Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 11, 2001, Page 17

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


April 1901


Boynton and Holway have completed the organization of a new land company at La Crosse. The purpose of the company is to furnish capital to add a large block of Clark County lands to their present holdings.  The tract purchased by the new company comprises 17,000 acres lying west of Greenwood.  The company is known as the S.Y. Hyde Land Co. and some leading La Crosse capitalists are showing interest in the business.


The following people are applicants for certificates at the recent teachers’ examination held in Neillsville.  Applicants were: Minna Ketcham, Mabel Tyler, Elsie Brown, Rose Ruege, Eleanor Ruddock, Mae McNamara, Gertrude Holmes, Alice Stevens, Grace Harriman, Mrs. Belle McKenzie and A. F. Brindley, all of Neillsville; Bertha Head, Kit Fradenbaugh and Frank Presher, of Humbird; Bertha Winn and C. E. Beeckler, of Granton; Etta A Brantell, Unity; J. C. Howard, Fenwood.  A. O. Rhea, Superintendent of Clark County Schools, reports the examination as being successful.


It should be generally known that a call box at the Neillsville post office costs only one and a-half cents a week. A lock box, with two keys, costs less than four cents a week.


The Black River is open for the fishermen.  The ice went out of the river the last week in March.  Boys have been standing on the edge of the river banks with their fishing poles.


Marriage licenses issued at the courthouse, recently, have been to the following: Chas. Ewert and Emma Voight, Wm. Sook and Adell Barnett, Wm. H. Zank and Emma Stelloh, Lawrence Hanson and Annie Larson, Chas. G. Anderson and Hilda F. Karlson, Frederick Bruley and Margaret Gall, Daniel A. McKucher and Gail E. Tarbox, Wm. F. Seelow and Eda W. Dux, Benjamin Babbit and Mabel E. Phillips.


Bob Bullion, principal imperial of the Palace saloon, has a $1,000 bond with a lot of coupons attached, running from 1861 to 1875.  Each coupon calls for $40 interest, but the calls are in vain.  The curio is a Confederate issue and of no value except for the curiosity of it.


Gilbert Johnson, the local tailor, will make up and trim a styled-right, all wool blue serge suits for only $8.50.  Also, the spring stock of men’s and boy’s shoes have arrived in time for Easter.  The $3.50 shoe beats all others in style and fit.


The big Geo. Huntzicker farm in the Town of Eaton, south of the lumberman’s home farm, was sold last Thursday.  A gentleman named Potter, from Lake Mills, purchased the farm for $8,500 through the Buchanan Land and Investment Co., agency.


The record of 20 years has been beaten by the muddy roads this spring.  They are awful!


The Cunningham hill, south of Neillsville; slid part way down with no help from anyone.  The hill west of town, near the school house, has been in a profanely disreputable condition, also.   The horses, harness and buggies damaged in this annual mud siege amounts to a whole lot of dollars. We, at the newspaper are amazed, that a population as intelligent as ours tolerates such a gigantic nuisance.


The only good, dry road in Clark County presently is in Washburn.  It was built by Fay Dresden, an ex-railroad grader, who knows how to build roads. Some people of that town were so astonished with the great cost that they had Dresden deposed from that position.  Friends, you can’t get good roads without paying for the cost.


A limited amount of Neillsville Bock Beer, refreshing and invigorating, will be bottled at the brewery this week.  Ring up phone number 42 to order a case of Bock Beer.


Wm. Volkman recently bought a barn from Nels Armstrong.  He employed Hi Hart to move it to his lot on Fifth Street, at the rear of his model pop factory.  Hart went after the barn with block and tackle.  As he got the barn down Fourth Street to the intersection of Clay Street, there it ran into a bunch of telephone wires and stopped.   There was an ordinance directing who could cut the wires and pay for the expense.  However, there were two ways of looking at the ordinance.  The barn stood right in the middle of the intersection, blocking the highway for several days.  The delay and dismay of the neighbor-hood prevailed until the city council had a meeting and revoked a section or so of the city laws.  After this action, to meet the problem, the telephone wires were duly cut, the barn moved and it sets where it belongs.


