Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 1, 2001, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


July 1881


The first of this week, Joseph Morley was admitted as a partner in the law business carried on by James O’Neill, Jr., here in Neillsville. The title of the firm is O’Neill & Morley.  James O’Neill is known to be one of the prominent attorneys of the state.  Morley just graduated from the law class of the State University.  He has had years of experience as a previous clerk in the office of which he is now a partner and will prove a valuable assistant in the extensive practice built up by O’Neill.


We take pleasure in informing our citizens of the arrival of Dr. M. Stern, the celebrated oculist and optician, arriving from Cincinnati, Ohio.  Dr. Stern is visiting our town for the purpose of treating all diseases of the eyes.  He also fits the improved glasses for weakness, near-sightedness and all difficulties arising from old age.  Dr. Stern is no humbug; he is a graduate of Berlin, Germany and considered by all men of science the most skillful man known.  Dr. Stern’s office is in the O’Neill House.


C. B. Bradshaw has taken the contract to build the school house in Greenwood.  The building is to be completed within 90 days.  Our Greenwood neighbors can rest assured that their new school building will be all the contract calls for as Bradshaw is skilled in his trade.


A new structure is being put up on Second Street, west of the Bruley residence.  It will be used for a bakery to be run by Lou Sontag.


The Hon. I. B. Bradford and L. L. Williams spent July Fourth at the railroad opening at Neillsville.  Bradford informed us that it was one of the most pleasant affairs he ever attended.  It is proof of the enterprise, public spirit and generosity of the people of Neillsville.


The dinner was the greatest attraction of the day.  A large temporary shed had been erected with shingled roof surrounded by bushes and evergreens for walls in the grove.  It contained tables and seats enough to accommodate 200 to 300 people at one time.  The dinner was a royal lay-out of food.  No nicer public table was ever set in the Northwest.  Almost every food of local and foreign market was brought under contribution for this occasion.  The tables were beautifully decorated with flowers.  There is no mistaking the fact that Neillsville ladies excel in the culinary art.


It is estimated that there were between 3,000 and 4,000 persons present to help initiate this village into the mysteries of a railroad town.  No doubt this will be a bright page in the history of this village, surrounded as it is by resources which will make it one of the richest places in the state.


The annual school meeting was held at the school house on Monday evening and called to order by F. A. Lee, director and M. C. Ring, chairman.  After the reading of reports, there was a brief discussion on the advisability of procuring furnaces for heating the school building.  A motion was made and unanimous vote made for purchasing furnaces.  The stoves presently used in each of the various rooms will be sold after the furnaces are installed.


The appropriations recommended by the school district board, namely: $2,650 for teachers’ wages, $270 for janitor’s fees and $200 for furnace wood, were ordered.


A party of frog-hunters from Neillsville had planned to go to Merrillan last Tuesday morning.  They weren’t able to make the trip to ply their vocation in that locality for various reasons.


We share the following incident that happened in the Greenwood vicinity recently:


One evening before July Fourth, a promising young Neillsville man, whom we will call Andy, attended one of Greenwood’s fairest maidens home from church.  The route was necessarily by a road through the timber and across a bridge.  The enjoyments of the beauties of nature, as depicted by the surrounding scenery, in the dim moonlight were too great a temptation to resist.  The young couple sat down on the approach of the bridge while silence reigned supreme around them.  The quiet was broken only by the rustling of the winds in the boughs overhanging the river and the low murmur of their voices. 


Their happiness, however, was only short lived. An acquaintance, whom we will call Bert, knew well the young couple’s trusting place and his natural fun-loving propensities roused him to the perpetration of a practical joke.  Procuring a revolver loaded with blanks, he went down to the bridge accompanied by some friends who went along to see the sport.  Bert walked quietly up to the young couple.  Not recognizing him in the darkness, Bert began to cuff and pulled Andy, putting him on his back, and then began shooting.  Visions of jealous suitors avenging their wrongs flashed through Andy’s brain.  Andy was supposing he would soon be the silent victim of another tragedy as he struggled and cried lustily for help.  In the struggle, one cartridge was discharged so close to Andy’s leg as to cause a burning sensation to make him believe that he was surely wounded.  His cries for help increased with, “Help, Murder!”


In answer to his calls for help, Bert’s comrades rushed from their concealment to the rescue and the supposed assassin fled.  It was some time before Andy could realize he was the victim of only a joke.  Now, if you want a cigar, ask Andy who went home with his girl the eve before the Fourth of July.


A building at the end of the railroad track calculated for use as a train depot has not yet been built.  W. U. Wright, the gentlemanly agent of the railroad company here is now occupying the baggage car as an office.


Sheriff Philpott took possession of the jailer’s residence, just completed, yesterday.  The building is a fine one, reflecting credit upon Clark County and the parties by whom it was built.  It will be remembered that the jail and jailer’s residence were put up by the victimized bondsmen of defaulting county officers.  Although a dead horse to them, they have done the work as well as any contractor every executed a job. The workmanship in fact is much better than the contract called for.


S. Z. Smith, of Humbird, has bought and shipped over 2,000 bushels of blueberries during the present growing season.


Jesse Lowe’s new residence is up and enclosed.  As we looked up on it, the evidence is that it will be a very fine house.


July 1936


Mrs. H. L. Snyder has just passed another milestone and on Sunday Mrs. Jessie Warner invited in ten friends and old neighbors to help the lovely lady celebrate the rare event of an 87th birthday anniversary.


Mrs. Snyder was feeling exceptionally well that day and was able to visit with her guests. She joined her guests at the luncheon table and blew out the 87 candles that graced her birthday cake. A very unusual centerpiece, in the form of a print, depicting scenes of pioneer life, such as Indians, the old Fort, the covered wagon dawn (drawn) by an oxen team and others  dear to the memory of those who passed through that period, was placed upon the table. A pretty bouquet of fresh flowers was placed next to the cake.


