Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 2, 2001, Page 10

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

The Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


May 1876


Jacob Rossman is preparing to build a brewery on the corner north of the Wells House.  For that purpose, the buildings thereon are being removed.  Soon work will commence on the new structure. This enterprise may be a good one, but we doubt whether the amount of beer consumed here at the two local taverns will be enough to make it a paying business.


Night trains are again running on the West Wisconsin line.  This railroad is now supplied with everything that can contribute to comfort and safety.  New and elegant sleepers have been put on the train.  The cars are supplied with the Miller’s platform and Westinghouse air-brakes, so that the trains can be stopped more quickly.  Its conductors are most gentlemanly and obliging.


For the benefit of hotel proprietors and stocking-less guests, we suggest that a certain young man should keep his pup at home.  When this man comes visiting here from a neighboring town again, we hope he heeds our advice.  A dog that cannot make a meal, on less than three pairs of socks, while in one or the other hotels here, he isn’t wanted.


Attention butter makers!  Those wild growing leeks do not improve the flavor of butter to the taste of ordinary mortals.  Butter-makers should endeavor to keep their cows from grazing upon the leeks.


The new tower upon the courthouse is nearly completed. The old courthouse building will be sold at a public auction to the highest bidder on June 7, 1876.  The building is one that might be made into a dwelling house at no great cost.  It is of little use to the county and will be a good bargain for some one.


Now is the time for planting gardens.  Beware to those of you who have used the streets for wood yards and store-houses.  Would you be good enough to remove the rubbish accumulated?  These streets now have such an unsightly appearance.  “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” and clean streets certainly go a long way in giving a town an enterprising appearance.


Some of the many smokers in this county may be surprised to hear the advice of an eminent physician.  He has said that smoking interferes with the molecular changes in the development of the tissues of a body.  It makes the blood corpuscles oval and become irregular at the edges.  This theory may be induced to renounce pipes and cigars forever.


May 1931


Last week, Joe Zilk closed a deal by which A. F. Selk of Chili takes over the Standard Oil Agency in Neillsville.  Selk will take possession of the business on May 1.


Zilk has been in business here for eleven years and has given excellent satisfaction to his patrons and the public in general. He plans on taking a rest for about a month.  In a month or two, he expects to start building a service station at the corner of South Hewett and Division Streets.


Selk has lived in and near Chili practically all his life.  For five years, he was in the hardware business in Chili.  Selk and his wife will be moving here as soon as they find housing.


Cummings South Side Service Station will open Saturday, May 16.  Eason, Eithel and Full o’ Pep Gasoline will be available.  Also, Quaker State and Highway Motor oils will be sold.  Buy five gallons of gasoline on Saturday or Sunday and you will receive one quart of Highway Motor Oil free.  (Cummings station was located on the northwest corner of Division and Hewett Street Intersection.


The old log house on the Frank Deitler place in the Town of Hewett burned on Sunday evening.  No one had lived in the house for two or three years.  How the fire started remains a mystery.  The house was built by Lon Cook in 1899.  It was the first place he purchased and that is where he and his wife started farming in the wilderness.  They cleared and broke eight acres and later they sold it.  Since then the log house has been home for a good many families.


Chicken dinner is served every Sunday at the Nauertz Hotel and Restaurant in Neillsville.  Their home cooking and baking is at the head of its class.  The fine service costs you nothing extra.


On the weekend of May 29 and 30, go to Wildwood Park in Marshfield where you can dance to all Big Band music.  On Friday, May 29, Milwaukee’s own “WTMJ’s Bill Carlson and his famous Schroeder Hotel Orchestra” with 12 artists will be playing.  Admission is $1.00 for gents, and ladies will be admitted free until 9 p.m.  Saturday, May 30, Decoration Day, “Dick Davis and his Hollywood Band” will please the dancers.  (The old Wildwood Park pavilion with its maple hardwood floor provided an excellent dance facility in the 1930s era.  D. Z.)


