Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

October 31, 2001, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days 

Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


October 1881


The flood of October 1st was a most disastrous one.  The rainfall of that day was three and seven-tenths inches here in Neillsville.


The next day, the flood was still raging and enough of it could be seen to convince all that a fearful destruction of property had taken place.  The western one-third span, of the iron and wood bridge over the Black River, on the town’s west side, had floated down stream.  The railroad bridge over Wedges Creek was also carried away.  The Dells Dam was broken in two places and for a number of hours the dam was entirely beneath the surface of the flooding water.  Roads were rendered impassable in nearly every direction.  The Yellow River Bridge on the eastern stage routes was lost in the muddy flood, stopping travel for two or more days.  The O’Neill Creek Bridge, here on our main street, stood like a rock, as also did the phenomenon that spans the Black River at Weston’s Rapids.  A ferry boat and dug-out canoe has been doing the transferring over the Black River on the west side, the only means of voyage to reach the train depot located on that side of the river.  Ed Tolford is in charge of carrying freight to and from the depot.  On Friday, Alex Holverson carried the mail to the Junction, going afoot, returning Saturday with letters.  The regular train came through Monday morning, which shows commendable promptness on the part of the railroad management. 


Cranberry pickers are plentiful, but the marshes are so wet that it is very difficult to get the berries.  By trying to wade through the marshes, you would be wearing soon rheumatism and a sore throat.


Humbird news this week: Some men in the area have been in town to ship potatoes to Kansas.  Ben Travis is selling a new stock of furniture in the Humbird House at very cheap prices.


Thorp News: There is a new barbershop on Main Street, as well as a boot and shoe store.  That makes two additions to our town.


The railroad company is putting in a sidetrack at the saw mill.


J. Shanks is building a boarding house by the depot.


Longwood News: George Maynard has a farm on the Black River flats about two and a-half miles west of here.  The recent flood drove him and his family out of their home and he said they aren’t going back there to live.


John McCarthy’s family had a caller last Friday night, in the shape of a skunk.  The skunk took his place in McCarthy’s cellar and settled down to stay.  They fed him something to make him leave and now they have their cellar back.


There will be races at the fairground track on Saturday afternoon at two o’clock.  It is being held to compensate for the county fair that wasn’t held this year. Seven splendid racehorses will run in the sport.  If these horses don’t put up some high speed, your money will be refunded at the gate.  Admission is 25 cents, which gives you your choice of seats in the grand stand if you get there quick enough to act as a free agent in the matter.  Conveyances will be plenty.  The first sneak that is seen getting into the fairgrounds through any of the numerous gaps in the fence will be mistaken for the Williams brothers, shot, and the reward will be gathered in by way of sweepstakes.  So, if Clark County contains a rascal cheap enough to stand outside and look in, he ought to be ashamed.  Half of that day is to be a holiday and all employees are entitled to strike or run a State ticket of their own if they’re not given the afternoon off.  The betting on the races promises to be high.


R. S. Cannon, roadmaster in District No. 3, of the Shortville area has built 50 or 60 rods of corduroy road this past week.  He intends to have a good road to the village.


There has been a nuisance in the shape of an ox that has been running in the streets of Shortville.  It has been frightening school children and doing harm around the area.  The said ox is now in the possession of J. W. Fuller and its owner may inquirer of Fuller in getting the ox back.


The ball given at the courthouse hall last Thursday evening by the Sherman Guards was attended by a fair number of dancers and spectators.  A very enjoyable time was had by everyone present.  The fancy drill put on by the Guards was gone through with an accuracy and grace that spoke well for those who took part in it.  An excellent supper was served at the Reddan House.  The financial outcome of the ball was all that could be desired.


