Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

October 24, 2001, Page 9

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


October 1916


Marion Benedict, of Neillsville, recruiting officer for the Wisconsin National Guard, spent time here, looking up prospects for new militiamen.  While here he was the guest of his cousins, Frank and Charles Johnson.  Benedict had been to the Mexican border with the Neillsville Guard Company at the time it was mustered into National Service.  In a few weeks, he was promoted to the rank of corporal and then sent back to Wisconsin as a recruiting officer.  Benedict has considerable army experience as he was at the frontier long enough to learn much of the trials and difficulties of the Federal Army experiences.


A report has reached here about a young man, named Humpke, who was killed by lightning.  Living three-and-a-half miles northwest of Greenwood, the young man was struck by lightning during a morning shower of rain.  He and his father were putting the cows in the barn for milking when the bolt came.  The father was stunned, but the son was killed.  Young Humpke was 20 years old.


A large number of people went to the fair at Loyal last week. There was a great crowd present with a report that a good time was had by all.  Congressman Esch was the orator of the day, on Thursday, when many of the Neillsville people attended.


There will be an auction sale on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. on the M. C. Ring corner, south of town.


The following articles will be sold: neck yokes, whipple trees, pair of leather fly nets, 1 fur robe, picture frames, bed springs, washing machine, sofa, pillows, incubator for 150 eggs, 1 three-horse hitch, 1 dustless brush, rocking chairs, 2 heating stoves, writing desk, writing desk, dishes, single iron bed, oil stove with oven, cupboards, 1 extension dining table.


Monday morning, a straw stack on the Miller Bros. farm, south of Neillsville, caught fire and burned.  A large crowd of farmers, and many men from the city, gathered to help save the barns.  The barns were probably saved due to a favorable wind that blew the flames away from the buildings.  It is believed the fire started from a cigar that one of the Miller boys was smoking while husking corn by the straw stack.


Mr. Frank Bremer and Miss Elilie Sack were married on Oct. 21st, at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Sack.  The Sack family lives on the Pleasant Ridge Road, just east of Neillsville.  Rev. D. Grether officiated at the ceremony.  The groomsmen were Mr. Walter Sack, of Chicago, a cousin of the bride, and Mr. Rueben Hantke, of the Town of Grant.  The bridesmaids were Miss Margaret Roder and Miss Elsie Wolff.


The groom has been living in Chicago. The bride has many friends in and around Neillsville.  A grand reception and dance were given in honor of the young couple at Wasserberger’s hall, at which about 200 guests were present.


The bride and groom leave this week for Chicago, where they will make their future home.


The Colby Phonograph has been sold.  It is with much regret that we chronicle the above fact.  With 45 years service, Joel J. Shafer, editor and proprietor of the Phonograph, is going to take a well-earned rest.  The Phonograph was established and the first number issued in September 1878, having been under the same management since Shafer’s senior partner passed away about 15 years ago.  The new owners of the Phonograph, Robert and Harry Harvey, are two graduates of the Phonograph business.  They will no doubt keep up the top-notch standard paper, same as it has been in the past.


October 1941


Ten-dollar bills were as scarce as the proverbial hen’s teeth in Neillsville last Saturday.  Not that there weren’t as many $10 greenbacks, or as much money, around the country.  There was – and more too.


That’s where the trouble came in.  There were larger milk checks coming the way of dairy farmers of the area than any other time in the last decade.  The estimates of the needs for the community in that particular denomination just fell short.


The nation will look to Clark County, in 1942, for increased production in milk, eggs and hogs, out-stripping the record high estimates for the county’s farms this year.


Quotas for production recently set up for the National Agricultural defense boards of Wisconsin counties give Clark County quotas of:


            1. Milk production of 459,940,000 pounds.

            2. Spring pig crop of 38,080 pounds.

            3. Egg production of 42,767,600 eggs.


Dropped out of a clear sky, these figures do not mean a great deal to the individual farmer.  But, actually, they mean that each farmer in Clark County will be called upon to expand his production efforts even more than he has this year.


The suggested goals for 1942 production have been set up in an effort to meet the needs of larger food supplies during the next year.  They allow for expected increases in domestic consumption resulting from a greater purchasing power and for increased amounts of food products to be needed.


Dr. R. R. Rath, Granton’s physician, observed the 35th anniversary of his arrival in the area, when he set up a practice.  At that time, he came from Cataract and his father brought his equipment in a lumber wagon.  The then-young doctor did not have long to wait for his first case; for but a few hours after he arrived; he was called in to treat the late Rice Davis for a head injury.  Davis had been struck over the head in an argument with his rival livery businessman, the late Hank Lapp.  Their dispute reached a climax when Lapp gave Davis a blow to the head.  Lapp, who had a crippled leg, used a cane to strike Davis.  The cane ordinarily was put to a more prosaic purpose.


When the cornerstone of the Norwegian Lutheran Church, torn down this summer to make way for a new house, was opened, a copy of the old Neillsville Times for September 24, 1896, was found with a few pennies and other trinkets of the day.


The Times, a forerunner of the present day Clark County Press, was an eight-page, six-column paper with four of its pages “home print” and the other four “patent print.”  But only two of the four home print pages dealt with local news.  The inner two were comprised of news stories of national and international interest.  Politics was particularly expressed, for William Jennings Bryan was about to make his historical campaign for free silver.


The Republican Party, meeting in St. Louis, Mo., a few days before the issue was published, had adopted a resolution “opposed to every measure calculated to debase our currency or impair the credit of our country.”