Get a new Willys-Knight sedan at the Neillsville Garage Co.  You save up to $700 when purchasing one of these new vehicles.  The Willys Six is priced from $495 to $850; Willys Eight, $995; Willys-Knight, $1095 to $1195; Willys ½-ton chassis $395; Willys 1 ½-ton chassis, $595.  The Willys-Knight has the patented double sleeve valve engine, is noted for smoothness, power, economy, 80-mile-an-hour speed and its extra size with the 58 ¼” tread.  It has greater safety with the new duo servo internal expanding four-wheel brakes and at a slight extra cost, safety glass all around.  Another good mechanical feature, there are no valves to grind.


Five Neillsville Boy Scouts, under Scoutmaster Francis Schweinler, planted 1,000 white and yellow pine trees.  The trees were planted at the Scout camp near the mouth of East Fork Sunday.  Other members of the troop will make daily trips to water the trees and care for them.  Next year they will be taken up and replanted.  The work is one of the many worthwhile projects being carried out by the Boy Scouts of this city.


The farm home of Frank Zickert, near Cawley Creek, along Highway 73, was destroyed by a fire on Saturday morning.  The fire originated from an overheated chimney, it is believed.  The blaze was discovered when the family returned from doing chores at the barn.  The Neillsville Fire Department responded but was unable to extinguish the fire.  The loss was estimated at $3,000 which is partly covered by insurance.  The Zickerts plan to build a new house as soon as possible.


Visitors to the Clark County Board sessions are usually impressed by the smooth, unruffled manner in which the various affairs of business seem to move forward and be disposed of with effortless ease.  There is a spirit of cooperation and friendliness among the members that is so often absent in other county boards.


If one feels like hunting for the cause of the board’s harmony, his attention will sooner or later find himself drawn to Earl W. Kidd.  Kidd is the supervisor from Owen and is the directing genius that shapes and guides the destinies of the organization.


Those who have never met Kidd are apt to imagine him as being an “arch plotter” who spends his spare time in planning intrigues. But once they have become acquainted with him, they find themselves agreeably attracted and anxious to be Kidd’s friend.  There is a magnetic quality about Kidd’s personality that leaves him undisputed master and center of all situations into which he is cast.  He possesses the inborn trait of the master leader.


Kidd holds this distinction because he likes people and enjoys the companionship of his fellow beings.  When friends of Kidd want something done, whether they are members of the board or not, they know Kidd will do that favor if it is humanly possible.  Many stories are told of his driving 100 miles or more to do a favor for someone.  When a man has that quality it is little wonder that other men find him a worthwhile friend who commands their respect.


Kidd’s history is a fascinating page of his life.  Born at Lestowel, Ontario, Canada, Kidd was educated in the schools of the province; then graduated from the courses of medicine and dentistry.  He finally obtained a degree from the famous Haskell Post Graduate University.


For three years Dr. Kidd practiced oral surgery at Alpena, Mich., where he built up a successful practice, requiring the aid of two assistants.  But the subject of surgery and medicine began to irk Dr. Kidd.  To use his own words, “I got so I hated to see a patient come into the office.”


“I had always liked the lumber business,” said Kidd.  “Finally, I gave up my practice and took a job at $1.40 a day with the Rust Owen Lumber Co., at Drummond and discarded the title of doctor.  Titles never appealed to me, anyway.”


With his tireless energy and capacity for work, it was not long before Kidd had advanced in the lumber business.  In 1908, he was called to take over the job of general manager of the Owen Box and Crating Co., manufacturers of wood specialties, now employing 135 persons.


Kidd began searching for articles the company could manufacture.  The result was that he decided drawing boards for artists and draftsmen were a field in need.  As evidence of his judgment, the Owen company is now the largest manufacturer of drawing boards in the world.  It is also the world’s largest makers of starch and candy trays used in confectionery factories.  He obtained the contract for building cases used by the White Spring Water Co., and now the plant turns out 125 carloads of this product every year.


In addition to these articles the company makes hundreds of wagons for children, seats for kiddy cars, all kinds of furniture dimension stock and dozens of other items that are sold in all parts of the world.


