Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 13, 2000, Page 11

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days 

Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


December 1890


P.S. Dudley bought the Ed Tolford home on North Grand Avenue, last week, for the amount of $550.


W. A. Leason will loan $2,000 to someone who would use the money to improve their farm property.


So great is the “wood” famine in Neillsville, that citizens stand for hours at the outskirts of town watching for loads of wood to be brought in.


The Neillsville Milling Co. has quit the wood yard business.  We believe a wood yard run on a basis of fair prices and cash down when the wood is ordered, would pay.  It certainly would be a convenience.  The credit system would never do; it should be cash, or let them shiver!


Get a first-class solid 10-ft. wheel windmill from Leason for $45, or a folding wheel, 10-ft. for $38.


There are about 15 cases of measles reported from Maple Works this week.  There has been talk of closing the Maple Works School for awhile.


There was a wedding at Baraboo on Dec. 10, 1890, that of Miss Augusta Shlender and Joseph Hundshausen, the contracting parties are both of this city.  Hundshausen is the same Joe who works for the Lowe meat market on lower Main Street.  The bride is a sister of Theo. LaBudde’s friendly bartender.


Work is progressing on the Hein store building, near O’Neill Creek.  Interior work on the Luddington-Odd Fellows building is moving along satisfactorily.  A job of rejuvenation is under way in C. A. Youman’s store building, preparatory to its occupancy by a new tenant.  Building operations in the city have seldom been continued into the winter as they have been this year.


Speaking of “Grandfather’s Clock,” baestfader kloke, as they say in the Sanskrit, T. Johnson has a large stock available at his jewelry store.  Johnson has moved his store across the street and is in the Zimmerman Drug Store.  Johnson has clocks, watches, silverware and jewelry from which you may select ideal Christmas presents at advantageous prices. See him at the new store.


The Ridge folks will entertain their friends and neighbors at the Pleasant Ridge church this Friday evening.  Many preparations have been made for the event so people from near and far are invited to come and hear the holiday music, recitations, etc.


Remember the Farmers’ Institute next week on Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 16 and 17.  It should be attended by every farmer within a radius of 20 miles.  Let the Clark County Court House be packed for this meeting.  The meeting will be an educator.  A meeting of this sort will furnish food for thought for a whole year.


The West Wisconsin Manufacturing Co. of Wilson, Wis., made a sale last week of over a million feet of oak, mill run, at $21.50 per thousand.  We call attention to this in order that Clark County farmers may know that hardwood lands in Clark County hold every acre at $25.


Be faithful to the family.  There is a cancerous growth of laxity in social habits in American cities which must be discountenanced or the entire nation will suffer a general lowering of tone.


Here is a cheap home for someone.  Sixty-five acres of land, a good frame house, a log barn, running water in a creek, and a good well; Part of the acreage is under cultivation, balance is in timber.  The owner will sell for what ever amount it will bring.  Inquire of Geo. Phillips at the Neillsville Planing Mill.


The past year has been pre-eminently a season of growth and improvement for Neillsville.  Hewett Street has been transformed and the old barn behind city hall is still intact.  Fifth Street has been greatly improved in appearance.  The great furniture factory has been finished and put into operation, a stand pipe built, a number of fine residences built; and now a new copper-bronze goddess, liberty of justice, placed on top of the court house.  She is a stately dame, with a pair of scales in the uplifted left hand and a gilded sword in the other hand, hung or resting upon the point, close to the left side.  The dome is newly painted and the court house repairs are done. 


New scenery has been put in the opera house which is a substantial improvement.  A number of business blocks and new residences are planned for 1891, a promise that our growth is to continue.  The extension of the railroad to the Central Wisconsin Road in Marshfield gives our shippers an opportunity to get out of the Omaha Co.’s reach, hopefully.  That ought to give us lower rates on shipping goods.  All in all, the “little city on the hills” has a brilliant future promised.


December 1940


Special services will be held in the West Side Reformed Church next Sunday as members of the congregation gather to celebrate the completion of the redecorating activities in the church.


For the last four weeks services have been held in the school house, which served as the church several years ago.  The walls and ceilings of the church were repainted; the pews and woodwork have been refinished.  New wiring and light fixtures have been installed and a new rug has been laid on the rostrum.


Sunday’s worship service is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. with the service being spoken in both English and German languages.


The downtown streets of Neillsville were being transformed this week into holiday attire as city crews worked at hanging the decorations they had prepared in the last two weeks.


The central theme is one which makes the business district on South Hewett and West Seventh Streets a winter garden spot; for five-foot spruce are wrapped around white-way lights, shooting out from flower pot vases.  Electric lights of red, green and yellow will form a canopy over South Hewett Street for the three blocks from Fourth to Seventh Streets.


As a guiding beacon, the huge, deep-red star has been placed atop the stand pipe, where the glow from its light will be visible for miles around the city.


Neillsville’s first fire truck “Old Mary” has made her last chug for the city.


Old Mary was the first mechanical fire engine the city every owned – now closely approaching a mechanical marvel of from 25 to 30 years’ of service.


