Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 23, 2000, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


August 1875


A party of the young people of Neillsville celebrated the 25th of July with a picnic at the Mound.  Lots of fun was had by all.


The appropriation of the Drainage Fund for 1875 gives $421.73 to Clark County of which the Town of Fremont receives $50; Levis $121.73; Mayville $250.


Niri Hanson has just erected a carding mill on Squaw Creek two miles southwest of the village of Black River Falls.  She informs the farmers of Clark County that wool will be manufactured into rolls, on short notice in the best shape and at low rates, for cash. One of the best wool carders in the country is employed at the mill.


R. F. Kountz has again manifested his desire for improvement by bringing the side-walks around the “Corner Grocery” to grade.  This does away with those ugly steps once a terror to every pedestrian who had an occasion to pass that way in the night.  Verily, he hath done a good thing.


An excursion to St. Paul is talked of by citizens of Humbird and Neillsville, to be some time during the next month.  Nothing pleasanter could have been thought of and we see no reason why it may not be brought about.  It could be made an event long to be remembered for the pleasure it has afforded.  For particulars apply to Capt. J. W. Tolford or Fred Whitcomb. 


If a few more wagons and things could be left in the street between the O’Neill House and the Brewery it would present a most forcible argument against intemperance by shutting off the up-town supply of beer.


Work on the Clark County Court House is still progressing.  The foundation is well along.  The workers are doing the frame-work.


Tom Chadwich, Robert Christie and several others residing in that neighborhood, have fitted up a race track in the public highway commencing near Chadwich’s residence and running north.  It is a splendid half-mile track.  They are the boys to make it yield them an immense amount of sport in return for what it cost them to put it in shape.  The first, or opening, race is to come off at two o’clock in the afternoon, wind and weather permitting.  A good time is what they are after.


(The next week’s Press ran a follow-up on the race. D. Z.)


The races on the “Chadwich” horse-racing course were well attended.  The principal race between Christie’s bay mare, Flora and Eastman’s stallion, Phil Sheridan, for a purse of $100, was won by Eastman.  There were several more races for smaller purses and more fun.  All in attendance were well pleased with their day’s sport.  The boys propose to repeat a similar race soon.


Arrangements have been made whereby arms are to be issued to the Clark County Militia Company by the State.  All members of that organization are requested to attend a meeting of the company here on Saturday, Aug. 21.  The arms will then be received according to the business of importance to be transacted.


For some time past, the importance of clearing off the remainder of the Clark County Fairgrounds has been fully realized and the financial condition of the Agriculture Society is all that has prevented its being done.  It is proposed that the work be accomplished by appointing a working bee.  The proposition has been met with universal favor. Next Saturday has been appointed for that purpose and all who are willing to lend a helping hand are respectfully requested to be present.  It is also proposed to fit up baseball grounds and the baseball fraternity is especially invited.  A picnic dinner will be furnished and river water will not be needed for the occasion.  A few oxen teams, axes and the like is all that will be necessary to bring along for the work to be done along with the day’s enjoyment.  Let the turnout be general, so that the grounds may be put in shape before the fair in September.


Mrs. J. H. Reddan, at the O’Neill House, will pay a good price for small cucumbers suitable for pickles.


Shop Crandall’s store for tomato jugs, butter jars and genuine mason fruit jars, the best in use.


The numerous changes that have been made in the map of Clark County by orders of the county board has created new townships and changed others.  This has probably confused many in knowing the real size and location of the towns as they now are.  We therefore present before out readers a map which will enable them to see the changes at a glance.


In this connection we deem it not inappropriate to give a brief synopsis of the record, showing the transition of the county from its organization up to the present time, in relation to the formation of townships and the various changes of their boundaries.


The territory of this county was originally set off from La Crosse County by an act of the Legislature of 1854 and was all the Town of Pine Valley.  The subsequent divisions of this territory into other towns appear in the following abstract of the record kindly furnished us by County Clerk Ira B. Pope:


Levis – Formed on Nov. 20, 1856, and comprised its present territory together with that of Washburn and Perkins.


Weston – Also formed on Nov. 20, 1856, consisted of all the territory north of Pine Valley, which by this division extended from east to west across the county, taking in part of what is now Mentor, all of Grant and the south half of Lynn.


Dec. 8, 1860, a half-mile strip on the north side of Township 24, 1 west, now Grant, was taken off from Pine Valley and annexed to Weston.  Townships 25, 3 and 4 west, now parts of Weston and Mentor, were taken from Weston and attached to Pine Valley.


Lynn – On March 21, 1862, this town was formed by the territory contained within its present limits and what is now the Town of Grant, excepting the half-mile strip referred to above.


Loyal – This Township was organized on Feb. 28, 1865, and contained three tiers of townships on the east side of the county and running from its present south line to the northern boundary line of the county. This included the present town-ships of Sherman, Eaton, Beaver, Unity, Colby, Mayville and part of Hixon.


Mentor – It was formed on March 1, 1867, and has held its own ever since.


Grant – No order or date of the Township appears in the journal.  It comprised its present territory with the exception of the afore-mentioned half-mile strip.


Eaton – Formed on July 20, 1869; it consisted of 15 townships, its limits extending to the north line of the county taking in part of Mayville and Hixon.  Its shape very much resembled the shape of a letter “T”.


Beaver – Established on Nov. 15, 1870, it comprised in addition to its present limits wheat is now Mayville, Colby and Unity.


York – Designated as such on Feb. 24, 1878 and consisting of its present limits, along with that confounded half-mile strip.


Sherman – Also formed on Feb. 24, 1873 and with same outlay as it is now.


