Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

October 11, 2000, Page 32

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


October 1885


The Indians have been bringing in an abundance of freshly picked cranberries to sell in our village.


Emery Bruley, of this village, has invented and patented an instrument for cutting washers, gun wads, etc., from leather, rubber paste-board or what ever desired.  It will be of great value to those who have a need in using the apparatus; washers for buggies, wagons, or for any other equipment.  The only expense will be in the cost of the machine it self, which is a trifle.


The machine consists of two knives working in a shaft made to fit the ordinary brace used by carpenters.  It works on the same principle as a pair of compasses that describe a circle, very simple to work with.  The knives are so arranged that they can be made to cut a gun wad or a washer to a foot diameter.  No farmer, mechanic or sportsman can afford to be without one. 


Bruley has made arrangements with a Milwaukee firm to manufacture his patented invention.


Messrs. Muir and Nelson, of the Town of Weston, are manufacturing a superior lot of pork and flour barrels.  They offer to trade in this area and surrounding counties with very low prices.  Samples of their barrels can be seen at Dickenson’s store, where more information can be obtained.


The brick-work on the Presbyterian Church is nearly completed.  It is a fine looking building.


Our first snow storm that has visited this region since last June fell here last Saturday, Oct. 9.  Snow flew for several hours and continued through the day.


The election of the present reform state ticket will ensure a faithful, competent and just administration of the state of affairs.  It will continue to have the war against monopolies in the interest of people, who, under a certain rule, were impoverished to enrich such men as C. C. Washburn.  Washburn defrauded Clark County out of many thousands of dollars by evading, through sharp practices, the payment of certain taxes.  Every farmer and property holder, however poor their circumstances, had to pay taxes. 


There are 176 pupils enrolled in the various departments of the public school here in our village.


The Pioneer Hardware store, owned and operated by George L. Lloyd, is the first to meet all the wants of the community in the hardware lines.  Farm produce will be taken in exchange for goods.


H. M. Weston has a new store at Greenwood.  The store offers staple and fancy dry goods, dress goods, clothing, hats, caps, hosiery, groceries, dried and canned fruits and notions. Also, it is a lumber agency with all kinds of sawed and dressed lumber, shingles, sash and doors.


To our newspaper subscribers who pay their subscriptions with wood, we have this to say, which we hope they will bear in mind.  We are nearly out of wood for our heating purposes. There are lots of us who will suffer if we do not receive a supply soon.  You see, we have kept a wood-yard for the benefit of the public for a long time.  Now, unless we look out for those fellows who have been depending on us, they will be out of it.


October 1935


There has been 197 forties of land purchased by Clark County for entry under the Forestry Law. Sixty parcels were purchased by individuals for $1,241.07 and 97 went to the county for $2,100.21.  The land purchased by the county will be entered under the forest crop and forest reserve law, thus again becoming revenue producing.  The towns and the numbers of description disposed of in each follow:  Dewhurst, 40; Hewett, 16; Mentor, 26; Seif, 7; South Foster, 4; Hendren, 4; North Foster, 16.  After the sale has been confirmed by the court, treasurer’s deeds will be issued to each of the bidders.


Relatives and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Garald Hart arranged a shower for them last week, Tuesday evening at their home on North Hewett Street.   There were about 25 people present, which included his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hart of Humbird.  The young couple was given a fine set of dinnerware and a very enjoyable evening was shared by all.


S. F. Hewett, one of Neillsville’s foremost and best loved citizens, died suddenly while surveying at the Fullerton Lumber yards. 


Sherman Frank Hewett was born in Augusta on Sept. 4, 1865, his mother being there temporarily at that time, with her parents.  His father was the late James Hewett, pioneer lumberman, merchant and business promoter of Neillsville and vicinity.


Frank, as he was familiarly called, grew up here, attended Neillsville Schools and at an early age began to take part in his father’s business activities.  At the age of 15, he started to join surveying parties running out the lines of his father’s timber lands.  Under the training of the surveyors employed, he soon became an expert in the science of surveying, a work that he followed to some extent the rest of his life.


Taking over the Hewett home farm in Neillsville’s city limits, which had been his boyhood home, he carried that responsibility on until his death.  During his work on the farm, he developed a fine herd of Guernsey cattle in which he took a great interest.


At the time of the Klondike gold rush in the summer of 1897, he joined a party of Neillsville men going into Alaska and spent 13 months in the Far North.  Although suffering from an injury to his knee that greatly handicapped him, he carried his hundred pound back-pack over the icy trail with no work of complaint.  His skill as a boatman gained by early experience on the Black River and its tributaries made it possible for him and another of the party, Hi Hart, to run a boat laden with supplies down the dangerous White Horse Rapids, a feat none of the rest of the travelers dared to attempt.


On his return, he again devoted his attention to his farm and the surveying. In 1909, he was elected county surveyor, an office to which he was re-elected for another term.  In 1926, he was elected Mayor of Neillsville and served eight ears. In all of these public offices, he served with efficiency and fairness to all.


On Dec. 19, 1897, he was married to Miss Blanch Robinson of Neillsville, who with their daughter, Helen survives him. For many years he had been a member of the Neillsville Masonic Lodge.


