Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 19, 2000, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days       


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


January 1880


Hans Nelson, living in the town of Washburn, on the road to T. J. LaFlesh’s, has a neat well-equipped cooper shop, where he makes the variety of barrels and butter-tubs, at reasonable rates.  Hans’ hammer can always be heard, the noise thereof echoing through the heavy timber that stands all around his place.  He is at present engaged under a contract with Charlie Gates for barrels for pork packing.


Public attention is being called to the fact that Fritz Brieg has and always keeps on hand a fine lot of choice oysters and other things good for the inner man, which can always be procured on short notice at his restaurant on Second Street.


It should also be understood that Brieg, notwithstanding that an explosion demolished his large bakery oven is regularly supplying his customers with fresh, sweet bread and proposes to do so right along. Call on Fritz for oyster suppers, etc. or for anything in the bakery line.


The ball held on New Year’s Eve at the Neillsville brewery was a very pleasant occasion, characterized by a hearty participation in the fun by all present.  Perfect order prevailed, and as the merry dancers whirled about, given up entirely to the sensation of delight, the music filled the hall with harmonious strains.  The old year was made to shuffle off its coil to the lively strains of a first class string band.  Neverman & Sontag’s hall is a very convenient place and we wonder why dances are not held there more frequently.  Neverman is a great big chunk of pleasantry and fun in himself.  With the hall brightly lighted, good music and lots of dancers, the brewery and its hall presented a lively appearance about the hour 1879 drew its last breath.


John Enhelder, who resides on the Huntley district road four or five miles from Neillsville, had his team of horses run away with him in a very lively manner last Tuesday.  The team, hitched to a wagon, was standing in front of Lowe Bros.’ meat market, from where they took off running helter-skelter.  They went around the corner at Johnson’s furniture store, up by Chas. Gates’ meat market, passing down toward the lower bridge, and then turning up past the Neillsville Mill, across Main Street Bridge and on northward.  Enhelder was thrown from the wagon at Gates’ Market and received a severe thumping.  It was feared his leg was broken, but Dr. Crandall examined it carefully and as Enhelder stood up he was able to walk, the conclusion is that a bone was possibly cracked but not broken. The wagon’s hind wheels were deposited near the mill where they flew off and the fore part of the wagon came to rest on the other side of the bridge.


Dudley gave Enhelder a ride to his home.


Our friend, Rossman of the Rossman House, has recently added to the other many attractions of his excellent hotel a fine pool table, furnished by the Brunswick & Balke Co., of Chicago, a firm famous for its fine tables.  Many of our citizens may be found there now engaging in that attractive game.


January 1930


Fire Warden Dresden has informed the Neillsville City residents of an old city ordinance that is still in force which requires each house owner to keep a ladder in a convenient place at his house, the ladder being of sufficient length to reach the roof. This ordinance was enacted before the city had efficient fire-fighting equipment, but such a ladder would often enable local help to stop a fire before the arrival of the fire company.  Every farm home should also have such a ladder handy.


The American Stores Dairy Co., which bought the Zbinden factory several months ago, has since used it as a receiving station for milk.  The plant was closed Jan. 1, and all will be patrons hereafter delivering milk at the Condensary.  This was done as a matter of economy, saving considerable expense in operating the plant.


Street Commissioner Wm. Farning removed Christmas trees set along the streets in Neillsville and transported them in his truck to places along Oak and Park streets where snow usually drifts deeply after a storm, constructing snow fences out of the trees.  If no snow comes, of course the trees will not be needed, but as Farning did the work himself without expense to the city he says it will be like what Doc Marsh used to say of his pills, “If they do no good they will at least do no harm.”


Many automobile owners have take advantage of the excellent light testing station erected by O. W. Lewerenz Service Garage and the men have been kept busy throughout the day.  The Lewerenz station is the only official station thus far in the county where drivers can get auto lights adjusted to comply with the new headlight law. The average cost of putting the lights in condition for the first 25 cars tested was $1.85, which included the test, certification and replacement bulbs, reflectors and lenses.


About 200 Masons, their wives and guests attended the brilliant and colorful New Year’s Eve celebration in the ballroom of the new temple and greeted the New Year with an ovation nearly as noisy and hilarious as that accorded return of Lindbergh.


At the first stroke of midnight a barrage of confetti and paper streamers engulfed the dancers until they were mere shadowy figures groping about in the storm of flying paper that seemed to grow in intensity as time went on, while above the din of merriment sounded the roar of horns and other noise making devices.  Within a few moments the shower had littered the floor to a substantial depth.  The dancers were undaunted and continued plowing through the paper that collected about their feet and dragged along behind them in long trains.


The ballroom was elaborately decorated with novel lighting effects and colored streamers which formed an arch of striking beauty above the dancers. A splendid luncheon was served during the evening.


Herman Hediger, who operates a big truck, has purchased a snow plow which was used with the truck and has plowed out all the side roads on his milk route.  Other side roads in the townships are being plowed out with horse-drawn plows, which remove the snow more slowly.


A number of farmers have started hauling logs to the train depot for shipment.  W. F. Tibbett of Neillsville and Albert Davis of Granton are buying logs.  It is expected that from 35 to 50 car loads will be landed here.  At present, the sleighing is good enabling the logs to be hauled in to market.


