Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 31, 2000, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


May 1885


The amended Neillsville City Charter requires poll tax to be paid in cash.  Hereafter, there will be no chance for a man to put in fifty cents worth of time for a dollar and a half. This is one of the best features of the amended charter.  It will enable the city to hire men to do street work and pay then cash or let work on contract.  In many cases, in the past, it has cost the city about $200 for the time spent by the city street commissioner in collecting $1.50.


C. C. Sniteman’s drug store has tons of paint of all shades. Sniteman is sole agent in Neillsville to be selling Sherwin-Williams paints, the best on the market.


There is very little sickness in this locality of Maple Works this spring season. As a result, Ernest Crevecoeur, the under-taker, is obliged to work in the lumber yard.  Also, Dr. Shake, of Windfall, is thinking of abandoning his profession and begin studying for the ministry.  However, our advice to them is to stand by their trade or profession.  The reasoning for this advice is that after all of these years of sobriety, Maple Works is to soon have a saloon, a real genuine licensed saloon.  This may promise them some business.


The board of supervisors meditated long and hard on the subject before they consented to grant the license.  Probably the fact that $100 would be added to the cash fund of the town finally persuaded them to decide as they did.


Milo P. Mason, who left this city about two and a half years ago, returned last week.  Mason has been engaged in building flouring mills for Willford & Northway, of Minneapolis.  During his absence from here, Mason assisted in building 12 new mills, scattered through southern Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Minnesota.  Among those, one mill has a capacity of 1,200 barrels per day.  He is a first-class millwright and his services are in great demand.


The Neillsville City authorities inform us that all yards must be cleaned by the first of June or the owners will be prosecuted. The cattle ordinance will also be rigidly enforced this season. The pound law will be strictly adhered to.  No livestock is allowed to run at large except milk cows and those can only be free to roam between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  The cleaning order will give the dray lines some business in hauling our refuse.


Much interest is taken in establishing a cheese factory in Neillsville.  Butter is worth only from 12 ½ to 15 cents per pound.  Farmers are awake to the fact that something must be done.  Hein & Beaulieu are making a proposal to the farmers of this vicinity. They will erect and have in running order in this city by July 15, a cheese factory with all necessary appurtenances.  They will guarantee to make a first-class article of cheese for two cents a pound.  This offer is on the condition that 150 cows can be pledged for the season. It looks now as though nearly twice that number could be secured.  A meeting of farmers will be held at the city hall on June 4th at 2 p.m., to perfect organization.


 The city of Medford was struck by a fire that destroyed 34 business houses on May 28.  A fire was discovered in the rear of the Exchange Hotel, but immediately gained headway with little time to clear the buildings of their contents.


Two hundred thousand dollars worth of property was swept away which could have been saved had the city possessed a judicious system of water works.  Neillsville is at the mercy of the flames like all other wooden towns not provided with fire protection.  A fire steamer was sent from Stevens Point to fight the Medford fire, but only arrived in time to play upon the ruins of the buildings.


Frankie Robbins, at the Reddan House, went into a pen on Sunday to release a small pig which had become caught in the fence.  When the old sow heard the pig squealing, she started toward the boy, who ran to get out of the pen.  As Frankie ran, he fell, slightly injuring his cheek and filled his eye with dirt. The story immediately circulated that the boy had been badly bitten by the old sow.  A physician was sent for and the boy’s grandma, Mrs. Reddan, who was at church, was sent for in haste.  As the rumor spread and reached Staffordville, it was told that a boy had been killed by a hog during services at church. We presume by the time Greenwood was reached with the rumor, the boy had been entirely eaten by the hog.  The fact of the matter is, the sow never came near the boy and Frankie was out playing soon after having the dirt washed out of his eye. So, Frankie is all right, as are the sow and little pig.  (Some things don’t change through the years, do they?  Present-day rumors seem to grow out of proportion just as they did then. D. Z.)


A company has been formed to be known as the Apostle Islands Improvement Co., of Ashland, with a capital stock of $100,000.  The project of the company is the improvement of the islands to become as summer resort sites.


The lock of the safe in Sniteman’s Drug Store got out of gear in some way last Thursday.  That made Hank Klopf cross all day, because he couldn’t get at his jewelry and diamonds to display in his jewelry store.  His government bonds were also in the safe.  Scott Colburn and Dick Kountz, two eminent safe cracksmen were called in to solve the problem.  By late that evening, they had the safe again in order.  The old-fashioned wooden latch and leather string is about the handiest fastening which is not liable to get out of order.


Contemporary builders will do well to get prices on lumber and shingles from T. J. LaFlesh of Nevins.  You may purchase shingles starting at 50 cents a square, and up; Lumber prices start at $4.00 and up.


May 1935


Under pleasant skies and warm weather, a host of friends and relatives gathered from far and near Sunday at the old Howard homestead in the Town of Grant. The occasion was in celebration of the golden wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. George Howard.


Guests began arriving a little before noon and in a short time the large farm house, the porches and lawn swarmed with cheerful visitors, a total of at least 200.


Ample provisions had been made for feeding the guests.  A whole hog had been divided up with ten women of the community taking equal portions of the meat to be roasted in their home ovens.  Mashed potatoes and brown gravy were prepared at the Howard home. Great dishes of baked beans were brought in, pickles of various kinds, an abundance of bread, butter and cheese, dozens of pies and a variety of cakes, coffee, etc. laden the tables.  Tomato juice cocktail and salted peanuts served as appetizers before the main meal.


The tables were arranged in three large rooms thrown together by opening folding doors.  There were place cards with the guests’ names on which directed the seating arrangements.


