Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 18, 1999, Page 14

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days     

Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


August 1899


Merrillan assumed the metropolitan airs of a first-class railroad strike Tuesday morning, when about 150 men employed on the Omaha’s line walked out on a demand for a raise in wages from $1.50 to $1.75 per day.


Supt. Slaker arrived by special train about 12 noon and offered $1.60, a few men returned to work at that amount Wednesday morning. The whole gang assembled at the depot and violence was threatened if anyone attempted to board the train for work.  No attempt was made to start working, though a number were present with their dinner pails expecting to work.  


Finally in the afternoon, the railroad company came to terms, giving the workers their desired pay, $1.75 per day.


The N. C. Foster Mercantile Company of Fairchild, one of he largest and most successful mercantile concerns in this portion of the state, will extend its business interests to Greenwood.  They are erecting a fine up-to-date department store, 78’x150’, and it will be equipped with all the modern conveniences carrying a full and complete line of stock.


The Greenwood store will be managed by John Membard, an able and experienced businessman, opening for business about Sept. 1st.  The Foster Company will also erect a large grist mill at Greenwood this fall.


F. T. Conroy, M. D. Neillsville City Physician and Health Officer, is again issuing a public notice to community residents.  It’s in regard to the fact that both the water and ice obtained from O’Neill Creek are dangerous to use either in the preparation of food or for drinking purposes.  Case after case of typhoid has appeared during the last three years along the banks of O’Neill Creek, and all have been of an exceptionally violent type. At present, three cases, one within the city limits are under a doctor’s care.  In each case either O’Neill Creek ice or O’Neill Creek water is the probable source of infection.


Ice from the creek as well as that obtained from the Black River below the creek outlet is highly dangerous for domestic use.


O’Neill Creek water should not be used in washing vessels employed for food or drink nor should O’Neill Creek ice be used in preparation of iced drinks of any kind.


Under the new game laws the open season for prairie chickens is Sept. 1 through Dec. 1.  Hunters using dogs are required to procure a license from the County Clerk.  It is also unlawful to hunt deer or aquatic fowl without license.  People not residents of the state are required to pay a license fee of $25, for deer hunting and $10 for bird hunting.


A merry-go-round set up on the vacant lot, of Hewett corner and Fourth Street, has furnished much amusement for the children this week.  There have also been some of the older heads seen passing up nickels for a chance at the dizzy ride.


The new fire bell was pressed into its first real service shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday when the J. Stanley barn on the north side was discovered in flames.  The ponderous tones summoned not only the company to the scene but called out almost every resident of the city.  The fire, when first discovered, was so far advanced it couldn’t be extinguished so the barn with all contents was totally lost.


Mrs. Gus Klopf, together with her daughter, Beulah, will leave next Saturday for Post Falls, Idaho, to join her husband.  Klopf is now employed as a bookkeeper with a large mercantile firm.  He was a member of the gold seekers who left Neillsville more than a year ago for the Klondike.  Returning to the United States last spring, he has been located at Post Falls, Idaho. 


A very serious runaway of horses happened at the farm of Nicholas Mack, near Loyal, last Sunday.  The team hitched to the grain binder became frightened of something and ran into the road with the binder in gear, running at lightning speed.  The binder sickle caught a cow that was standing in the road and severely cut one of its legs.  The team turned into the farm yard, stopping there with no further damage done except a badly wrecked binder.


Cy Stockwell has been in Colby with his little telescope on three legs, steel tape line, measuring fixings, etc., and is marking the boundary lines of the city.  He will also find the exact corner of several blocks and make a complete plat of the city.  When Cy gets through with it we know it will be done right.


The Rag-time camp was broken up Wednesday, after a fortnight’s indescribable enjoyment.  Miss Hattie Campbell chaperoned the jolly crew of young people.  They roasted and ate green cobs of corn around a campfire.  The nut brown healthy complexions of eh members of the party are testimonials of the physical benefit they derived from the short period of out-door life.


Freight conductor, Amos Fowler, and Brakeman, James Dailey, are laid up for repairs with badly injured fingers.  It is the result of an accident which occurred at Columbia, Monday.  They were loading a barrel of oil into a railroad car when the barrel slipped, catching both men’s fingers under its ponderous weight.  They came direct to Neillsville and the wounds were dressed by Dr. Conroy. Fortunately, no bones were broken in their fingers.


Rev. V. Lavaty, a Bohemian Presbyterian minister, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, gave a very interesting and instructive address on Bohemian Protestantism at the Presbyterian Church here last Sunday.  He gave a recital of the sufferings of Protestants in Bohemia since the burning of John Huff in 1414 to the edict of toleration issued by Joseph the Second, in 1781, where 100,000 converts withdrew into a body and were organized into the reformed church. Rev. Lavaty is pastor of a large Bohemian Presbyterian Church at Cedar Rapids.  There are seventeen Bohemian Presbyterian churches in the U. S.


The Riplinger Stave and Heading Company Saw Mill, was completely destroyed by a fire this past week.  The saw mill stood 70 feet from the Heading Mill. The Christman mill was a mass of flames almost instantly.  It took the fire engine seven minutes to arrive on the scene and another seven minutes for it to build up enough steam to start the water pumps. By that time, the mill roof and upper frame had already fallen in.  Stacks of wood and staves around the mill also burned.  This is the second loss for this company within a year, as the dry kiln burned in February. The Heading factory burned in 1896, so that is the third fire.


