridges, ranging from one to three 16 ft. spans, pile driving ten inch stringers, three tamarack decking and 13 acres landscaping.


If you happen to enter F. E. Brown’s jewelry store, look at the ceiling over Brown’s repair bench.  Peering at the ceiling, you will see a peculiar black mark that will mystify you until Brown tells you how it happened.


Tuesday morning, Brown was called upon to do a little soldering job which required the use of his alcohol lamp.  Placing the lamp on its customary place a few inches from his face, he struck a match and touched the wick with the flame.  A blast resembling the loud noise of a firecracker took place.  The three-quarter inch wick, about three inches long, was driven out of the metal burner and hurled against the ceiling with such a force that it let its imprint on the paint.


Simultaneously with the exit of the flaming wick, alcohol spilled out (into) Brown’s lap and set his trousers on fire.  Brown jumped up and put on his own version of a fan dance which was a considerable improvement over Sally Rand’s offering at the World’ Fair.  He finally got the flames under control and hurried into a back room where he could procure another pair of trousers.


Outside of the black mark on the ceiling and destruction of his trousers, the fire damage was practically nil.


This month Neillsville plays host to the State Moose convention for four days, beginning July 12.


Arrangements have been completed for a carnival on the streets, including shows, rides and all the other concessions.  A Coney Island atmosphere will come over the downtown section.


A spectacular parade of bands, floats, cars and other entries is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 14.


Friday and Saturday evenings, a high class floor show will be offered at the Moose Hall at 10:30 p.m. both days.


Two baseball games are booked, to be played at the Fairgrounds.  Saturday’s game will be between Neillsville and Chippewa Pride teams.  Sunday, Neillsville meets Antigo in a regular Wisconsin Valley League game.  Sunday is also Governor’s day and Governor Schmedeman will deliver an address at 2:30 p.m. from a stand which will be put up in the business section of our city.


Members of the Moose Club have the following appeal: “Are you doing you (your) bit to help welcome our guests to the City of Neillsville?”  We need a lot more room accommodations.  If you have extra rooms, please call Geo. Prochazka, chairman of the housing committee.


Bert and Thornton Webster of San Jose, Calif., were visitors here for a short time last week. They are the sons of the late E. D. Webster who ran a livery business here for many years.  Both greatly enjoyed visiting the scenes of their boyhood for the first time since they left 32 years ago.  They looked up many of their childhood friends who still live in the area.


F. J. Baer, proprietor of the Hawthorne Hills golf course and country club, along with Ted Huyssen, the pro, were dinner guests of Kiwanis Club Monday.  Baer spoke briefly telling some of the difficulties encountered with coping with the bad weather conditions while preparing his golf course.  Huyssen spoke on the elementary principles of golf. 


A carload of young trout was unloaded here last week, some of them being trucked to Thorp and others being distributed in streams in the vicinity. Seventy-five cans were German browns and the others speckled trout.


The second cutting of peas is well underway at the J. B. Inderrieden canning plant, and the crop is reported unusually heavy and extra good quality.


The pea louse so destructive to last year’s crop seems to have almost entirely disappeared.


The bean crop is coming on rapidly, the first run being processed Wednesday. Day and night shifts of workers have made the plant a busy place.


Peaches are here at S. H. Van Gorden & Sons elevator.  A carload of peaches are in crates on the track at 95˘ per crate.  They also have binder twine at $6.75 per hundred.  A special price will be offered on a carload of wheat and barley, good for chicken feed, to arrive on Monday.


The Neillsville Dairy will have a new location, in the Shaw building on Hwy 10, formerly occupied by the Roessler Print Shop. The building has been remodeled and is now up-to-date in every way.  We are at your service for quality dairy products.  Call us for needs or stop your milk man, Mr. Jake, for bottled pasteurized milk, cream and butter, as well as Arbutus brand ice cream.  This week’s special is butter pecan ice cream.  It also can be bought at our dealers: Frank Quesnell, the All-a-Board, Thompson’s; Tom Bruley’s; Sheddan’s; Wegners; Badger Inn; Nauertz Hotel; Kieper’s; Archie Gall’s; Pinkie Lepke’s; North Side Store and Potter’s.


