Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 2, 2000, Page 15

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


August 1885


At the school meting held Monday night, it was resolved to build a two-story frame school house next year on what is called the Huntzicker lot on the North Side.  It will have modern improvements, at a cost including furnaces, not to exceed $4,000.  The lot of one acre can be purchased from Geo. Huntzicker, for $800 payable in two years with out interest. M. C. Ring, J. W. Tolford and Daniel Kennedy were chosen as a committee to procure plans and specifications.  (The Neillsville North Side Grade operated as such until 1964.  The building was razed and is now the site of “Kliff’s Park.”  It seems fitting that the lot is still a center for the North Side area children to gather for outdoor recreational activities.  The sounds of children playing was heard when the school building was surrounded by a playground starting in the late 1800s and continues today. D. Z.)


Saturday evening, the brass band and several invited friends, accompanied by their ladies, drove to Jacob Huntzicker’s home, in the Town of Eaton.  The guests had received an invitation to the private party.  Dancing was indulged in with the intention of quitting ‘ere “midnight’s ghostly hour” arrived.  But, the clock ceased to run and the music could still be heard across the fields of Eaton when two a.m. arrived.  Then the teams were hitched to the buggies, thanks returned to the host for his entertainment and the homeward journey back to Neillsville began.  Light sleepers along Main Street claimed the dancers and band members entered Neillsville about 4 a.m.


The grading of Prospect Street has necessitated a large amount of blasting.  Last week, many pieces of rock were hurled near adjoining dwellings. A couple of roofs were badly damaged by heavy chunks of rock which fell on them.  The street, however, is being graded so it will be one of the best in the city.


The Catholic Society is determined to keep up with their Protestant brethren in enterprises. Father Volz informs us that he has a 1,000 lb. church bell on its way to Neillsville by railroad.  The bell was made by the same firm that furnished the city with their fire bells.  When it arrives, it will be the largest bell in the city.   Father Volz has also ordered a fine organ which will soon be here.  The enterprise of Father Volz is commendable and under his management this society will soon have one of the finest churches in the city.


Henry Mahar has moved his saloon and billiard business into the J. L. Gates building, one door west of the Neillsville Bank.  Mahar invites all of his old customers and also new ones to call on him.  He carries the best brands of liquors, wines and beer constantly on hand.  Free lunch is available every morning. 


Town clerk Mutcheon, of Withee, having been duly petitioned, has called a special town meeting for his town to be held in Thorp.  The purpose of the meeting on August 15 is to be voting to raise $500 to be expended on the state road between Withee and Neillsville.  Clark County will appropriate $1,000 the same road which with the Town of Withee’s aid, will be sufficient to completely turnpike that portion of the state road. That will give them a decent road to the county seat.  The Town of Withee is certainly doing their share in efforts to improve a road which can be traveled in all seasons.  (The road way being referred to is now known as Highway 73.  Once again, years later, county residents have concerns about the road’s surface being in need of repair. D.Z.)


The news of Thorp: A tract of land, one mile square, which includes the village of Thorp, contains an aggregate population of 719, more than Colby or Spencer.  James Drisbro has his hoop house completed and is turning out hoops by the thousands.  Peter Hipkie’s harness shop is nearly finished and a full stock of harness goods is expected to be there the latter part of this week.


Last Saturday was the day set apart for the public obsequies and interment of all that was mortal of General Grant.  The dispatches from all over the country show the day was universally observed.  The great commander was laid to rest in a manner becoming the hero of two wars and two terms as president of his country.  In this city the day dawned amid the roar and flashing of Heaven’s artillery, as the clouds in sympathy with those who mourned shed copious streams of tears.  Towards noon the clouds broke away, the sun unveiled its face and their ceremonies were carried out according to the programme (program).  The Clark County Courthouse had been beautifully draped by members of the Charles G. Bacon Post, G.A.R., and the ladies of the Women’s Relief Corps.  They had prepared some very beautiful floral offerings for the occasion. At two p.m., the Charles G. Bacon Post marched from its hall followed by the Relief Corps.  The Sherman Guards with reversed arms as an escort took the advance, while the Select Knights in uniform brought up the rear.  After prayer by Rev. Hendren and singing of the choir, comrades Geo. A. Austin and I. T. Carr delivered short eulogies.  Miss Eleanor Brotherton read a poem which she had written for the occasion.  The Honorable James O’Neill and M. C. Ring addressed the audience with a few well chosen remarks before the audience was dismissed.  The funeral pageantry over one of America’s greatest sons was at an end.


Every Tuesday during the summer and early fall season an excursion train will start from Neillsville at 7 a.m., for Ashland, by way of Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls. The fare for round trip will be $11 and that includes a day’s steamboat ride around the Apostle Islands.  The tickets are good until used to return, so you can come back in a week or in a month if you wish.


The City of Greenwood has not yet fully recovered of the disastrous fire of last spring that virtually devastated the center of their beautiful city.  Improvements have been made and the burned-out buildings are being torn down. Crocker, of the city, is rebuilding his saw mill which was burned some time ago.


An elegant reception was given at the residence of J. L. Gates on the evening of August 14.  The occasion was of a dual nature, a welcome home to the host and his amiable wife as well as an old-fashioned house warming.  Gates has one of the finest finished, best fitted and convenient homes in the state of Wisconsin. The arrangement of the rooms, the decorations and the elegant furniture shows that he has exquisite taste in such affairs. This also demonstrates that he has a disposition to gratify his love for the beautiful.  About 150 of his neighbors and friends were present to congratulate him and his bride. Choice refreshments were in abundance. As the guests bade their adieu to the host and hostess at eleven o’clock, all separated for their homes with the feeling that a pleasant and enjoyable evening had passed too quickly.  (J. L. Gates was one of Neillsville’s early entrepreneurs, starting in the lumbering and banking business with his father.  The elegant, beautiful home mentioned, stands on the 18 Hewett street lot, an emblem of Gates’ success to be left in the city and community where he gained his fortune. D. Z.)