October 1931


Two young men giving their names as Ed and Roy, of Mosinee, ran across the arterial set up at the First National Bank corner on Saturday night and they then crashed into a truck.  Policeman Rossman arrested the men for reckless driving and brought them at once before Justice Dudley.  Dudley administered a fine of $1.00 and costs, amounting to $4.95.  The men claimed to have no money and offered to leave an overcoat as security, the offer being accepted by Justice Dudley.  They promised to return Monday, redeem the coat and pay for the damage to the truck.  But, as yet, they have not appeared in the city as was expected.


The Northern States Power Co. has completed the Kurth extension along Pleasant Ridge.  Nearly all of the residents along the power line have been hooked on the electric line.  The extension is about 4 and ½ miles long and serves a large number of farms.  The Suckow Bros. service station and Pleasant Ridge cheese factory are also on that electric line.


A crowd estimated at 5,000 gathered at Wautoma on Thursday afternoon to celebrate the completion of a paving project west to that city, on Highway 73.  The completion of that road will give the shortest hard-surfaced highway between Chicago and the Twin Cities.


The celebration was put on by the Chicago, Milwaukee and Twin Cities Highway Association.  The ceremonies were of an elaborate and spectacular character.  No less than ten uniformed bands took part in the affair. Bands from east of Wautoma headed delegations from that direction, playing the air of the Illinois state song.  Bands from the west, with delegations from that direction, marched forward playing the Minnesota state song.


The procession met at the main business corner on Highway 73 in Wautoma.  There, a broad red ribbon was stretched across the street and was later cut, signifying the opening of the highway.  The Red Granite High School band played “On Wisconsin” and a salute of 12 guns was fired.


A speaker’s stand had been erected at the street corner and a speaking program was carried out.  Major L. G. Mulzer, manager of the Tri-City flying field at Wisconsin Rapids acted as master of ceremonies.  There were also other speakers on the program.


Silvertone, a noted Indian tenor, sang several selections.  After the program, there was a pageant, designated a “Parade of Progress.”  In the lead was an Indian on horseback supposedly following the forest trail.  Behind the Indian, came another horse dragging two long poles like shafts across which was stretched a blanket furnishing a vehicle for carrying passengers.  Next was an oxen team with a covered Chugram wagon, then teams of horses with ancient surreys, an old Ford car to be followed by the finest of modern cars today.


The advance in road building was shown by the passing of old types of road scrapers followed by all the modern machines used in constructing the new stretch of concrete.  Behind all this came beautiful floats illustrating various industries from the past to the present time.


The high wind and drop in temperatures on Tuesday, made the sale of coal pick up.  The city’s coal business had been slow with people holding off buying so now it is beginning to pick up.  Several coal dealers around the city are now busy delivering coal to homes and stores.


A display of old prescriptions, in the window of the C. C. Sniteman Co. drug store, is attracting much attention this week.  The display reveals that prescriptions have been filled for members of the same family for more that (than) 50 years.


The prescriptions shown included one for Mrs. George Huntzicker, May 14, 1878, by Dr. J. C. Lacey, Jr.; one for Jacob Huntzicker, April 27, 1879 by Dr. Hasse; Mrs. James Hewett, March 16, 1887 by Dr. James A. Templeton; Harry Philpott, July 12, 1883, by Dr. Templeton and others later by Dr. I. Lacey and Dr. R. W. Monk.


With the display are pictures of the old wooden store building and the new store.  In front of the old store are shown Henry Klopf, jeweler; R. J. McRaith, clerk and Everett Esslinger, clerk of the Zimmerman Drug Co., store which was then in the building now occupied by Gangler’s variety store.  A poodle dog which died in 1912 at the age of 19 years and remembered by many of Sniteman’s customers is also in the picture.  Included in the photo was the old parrot, Polly, which lived in the store for 20 years and died about 1910.  Up to date, 428,290 prescriptions have been filled at the Sniteman Drug Store.


