Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

July 21, 1999, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


July 1899


Kurt Listeman, our local brewer, has this week acquired sole proprietorship of the Neillsville Brewery, as he has bought out the interest of Henry Klein, the last of the original stockholders of the original Neillsville Brewing Company.


The Chippewa Lumber and Boom Company received an order a few days ago from a firm in Nebraska for 1,000,000 feet of lumber.  The magnitude of this order will be realized when it is said that it will require 65 rail cars for shipment. The work of filling the order is being rushed.


The interior of the old Clark County Bank is being thoroughly renovated for the future occupancy of Gilbert Johnson’s gents’ furnishing establishment.


Major Hommel and Adjutant Klopf received equipment which the State furnishes them, as mounted officers in the National Guard, comprising a saddle, bridle and Colts revolver with holster.


A great pile of army equipment was burned on the rifle range at Camp Douglas a few days ago by order of the Governor.  The equipment consisted of guns, bayonets, scabbards, saddles, harnesses, straps, name plates, haversacks, ammunition boxes, canteens and old papers.  According to military regulations and requirements such property cannot be sold.  It is therefore condemned and destroyed.


Frank E. Darling has been prevailed upon to accept a position in the Second Regiment Band. Darling is a cornet player of well known repute and his acquisition by the band will undoubtedly meet with universal favor.


John Sweet and Mrs. Alex Frazier were quietly married at the Chili Methodist Church parsonage last Thursday night.  After the ceremony, they were greeted by the Chili cow-bell and tin-horn band which filled the air with some very appropriate music which, of course, was enjoyed by all present.


Chas. Olson’s stone gang returned to Humbird this week, to build four butternuts for the iron bridge on the railroad just south of the town.  O. M. Hein and C. Johnson have commenced building their new homes.  The homes will occupy the first and second lots south of the depot and Wm. Comstock’s.


Neillsville bottled beer will be delivered to their customers’ residences upon request. Beer prices are as follows: 2 dozen quarts for $2.00; 1 dozen quarts $1.00; 2 dozen pints $1.25, and will be delivered at these prices.


Volume 1, Number 1, of the Clark County Chronicle, Loyal’s new newspaper, came to our exchange table this week.  A casual perusal of its contents revealed that with Meacham at the home, the Chronicle will prosper and soon become a lively contender with the other Clark County newspapers.  Meacham does not expect to get wealthy in his new venture but, as he expresses it, he hopes “to be able to earn his daily bread with butter on it part of the time.”  We wish him success in his new business.


A boxing encounter took place during a dance in the town hall of Grant last Saturday evening. The bout was between two prominent young men of the community, resulting rather disastrously to one to (of) the contestants.  The dispute arose over a young lady.  One of the men received a broken finger in the melee and his face was damaged.  No arrests followed the incident.


Bob Eunson, who contemplated moving away from here, has recently leased the Omaha Hotel, and with his family, will stay here another year.  Eunson is a good fellow and we are glad he has decided to stay.


There is a shiny new chair on a platform in the Merchant’s barber shop, a gift of Herb Brooks to Harold Grow.  Customers will be able to sit in the fine new chair as Harold shines their shoes.


The M. Kapellan and G. Jacques families returned from Barron County on Saturday.  They had been enjoying a week’s camp life on the banks of Lake Chetek.


The Tioga news came in this week. There was a pleasant dancing party at Tom Free’s last Saturday.  Jake and John Schwamb have their new barns up and nearly finished.  Men are busy setting posts for a telephone line between Fairchild and Greenwood.


Rarely is the Press called upon to record the death of a centenarian but in the death of Mrs. Margaret Garvin, Clark County loses the distinction of being the home of the oldest person in the state.  Mrs. Garvin died at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Martin O’Brien, in the Town of York on Saturday, July 29.  Having reached the remarkable age of 106 years and 7 months, she had retained her faculties and good health until three months before her death.


Mrs. Garvin was a native of Ireland and was born on Christmas Day in 1792.  At the age of 17, she was married to Wm. Garvin and the union was blessed with 17 children, three of whom are still living, Thomas, William and Mrs. Martin O’Brien, all living in the Town of York.  In 1832 the family departed from their native country and came to America, settling in Canada.  There, they resided for half a century, and it was there that her husband died in 1869.  In 1882 she and some of her family moved to Clark County and they have been residents of the Town of York ever since.


Mrs. Garvin was always possessed with good health and vitality, seldom suffering from sickness.  Those of her ancestry were sturdy sons and daughters of Ireland, noted for their rugged strength and longevity, but no others have ever surpassed the 100th milestone.  She used tobacco from her early youth, having smoked a pipe regularly until within three months of her death.  Hew (Her) eyesight did not become impaired and she never wore eye glasses in her lifetime.  She lived to see the fifth generation of her family and therefore bore the title of a great-great-grandmother.  In addition to being the mother of 17 children, she had 33 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.  The oldest son is Thomas Garvin, who is now in his 73rd year.


A devout Christian of the Catholic faith, Mrs. Garvin was a good and kind woman, loved by all who knew her and came in contact with her bright and cheerful disposition which spread sunshine throughout the household.


Funeral services were held Monday morning, July 31, at St. Mary’s Church in Neillsville. Rev. Bergner officiated and the remains were laid to rest in the Catholic Cemetery. The pallbearers were her grandsons, six children of William Garvin. A large gathering of relatives and friends followed the casket to the grave.


