Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

July 5, 2000, Page 17

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


June 1900


Marriage licenses issued this week: A. C. Barr, Longwood and Ethel B. Carlton, Weston; Robert Mundt and Annie Henning, both of Fremont.


C. Esselmann returned Saturday from an enjoyable trip abroad.  He left in the spring and took in many sights in those months he was gone.  His trip took him through Canada to Montréal, Portland, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia, the north-eastern part of Ireland, Liverpool, London, across Holland to Munster and Westphalia, Germany.  He had grown up in Westphalia and was able to find his brother, sister and many old friends who still live in the same area.


While there, he accompanied his brother and a few friends in visiting the Paris exposition, after which he returned to Westphalia, Oldenburg.  He traveled from Hanover to Bremen where he took passage on-board the Kaieser Wilhelm Der Grosse to New York.  When he reached Milwaukee, he attended the Carnival, later calling on relatives at Newburg and West Bend.  He returned to the prosperous village of Loyal fully satisfied that Clark County and especially the Township of Loyal, rates first in all the places he has been.  He is very satisfied in raising stock and crops with the productions of the soil on his acreage which lies along the 26 Road.


The N. C. Foster Lumber Co. wants ten teams and a lot of men to work on the railroad eight miles northeast of Greenwood, in the Town of Beaver.  Also, some men are needed to take contracts on station work.  Apply to G. M. Willis, engineer in charge.


An institution of far greater benefit to this city, and the surrounding section, than most people imagine is the big furniture factory recently leased by the Wisconsin Furniture Co.  The production is gradually increasing.


We paid a visit to the furniture factory the other day and were shown about the place by Supt. Morrison.  The machines on the first floor are kept busy turning out material for sideboards and washstands. These are the two articles manufactured at the present time and are being sent out at a rapid pace.  It is interesting to observe a board of lumber being placed in through the various machines, whirling carving machines, then sandpapered and ready for the paint brush.


A special town meeting is to be held in the Town of Weston to appropriate money to build a bridge across Cawley Creek at Fred Reber’s mill.  At the same time, a vote will be taken on dividing the township.


A storm passed through the Town of Green Grove last Tuesday when lightning struck and slightly damaged buildings on the Kuester, Miller and Johnson farms.  Fortunately, none of the occupants were injured. The picnics and dances that Saturday and Sunday at the local boweries were not well attended due to the rainy weather.


E. H. Tucker was in town this week making arrangements to start the Longwood Creamery, which has been rented for five years by Ross Paulson of Granton.  A wagon to haul the milk will run from C. A. Estabrooks on the main road north of Longwood.  They have already been promised milk from 100 cows in that area.  Wm. Goodman will be the milk wagon driver.  The milk will be picked up in the morning, separated at the creamery and the skimmed milk will be returned to the owner.  Paulson is a creamery man of the hustling kind as he has five creameries that are now operating in Clark County.  The customers of the Granton Creamery received 17.2 cents per pound for their butter in May, which is a good price.


Tioga, rarely to be found on even the latest maps, will, in all probability, be as familiar to us as Augusta and Humbird, in another year or two.


Tioga is situated on the Fairchild & Northeastern Railway, about ten miles from Fairchild.  It is located in what will some day be the garden spot of Northern Wisconsin.  Land agents are busy bringing in settlers and almost every day there is an increase in population. A contract is being readied for the building of a hotel to cost $2,000 and no doubt other businesses and houses will be built.  A wagon road eight miles long is being started from Fairchild, northward and will cross the Eau Claire River.


A family equipped with two strong teams and neatly fitted-up covered wagons passed through here Saturday from Phillips on their way to Kansas.


A cyclone struck the tent at the town hall in the Nevins community on July 15 while Rev. Willan was holding services.  The guy ropes and supports were like straws in the wind.  Many children as well as grown people were buried under the tent but fortunately no one was injured.  No doubt milliners will be glad to learn a great many hats were dilapidated in the heavy rainfall at the time of the wind.


July 1940


Dan Cupid made his annual June “raid” on Clark County and retreated with a toll of more than 41 couples.


Viewing the 41 marriages scheduled in the county during the last month, courthouse records showed several couples were known to have taken the plunge in nearby states, where regulations are not as rigid as those in Wisconsin.


At the end of June, a total of 86 marriages applications had been made in the office of County Clerk Calvin Mills. Thus, June piled up a record comparing favorably with all five previous months of the year, during which only 45 licenses were issued.


Invasion of the Low Countries in Europe undoubtedly had some effect on the marriage situation here.  For, on the day after western front action got under way in Europe, marriage applications literally streamed in at the courthouse.  As a result the June total of marriages recorded here was nine above the number registered here in June last year; five more than in 1938.  The new law requiring a Wassermann blood test for marriage license applicants went into effect after 1938.


Indications are that marriage license business will continue at a good pace.  Already, Mills has had work from prospective fall bridegrooms.  There were rumors circulating in the Thorp area to the effect that the government has decreed that no marriage licenses would be issued after July 15.  Of course, Mills said, the rumor was false as licenses will be issued after that date.


The prospective bridegrooms revealed should the rumor be true, they would advance their wedding dates.


A pretty wedding was solemnized at the Globe Lutheran Church on June (date?), when Miss Ella Foemmel, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Foemmel of rural Neillsville, was united in marriage to Frank Hoffman, son of Mrs. Martha Hoffman of the Town of Weston.