Born in pioneer times and growing up amidst the surroundings of the lumbering region, Hewett was at all times and in all circumstances a true gentleman.  Although gently in manner, he stood firmly for right and justice and never lacked the courage of his convictions.


The Fullerton Lumber Company will start work immediately on a new building 100 by 130 feet to replace the present structure at Grand Avenue and West Fourth Street. D. A. Peterson, manager, said the new building will house the lumber and other building supplies.  John Moen has the building contract.


As the Press’ correspondent for the town of Hewett passed by the Fullerton Lumber yard the other day, she saw the old “land-mark” building being razed and it brought back childhood memories of when she lived near the mill.


“Over 50 years ago, as a small girl, the mill was owned by a man named Gallager.  There were very large skid-ways of large white pine logs that were piled in the lumber yard.  Today, such a sight as that would seem unbelievable to the majority of the people living here now.  It was one of the greatest pleasures of we kids to stand and watch those great big logs ride up to the saw, then see the beautiful white pine boars as they were sliced from those logs. The clean pine boards were piled neatly in the lumber yard. Many homes in Neillsville are built from that lumber. 


In the back yard, there were huge piles of saw dust, where we youngsters – a few who come to mind, were Lucy Keeys, Caroline Calway, two girls of Bob Campbell’s, George Trogner, Jr., Art Bradshaw, myself and others – we would climb to the top of those saw dust piles and roll down, slide down or turn somersaults, anyway to get down to the bottom of the pile.  One day, George Trogner had a shoulder become dislocated while rolling down the pile and Dr. Crandall had to be called to set it. That put a stop to some of us climbing those mountains of saw dust.


Another time, the mill caught fire when men and women came running from every direction, each carrying pails.  Every-one carried water, a regular bucket brigade, but they saved the mill from being burned down by putting the fire out.


Years later, the planing mill was bought and operated by George Trogner, who was my uncle.”


A force of eight men began work this week on the dam at the head-waters of Goose Creek, which runs across the city.  The purpose of the dam is to control flood waters.  It is a WPA project and the work is to be done largely by relief labor.


Walter Reber, of Rice Lake, recently bought the cheese factory at Kurth’s Corners which was owned by Ernest Hermann, who has moved to Neillsville, renting an apartment in the J. L. Neverman home.


Hermann has built up a fine business in the manufacture of Swiss cheese, his product taking many prizes at the fairs.  He plans to take a well-earned rest and may go on a trip to Switzerland in the spring.


Reber is also an expert Swiss cheese maker.  He has worked in factories in Clark County and has a good reputation in every way.


Attend the Mission Festival at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Sunday, Oct. 20.  Three worship services will be held during the day.


Last week the old Times building owned by the Telephone Company, was torn down with the expectation of sometime later erecting a new structure in its place.


The old building was probably put up by L. B. Ring, who purchased the lot in July, 1883.  At that time he published the True Republican which was merged with the Neillsville Times in 1887.  With the exception of short interim, Ring published the Times in that building until 1906, when the Times was leased to McGillvary.  It ws then sold to L. Williamson, who continued to use the building for several years, before moving the newspaper to another building.  Later, the old building was occupied by Mrs. Bruley’s millinery shop and for other purposes at different times.


Every Friday night, Skroch’s tavern swerves fried fish and every Saturday evening, they prepare fried chicken.


The “Little Casino” located behind the Neillsville Bank, serves chicken dinners, steaks, chops, etc. on Saturday evenings.  Lunches are available at all hours. Try their daily plate lunch for 15c.  Potato pancakes are on the menu, too.  Beer is also on tap.


Free Pillsbury pancakes will be available at the Farmers’ Store on Friday, Oct. 25.


Old age pensions in Clark County, the program which is roughly estimated to require an appropriation of approximately $35,000 for the year, will be one of the major problems confronting the board of supervisors when it convenes Nov. 12 to its fall session.


To meet the obligations of the new state law, Clark County will have to raise sufficient funds to pay all the costs of the pension for the first three or four months. It will then be reimbursed for 80 percent of the expense only at three-month periods.  In addition to this “revolving” fund of about $25,000, the county’s share of 20 per cent of the cost for the remainder of the year will probably run close to $1,200 a month or about $9,600.


About 176 people attended the galloping card party, arranged by the Legion Auxiliary for Thursday evening. The bridge players visited six homes, spending 20 minutes at each place. Those who preferred to play 500 were given different routs with the same specifications of timing. After several happy games of cards, the entire group met at the Moose Hall for lunch and heard the game results.  Winners of bridge were: Mrs. J.S. Pullen and R. E. Schmedel, high; Lewis Bradbury and Miss Kittie Kountz, low. 
The 500 prizes were awarded to Barney Haas and Betty Wagner, who had high scores with Darrel Cummings and Mrs. F. W. Schweinler having low. Mrs. Wayne Potter received the door prize.

The Hewett house, located on West 5th Street, now the site of St. John’s Lutheran Church and school, was built by James Hewett on his farmland in the late 1800s.  James Hewett was one of Clark County’s early lumbermen, a merchant and promoter of Neillsville and vicinity.  His son, Samuel Frank Hewett, shown leaning on the fence, later became owner of the Hewett homestead and property, working as a surveyor in addition to maintaining the family farm. The house burned in the early 40s.  (Photo courtesy of the Lommis-Seffern Family collection)



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