Last Friday, Joe Gangler, a worker in the Neillsville Furniture factory, was hit by a descending elevator and knocked down.  Fellow workmen, who saw the mishap, were able to stop the elevator, saving Gangler from serious injury, or death. As a result of the accident, Gangler lost one tooth, had several other teeth loosened and his face showed considerable injury.


Sunday afternoon, the frame residence of Anthony Gress, located on the hill north of the Grand Avenue Bridge burned to the ground.  Neighbors worked hard carrying water to fight the fire, but were unable to do more than save a nearby shed. The house contents were saved.  It is believed a spark from the chimney caused the fire.  The city fire department turned out, but was unable to reach the fire from the nearest hydrant.  Gress was at Horton’s farm near Dells Dam at the time and Mrs. Gress had to endure the excitement and watch the loss, alone.


Gress began clearing the lot for rebuilding on Monday.  However, Mrs. Nora McMann offered to sell him house and lot for $300.  Gress bought McMann’s property and discontinued his plans to rebuild.


Elmer Glass took an examination at Marshfield on Sunday morning for entry into the U S Army.  But, owing to defective sight in one eye, he failed to pass the examination.  He was told that three months of outdoor work would strengthen and cure the eye problem, so he proposes to take the doctor’s advice.


April 1936


The Kiwanis Club of Neillsville has accepted an offer made by the Kiwanis Club of Escanaba, Mich.  The Escanaba club will send a box of smelt as a souvenir of the Smelt Jamboree.  The premier fishing event of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan will be held in Escanaba, April 2 and 3.


A timely biography, this week, covers the milestones in the life of Fred Stelloh, Mayor of the City of Neillsville, who was re-elected to the office in this month’s municipal election.


Stelloh was born in Milwaukee, October 22, 1879, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Stelloh.  They owned and operated a large sash and door factory on Milwaukee’s west side.  Young Stelloh received his education there and watched Milwaukee grow.


In 1893, industrial conditions and business reverses forced his parents to close down their plant.  After paying their accumulated liabilities, the family took what was left of their savings and came to Clark County in 1894.  They settled in the Town of Pine Valley.


The family worked hard on the 102-acre stump land and made many sacrifices in developing a farm from the primitive land, eventually making a model farm. During those pioneer years, Fred Stelloh found the farm life entirely different than the life he enjoyed as a youth in Milwaukee.


Being the eldest of the children, Stelloh was charged with the responsibility of helping with the family income and accepted employment on neighboring farms. He also found some employment in Neillsville, making the daily trips from his home to the city and back, a distance of 13 miles on foot.


At home, he aided his father in sawing lumber, using what is known as a pit saw to saw the pine logs. The pit saw is still kept by Fred Stelloh as a family relic and reminder of the early pioneer days.


In his early life, he developed an ambition for mechanics and farm machinery.  It was but natural for him to follow that line of endeavor in later years.   He began his career in the farm machinery line as an employee of E. E. Crocker and Luethe Co.  Later, he traveled, working for the D. M. Osborne Co. and later for the Fuller and Johnson Manufacturing Co.


In 1910, Stelloh purchased the interest of L. H. Howard in what was then the Howard and Seif Implement Company.  He carried on a partnership with Seif for six years.  In 1916, he disposed of his partnership interests and started his own business in the present location.  The business has developed into one of the best such establishments in the city.  With the development of the automobile, Stelloh enlarged his business facility to carry on a garage business and to include the sales agency for two of the popular makes of cars.


During his business life in the city, Stelloh has taken an active interest in public life, having been an alderman of the third ward for four years.  In the spring of 1934, he became a candidate for the office of Mayor and in a three-cornered race was elected.  In the election this past week, he was re-elected for a second term.


Mayor Stelloh was married in 1906 to Anna Martens and to this union was born five children. During the influenza epidemic in 1918, Mrs. Stelloh died, leaving Mr. Stelloh with the five children, the youngest of whom was two months old.  A year later, he was married to his present wife, Elsie Wagner, who helped in rearing the motherless family.  In 1930, two of the sons, Frank and Alfred, were killed as the result of an airplane accident.


In his public, civic, religious or social life, Mayor Stelloh, by his personal devotion to humanity and to the community, has won the respect of the citizens through his sterling business qualities and high personal character.


The Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) was started about September 15, 1935, to fill in the gap that was left after the close of the WERA work program and employs all eligible relief people certified to it by the relief department for work.


The program in Wisconsin is under the direction of M. W. Torkelson, administrator, which in turn is divided into ten districts.


Clark County is in the 9th District with offices at La Crosse.   The local operation of the work program is under the direction of E. R. Acker, Owen.  Work projects were set up and approved to carry on desirable work on publicly owned property and for public benefit.  Unemployed men and women have an opportunity (to) work on these projects to earn the money needed to support their dependents instead of receiving groceries and so forth under the direct relief.


The type of projects selected and started in Clark County covers a wide variety of activity such as improving and surfacing with gravel the farm-to-market roads, laying water mains, remodeling the courthouse basement into office rooms, improvement of recreational parks, drainage dams in the forest reserve in the towns of Sherwood, Foster, Mentor and Dewhurst, dam across Hall Creek in the village of Humbird, repair of books in libraries, handling of surplus commodities, sewing project for the making of dresses, comforters, sheets, etc., from surplus commodity goods.


To date, there has been 75 miles of farm to market roads surfaced with gravel, 7780 cu. yards dirt fill placed on low places of roads, 30 miles of roads brushed on both sides, 4 miles of roads graded, 6 miles of roads ditched, 200 lin. ft. of new culverts placed, 3 concrete dams well along to completion, 60 acres of flowage above dams brushed and cleaned up, 15 acres of park grounds improved, 5680 lin. ft. of water main dug and laid, courthouse basement rooms nearly completed, library books repaired and various sewing projects produced.


Labor paid by local units totaled $5,564.97; materials and equipment paid by federal government, through local units, $3,451.89.


(WPA road projects and such were done with manual labor.  The men used hand gravel shovels to move gravel and dirt.  Some farmers brought teams of horses and wagons to be used in moving gravel or dirt to the work sites. D. Z.)


Work on the new addition and remodeling of the Keller “Fireplace” west of Neillsville on Highway 10, started this week.  According to the plans, a new 16 by 50 ft. addition will be built on the north side of the present “Fireplace” and the entire interior will be remodeled.


An indirect lighting system will be installed throughout the remodeled building, with an illuminated all-glass bar.  The interior will be of marble, glass and Spanish-type plaster.


Several new tourist cottages will be built in the park adjoining the “Fireplace.”  The entire building and remodeling project will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000.


When completed, it will be the finest equipped country dining place and tavern in North-Central Wisconsin.  In addition to the regular tavern service, American and Chinese dishes will be served, prepared by a Chinese chef.  Weekly floor shows will be held each weekend throughout the year.  Plans are to have the remodeled building ready to be re-opened about May 15.


A new trade-name selected for the “Grease Spot” in a recent contest that ended April 4.


Located on the corner of Division and Hewett Street, it will now be under the name of “Zilk Villa”.  That title was suggested by Dr. M. E. Bennett, first-place winner.  Judging committee members were: Miss Hazel Lee, Wm. A. Campman and D. E. Peters.  The second place winner was Mrs. Mert Palmer who chose “The Ten Spot” (and) third-place suggestion was given by C. J. Switzer, “Zilk’s Service Center”.


Jos. F. Zilk, proprietor, announces that souvenir key case holders are now being imprinted with the new trade name and will be available for distribution within two weeks.


A view of the Fifth and Hewett intersection, looking north, circa 1900, the days of the buggies and wagons pulled by live horse-power.


5th Street, Neillsville, Wisconsin (date unknown)

Provided by "The Jailhouse Museum".



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