August 1935


John L. Walk, known better as “Hans,” veteran rural mail carrier of the Neillsville post office, having completed 30 years of service, becomes eligible for a pension this week.  He will make his final mail delivery trip over Route 3 on Saturday. Walk says he has carried mail a distance of 12 times around the earth.  He went on duty July 1, 1905, starting on Route 1, which he held for 28 years and 11 months.  For six years, he also carried Route 5 mail during the summer months.


When Walk began his mail carrier career, the volume of mail was small. During the first year, he made the 26-mile route from two to three times a week on a bicycle.  On the heaviest days, the mail would run more than 200 or 250 pieces. On those days Walk used a horse and buggy or cart.   After a year or two, he bought a motorcycle which he ran for 18 seasons, using only about six quarts of gasoline a week compared to three and a half gallons per day with an automobile.


William Meyer and wife have moved their household goods from an apartment to the Sears house on South Hewett Street.  (Do any of our readers know which house that would have been?  Was it a house owned by a family named “Sears,” or was it a house of which the building materials had come from the Sears Catalog Company?  There were very few such houses put up in Clark County, as the marketing years of Sears houses was for only a short time.  The Zion Lutheran Missouri Synod Church’s parsonage in Granton is a Sears’s house and also a house of that design is located southeast of Loyal.  There possibly may be others in our county.  The unique feature of the structures is that they were a catalog-ordered house; all materials for building the structure were shipped to the location as a package deal. D. Z.)


On Friday and Saturday nights, you can dine on a Fish Fry or Spring Chicken Meal in the Yellow Room at the Merchants Hotel. 


August 1955


In the early morning light of Sunday, July 17, the first of the Vet’s Village’s 12 units was removed, marking the beginning of a probable death to that development on Hill Street, near the new Memorial Hospital. A group of Neillsville men hauled the first unit away to Camp Higichari, the Boy Scout camp on Lake Arbutus.  There it will be used as a barracks, being provided for the camp by the City of Neillsville.  A heavy steel frame trailer was winched underneath the jacked-up building to be used in transporting the structure. The work-crew consisted of: Louis Zschernitz, Dick Albrecht, Elmer F. Buddenhagen, Jack Albrecht, Joe Zilk, Jr., Arthur Meyer, Francis Laatsch, Albert (Pete) Smith and Jack Tibbett.


Most retail stores in Neillsville will close Saturday afternoon, August 13, to permit their employees and their families to attend the Clark County Fair.  The fair runs Friday through Monday.


Friends and neighbors gathered at the Floyd Christie, Jr. Home.  They gave them a coin shower at Barr’s Hall.  The evening was spent in dancing to the Auman Girl’s Band.


Dr. and Mrs. J. Howard Brooks will observe their 50th Wedding Anniversary on Monday, August 26, with an open house at their home on 206 Clay Street.


Neillsville has been the Brooks’ residence since their wedding in 1905.  Dr. Brooks, a graduate of the dental school at Northwestern University, established his office here in 1900 and retired nine years ago after 46 years of active practice.


Mrs. Brooks is the former Miss Della Dvorak of Muscoda.  Following her graduation at the Chicago Business College, she was engaged in secretarial work in Chicago.


The Brooks’ have two children, Jessie Priscilla, married to Donald T. Ward, and a son James, who married Ruth E. Gilbert of Green Bay.  There are six grandchildren in the Brooks family.


The second annual flower show, sponsored by the Loyal Garden Club, was held August 12.  The show was well attended and greatly enjoyed.


Twenty-nine people each brought several entries.  Due to the early development of flowers this summer, the number of entries was curtailed.  Mrs. Irma Coates, of Colby, was the judge.


A program was given in the evening:  a declamation by Margaret Ann Rottjier; and accordion solo by Becky Will; a vocal solo, “In the Garden,” by J. R. Colby; a piano duet by Kathy Gempeler and Carol Noeldner; an accordion solo by Donna Hansen; a declamation by Mary Noeldner; and a piano solo by Carol Noeldner.  Much credit for the success of the show is due Mrs. Jack Pribnow, Sr., president, who took the responsibility as organizer.


Clark County has become the leader of the United States in the production of all categories of cheese.  This achievement was reached in 1954, according to information given in Madison to Stanley W. Ihlenfeldt, county farm agent.


Dedication exercise of Russell Memorial Park will take place at Lake Arbutus Sunday, Aug. 28, at 2 p.m.  The dedication, planned by the park commissions of Jackson and Clark County, is a public exercise, in which general participation is desired.


Chief feature of the program will be the unveiling of the monument which has been erected near the water front in honor of Mark Russell.  The unveiling will be done by Mrs. Russell, the widow.  A ceremony will begin with the national anthem, sung by Dr. Sarah Rosekrans, Jackson County Band playing the accompaniment.  Judge Bruce Beilfuss will be the master of ceremonies with other various speakers.


(Mark Russell was a Clark County Conservation Warden who died of accidental drowning while checking fishing licenses on Pike Lake near Cadott in May of 1955.  D. Z.)


Dedication exercises of Russell Memorial Park were held on Aug. 28, 1955.  An unveiling of the monument erected near the Lake Arbutus waterfront was in honor of Mark Russell, a former Clark County Conservation Warden, who died of accidental drowning while working near Cadott.  Members of the Clark County Board, and the Jackson and Clark County Conservation Departments looked on as Rev. William Koehler of Neillsville spoke to Mrs. Russell, the widow of Mark Russell.



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