Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 20, 2000, Page 11

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


September 1900


L. M. Sturdevant and R. F. Kountz have leased a portion of the old Reddan House lot and will put up a solid brick building, 30 by 32 feet, facing Fifth Street nearly opposite the Presbyterian Church.  The new building will be used for the Sturdevant and Kountz law offices.  The location for the law offices is excellent and is the proper way to utilize the fine lot that has been vacant for some time.


Saturday was a busy day at the train depot in Neillsville.  Chas. Burpee shipped a carload of sheep, John Welsh two carloads of sheep, Dave Williams sent a carload of hogs, two Illinois parties sent out three cars of cattle, Jesse Lowe shipped a carload of potatoes from his own field and Luethe & Schroeder Warehouse Co. shipped a car of rye.  In addition to what went out from Neillsville, there were two cars of livestock from Chili and three cars of stock from Granton that made a total of 14 carloads sent out on this railroad branch.


Clute & Wright of the Greenwood area shipped 18 barrels of extracted honey to the southern part of the state this week.  Monday, Frandenberg & Fricke shipped 10 barrels of extracted honey.  A good retail trade has been held here this season for home consumers, to say nothing of the honey laid away for winter use in this area.


Two of Neillsville’s prominent men, Stub Martin and H. Rickard were lost on our streets last week. They were last seen riding in a one-horse rig with two dogs, some camping utensils and shot guns.  If they aren’t heard of soon, a search party had better be formed. 


M. C. Ring and T. E. Brameld started going southward with dogs and guns on Saturday.  They expect to mow a wide swath through the prairie chicken country between here and Ring’s farm near Millston.


Reports of chances to secure land with a large amount of timber thereon, under the homestead, stone and timber acts have got a number of Neillsville folks somewhat enthusiastic over a reservation that is opening near Dallas, Oregon.  So favorable are the reports from the Neillsville people who have gone there, others have decided to go out and look at it.  Ernest O’Neill, George Huntzicker, Tom Stockwell, Ed Gates, Frank Hewett and Wm. Campbell started Tuesday morning.


There was a baseball game held at the fair grounds Friday, between Neillsville and Appleton.  It was a walk-away for the locals and too easy to interest anyone.  The score was 21 to 1 with Appleton on the losing side.


Marriage licenses this week were issued to G. W. Hubbard, Unity and Cora B. Brown, Town of Sherman; Fred Mollie and Ida Weber, both of Green Grove; Wm. Kowalk and Bertha Prauge, both of Colby; Ara F. Lee, Town of Fremont and Floy King, Town of York; Barton B. Waite, Oxford, Marquette County and Eliza Nettleton, Thorp.


O. P. Wells, agent for Theden’s Steel furnace company, is busy these days.  He is putting in furnaces for Judge O’Neill, Geo. E. Crothers and in the Unitarian Church.


Dr. Scherman brought a sweet potato up from his farm in Columbia, a home-grown product, which beats any of the imported ones we have seen.  A farmer from near Granton brought in a yam the other day which he had grown on his farm.  A yam is no doubt a stranger to many of our readers, as it is to us. But, we did learn that it is a mixture of potato, turnip and Hubbard squash, with a dash of mangel wurtzel stirred in.  It grows in the ground and is the color of a pumpkin.


The Bruckevill cheese factory of the Dorchester area, under the supervision of the genial cheesemaker, John Verhulst, receives 2,500 pounds of milk, daily.  Everyone knows Verhulst is a first-class cheesemaker and manufactures only good cheese.


A. J. Bibbs, representing the Crescent Directory Co. of Chicago, Ill. has secured permission to number houses in Neillsville and to compile a city directory.  It would certainly be a great convenience to have each place numbered in describing any business place or residence in directing strangers about the city.  It would also give the town more of a metropolitan appearance.


Pasteur filters have been placed in the South Side School building and the pupils now drink city water.  R. F. Kountz, who is an agent for this hygienic mechanism placed them in position.


C. S. Stockwell has equipped a ferry boat for transporting men and “grub-stakes” across the Black River, down below Ross Eddy.  He has timber land on the other side where he is having trees cut.