The Keller Bros. orchestra furnished music for the day.  As Mr. and Mrs. Howard descended the open stairway, they were greeted by the soft strains of music provided by the orchestra. The bridal party proceeded to the head table where they were met by Rev. G. W. Longnecker and Rev. Paul White.  Rev. Longnecker proceeded to re-enact the marriage ceremony with modified changes to meet the circumstances of a union already of fifty-year duration.


After the first setting of table guests, about 75 in number, had eaten, the tables were re-set two more times to accommodate serving all of the guests. An immense beautiful wedding cake, baked by Mrs. Verne Howard, was served after the various ceremonies.


George Howard and Miss Caroline Lichte were married at the Gus Baruch home in Neillsville, May 3, 1885.  Geo. L. Jacques, justice of the peace, performed the wedding ceremony. The bride was born in Manitowoc County and came to the Town of Grant with her parents in 1878.


George Howard was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Howard, who came from England a few years previous to their settling in the Town of Grant.  They were among the early Pleasant Ridge settlers in the Town of Grant.  They first bought a large tract of land, later disposing of some of it.  He began to develop the Howard homestead of 108 acres where George Howard was born and grew to manhood.  After his father’s death, George and Caroline carried on the home farm operation, later buying it. About four years ago, after their son, Vernie married, they moved across the road, to live on the Klein farm. Vernie and his wife carry on with farming the Howard homestead.  The homestead farm seemed to be the appropriate place for the golden wedding event.


The George Howards have five children; Archie, Ethel (Mrs. Will Geisler), Gertrude (Mrs. Wm. Martin), Vernie and Alvah.


Albert Sollberger, who owns a tract of land in Section 26, Town of Hewett, has planted 5,000 two-year old white pine trees, covering an area of five acres.  A crew of 12 men helped him set out the trees on Saturday. They were purchased from the State Conservation Commission at $2.50 per thousand.  Sollberger expects to reforest his entire forty within the next few years.  The work of reforestation in Clark County by individuals and organizations will be a joy to future generations and of inestimable value.  Sollberger stated that he is planting the trees for his children.


A state-wide American Legion fishing party has been arranged for Saturday and Sunday at Fremont.  According to sponsors, the white bass will be running.  In addition, there will be a pavement dance and banquet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.  Free camp sites are available.


Neillsville’s Goose Creek has been a problem all through the years, especially to those living on or near its banks. During seasons of heavy rainfall, it has been treacherous due to the fact that the narrow stream has been inadequate to carry off the water running into it from many sources.  It also becomes unsightly during the dry seasons. The city of Neillsville is now at work making the creek wider and deeper from it source near Schuster Park to the point where it empties into O’Neill Creek, near the Grand Avenue Bridge.  Both creek banks are being rip-rapped for strength and beauty.  When completed the creek should serve as a splendid storm water run-off.  There are 15 to 20 men at work on the project under the supervision of Mayor Stelloh and Street Commissioner August Arndt.  (A few years ago, Goose Creek was channeled into an underground culvert system.   No longer visible, we almost forget its existence. D.Z.)


Saturday afternoon, as Tom Wren was proceeding south on Hewett Street in his Model “T” Ford, opposite the Balch Hardware store, something broke in the interior mechanism of the car.  As to what broke, Tom couldn‘t tell, but the whole works stopped operating, all at once.  The situation was really critical, the car started coasting backwards and the brakes ceased to work.   The downward grade toward the Condensery is very steep.  The speed of the car grew faster and faster as it coasted towards the Condensery.  Rather than risk a collision with the Condensery building, Wren attempted to make a turn down Seventh Street toward the depot.  But, the momentum was so great; it threw the car over on its side, wrecking it badly.  Luckily, Wren escaped injury.


Sixteen students will graduate from the St. John’s Lutheran School this week.  Rev. Wm. A. Bauman will present the diplomas.


Graduates are: Arnold Mueller, Arnold Carl, Fritz Zank, Frederick Kluhsman, Carl Thoma, Edgar Tews, Louis Zschernitz, Virginia Roehrborn, Florence Roehl, Adeline Knoop, Marion Dux, Marion Lewerenz, Alice Goldamer, Louise Blum, Margaret Tramm and Lois Hanchmen.


Clark County deposed of its 3 ½ per cent bond issue of $132,000 for the paving project on Highway 98.  At a premium of $3,500, the Securities Co., of Milwaukee, took the offer this week, according to Calvin Mills, County Clerk.


A letter was recently received from an old-time resident of Neillsville, Dr. Frank Conroy, with some interesting news to his many friends.


Dr. Conroy was appointed chief surgeon on Jan.1, of this year, on one of the fine ocean liners running out of San Francisco.  This valued appointment is a fitting reward for a long record of fine achievements as a practitioner and as a scientific research expert.  The older Neillsville residents well remember the numerous highly skillful operations that were performed here by Dr. Frank Conroy, ably assisted by his talented brother, the late Dr. John Conroy.  The departure from Neillsville of these unusual brothers must always be considered an irreparable loss for this community; such men honor the towns they live in.


There is no doubt some older area residents who remember the little Conroy child who was born in Neillsville and who was named after his father.  The oldest son is now on the emergency staff of the Emergency hospital of San Francisco.


Dr. Conroy celebrated his 70th birthday on Feb. 24, on the high seas far down in the tropical latitudes off South America.  His many Clark County friends and admirers extend good wishes and congratulations to Dr. Conroy.

Main Street, Granton, as it appeared circa 1930; It was the days before curb and gutter with some Model “Ts” still being used for transportation.  (Photo courtesy of Jay Parker)



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