Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 10, 2001, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

In the Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


January 1881


H. J. Youmans has purchased C. M. Ponds stock of groceries and will continue the business along with his drug store.


The Presbyterian Sabbath School festival, held at the Fireman’s Hall last Saturday afternoon, was largely attended.  About 100 children were present and a good time was reported.


The time for constructing the Black River railroad has been extended 30 days, dating from December 31, 1880.  We are informed the conditions of the bonds of the towns of Hewett, Grant and Weston will be complied with if the road is completed by the 25th of (or) 26th, and no later.  The track is now laid as far as Wedges Creek.


The time to collect taxes in Clark County is again at hand. This recalls the fact that many of our town treasurers shamefully neglect to perform their duties in collecting taxes.  They now have about two months left to make collection.  They should perform their duty as thoroughly as a sheriff is expected to do in collecting money on an execution as they have much more power conferred on them by law.  The practice in this county has been to receive all taxes offered, but never to press tax payers for payment or levy on property in case property owners refuse or neglect to pay.  Treasurers all over the county allow pine lands to be stripped, the logs hauled away with the land left worthless and the burden is shifted upon those who are accustomed to paying taxes.  It is much better for all concerned that treasurers should enforce payment.  The Town of Pine Valley is to be congratulated.  Last year’s tax roll placed in John B. Jones’ hands amounted to about $11,000.  He collected all but $600.  We believe that is the best record ever made by any treasurer in the county.


Ole Melby, a Norwegian in T. J. LaFlesh’s logging camp, had a two-inch square of his skull broken in by a falling tree.  He was taken to Greenwood’s Henshall’s Hotel and Dr. Thomas was summoned.  Melby’s life was in danger, but with the skillful treatment of Dr. Thomas, he is reported as doing well and expected to fuller recover. 


Several people of Neillsville have received an invitation to attend an oyster supper and sociable to be given at the residence of Robert Schofield at Greenwood, tomorrow evening.  It will be a benefit for Rev. C. C. Swartz, pastor of the Methodist Church in that village.


Though not as well known as many villages of its size, Neillsville, the county seat of Clark County, is one of the thriftiest and most promising towns of its size in the state.  It has a population of about 1,500, is well built; and has a good school, churches, a fine court house, three newspapers, several mills, factories and an unusually large number of enterprising citizens.  It is soon to have a railroad, being built by the Chicago & Northwestern from Merrillan, a distance of 18 miles.  (Milwaukee Sunday Telegraph)


Charley Dugan, the engineer in Eyerly’s mill caught his finger in the cross-head of the engine, last Friday.  He lost half-an inch or so of that finger quicker’n you can say Jack Robinson. The weather has been so cold that operations at Eyerly’s mill have been suspended as of now.  They have been doing good work until the present time.  About 5,000,000 logs will be hauled into the yard this winter.


One of our horsemen has remarked that if you rub a very small quantity of soft-soap inside the shoes of a horse before taking him out of the stable each morning, the snow will not ball upon his feet while you are driving him.


The post office at Hemlock has been closed and moved to the Withee station.  It is placed in a new store there, recently erected by E. A. Eaton and will be superintended by Henry Merrett, the assistant postmaster, formerly of Colby.


The first number of the newspaper at Spencer has been received here.  It is called the Spencer Advance.  It is devoted to the material, social and moral interests of Spencer and adjacent country-side.  E. W. Stevens is the editor and publisher.


Foster, Cook & Co.’s large steam mill at Fairchild was destroyed by fire last week.  The loss is estimated at about $40,000.  The work of rebuilding will probably commence at once.


There will be four regular eclipses this year and in addition, we shall have the transit of Mercury.  Two of the eclipses; one partial of the sun, May 27, and a total eclipse of the moon, June 11-12, as well as the transit will be visible.  (A transit is an apparent passage of a celestial body across the meridian of a place, or of a smaller planet across the disc of a larger planet. D.Z.)


January 1941


Herman Hediger, of Christie, has shared some of his experiences of living in Switzerland.


“As a lad, Hediger and his brothers were the proud possessors of a cow which cost $200 American money.  That was in Switzerland and $200 was a lot of money.  It was as much, for instance, as Herman Hediger’s father was paid for the first year he was mayor of Reinach, a city of 5,000 people. But it was a wonderful cow and it was worth the small fortune which the Hediger family put into it.


This prize cow was curried-off twice a day.  The fact is they were doing the same for other cows which were less aristocratic.  In Switzerland everybody did it and still do now.  The cow to the Swiss is a pet and a more important investment than she is to Americans.  There, the average farmer has five cows and only about six or seven acres of land.  So, the cows and the acres get intensive care.


The prize cow of the Hediger family had a very clean stable.  The Hedgers, like others in Switzerland, had plenty of water.

They also knew how to make brooms out of birch trees. They had lots of elbow grease and were taught how to use it. The water, the broom and the elbow grease were mixed appropriately and applied to the barn floor most earnestly. The result was that the floor was exceedingly clean. The combination of clean cow and clean stable was backed up with clean utensils, scrubbed to a finish.


In scrubbing their stable floor, the Hedigers had nothing on their neighbors.  Everybody did it. That fact might be held to account in part for the production of extra fine Swiss cheese which up to war time claimed a market even in the United States.