Several loads of sorghum, raised near the mound about three miles north of this city, were hauled through town last week on the way to the sorghum mill near Shortville.  The production of sorghum syrup is beginning to increase as the cane does grow very well in this area. 


The porch of the Merchants Hotel is being re-shingled as well as other repairs about the building.  Charles Stevens and Hall Kemery are doing the work.


W. H. Smithers, of the Town of York, brought several portions of raspberry bushes to our office on September 22, which were loaded with ripe fruit and a plentiful number of green berries.  Considering the time of the year, this is something remarkable.


The John Ebbe farm made up of 80 acres and lying two miles northwest of Granton, was sold to Cash Ide for $4,500.


September 1950


The old-timer baseball players, many of them from Neillsville’s great teams of years ago, will don cleated shoes again on Sunday afternoon when they take on the Neillsville Athletics at the local field diamond. Game time is 2 p.m.


Among those expected to play are: Swede Moberg, Carl Olson, Swede Mortenson, Eddie Zank, Walter Zank, Harold Milbreit, Dave Gorman, Alex Gall and others.


Saturday, Sept. 16, there will be a wedding dance for Edgar Tews and Alice Beyer to be held at the Silver Dome Ballroom with music by Wally Ives and the Jolly Dutchmen Band.


Thorstein Karning and his famous Norske Orkestra will play at the Inwood Ballroom on Thursday, Sept. 21.


Attend the duck shoot at Tom Krejci’s tavern at Tioga on Sunday, Sept. 17.


Area residents are invited to the Sportsmen’s Jamboree at Rock Dam, 6 miles west of Willard or 18 miles southwest of Thorp on Sept. 24, starting at 10 a.m.  Proceeds of the Jamboree will go to help defray expenses on the recently completed project of Upper Spruce Lake Dam on Iron Run Creek, 3 ˝ miles southwest of Rock Dam, with a floodage of 250 acres.  Entertainment will include trap shooting, boat riding, a poultry shoot, auction sale, a fish pond, games for the whole family.  Lunch and refreshments will be available all day and evening.  The Kodl Orchestra will provide music for a big old-time dance in the evening.


Of recent record is the transfer of ownership for Club 10, east of Neillsville, to Lester Steinhilber. The purchase was made from Mr. and Mrs. Earl Totten of La Crosse.


A caterpillar tractor tried to climb the Congregational Church in Neillsville on Tuesday afternoon.  The tractor went up the southwest corner of the building under its own power, dug in there and came to a stop.  It was resting on the draw bar and the back seat, thus was held from toppling over backward.


When the tractor started on its wild ride, four kindergarten children were upon it.  All four of them jumped off while the tractor was traveling toward the church.


The tractor belongs to Otto Hainz and it was parked at the southwest corner of his yard, just west of the church property.  Hainz had disconnected a wire running to the magneto and figured that he had everything under control.  But these five-year olds were a knowing lot and one of them stuck the wire back in.


Two of the kids occupied the driver’s sear, one stood on the left fender; another took his position astride the high top of the hood.  The distribution of these four may be in some doubt, since considerable excitement at the time interfered with normal thought.  Mrs. Hainz, for instance, believes that she aged 10 years as a result of the incidence.


Putting together the information the children told their parents, the role of each in the incident has been determined.  The distribution probably was that Bobbie Waite and Phillip Haupt, each five years old, sat in the driver’s seat, turned on the juice and starter; that little Mike Hopkins sat astride the hood and that little Chuck Hainz stood atop the left fender.


Whatever the distribution, they were all off the tractor and out of the way before it hit the stone wall of the church basement.


On Wednesday morning Arthur Imig and Harold Huckstead, trustees of the church took a look at the very minor damage done to the church and congratulated their church that it has now become so popular as to attract the attendance of even a caterpillar tractor.


(Otto Hainz had a new and used machinery shop on the corner of Grand Avenue and [West] Fifth Street. D. Z.)


St. John’s Church of Humbird will observe its 50th Anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 8.  Plans have been made for a Golden Jubilee celebration.