July 1929


At 11:35 Tuesday forenoon, three men entered the State Bank of Owen and robbed the bank of $8,600 in currency and coin, obtaining also a considerable amount of securities. V. F. Shereda, the cashier, and Mr. Phillippi, the bookkeeper, were the only people in the bank at the time.  Two customers came in the bank to do business during the hold-up.  The customers were compelled to join Shereda and Phillippi lying on the floor, later to be ordered to enter the vault by the bandits who then locked the vault door.  They drove away in a black Graham-Paige sedan, driving north and west, after which any trace of them was lost.


Friday evening about 40 friends and neighbors, some from Shortville, came to help Mr. and Mrs. T. M. Winters celebrate their 36th wedding anniversary.  The party was a complete surprise to Mr. Winters, but his wife was in on the plan.  He had even forgotten that it was an anniversary day until the crowd came.  The guests brought a good supply of eatables.  Mr. Winters soon rallied to the occasion by sending someone downtown to purchase a box of cigars and a supply of ice cream to add to the banquet. Everyone reported a pleasant time.


While walking along the Soo railroad tracks near the bridge at Greenwood, Kenneth Daniel heard a hissing noise and rattles which for a minute startled him.  Looking down, he saw a good sized rattle snake just a foot or two in front of him.  He was fortunate in killing the snake, as the reptile was coiled and ready to strike.  This is the first rattle snake seen in the vicinity for some time.


There will be a baseball game and band concert as Riplinger versus Neillsville, the two top teams of the Clark-Taylor league, meet at the Clark County Fairgrounds diamond next Sunday. A joint band, consisting of members of Neillsville and Granton bands, will furnish music all afternoon during the baseball game.  This will be one of the most interesting games of the season, and with good music, everyone should plan to attend.


The Cannonville Cheese Factory was destroyed by fire on Monday forenoon. The business was owned by Werner Jenni, who discovered the building on fire and in spite of his vigorous efforts to stop the flames, the structure was totally destroyed.


Mr. and Mrs. Jenni lived upstairs in the factory. A part of their household goods were saved.  The origin of the fire is not known.  Jenni was in the lower part of the building talking with a man about business when the upper part of the building was discovered ablaze.  Jenni had recently expended quite a sum of money in improving the building and was receiving a good run of milk for cheese-making.  The loss was partially covered by insurance.


Miss Dora Devlin, postmistress at the Loyal post office, resigned her position recently.  The vacancy will be temporarily filled by Harold Tucker, who was assistant postmaster.  Miss Devlin has been postmistress at Loyal for the past 15 years and was a very efficient officer. 


Judge J. R. Sturdavant, (Sturdevant) living on South Hewett Street, passed away this past week, at the age of 84 years.


John Rufus Sturdevant was born in Jefferson County, Iowa, Sept. 6, 1844, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Jas. W. Sturdevant.  When he was nine years of age, he came to Clark County with his parents, who settled on a farm, just south of Neillsville, now owned by Joe Hartung.  He attended school in a little log building which stood among the tree stumps on what is now known as the Maple Glen farm, later attending school in the village.


In 1863, he enlisted in Co. I, Fourteenth Wisconsin Volunteers and served to the close of the Civil War, having participated in many noteworthy battle engagements.


Returning from the war, Sturdevant attended school for a time and then began the study of law with B. F. French and also with his brother, Robert F. Sturdevant, who later went west and was elected a judge in the State of Washington.  After being admitted to the State Bar, he began a law practice in Neillsville and was successful in his profession.  In 1873 he was elected District Attorney and served that office for eight years.  For a time his cousin L. M. Sturdevant was associated with him in law practice, and later his son, Claude R. Sturdevant, who continued their partnership practice after his father retired.


Judge Sturdevant was married to Miss Mary E. Johnson on July 19, 1869, in Iowa.  Lacking 15 days, they were married for 60 years.  They had one son, Claude R. Sturdevant.


Members of the Immanuel Lutheran Church at Globe are rejoicing over the blessings of growth in their congregation.  An enrollment of 18 new members was accepted at the annual meeting on June 30, namely: Otto Stange, Leo Hemp, Theo. Mitte, Martin Kalsow, Hans Kalsow, Walter Wood, Oscar Christopherson, Eugene Worchel, Fritz Quast, Wm. Dolasse, Sr., Wm. Dolasse, Jr., Wm. Manthey, Walter Ott, Otto Kunkel, Willy Lueck, Anton Meihack, and Frederich Grap.  Several other members have joined in the course of the year.  Immanuel Lutheran’s pastor, Rev. Walter Motzkus, also serves congregations at Christie and Columbia.


Buy a new Nash “400” series sedan, standard six, for $1,025 at Fred Stelloh’s garage in Neillsville.  At no extra cost, this car is equipped with Lovejoy hydraulic shock absorbers, chromium nickel bumpers, spare tire, tire lock and tire cover.


Wm. E. Tragsdorf has sold Trags Theatre, in Neillsville, to J. P. Adler of Marshfield.  He will say farewell to this community by showing the big special picture, “The Tide of the Empire” on July 22nd.


Eight years ago, Tragsdorf returned from the Panama, and purchased the old Tourigny property on Main Street, Neillsville, for the purpose of building a very fine moving picture theater.  Once opened, Trag’s theater ran only high standard movies.  Tragsdorf was a conscientious and tireless worker in keeping his theater up to top-notch.


A wagon loaded with kegs of beer was ready to be delivered by an employee of the Neillsville Brewery, circa 1900.  The unidentified man was accompanied by his dog as they waited in front of the brewery building which was located in the 200 block of East Sixth Street, across the street from the Clark County Courthouse. The well cared for brewery horses’ harnesses were covered with fly netting in an attempt to keep the flies from biting them as they went on the delivery route about town.  (Photo courtesy of Clark County Historical Society Jail Museum)



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