George Sontag, pharmacist of the C. C. Sniteman Drug Store for many years, is shown standing behind the store, circa 1900.  The poodle dog, with Sontag, was well known by the area residents as he spent most of his 19 years at the store with Sontag.  (Photo courtesy of Sontag Family Collection)



As a tribute to the memory of Thomas Alva Edison, who died at West Orange at 3:24 a.m., Sunday, the lights of the nation will be turned out for one minute.  Wednesday night, President Hoover made the suggestion that at 9 p.m., Central time, the lights be turned off for one minute.  The funeral services for Edison will be held on Wednesday.  Edison carved an immortal name for himself with such inventions as the electric light, moving pictures, the stock ticker phonograph and hundreds of others.


Judge O. W. Schoengarth, last week, was called upon to reprimand an 11-year-old Neillsville youth who lives on the south side.  The young lad had shot a pheasant with a shotgun in the city limits.  Not only are pheasants protected from hunting, but also shooting guns in the city is prohibited.  The boy claimed he was urged to do the shooting by a couple older boys, so was not solely to blame for the act.  Judge Schoengarth gave the lad a lecture on the danger of small boys using firearms, which in this case was a .410 gauge shotgun.


After a busy summer of construction, the finishing touches have finally been added to the new St. Balthasar’s Catholic Church at Loyal.


The beautiful new edifice, of Romanesque in design, home of the church and auditorium, was built by P. O. Nasvik, contractor of St. Paul, Minn.  It is of light colored brick with buff mortar and is 48 feet by 110 feet in size.  It has twin towers at the front, each housing a large bell and between the towers is the pillared entrance to the church.


The interior of the church, equipped with new pews to seat 500 people, is a very inspiring scene, with its rows of massive white pillars at the sides.  The pillars have been connected by graceful arches and the beautiful arched ceiling is paneled in white with a tan background.


The entrance to the auditorium is by means of doors at the side of the building.  The large hall is 45 feet by 80 feet and will also seat 500 persons.  It is equipped with cloak and restrooms, a large stage and dressing rooms, and a large modern kitchen, in which will be prepared the meals and lunches for the many activities that will be held in the auditorium.


This beautiful new church will be opened Sunday, Nov. 1st with a High Mass at 10 a.m., after which a big chicken dinner will be served in the auditorium.  Besides the dinner and also a supper to be served later in the afternoon, there will be amusements of various kinds throughout the day and evening.


The meals will be the big full-table meals, for which the ladies of the parish are noted, where you help yourself and eat all you wish.


The public is very cordially invited to attend this celebration at Loyal on Nov. 1st.


The big chicken dinner and supper at St. Balthasar’s new auditorium can be had for the prices of: dinner 40c and 20c, supper at 30c and 15c.


Miss Betty Balch and Miss Wilma Goodenecht of Alma Center narrowly escaped serious injuries on Sunday night.  They were on their way to the Normal School at Stevens Point when their car tipped over on the detour east of Granton.  In avoiding another car that suddenly crossed the road ahead of them, they had to swerve out to avoid a collision.  Although badly shaken up and bruised, they continued on their trip, after the car had been righted back up on its wheels.  The girls had been visiting their parents over the weekend.


The Neillsville City Water Department announces that the city water is presently unsafe to drink.  The water line filter is out of repair so until further notice, don’t drink the city water.


The Clark County Highway Department orders that any persons having snow fence in their possession, belonging to Clark County, return it.  Those persons are requested to return the fencing to the same location from where it was taken last spring.  Be hereby notified to return the snow fencing no later than Nov. 1st, 1931.


Joe Zilk opened his new Standard Oil filling station at the south end of Hewett Street on Saturday afternoon.  He put on a parade that was followed by the distribution of a large number of gifts, given to his customers.  The parade included oil trucks presented by Ed Keys of Spencer, Tob Jackson of Greenwood, Bob Zank from Fairchild, Wm. Schmidtke of Granton and Bub Catlin of Loyal.


Cecelia Nenohlo, teacher of the Ross School, extends an invitation to the public.  On Oct. 29th, a program, plate lunch and dance will be held at the Ross School.  The school is located 4 miles east and 2 miles north of Christie.




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