One of the finest and most conveniently arranged business places in town is the remodeled Lowe building one door south of Sniteman’s.  It has been especially fitted up for the occupancy of Gilbert Johnson, the clothier.  New tile flooring, finely finished woodwork and interior fixtures give the store a very inviting appearance.  New counters and show cases will make the store complete.  Johnson has added to his already extensive line of gent’s clothing and accessories.


August 1949


Dr. and Mrs. H. H. Christofferson of Colby celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on July 26.  An open house given in their honor was held at the Colby High School gym.


The Christofferson’s were married in 1899, at Waupaca, where Dr. Christofferson was born in 1875.  Mrs. Christofferson’s home had been in Racine, where she was born in 1876.  Their wedding took place three years prior to the Doctor’s graduation from St. Louis University.


Being married at that time in their lives was an adventure, for the young man was a ways from being a doctor.  Yet, finances were needed for schooling plus, providing food and lodging for two people. The solution to the problem was furnished by the young bride, who was a skilled masseuse, and who applied this skill until the young man was a full-fledged doctor, ready to start practice.


Immediately upon the Doctor’s graduation the young couple made their home in Loyal, where the Doctor practiced from 1902 to 1910.  In 1910 they moved to Colby, where the Doctor continued to practice until 1948.


During his practice in Colby the doctor had an associate for three years, Dr. A. M. Christofferson, who in 1917 joined the army medical corps, serving through World War I, and practicing in Waupaca when he returned from the military.  Another associate was Dr. A. L. Schemmer, the two working together in operating the Colby Clinic until Dr. Christofferson transferred his interest to Dr. Lehmer.


For many years Dr. Christofferson was the physician at the Clark County Hospital at Owen, and presently continues to fill that position.


Dr. Christofferson has been actively involved in medical organizations as well as business and civic enterprises. When the telephone was introduced to the area, he invested money and management in the exchanges at Loyal, Spencer, Unity, Colby, Abbotsford, Curtiss, Owen and Withee.  In association with W. J. Rush of Neillsville and C. H. Brown of Loyal he developed the telephone enterprise and finally sold to the Commonwealth. 


Christofferson took a leading part in the organization and management of the Central Canning Company of Colby.  In 1929 he bought the Ford garage in Colby, remodeled it and built a new addition to it.  In 1939 he purchased a filling station, and continues the ownership of the garage and station.


He also built a substantial interest in banking within Clark County, being president of the Citizens State Bank of Loyal and Granton; of the Curtiss State Bank of Curtiss and Owen, and of the Colby State Bank of Colby and Unity.


Nineteen cases of polio have been reported in Clark County as of July 30.  Precautionary measures are being taken such as the spraying of DDT for flies and mosquitoes; poisoning of rats, and quickly burying collected garbage, in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.


Preliminary work in the construction of Mead Dam will be started next week.


Contracts for the $60,221 project in the Town of Mead, northwest of Greenwood, were signed in the Clark County Court-house this week by the successful bidder, Ben Gottschalk of Edgar, and members of the County Board’s Public Property Committee.


About 2,000 people attended the inauguration of the sleek streamlined “400’s” railroad train’s first stop at the Merrillan station.


In honored positions were Mr. and Mrs. John Clune, 94 and 93, respectively, who helped to dedicate the stop.  Mr. Clune is the oldest living engineer of the railroad, having retired 23 years ago after service with the railroad for 57 years.  The Clunes have been married for 69 years.


As a boy of age 14 Clune helped lay the first railroad tracks through Merrillan.  Then engines which would be the best of those days would be museum pieces today.


Now, 80 years after laying the first rails, Clune helped to dedicate the “400”, one of the nation’s crack streamline trains – the Northwestern’s pride of the 20th century.


A lot of other people, including George Purnell, energetic president of the Merrillan Commercial Club, have had considerable backing from other communities of the area in the 14-year effort to stop the “400” at Merrillan. The high school bands of Neillsville and Alma Center were at the celebration as was a large proportion of the Neillsville National Guard service company, also color guards of American Legion and V. F. W. posts of many communities in the Black River and Trempealeau River valleys.


As the southbound “400” came slowly along the track between walls of people to its stop at 5:02 p.m. the bands struck up appropriate tunes to touch off the formal dedication ceremonies.


Descending from one of the cars were Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Mike, both in full and colorful Indian regalia.  They were followed by Archie H. Van Gorden, Mrs. Van Gorden and their daughter.  Arch wore a western 10 gallon hat upon his head.


The dedication was held quickly, with the Clunes participating.  Judge Bruce F. Beilfuss of Neillsville did the honor of cutting the ribbon.


Men, women and children from Merrillan, Neillsville, Granton, Marshfield, Greenwood, Black River Falls, Alma Center, Taylor and Hixton clambered aboard for the dedication excursion to Adams and back.


There were 95 passenger excursion tickets sold at $3.68 each with an additional nine passengers who boarded the streamline for Milwaukee or Chicago.


The northbound “400” waited at Adams for the excursion group, and returned with them at 7:14 p.m.


(Many long time residents of our area can remember the “400” train which ran from Minneapolis to Chicago and returned, Chicago to Mpls.  It was named the “400” because it was scheduled to make a one-way run in 400 minutes.  My memories of riding the “400” were traveling from Mpls. To Chicago to watch the University of Minnesota football team play the Northwestern team at Chicago.  It was an enjoyable, comfortable and memorable ride.  D. Z.) 


A circa 1910 Hewett Street scene with a gathering of people participating in a sidewalk demonstration, in the 500 block, east side of street.  (Photo courtesy of Tuft’s Museum’s Glass Family collection)



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