With temperatures ranging above the 100 degree mark for several days in the latter part of this month, swimming pools are very popular.  Large crowds of people took advantage of the swimming facilities in the community.  Nearly 100 persons visited the Turner Eddy pool Monday and Tuesday night.  The new road up Black River from the Grand Avenue bridges makes the beach easy to reach by car.  Many children have made use of the O’Neill Creek pond during the afternoon and evening.


W. D. Wood, relief director for Clark County, announces that a new wage scale for relief work will be effective beginning July 27.  The new basis is 30˘ per hour for common labor and 30˘ per hour per four for team work.


July 1944


The Dickey property has been approved as the site for the new Neillsville High School building.  A building fund was started, with provisions for raising $10,000 in the current budget.  The property purchase price of $1,500 has been approved and authorized. 


The one speech in opposition of the building project was that of Kurt Listeman who urged that this school district go against the tide of national extravagance and set an example of economy.  He pointed to the prospective national debt of $300 billion; cited the recent decline in high school attendance and drew a picture of coming depression and gloom.  Listeman pointed to the increase in cost of education in recent years, and contrasted it with the reduced expenditures of municipalities.


Listeman was answered by R. E. Schmedel, Victor W. Nehs, Bill Campman, Henry Bartell and Dr. Milton Rosekrans who gave positive reasons for building the new high school facility at a favorable site.


The school board had reported a total budget of $55,364, with income of $27,750 from sources other than direct local taxation.  A new school bus has been ordered for the cost of $3,038.60.


In 1844, the first white settlers set up permanent settlements in Clark County, so this year the county celebrates the 100 year mark in view of this history.


The first settlers associated with permanent settlement were the O’Neills and their associates.  The O’Neill brothers began erecting a saw mill on the north bank of O’Neill Creek in 1844.  The following year, a party consisting of James and Henry O’Neill, E. L. Brockway, Samuel F. and William Ferguson, together with a crew of laborers, moved to what is now Neillsville and began the first permanent settlement in Clark County.  The party came overland in a wagon drawn by an ox team.  They cut their way through the brush.  It took them two days to make the trip from Black River Falls.


At the time the whole county was still uninhabited wilderness.  Game of all kinds was abundant; deer, wolves, otter, mink, beaver and martin were very plentiful.  Wolves would frequently chase the deer around the O’Neill cabin, into the clearing, the deer escaping by taking refuge in the dam behind the mill.


Immediately upon the arrival of the O’Neill family, trees were felled, hewn and shaped.  Within a brief period of time a rough cabin, 18’x24’, was erected on the bank of the O’Neill Creek, near where the mill was later built.  That was the first house in Clark County.  Upon completion of the house, work began on building the saw mill.  Before the close of the year, the mill was ready for business.  The mill was equipped with an upright saw having the capability to saw 4,000 feet of lumber within 12 hours time.


The pine logs were easily obtained along O’Neill Creek and floated down to the mill, run to the mouth of the creek and combined in rafts which usually contained about 10,000 feet.  Having reached the falls, these rafts were again combined into still larger rafts, containing 40,000 to 50,000 feet, and run to the Mississippi River, thence to Burlington, Iowa, consigned to Alexander O’Neill, and sold for an average of $10 per thousand feet of lumber.


On July 3, 1907, a tornado touched down on farmland north of Neillsville.  The Bieneck and Walter’s farms were among those that had buildings and machinery destroyed by the storm.  A photographer captured this image of the funnel cloud after it crested the mount, northwest of town.



A thunderstorm with winds and baseball-sized hail struck the countryside between Christie and Neillsville in late June, 1934.  The hail fell upon a mile-wide path moving in a north-east4erly direction. Farms with damage to homes, building and crops were those of Wm. Bohnsack, John Ripke, Hal Richardson, Wm. Jurlburt, Leo Kronberger, Alvin and Paul Jacob.  The above photo was taken in a cornfield at the Paul Jacob farm with Jacob’s son, Bob, standing mid the battered cornstalks. 



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