Kidd is the kind of man who gets things done and inspires confidence because he never makes a promise unless he can keep it.  That perhaps is the secret of his power on the county board.  Owen is to be congratulated on being able to send that kind of a man out to represent it in either business or civic affairs.


The cheese factory owned by Ed Rank, about two and one-half miles northwest of Granton, was destroyed by fire last week.  Mr. and Mrs. Rank lived in rooms over the factory and their household goods were also burned.  The family was away from home when the fire started, which was about 9 p.m.  The origin of the fire is unknown.  The factory and its contents were partially covered by insurance.


Highway 10, from the end of the concrete west on the cut-off to the junction with Hwy. 12, is being put in condition for oiling.  A great deal of oiling was done last year on Hwy. 12 and was found helpful in keeping down the dust.


The Neillsville city crew is laying water pipe from the present terminus of the main water line at block east of Hewett Street.  It will run along the cemetery road up to the well in the cemetery.  The old well is now perfectly dry and for some time.  Water for preserving flowers on the graves has had to be transported from down town.  The pipe being laid will be used only in the summer and is therefore being placed very shallow so as to save expenses.


With the announcement today, by W. F. Schiller, his new funeral home on South Court Street and East Fifth Street will be formally opened Friday afternoon and evening, as well as all day Memorial Day.  The public is invited to inspect the premises.


The decorations in the family room and the reception hall have been carried out in colors and oils, blending from dark base to an ivory top and ceiling.  The chapel room is done in panels of dainty tints and oil.  Silver electric light fixtures set off by angular frosted glass panels add a touch of dignified beauty to the harmony of the rooms.  The windows and doorways are bordered by heavy drapes of mulberry velour.  A deep, heavy carpet covers the entire first floor.


Of particular charm is the fireplace in the reception hall with its varied hues of Chinese red, walnut and ivory bricks.  A cathedral arch above the mantel is most attractive.


The grounds have been provided with concrete drives and approaches and the landscaping terraced to the south.  Lilies of the valley, orange blossoms, pyramid and mugo pines, hedges of red barberry, white and pink Spiraea have been included in the garden scheme.


In spite of recent rains, the crop year so far has been a very dry one.  Rainfall in practically all parts of Wisconsin is much under normal.  The shortage of moisture coming after the relatively dry year of 1930 means a rather low supply of soil water at the beginning of the present growing season.  Field work has progressed unusually well and the land has worked up as finer than it has in many years.  Spring sown grains are mostly looking well and winter grains have good prospects.  Hay and pasture, on the other hand, are not looking so well.  These crops suffered so much from the drought of last year that in spite of an unusually favorable winter, right now they are not very promising.


Henry Ghent has discovered the railroad’s passenger trouble.  Ghent says there are more people riding outside of the trains than inside.  A few afternoons ago he counted seven tramps hanging on, or under, the passenger cars and only three persons seated inside. Ghent suggests that the railroads sell tickets on the outside instead of the inside and thus get back on their “feet” or wheels, so to speak.


The Clark County Board, at its recent session, passed a resolution recommending local school boards not to hire married women teachers.  This rule has been in effect in the Neillsville Schools for some time.  The contract of each lady teacher contains a clause that marriage automatically cancels the contract.  The resolution of the county board also implies that the County Superintendent is urged not to recommend married female teachers.  (This ruling probably explains the popular trend of elopements and secretive marriages of the early ‘30s. D. Z.)


Recently O. E. Counsell bought an old barn from Mrs. H. L. Snyder on Fifth Street.  In tearing it down, the old shingles were removed.  Some of them bore the name of D. C. Marikle written on the underside.  Dewitt Marikle had a shingle mill near Globe more than 40 years ago.  Before that, he lived in Merrillan and was leader of the musical band in that village.


The Chicago North Western railroad ran west and east between Seventh and Eighth Streets through Neillsville.  This early 1900s scene includes the depot, some of the railroad personnel and the water town that provided water for the trains’ engines.  (Photo courtesy of Ray Strebing Family collection)



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