Perhaps through the new Quality Improvement program, Wisconsin will journey toward Swiss cheese of quality comparable to that of Switzerland.  When Hediger was a boy, he served his apprenticeship in a cheese factory.  There, his employer held his cheese and sold twice a year. After the cheese was sold, the cheesemaker had stacks of cash in actual possession settling with his patrons by turning over to them actual coins and bills in payment.


In the United States, Hediger has developed a business in Christie, but has no desire to introduce the Swiss method of paying patrons.  However, he has not permitted himself to lapse his knowledge of the birch broom’s importance in maintaining a clean stable.  He still believes in water, broom and elbow grease, appropriately mixed and applied with vigor and determination.


Quality Improvement is not new to George E. Foelsch, who operates the Pine Grove Cheese factory in the Town of Beaver.  He began making sediment and blue tests in 1931 and has made them regularly ever since.  He has based his operation upon the results of these tests and upon the cooperation of his patrons. Their cooperation today is most satisfactory.


At the Pine Grove factory, Foelsch has a very complete set-up, one of the features of which is a modern arrangement for hand-washing and other sanitary aides. Thus the cheesemakers are provided with the best facilities for cleanliness. 


The Charles F. Bacon Relief Corps., No. 10, has been active for 56 years in Neillsville.  The membership has gradually lessened, but the duties of the Corps have been faithfully performed.


The hall has been greatly improved by the addition of wallboard, which not only adds to the appearance, but makes the hall more comfortable and lessens the fuel cost.  Several lodges hold meetings in the hall and it is available for private parties as well.


Contributions during 1940 were made to the Soldier’s Home, Red Cross and the Salvation Army.  Assistance, other than money, has been given to the needy.


There are now 41 members which includes one charter member.


Newly elected officers to be serving in 1941 are: Mrs. Hattie Lloyd, Mrs. Libbie Horswill, Mrs. Matilda Peterson, Mrs. Mae Bullard, Mrs. Myrtle Maxwell, Mrs. Mabel Ackerman, Mrs. Ellen Darling and Mrs. Lottie Linton.


Managers of Neillsville’s four hockey teams will meet in the council room of the city hall on Saturday, at 6:30 p.m. to complete plans for the city league and adopt a schedule for the season.


Many acres of Clark County land which have become “lost” through the passing of time and through human error are being brought to light in the courthouse.


There, for the last year, a WPA project has been at work correcting descriptions of the more than 33,000 parcels which make up the county; and incidentally, they have found several hundred acres of good land, and some not so good, which many land owners never realized they had.


In virtually every instance it will mean an increase in the number of acres assessed to the owners of land affected as soon as the corrected descriptions are put into use – which is likely to be with the 1941 tax rolls.


The story of lost land had its roots in the original government survey, made in this region in 1854.  It arose from a combination of inaccuracies in surveying instruments, in human error, and the natural curvature of the earth’s surface e. When the surveyors laid down the original township lines they did their best to make them perfect six-mile squares.  But their best was not good enough.


Subsequent surveys made in laying out sections and quarter sections revealed that there were errors.  Inlaying out the 40-acre plots of the quarter sections, the surveyors worked from the southeast corner toward the north and the west.  Thus, the first quarter sections were true 40’s; but the quarter sections to the extreme north and extreme west of each township may have been anywhere from 30 acres to 57 acres each, depending on which direction the original error carried them.


The statutes provided for such errors by stating that the overage or deficiency of acreage shall be made up 0n the extreme north or extreme west of each township.  Thus, while they are loosely described as 40’s, they may actually contain much less or much more than 40 acres.


Mostly these quarter sections in which overages and deficiencies were made up contained fractional acreage’s.  These fractions were set down in the original plats of the general land office (GLO); but during the course of years the fractions have been dropped as assessors wrote out their tax rolls in long hand.


In the case of section six of the Town of Warner, for instance, it was discovered that the 40’s involved were under-assessed.


In the Town of Sherwood, the original town lines were so far from being true that in some instances it was necessary to make very obvious curvatures in the quarter lines to make the quarter sections fit into the township at all, according to County Forester A. C. Covell.  Covell, who served as county surveyor for some time and has had much to do with the county property in that township, speaks from first-hand knowledge of the situation there.


Along with this, the WPA workers have discovered several whole plots of land that were “lost” at some time or other in the past as assessors copied the tax rolls.


The WPA workers will soon have their part of the project completed and then those in the court house records department will have the job of making corrections on the descriptions that will in turn reflect on the 1941 tax roll.


A circa 1905 social gathering was hosted by Mrs. Robert Schofield, standing behind the table on the far tight in the yard of her home.  Among her guests were Rev. and Mrs. Hendren, the couple standing in the back, the bearded man holding his hat; Mr. and Mrs. Fred Shrimpton and little daughter seated together by the table on the right; Dr. Hugh Schofield, standing, center in the back row, holding his daughter, Roberta.  Among the other guests were: Geo. and Rose Van Vooris, H. Hartson, Allie Schofield, Ingalor Hogine and Delia.  Robert Schofield, a prominent and successful pioneer of Clark County, left, as a part of his legacy, an attractive Victorian-era home located at 303 W. Schofield Ave. in Greenwood where he resided.  The unique Schofield house has met the criteria to be accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places, a credit to the community and city of Greenwood.  The present owners, Dave and Sue Roth are in the process of restoring this historical gem. 



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