Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 3, 2000, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


The Good Old Days 

Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


May 1910


Burglars raided the safe of L. H. Van Gorden & Son, general merchants at Hixton on Sunday night. They carried away about $350, several thousand dollars in notes, mortgages and other valuable papers.  After the robbery, the burglars stole a railway handcar at Hixton and sped to Merrillan on the railroad tracks ten miles distance.  There, they threw the handcar off the track into a mill pond and it is believed they boarded an early morning train to escape the area.


The Masonic lodge has purchased the Frank Hemp corner from the French estate. The property includes the ground and buildings from Klopf’s jewelry store to Hewett Street, then from Fifth Street, south to the electric theater. Presently, the building is occupied by J. L. Neverman.  The purchase was made as an investment.


The dance given by the Neillsville High School basketball players was one of the nicest dances presented this season. The hall was appropriately decorated in red and white, with the best music available.  It is regretted that the boys did not have a larger attendance.


The O’Neill Livery is all new through-out.  It provides safe and careful driving horses.  New and up-to-date buggies, surreys and harnesses are available.


The best and most stylish rigs in the city are found there.  When you go driving, drive the best and ride in comfort.


The O’Neill Livery’s proprietor, Frank Lynch, now has an auto in service at his livery barn.  He rents the auto with a careful driver to parties who prefer traveling by auto rather than with a horse and carriage.  Lynch makes a specialty of furnishing the automobile for parties, balls, country trips, etc., with a reasonable charge for the services by the hour.


Last week Imig Bros. made their first shipment of pure-bred Holsteins, when they shipped three 11-month old heifers to A. L. Williams of Fond du Lac.  The three heifers brought $325 and were not the best of the Plainview herd by any means, which goes to show that excellent blood-lines count.  William Buddenhagen also sold a cow to Williams.


The dam at Dells Dam was closed last week.  On Sunday, the picnickers below the dam were able to walk across the river-bed without getting their feet wet. There is considerable water above the dam, even a sufficient amount for those wanting to bath there.  The water is backing up and forming a good size lake above the dam.


Neillsville has a very efficient fire department and the way they went after the fire in Emery Bruley’s store on Friday night was quite reassuring.  They poured water into the building in long lengths and soaked the clothing up in great amounts.  Where Emery had quite a considerable stock of men’s wool serge suits, he has now a large assortment of boy’s suits.


When everyone mentions the name of Arch Day, every early settler in Clark County takes notice.  Day came here shortly after the ark was grounded, or at a date thereabouts.  He ran a hotel south of Neillsville along the Black River when salt pork was the medium of trade and barter. Day was known as having run a good hotel.  The recent arrival of the much publicized Haley’s comet brought back memories to Day, remembering a previous comet visit.  It was in the time he was keeping the hotel located on a bank of the Black River. Seeing the comet was a beautiful and awe-inspiring sight.  Now, once again, he has lived to see Haley’s famed but disappointing discovery.


J. W. Hommel received his new cement mixer on Monday.  The new machine is now in operation at the Omaha Hotel, where Hommel is putting down a cement sidewalk.  The machine consists of a gasoline engine and mixer. The cement and sand are thoroughly and automatically mixed. The operations is a labor and time saver.


May 1960


Within minutes after the ground-breaking formalities were completed at the Frederick Post Company in Owen this week, a power shovel started turning dirt for their expansion project.


Approximately 100 people remained after the ceremonies to watch the power shovel begin digging the trench for the 186’ x 316’ new building’s foundation.


The building will add 60,000 square feet of space for the Owen plant. The expansion is expected to provide employment for 90 to 130 more people.


Miss Daphne Beeckler, who has been connected with the Neillsville School system for 28 years, will retire from teaching at the close of the present term.


Miss Beeckler is one of four members of the present Neillsville High School staff who will not return for the fall term. The others are: Mrs. Lois Burghardt, home economics instructor; Miss Louise Nelson, vocal music instructor; Gavin Upton, instrumental music instructor and director of the junior and senior bands and orchestra.