The Loyal State Bank closed its doors on Thursday.  The bank was reorganized a few years ago after some difficulties and appeared to have been getting along all right.  Recently, it is reported some trouble arose when several of the old directors resigned; also the cashier, then new men were put in their places.  It is reported that depositors will probably be paid practically in full.


LeRoy Stabnow of Greenwood and Clarence W. Shilling of Marshfield were in Neillsville Friday afternoon to write on the civil service examination to qualify for appointment as trappers of predatory animals by the Conservation Commission.


Miss Made Ruddock assisted last week in collecting the balance necessary to pay for the Neillsville street decorations.


Frank Sonnentag has rented the Wm. West restaurant in the C. C. Wasserberger Co. building and has moved in, ready to serve customers.


Zank’s old and new time music will be playing for a dance at Paulson’s hall, corner of Grand and Fifth Street on Saturday evening. Admission is only 50 cents for men and the ladies are admitted free of charge.  A good time is assured to all who attend.


Active steps to stop the sale of margarine in Clark County as a means of relieving the low price of butter is well under way and the merchants in several towns have discontinued the sale, with others planning to do so.


At Owen Wednesday night the Chamber of Commerce appointed five men to call on the dealers there and urge them to stop selling butter substitutes.  Merchants of Withee have stated they will join the movement if Owen takes the lead.


Longwood, Curtiss and Thorp stores already have stopped selling oleo.


Farmers in various parts of the county are said to be taking pledges not to use butter substitutes and in some of the instances the farmers themselves have appealed to the merchants to discontinue the sale of oleo.


Last week the winter road down Black River was broken out and loads of wood and logs are coming down the river from above Christie. For many years a winter road has been used on the ice of Black River, thus avoiding grades and drifts.  Though somewhat longer than the highway, it has decided advantages especially for heavy loads coming into Neillsville from the north.


The new Warner Mutual Town Fire Insurance Co. held its first annual meeting in Greenwood, Jan. 7 and elected officers.  Of the stockholders, 75 per cent were present and a feeling of optimism prevailed throughout the conference.  The directors elected are: Albert Liebzeit, Theo. Humke, Fred Drew, Geo. Hintz, Wm. Toburen, Geo. Braun, Jacob Aberg, Edward Braun, Geo. Reinhardt, and Wm. Steiger. The concern will transact business in the towns of Warner, Mead, Hendren, Reseburg, Longwood, Green Grove, Beaver, Loyal, and Eaton for the present time.


The Reformed Church on the corner of Clay and Fifth Streets is now equipped with a new bell. Its clear notes rang across the frosty air Sunday for the first time. A bell fund has been accumulating in the church treasury for some time and by the liberality of a few persons, some local and some at a distance, enough money to purchase the bell was finally secured.  It weighs half a ton and was hoisted into the belfry Saturday by Fred Stelloh, Conrad Stelloh and George Frantz, by means of ropes and pulleys. After getting the b ell up in place they built a secure platform under it.  The bell is of fine tone and has tone of “F”.  The church, which was built in the early nineties by the Unitarian Society, never had a bell.  Since the purchase of the church edifice by the Reformed congregation many improvements have been made and a fine parsonage erected close to the church.


W. L. Hemphill, for many years one of Clark County’s most active and prominent citizens, passed away at his home on South Hewett Street, January 30, after a long illness of 18 years.


Wallace L. Hemphill was born at Clearfield, Penn., Feb. 1857.  His parents were William J. and Jane (Smith) Hemphill and he was the seventh of a family of eleven children.


He started out at an early age to work for others, having few opportunities to secure an education, but with quick intelligence, fitted himself for many important duties and positions in life.


When he was 19 years of age he came west to visit a sister who lived in Houston County, Minn.  After spending a few months there he went to La Crosse, securing work with the John Paul Lumber Co., for whom he worked many years.  He worked one winter for Coleman’s in their camp in Clark County south of the Twenty-Six Road.  He was then placed in the John Paul Lumber Co. office in Neillsville where he later was made manager of the company’s logging operations in Clark County, continuing in that position until their logging business closed here in 1898.  Hemphill then went to New Orleans, were (where) he had charge of a cypress saw mill for a year and four months, and then returned to Neillsville.  A short time later he bought the Neillsville Flour Mill and operated it for nine years.  He was also identified with other business enterprises, a mill at Cadott and also the bank in the village.  For many years he was a stockholder in the Neillsville Bank becoming its vice president and later after the death of C. F. Grow, became president.   In all the enterprises with which he showed excellent executive ability. Among his friends and associates he was familiarly known as “Bob” Hemphill.


For many years he took an active interest in local civic affairs, serving two terms as alderman and one term as Mayor of Neillsville.


Hemphill was united in marriage to Mary Dewhurst, daughter of Judge and Mary Dewhurst, June 10, 1889.  During their married life she was a faithful, patient attendant during the long years of his invalidism. They had a daughter, Frances, Mrs. M. C. Rodolf of Tulsa, Okla. And have three grandchildren, Betty, Patricia and John Rodolf.


American Store Dairy was located along Eighth and Hewett Streets on the south bank of O’Neill Creek; Some farmers delivered their filled milk cans, daily, until trucks started milk pick-up routes. The filled cans were placed on a conveyor track which carried the milk cans into the building to be emptied, rinsed and then placed on an exit conveyor, to be loaded back on the trucks.  Photo circa 1940



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