When she first was brought to serve the Neillsville Fire Department, she was a second-hand machine.  But that stigma never seemed to bother the old Model “T”.  She puffed right along with the best of them throughout the years and even today she would stand up to a job and give her all.


At times, while on duty, she would work herself into a cherry-red heat, as some of the older fire department members’ recall.  “But,” mused Fire Chief William A. Dahnert, “we just poured some cold water into her and she kept on plugging – never fazed a bit.”


No one actually christened the fire engine “Old Mary,” in the sense that a soft drink bottle was broken over her radiator.  The name, rather, was adopted by some in the department who had a tender feeling for the old machine.


But now the city no longer has use for it and its last storage place, in the telephone company’s warehouse, must be turned to some other use.


So, the best thing to do with it, the council decided, is to sell it to the highest bidder.


Although Old Mary has seen upwards of a quarter of a century of service here – no one is quite certain exactly how many years old she is – she has been a ready servant right up to the present day.


In the days when the red fire truck was the queen of the department, Old Mary was used as an auxiliary engine, devoted mainly to carrying as extra length of hose.  But in the last year or so, since the white fire truck has been the pride of the department, Old Mary has been relegated to making the lowly chimney fire runs.


After December 23, she will probably have something else to do.


Adopting the recommendation of its purchasing committee, the Neillsville City Council approved the purchase of a ton and a-half dump truck from the R. H. Welsh Chevrolet Co.


Bids of six local truck dealers were considered at length at a special meeting Monday evening before the Welsh bid of $1,040 was accepted.  The price includes the trade-in allowance on the 1937 model truck now being used by the city.


The new truck will have a 134 ½ inch wheelbase with a conventional cab and chassis, equipped with an Anthony eight-foot box and hoist, with 14 ½ inch sides.


Clark County this week was shaking off the effects of the heaviest snowfall, at one time, in ten years.


Fourteen inches of snow fell from Sunday afternoon until Monday night and traffic moved slowly when and if it moved at all. With the snow, alone, the highway crews were able to keep up with the removal task. But when the high winds swept in at the end of the snowfall, highways 73 and 95 south of the city were drifted shut for several hours on Monday night.


In the city of Neillsville traffic was at a virtual stand-still throughout the day Monday.  With seven trucks and 39 men working at the snow removal task, a considerable portion of the downtown area had been cleared by Tuesday night.


Street commissioner Earl Mattson estimated that from 2,500 to 2,800 yards of snow would be hauled away from the removal area as a result of the storm.  He estimated the cost of the removal would be in the neighborhood of $1,000.


Shop at the Gambles Store for a new 6-tube Coronado radio; the perfect Christmas gift.  A new feature of the Coronado is the self-contained aerial with automatic tuning.  The walnut finish cabinet radio is only $13.95.  The same radio with the ivory-finish plastic cabinet is $14.95.  A. E. Russell, the Gamble’s Store owner will welcome you to see his merchandise.


A short circuit was believed to have caused a $10,000 fire which razed the Club 73 tavern and dance hall a mile north of Thorp on Highway 73 Sunday night.  The loss was partially covered by insurance, according to Frank Kinas, the proprietor.


Kinas’ two daughters aged nine and six, were sleeping in their beds on the second floor.  They were both carried to safety.


Upwards of 400 aliens residing in Clark County have registered under the alien registration act, it was estimated this week as the deadline for registration approached.  The deadline date is December 26.


Although no record has been kept of the number to register at the Neillsville post office, an estimate of “upwards of 150” was made.  Other post offices doing the work in Clark County are at Thorp and Owen.  Postmaster Louis W. Kurth urged that all aliens who have not registered do so at once.  He warned that penalties of heavy fines or imprisonment, or both are provided for failure to do so.


All the people who are not citizens of the United States and who are 14 years or more old must register in person and be fingerprinted.  Alien children under 14 years must be registered by their parents or guardians.


Kurth reminded those who have already registered that any change of address must be reported to the immigration and naturalization service, department of justice, within five days.  Forms for this purpose are available at the post office.


On the first day of January, Clark County will once again start whittling away at its bonded indebtedness, which, at the present rate, will be wiped out by June 1, 1943.


The first payment of the year will be for the retirement of a $5,000 asylum issue.  Following this, the county will retire another $30,000 asylum issue on June 1 and a $100,000 highway bond issued retirement.  The payments of principal reduced the bonded indebtedness of the county of $340,000.


Of this amount, highway bonds amount to $180,000.  The final highway issue of $80,000 is due June 1. 1942.  Highway issues, however, do not constitute much of a problem to the finance of the county for they are retired with funds provided by the state from the gasoline tax.  The way it has worked out in the past is that the county has merely guaranteed the payment of the issues.


The fate of every nation rests in its own power. – Helmuth von Moltke


A quiet day in Neillsville, looking over O’Neill Creek, circa 1900;  A small cloud of smoke hangs over the creek and Hewett Street Bridge as the partially frozen stream moves toward the Black River.  The Neillsville Milling building is visible in the background, to the right.  Rows of corded wood ascend the creek’s shoreline on the left.  (Photo courtesy of Loomis-Seffern Family Collection)



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