With the exception of three years, Miss Beeckler has been connected with the local schools since 1929.


The 1960 graduating class of Loyal High School announces their honored graduates.  Mary Beth Cowles, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence V. Cowles, is valedictorian of the class.  Harold W. Pfohl, son of Mrs. John Pfohl, is class salutatorian of 1960.


A help wanted advertisement which appeared in a newspaper 100 years ago was listed as: “Wanted, young skinny, wiry fellows, not over 18 years old.  Must be expert horse-back riders willing to risk death daily.  Orphans are preferred.  Wages, $25 a week.  Apply at the Central Overland Express, Alta Bldg. at Montgomery, Washington.”


The above advertisement marked the birth of the Pony Express and appeared in a San Francisco newspaper.  The Express lasted only a year and a half, but the boys who enlisted were men at the end of their service.


The need of faster mail to California had become acute by 1860 when nearly a half million people were living in what are now California, Oregon and Washington.  A letter from New York to the Pacific Coast often cost as much as $5 to send and took six months to a year to deliver.  A California Congressman might not receive helpful advice from his constituents until his term had expired.


There were 190 stations quickly built and put into service, 500 horses were bought and 80 riders hired. The freighting and stage firm: Russell, Majors and Waddell took on the project. The first Pony Express courier would carry mail westward from the end of the telegraph line in Missouri.


On April 3, 1860, a great assembled crowd gathered on the streets of St. Joseph, Missouri, to see the first rider take off.  Hurled by flesh and blood, each rider rode across 2,000 miles of desolate space passing thorough Fort Kearney, Laramie, South Pass, Fort Bridger and Salt Lake City, intent on reaching their destination.


Each rider raced about 100 miles, changing horses every 10 to 15 miles.  His mail pouch weighed only 15 pounds, for letters were written on paper as thin as chiffon. The typical rider wore a buckskin shirt, trousers tucked into high leather boots and a slouch hat.  His manners were rough, but the devoutly religious managers of the firm had done their best to improve him.  They issued each rider a Bible and made him swear not to drink alcohol or curse.


With a single exception, the Pony Express riders got the mail pouch through every time despite outlaws, mountain lions, wolves and blizzards. At least one graduate of the Pony Express later became famous.  He was William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody.


Completion of the trans-continental telegraph line put the Express out of business and its backers lost $200,000.  But the Express paid rich dividends in courage and devotion, helping to save a nation torn by internal strife. 


The interior of the Neillsville Tire Shop, located at the corner of West (street name missing) Street and Grand Avenue, was left in charred ruins by a fire which swept through the interior about 4 p.m., Saturday. The business was operated by Francis Langreck, Jr. and was owned by a Marshfield oil distributor. An employee, Frank Burch of Greenwood, suffered third degree burns on his forearms, as he was lying under a truck when a whoosh of flames raced around him beneath the truck.


About 400 people are expected to gather to pay tribute to Dr. William Olson at a recognition dinner on Saturday night in Greenwood. The country practitioner is well known in Clark County.  Dr. Olson set up practice in Greenwood on August 16, 1932 and delivered his 4,000th baby on August 11, 1959, a daughter to Mr. and Mrs. Hiram Martin of Loyal.  More than 1,500 of the births took place in family homes.


The banquet, arranged by Greenwood’s Chamber of Commerce, will be held in the Greenwood High School gymnasium, starting at 7:30 p.m.  Dr. Milton C. Rosekrans of Neillsville, who has practiced in this city since 1928, will be the master of ceremonies.  To continue the accent on the Norwegians, William Hanson famed Norwegian philosopher of Clintonville, will be the featured speaker.  Jerome Wittman, president of the sponsoring Chamber of Commerce, will also speak.



John Wolff’s Central Market was located at 541 Hewett Street, Neillsville, in the late 1800’s.  Men in the photo (left to right): John Wolff, wearing the long white apron; Otto Zank, in the middle; the third man is unidentified. The shop was equipped with the standard butcher block, meat saws, and etc. tools of the trade at that time.  On that day, it was apparently time to butcher and dress out chickens. 



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