Washburn – The third township also formed on Feb. 24, 1873 and included the Perkins area.


Hixon – A fourth township to be formed on Feb. 24, 1873 and its limits remain unchanged.


Perkins – Established on Jan. 7, 1874 and was composed of its present territory.


At the last meeting of the County Board, that troublesome “half-mile strip” was annexed to Grant.  The north tier of sections 24, 2 west was attached to Pine Valley; Township 25, 3 west annexed to Weston and 27, 3 west taken from the latter township and put on the (to) Eaton.


August 1945


The Neillsville City Water Utility is free of bonded debt, but not debt-free.


The last of $27,000 improvement bonds floated in 1926 was retired on its due date this week.  The amount of the bonds retired was $3,000; the interest was $75.


But, while the city owns the water utility now with no strings attached, the utility is not debt-free. There is a matter of $91,000 which appears on the water utility’s books as a debt to the city.


The debt was accrued through the years as a result of the utility’s inability to pay regularly taxes accessed by the city.  Each year, the profits of the utility are turned over to the city; but not always are those profits sufficient to meet the amount of the tax annually levied upon it by the parent municipality. 


Last year was a good year, with $1,846 paid over into the city funds by the water utility.  But not always has the ledger been written in black.


During a discussion Mayor Anderson gave the council figures indicating that a total of 188,000 gallons of water had been pumped on Monday of this week.  Of the total, 56,000 gallons were registered by the meter recently attached to the Schuster Park well.  The remaining 132,000 gallons were pumped by the pumping station.


A critical shortage of passenger tires for essential users were revealed in Clark County on Tuesday, following a meeting of the tire panel of the local war price and rationing board.


At present the board has approved 1,200 applications from essential drivers.  These applications date back less than six weeks.


On the basis of its July quota of only 377 passenger car tires, the board expects to have only enough to take care of one-third of the present back-log of applications, at the rate of one tire per application.


Fred Draper, long active in the affairs of Loyal, Clark County and at one time a state assemblyman who served this area, has said good-bye to his friends. He has gone to Greensboro, N.C., where he will make his home with his daughter, Bernice, a member of the North Carolina College for Women.


An old and sunken cemetery was brought to surface a few days ago when the water backed up by the Hatfield Dam was released to permit repairs to the dam.


The cemetery is located off the shore of the C. A. Olson cottage, several hundred feet northwest of the Boy Scout Camp.  It is at the southern end of a small island.  To those familiar with artificial Lake Arbutus, this island is knows (known) as “Dead Man’s Island.”  Apparently this name was given to it because of the position of the one-time burial ground of early settlers in that area.


Under ordinary lake levels, the cemetery is under (beneath) three to six feet of water.  Thus, a few days ago when the level of the water was lowered to the original river channel, the cemetery was uncovered for the first time in several years.


Its only marking now is a single headstone, which still can be recognized as such.  The inscription upon it has been so worn by washing water and action of erosion that it now is indiscernible.


Edward Murphy recalls that the inscription read:

As you pass by

So once was I,

And as I am now

So you shall be;

So prepare for Death

And follow me.”


As the water smoothes over marks in the sand, so apparently has time deleted the memory of the man whose grave that headstone marks.


According to information that could be gleaned from almost legendary stories, this spot once contained a large cemetery.  It was made up mostly of the mortal remains of loggers who worked through the Hatfield area during the lumbering days.


Mrs. Mary Schultz, 84-year-old mother of Guy Schultz, of the Town of Dewhurst, recalls the cemetery.  She came to Clark County in 1861, as a child of three years old.  It is her recollection that the remains were removed from the cemetery before the Hatfield Dam was completed and closed to form the artificial lake of Arbutus in 1910.


But, whether all bodies were removed, or one was left, is something she could not state with certainty.  The story which has grown up about Dead Man’s Island is that the grave still lies beneath the headstone.  All of it is usually hidden by the water.


The City of Neillsville celebrated the surrender of Japan after the news reached our area.  A sobering thought to Tuesday night’s impromptu celebration of the World War II Victory is the fact that 26 names appear in gold on the Neillsville Honor Roll, names of those whose lives were lost in the battles of war.


The route of the new school bus of the Neillsville High School has been decided upon.  It will serve the Globe territory, the York Center neighborhood and the areas between.  It will be the second bus route of the local school system.  The first route, lying southwest of the city, will continue during the coming school year on approximately the same roads as last year.


The new route sets out on Hwy. 10 and runs west to Globe Road, Cty Trunk G.  The bus will pick up pupils all the way westward and northward, to and including Globe.  It will then go east on Cty Trunk H to Hwy 73, but will not be permitted to pick up pupils residing on the stretch of H between Globe and Hwy. 73.  From that point southward, it will serve the entire territory, preceding (proceeding) southward to the so-called “Hoesly Corner.”  There it will turn off eastward to follow Cty C up to Cty K near York Center.  It will then turn back southward toward Neillsville.


In laying out this route, the school authorities have been guided by the known present need.  The territory tapped is an area which has always sent a large number of youths to the Neillsville High School. 


The new bus was ordered immediately after the annual school meeting and early delivery is anticipated.


(Thanks to Lowell Freedlund for the historical information he brought into our office.  Last week’s article in regard to the proposed dam on the East Fork, which was to be put in with labor provided by the CCC workers, never was completed as planned.  The federal funds were depleted before work on the dam started.  D. Z.)



Clark County was formed by an act of the Wisconsin legislature in 1854.  The county’s number of townships and their borders changed several times until the present-day total of 33 townships. 



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