St. John’s Evangelical and Reformed Church of Humbird began its regular work in September, 1900.  The Rev. H. W. Schroer, pastor of Ebenezer church at Stratford, began to preach every fourth Sunday.  In the previous year, the Rev. Dalmus of Stratford had made some preliminary trips to Humbird and in the spring of 1900 the Rev. Schmalz of Greenwood requested that arrangements be made for regular services from the Stratford parish.


With Rev. Schroer preaching regularly once a month, a meeting was called in December, 1900, to organize a congregation.  The meeting was held in the home of Gottlieb Marty.  Elders then elected were John Schumacher and John Byner, Sr.  Deacons elected were John Michael and Gottlieb Marty.  The consistory met at once and chose Marty as secretary and Michael as treasurer.   


In the following June, the church was officially accepted as a member of the Sheboygan classis. The congregation voted to pay the pastor $50 year.


In its early ears, the congregation was worshipping in a building owned by the Seventh Day Adventists.  They purchased that building in 1907 and at the same time purchased the site of the present building located at the foot of the Humbird bluff.  In the same year, the pastor’s salary was raised to $60 per year.


In 1908 Rev. Schroer resigned.  The pastor’s salary was raised to $75.  The pulpit was supplied by Rev. Jacob Stucki of the Winnebago Mission in Black River Falls until July, 1909, when the pastorate was accepted by the Rev. H. G. Schmid, who preached every third Sunday.


Meanwhile, the congregation grew and on Sept. 4, 1913, the congregation laid the cornerstone of the present structure, which was built of cement block. The building was dedicated March 15, 1914.  The cost for construction was $4,500.  All of this except $1,000 was paid by the time of the dedication.


Then, as now, the Ladies Aid was an energetic organization.  Known then as the ‘Frauen Verein’, the group paid for the pulpit chair and the pulpit, which was built by Mr. Kretschmer.  The ladies also purchased the window shades, carpeting, pulpit Bible, furnace and the bell, which weighs 1,200 pounds.  The total amount spent for all the items purchased by the Ladies Aid was $583, mostly raised in food sales.


In 1915, Rev. Schmid resigned and the congregation was served temporarily be (by) his father, Rev. J. Schmid shortly thereafter.  The Rev. David Grether accepted a call and came to the church upon graduation from the seminary.  The parish then included Humbird and Neillsville. During Rev. Grether’s pastorate the congregation began to have evening services in English, the German language having been used exclusively up to that time.  In this pastorate a young people’s society was organized and the church debt was paid off.  The congregation by that time had raised its portion of the payment for the pastor to $225.


Rev. Grether resigned in 1925 and was succeeded by Rev. Caleb Hauser, who served both Neillsville and Humbird.  In the following year the congregation realized its ambition to have a resident pastor and the Rev. E. F. Menger came in that capacity.  A parsonage was necessary and a house was purchased at the slope of the hill below the church of which the Ladies Aid had $1,000 saved in readiness for the cost.


Rev. Menger resigned in 1937.  The church was without a pastor for six months until Rev. Victor C. Weilder came while he also served the Reformed churches at Black River Falls and Fall Creek.  Weilder left in 1940 and Rev. William Fritzmeier served temporarily.  In 1940, Rev. Harold M. Burt became pastor and served until 1942.  During his stay, the parsonage was modernized and an organ was installed in the church. Then the congregation was served for three years by the Rev. N. J. Dechant, who was also pastor at Neillsville.  He was succeeded in 1946 by Rev. George Hohmann.  During his pastorate, repairs and improvements were made to the church and the parsonage.  Hohmann resigned in 1949.


Currently, the church is being supplied by the Rev. Ben Stucki of Neillsville and Dr. Robert I. Brigham, director of the division of humanities, Eau Claire State Teachers College.



The Lake Arbutus Pavilion as it appeared in its early existence.  Built by Joe Hanus in 1921, the first dance was held on the “floating” dance floor on June 22, 1921.  A floating dance floor has spring supports, providing the floor with give, or spring action when danced upon.  In 1939 Joe and Violet Vieau reused it for roller skating, purchasing it in 1945.  The building is still used for roller skating.  (Photo courtesy of Ray Strebing Family Collection)



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel