Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 16, 2001, Page 11

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


May 1911


Ladies! Get a set of the latest style curls that look very nice.  Also choose from puffs, pompadours and switches all made of fine imported hair, ready made or made to order.  To buy these, see Mrs. Marcus who lives in the brick house near the Neillsville depot. 


P. N. Nelson, Dr. J. H. Brooks, C. Krumrey and Herman North all bought new Buick automobiles recently.  Krumrey went to Eau Claire on Friday to get his Buick after he received word that the new car was in stock.


The first number of the new Marshfield Herald was received at our office last Saturday.  It was the initial number of a new newspaper adventure on the part of John White, son, Willard and brother Dan White Printing Co. The first issue was bright and newsy, technically complete and well patronized.  It is an all home print paper.


Chas. Cornelius has plans drawn up for remodeling the building adjoining the First National Bank, now occupied by Kutchera and Albright.   A new Bedford stone front will be put on to correspond with the design of the bank building.  The second floor will be fitted up into commodious office rooms, reached from the bank lobby.  Cornelius expects work to begin on the new building in about a month.


August Schoengarth is also preparing to erect a small office building on his lot just north of the O’Neill House on Hewett Street.


Secretary of State Frear has so far this year issued licenses for 2,768 automobiles and 479 motorcycles.  The fee for an automobile license is $2.00 and for a motorcycle, $1.00.


Some local fishermen are prone to catching walleye and bass out of season and when they do, they throw those back.  They will appreciate this story of the dilemma of a small boy who lives near Ellsworth.  A game warden discovered the youngster fishing and looking into the creel, failed to find a single fish.  But, hearing some faint splashes in the water close by, he discovered a string of bass tied to the bank.  The boy, upon being questioned regarding the fish said, “Those bass kept biting and bothering me, so I thought I would take them out of the way until I was through fishing and then put them back in the water.”  That boy will no doubt develop into a statesman some day.


(It appears the bride’s name is missing here) Rev. Alexander Korn were married on May 17 at the Globe Church by Rev. Brandt of Neillsville.  The bridesmaids were Elsie Scheel and Lizzie Hagedorn.  The best men were Theodore Korn and Willie Hagedorn.  A fine wedding supper was served at the home of the bride’s parents at Globe to a large number of friends and relatives.  The young couple left for their future home in Nebraska.  We wish them health, happiness and prosperity in life’s voyage.


James W. Ferguson of Wenatchee, Wash., arrived here recently for a few days’ visit with old friends.  He is on his way home from Vicksburg, where he attended the unveiling of the state monument.  He was the only member of his old Clark County Regiment Co. 1, 14th Wis., present at the ceremony.  Likewise, he was the only member of the company present at the Memorial Day Services on Sunday.  Ferguson was a former Neillsville postmaster and left here in 1886.  He now has a partnership with H. L. Hart in their Wenatchee Valley apple orchard.  Their orchards show prospects for a large crop this year.


May 1941


Gust Hultgren, who has made his home at the Clark County Poor Farm since 1935, passed away at that institution on Sunday, April 27, following a short illness.  He was born in Sweden, February 27, 1857, coming to this country some years later and worked in Chicago.  Later, he came to Clark County where he lived and worked for many years on the M. C. Thoma farm near Shortville.  Hultgren had never married and is survived by several nephews in Chicago, Evanston and Lake Geneva.  Caring for the large garden at the county farm was work he enjoyed.  The fine crops of vegetables he harvested were proof of his skill as a gardener.


Jimmie Hewett was given a seven-mile route to deliver mail by bicycle last week during the season of impassable muddy roads in the Town of Sherwood area.


John (Hans) Walk, retired rural mail carrier, has found out exactly how far it is to Granton, its 13,800 steps.  He counted them.  Recently, Walk started out for a walk, as he does frequently.  He aimed his nose at Granton, following the railroad tracks all the way and counted every step he took.


Counting is a habit Walk formed over the years and he just swings into counting naturally.  So during one mile, near the Jahr farm, he counted railroad ties in addition to the steps.  There were 1,378 ties in that mile.


Years ago, when Walk did his mail route driving a horse and buggy he took to counting about every conceivable thing on that route.  There was a time when he could tell the number of fence posts in the square mile around the Pleasant Ridge Church. 


Looking into the future, the city of Neillsville this week established a transplant nursery in Schuster Park which, it is hoped, will provide trees that will replace the older trees as they die out.


Under the direction of Emil Mattson, street commissioner, the nursery was started Saturday in a plot 40 by 100 feet north of the band pavilion.  About 400 red oak seedlings were transplanted into the nursery beds.  Elms, soft maple and seedlings of other types will also be planted there.


Last week nine small black walnut trees from the property of Jeff F. Schuster, on East Fourth Street, were planted in the park.


Leana Ott, of Neillsville, sought out a little adventure for herself Friday.  With no school on that day, what was there to keep her from taking a long bike ride?  On and on she rode, surprising herself when she arrived in Marshfield.  After looking the city over to her heart’s content, she started on the return trip.  She was brimming with news of her undertaking when she returned to the home folks.  Leana is 14 years old.


Two big issues before the Clark County Board were decided upon in their last session.  One of the issues approved by the supervisors was that of the highway storage garage in Neillsville.


The principal bone of contention was the price that should be paid for the site of the proposed garage.  The site recommended by the highway department, a judgment confirmed by members of the board, is the site on which the Tibbett Bros. Ice and Fuel company office and scales are located.


After an extended and vigorous debate the board adopted a resolution calling for payment of up to the asked price of $4,000 for the site and a total expenditure of up to $20,000 for the garage and site.


The board was hesitant about paying $4,000 for four lots assessed at $700 and Supervisor Corwin C. Guell of Thorp was not hesitant in saying so.  Guell pushed through an amendment permitting the payment of up to $3,250 for the property.


The amendment passed and the resolution was merrily on its way into the red tape of parliamentary rules.  After the votes were counted on the resolution, it was turned down, 35 to 17, with members of the highway committee among those voting against it.


Supervisors John Wuethrich of Greenwood, Fred Lakosky of Loyal and F. D. Calway of Neillsville upheld the highway committee on the floor.  Their arguments were, in effect, that a site such as that under consideration by the board might be of little value to the ordinary person, but assumed greater value when used for certain purposes.  That delay would mean an increase in cost of materials; that convenience, in this case both to the Tibbett brothers because of  its location in relation to their coal sheds, and the county, because it borders the highway warehouse, which is also a matter of consideration.


Arguments of the three supervisors were fruitful and Supervisor Guell asked that his amendment be tossed out the window, the board complied.


Tentative plans have been drawn up and the garage is expected to be completed by September.


By passing the resolution, the board loaned the highway department $10,000 from the general fund to aid in financing the construction. The other $10,000 for construction will be taken from highway funds.


Nearly 600 Clark County school children will receive diplomas at eighth grade graduations to be held on May 20, in Neillsville, Loyal and Withee.  The annual music festival will be held in conjunction with the commencement exercises.


The exercises at Neillsville and Loyal will be conducted in the morning.  L. M. Millard, county school superintendent, will be in charge of the exercises in Neillsville; Louis E. Slock, supervising teacher, at Loyal; and Miss Ada Smith, supervising teacher, at Withee.


The majority of rural schools of the county will close May 16 and 23.


Tractors are not the only things which go on rampages, as is now well understood by Allen Freedlund and the Joe Jacobson family.  Freedlund’s conviction grows out of an experience which he had on Monday.  He was dragging with his team of horses and had the lines around his waist. The horses became frightened and started to run.  They pulled him down, dragging him along until he was able to free himself from the lines.  He came out of the scrimmage with no broken bones, but plenty of sore spots.


The experience in the Joe Jacobson family came about on Saturday.  Their team was hitched to a seeder.  The horses became frightened and ran.  They smashed the seeder and came to the end of their run when one of the horses fell.  After falling, the horse became pinned under the tongue of the seeder.  This was rough on the horse, but did not hurt any of the humans nearby.


The wonder is that horses have so much spunk.  Most people hereabouts thought that the horses should be all tuckered out after trying to navigate in the mud.


The first jail erected by Clark County, also later used as the first jail owned by the City of Neillsville, was being wrecked this week to make way for the new county highway storage garage.


Long in disuse, the old wooden jail house has stood on the property of the Tibbett Ice and Fuel Co. since the spring of 1930.  In that year it was purchased from the city of Neillsville by the Tibbetts and was removed to its last location behind the old city hall.


Now that the highway commission is purchasing the five lots at Ninth and South (North) Clay Streets, on which the old building has been kept for the last years, the Tibbett brothers have to clear the site.


The old jail house, as it stands, has little utility value in it for the Tibbetts, so out came the crowbars and hammers.  The tedious task of wrecking one of the oldest “coolers” in the state began in earnest.


The word “cooler” is used in this connection without restraint; for it probably was after examination of the county’s first jail house that the word was given its popular meaning.  With its eight-inch board walls, it looks for all the world like the kind of a refrigerator in which anything would keep, particularly a man whom the law thought ought not be going any-where.


As far as could be learned, there never was a jailbreak as long as the old wooden jail house was in use.  Judging by the construction of the building, to engineer a successful break from that building would have been a major feat.


The walls and ceiling were of two-by-eight pine stock, laid face to face and studded with long hand-wrought spikes.  The corners of the building, it was found as the wrecking was started, were dovetailed to further add to the strength.


Apparently Hewett, Woods & Co., who contracted to build the jail for the county back in 1866, believed there was less likelihood of an inmate making an attempt for freedom through the floor than through the walls.  For, while the walls were eight inches through, the floor was made of mere two-by-four planking.


Double doors blocked the only entrance, or exit, from the jail house.  The first door was a heavy iron grating.  The doors opened on a small “bull pen,” which took up half of the small space occupied by the jail.  There were two window lights in the bull pen.  Both were protected on the inside by a heavy iron grating similar to that on the inner door.  But beyond that were the bars, universal in jails, and their ends were imbedded deeply in the planking of the wall.


Apparently provision was made for heating the jail from a stove in the bull pen.  A chimney hole was cut through the eight-inch planks of the ceiling.  But those responsible for keeping gentlemen incarcerated at that time were not taking chances that an escape might be effected through the opening made for the chimney.  Heavy iron bars, fastened solidly to the ceiling by huge drag bolts, surrounded the chimney closely, keeping the opening at a minimum.


The space beyond the bull pen was split into two small cells. Each had a window light, but both also had such heavy iron guards over them so that the light of day could scarcely find its way through the 32 small holes punched into each iron guard.


The structure served as the first county jail for 15 years.  It was built originally for $1,300.  But when the county decided it ought to have a better or perhaps larger jail, F. D. Lindsay bought the old building for just $25.  Probably at no time in history, even when lumber was plentiful in this territory, was the lumber alone worth as little as that.


The city of Neillsville bought the building in 1882 from Lindsay, but no record of its purchase price could be found.  For 48 years after that time the old jail served as the city cooler and then was bought, quite appropriately by an ice company.


Although the county’s jail is being completely razed, its 77 year old planks will not go to their final rest.  They will still contribute to coolness or to warmth, depending upon the season, for they will be the mainstay of a new office building on South Grand Avenue from which the business of the Tibbett Ice & Fuel company will be conducted.


The first Clark County jail, of crude construction, was built in 1866 and sold to the city of Neillsville 15 years later.  Tibbetts Ice & Fuel Co. bought the jail building in 1930 and dismantled it in 1941.



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