The bride, gowned in a beautiful lenceon lace and net dress, was given away by her father. A long net veil, trimmed with lenceon lace and red roses completed her wedding ensemble.


Her attendants were Miss Irene Davis, the maid of honor and Mrs. Carl Hoffman, who acted as bridesmaid.  Miss Davis and Mrs. Hoffman wore gowns of taffeta and carried bouquets of mock orange blossoms and red roses.


Gerhardt Foemmel and Carl Hoffman attended the groom.  All of the men wore dark suits with white shoes.


A reception and wedding supper were given at the home of the bride’s parents following the ceremony.  The home was colorful with baskets of flowers, a pretty decorated table with a large wedding cake as the center-piece.


The bride is a graduate of Neillsville High School and the teachers training department.  She has been a successful instructor, teaching at Hillside School in Pine Valley, for four years and for the past two years she taught at the Wildwood School at Willard.


The groom has rented his mother’s farm where the couple will make their home.


Zion American Lutheran Church of Granton was beautifully decorated for the wedding of Miss Irene M. Gluch and Donald H. Braatz; both of Grant Township; which took place on June 30 at 8 p.m.


The bride, who was given in marriage by her father, Herman Gluch, wore a gown of sheer white marquisette, a long veil falling from a tulle head-dress.  She carried a bouquet of tea roses and swainsons.  Rev. J. G. Buth performed the double-ring ceremony, in the presence of a large group of relatives and friends.


The bride’s attendants were Misses Vivian Gluch and Lucille Gluch of Granton, and Miss Gladys Bauer of Pa Porte City, Iowa, all dressed in white carrying colonial bouquets.  Algernon Breseman was best man; Leonard Gluch and Robert Braatz were ushers.  The men wore gray oxford suits and rose boutonnieres.


A graduate of Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa; Mrs. Braatz has been the commercial instructor in the Readlyn High School in Iowa.  Mr. Braatz plans to continue his studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, this fall.


Clark County seeks to vacate the plat of the Village of Columbia.  They called it the Unincorporated Village of Columbia, but not much longer will it thus be known.  Officials are about to write “finis” behind the name, thus bringing to a conclusion Clark County’s ghost village that never became more.


Amid fanfare and powerful promotion, the village was brought into being August 8, 1893, in the wilds of the Town of Hewett.  Bright things were envisioned for the community by the Columbia Improvement Company.


It was to be a residential city, with beautiful homes, set side-by-side along avenues named Milwaukee, Madison, Wisconsin and all the other streets.


It was to be an industrial center, yea, with business bustling on sites along the Omaha railroad tracks and Fall Creek.


Quiet, shady areas were pictured for the many avenues laid out north and south.


In short, it was to be a magnificent city.


Some 3,200 plots were laid out and many of them were sold for $75, $100, $150 and upwards.  They were not just “held,” they really were sold.  Pictures of Fall Creek and Five Mile Creek, which join in the center of the platted section, showed a mighty stream, rather than a sluggish little creek.  Perhaps some trick photography?


Apparently the Unincorporated Village of Columbia boomed with the vigor of a Florida realty development.  For, on October 23, 1893, the first addition to the village was placed on file in the register of deeds office by George Chittenden, as president of the Columbia Improvement Company with Charles Graves as secretary. 


The addition about doubled the size of the original plat.  Even today it looks beautiful – on the silk paper of which it was drawn by O. G. Bleedorn, the surveyor.


But something happened.  Somehow the double-o was taken out of the boom.


It fell flat and the Unincorporated Village of Columbia became just platted record in the offices of the Clark County Register of Deeds and the Clark County Treasurer.


Along those shady streets, roadways were built – but never felt the cut of a wagon tire.  Weeds forever grew on ground meant for beautiful homes.  The only industry the might sites felt was, perhaps, the tread of a fisherman’s boots.


When the stilts went out from under the boom those who bought plots let them go delinquent, until today Clark County has come into ownership of from 80 to 90 percent of the “village.”  The few farmers living there have taken up the rest of the land and today they are paying taxes of three cents annually on lots that were sold originally for $100 or more.


Today, the county treasurer’s office is gathering data on the plat of the Unincorporated Village of Columbia, preparing for the final thrust of the dirk.  District Attorney Hugh F. Gwin is expected to have the necessary material in his hands this week.


Then will come an action to vacate the plat.  Practically, all that will be done is to relieve assessors and the Clark County Treasurer’s office of a lot of work. For, when the plat is vacated, that land which compresses the ghost village will simply be described as “the NE-1/4 of the NE-1/4, etc., etc.,” rather than “lot 1, block 2, etc.”  It takes up a good many lots to make up a quarter-section.


(For those of you who save the ‘Good Old Days’ pages, there was an error in last week’s ‘June 1900’, which was supposed to be ‘June 1890’.  The M. G. Marsh and D. Dickinson homes were both built in 1890.


The June 7th issue also had an error in the Greenwood Blacksmith Shop story.  Tony Barr was the owner when it was known as the “Barr Shop.”)


The first standpipe (water tower) built on a lot in the 300 block of East Fourth Street for Neillsville’s water supply, was put up in 1890.  About 35 years later, during a frigid winter, the water froze within the standpipe. The expansion of the freezing water combined with the great weight, caused the standpipe to burst and collapse.



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