At that time, the Clark County Bank, now defunct, was in its 21st year of business, with C. A. Youmans as president and W. G. Klopf as cashier.  Grow, Schuster & Co. advertised services of “law, loan, real-estate, abstract and insurance.”  George L. Jacques and the firm of O’Neill and Marsh were practicing lawyers in the city.  At that time, the Neillsville Brewery was owned by E. Eilert; C. F. Schultz & Son were engaged in “Merchant tailoring.” The C. N. Foster Lumber Company operated a branch yard at Neillsville and J. D. Standard and R. L. Meader owned the city’s leading food store.


The Republican ticket for the approaching November 3 elections was conspicuously printed on the front page of the Times; but the Democratic ticket was not in evidence in any part of the paper.  On the county slate, the Republicans were running; J. C. Marsh for Assemblyman, J. W. Page for sheriff, C. M. Bradford for county clerk, E. P. Houghton for county treasurer, C. S. Stockwell for register of deeds, George B. Parkhill for district attorney, Emerence Walters for superintendent of schools, L.L. Ayer for county surveyor and Luke McGuire for coroner.


But nowhere in the paper could be found mention of the building of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in the cornerstone of which the newspaper issue was preserved.  (The Norwegian Lutheran Church was located on the 309 West 12th Street lot.)


The red and white flouriscope (fluoroscope) trailer of the Wisconsin Anti-Tuberculosis Association was to be at the Indian School in Neillsville today for the purpose of examining all positive reactors to the tuberculin skin test.  Ex-tuberculosis patients, anyone having lived in close contact with a person having tuberculosis and those recommended to the clinic by their family physician were also asked to be present.  Examinations will be given on the grounds outside the school from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., according to Mrs. Elizabeth Steward, Clark County Nurse.


Just like the experience of almost every other fishing trip, the “big one” got away last Sunday.  But, Joe Struensee, Jr., Town of Levis, had something to illustrate what he meant by “the big one.”


His illustration was a 26-pound muskie which he had caught from the bank of the Flambeau River while fishing with Eric Kipp and Bill Kurasz, also Levis residents.  The muskie was 44 inches long and 21 inches around the girth.  Struensee caught the fish on artificial bait and scooped the fish onto the shore with his hands after a 20-minute battle.


Although a muskie like this would thrill any fisherman, as it did Struensee, “it wasn’t as large as the one that got away,” he said.  The really “big one,” hooked by another fisherman, was so large that the fisherman could not move him with line and pole.  “It just seemed,” said Struensee, “that the muskie just up and swam away when he got good and ready.”  So when you’ve landed a 26-pound muskie and can show it, there is not much sense in telling a fish story.


With milk bringing $2.20 per hundred in Neillsville, the farmers of Clark County stand today in the best business position since 1910. Their purchasing power index is approximately 124 now, as compared with 120 for the same time in 1928.  It is necessary to go all the way back to 1910, more than 30 years ago, to find a time in which a farmer in Wisconsin had a better chance to get ahead.


The local Kiwanis Club held its meeting on Monday evening.  A session of the 1942 committee will be held Thursday evening at the office of County Agent W. R. Marquart.  At that time, the work of 1942 will be set in motion for sponsoring the Cattle Project.


The evening program consisted of music, furnished by the Volovsek family, of Willard.  The musicians were introduced by Richard Becker, who also told of the Volovsek family’s efforts in having a band this past year.  Frank Volovsek was introduced as head of the family, but he passed to Stanley, the job of announcing the various numbers.


The Volovseks played a varied program, to the great delight of the club members, who gave a rising vote of thanks at the end of the program.


The musicians, with their instruments, were: Frank, the father, tenor saxophone; Stanley announcer and cornet; Alphonse, bass horn; Tony, trombone; John, cornet; William, trombone; Betty, Clarinet.  Mrs. Volovsek was present, but she joined the club members as a listener.


Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Wren will observe their 40th wedding anniversary on October 15, at their home in Sidney.  They were married in 1901, in the parsonage of the Methodist Church, Neillsville.  Rev. A. V. Ingham performed the ceremony.


After their marriage, they moved to Little Falls, Minn., where Mr. Wren worked in a saw mill.  Two years later, they returned to Neillsville, where Mr. Wren worked as an engineer in the old spoke mill.  The mill was located between the Omaha railroad tracks and O’Neill Creek, on the eastern outskirts of the city.  A few years before the outbreak of World War I, the mill was abandoned here and the equipment was moved to another location further north.


For a time after that, Mr. Wren worked on a farm, and then was employed in a local machine shop.


For several years past, Mr. Wren has operated a saw mill at his home in Sidney.  It is the same mill that his father had operated since the early 1880s. All the original saw mill equipment is still in use excepting the engine, which was discarded a couple of years ago.


Seven children were born to the union: Mrs. Louis (Myrtle) Polzin of Racine; Mrs. Ernest (Dorothy) Karnitz of Neillsville; Mrs. Sam (Nina) Rush of Merrillan; Helen, at home; Mrs. Louis (Hada) Cardarelle of Neillsville; and Elmer and Gilbert, both of Neillsville.


In 1884, Ernest Eilert purchased the Neillsville Brewery business from Herman Schuster.  After the purchase of the brewery, Eilert brought a complete change in the business.  A man of unusual strength in character, Eilert erected a strong and enduring building in conformity with his rugged spirit, on the 200 block of East Sixth Street.  The finest technical machinery was installed and when finished, the Neillsville Brewery ranked as a model plant.  The business was later sold to Eilert’s brew master and son-in-law, Kurt Listeman, in 1898, and closed as a brewery in 1925.



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