Another feature was the joining of hands while singing “Auld Lang Syne”, “Blest be the tie that binds,” and “God be with you ‘til we meet again,” followed by well wishes, gifts and many expressions of happiness over the fact that Mrs. Snyder is under excellent care.  Also, that she is privileged to remain under the roof that has been home to her for many a year.


Mrs. Snyder’s grand old time courtesy, sweet disposition and staunch character have followed her throughout life and she has been able to accept a modern age with the same firmness, enjoying among her friends a large circle of young people.  Fine literature has also been a large part of her joy in life.  Today, she reads without glasses, three of (or) four books from the public library each week. She keeps herself abreast with the times by reading two daily newspapers.


Dedicatory services were held on Sunday for the Community Church in the township of Sherwood.  A large congregation was in attendance, more than could be seated in the church building.  Rev. G. W. Longnecker of Neillsville preached the dedication sermon, speaking on Church Unity.  Rev. Dawson of Nasonville gave the scripture reading, leading the responsive reading and also read a history of the movement which led to building the structure.


Rev. O’Neill, pastor of the Congregational Church at Pittsville, offered the opening prayer and pronounced the benediction.


The movement to build a church at the Sherwood Corners began way back in 1922, about 14 years ago. The idea originated with Mrs. Geo. Redman who with her husband had come from Chicago and settled on a farm in the town of Sherwood.  The matter was talked over among a group of women in the neighborhood and on November 8, 1922, a meeting was held and an organization affected.


Mrs. Redman was elected president; Mrs. D. A. Sheeler, vice-president; Mrs. F. J. Maveus, secretary; and Mrs. C. W. Lawson as treasurer.  Besides these officers, the following joined as charter members: Mrs. E. Ziemendorf, Mrs. L. Coulthard, Mrs. R. Lawson, Mrs. A. Gall and Mrs. P. L. Reise.


They named the organization “The Community Club” and declared its purpose to be the building of a community church at some future time, or to pay a minister to come and preach to them as they desired or saw fit.


Plans were laid for raising money by suppers, socials, sales and other means.  Each year, in the fall, a big chicken pie supper was served and the annual dinner soon became popular.  Patrons came from far and near to partake and praise those remarkable meals.  Slowly funds were collected until the ladies felt safe in starting work on the building of the church.


The building is fully paid for as far as the present building appears. Some funds are still needed to fully equip the interior.  These items will be secured as time goes on and contributions for this purpose will be thankfully received.


The beautiful little church has sufficient seating capacity for the needs of the neighborhood.  It has a commodious basement where suppers can be served for the various community events.


(Some years later, Hwy. 73 was re-routed into a large curve, avoiding the sharp intersection that went past the church.  That intersection is now known as Sherwood Road and Co. Hwy Z.  Art Carl, a well-known carpenter of Neillsville, was the contractor for putting up the Sherwood Community Church in 1936.)


Mrs. Ruby C. Bahr, night operator for the Community Telephone Company of Wisconsin at Fairchild has been awarded a Theodore N. Vail silver medal and $250.  She received the award for alertness, initiative, promptness and intelligent action which led to the apprehension of a dangerous criminal, who shot and killed Dan Cattanach, a Fairchild filling station operator on Aug. 21, 1935. While on duty about 4 a.m., Mrs. Bahr heard shots.  From her office, she saw an automobile speed away from the scene. She noted the first three digits of the license number and a description of the car. Returning to the switch board, she received a report that Cattanach had been shot and killed.  She promptly notified officers and the slayer was caught at Black River Falls.


A number of farm horses throughout Clark County have succumbed to the heat the past few days.


Some farmers are working early in the morning and late in the evening, avoiding working themselves and their teams of horses in the middle of the day.


The city of Neillsville is proposing to curb and gutter portions of Clay, Fourth and Fifth Streets.


Mrs. Ida Wasserberger and Math Marx appeared before the city council Tuesday night to protest the building of curb and gutter along their property.  Mrs. Wasserberger stated she would have to pay for a total of 411 feet of curb and gutter and added that “I have lived here 44 years and got along nicely.  Now that hard times are here, you are forcing us to build this curb and gutter.”  Mr. Marx presented a petition signed by property owners opposed to curb and gutter.  The matter was held over for further consideration.


Geraldine, 11-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Holtz disappeared from her home east of the cemetery Monday morning.  She was found Tuesday night at the home of her aunt, Mrs. Fred Schlichter in Fairchild.


Geraldine was last seen about 8:30 a.m. Monday after arriving at home with a magazine which her grandmother, Mrs. August Holtz had given her. Thinking she might have gone to play with children, no attention was paid to her absence until late Monday.  A search was made when she failed to come home Monday night and on Tuesday the Sheriff’s office was notified. Sheriff Madsen learned that a young girl carrying a small bundle had been seen walking west on Highway 10 on Monday.  On Tuesday evening, Sheriff Madsen, along with Mr. and Mrs. Holtz, drove to Fairchild where the youngster was found.  She had taken three dresses along in the bundle.


Geraldine said she had left her home by going through the field to the north of the families’ house, coming out on Hewett Street north of the Catholic Church.  She then took back streets until she reached Highway 10 at Clay Street.  She walked as far as the Wedge’s Creek Bridge when a man in a Chrysler automobile stopped and asked her where she was going.
She said she told him she was on her way to Fairchild.  The motorist offered her a ride and she got into the car with him.


Both Mr. and Mrs. Holtz are away from home during the day.  Mr. Holtz runs a blacksmith shop in Neillsville and Mrs. Holtz is employed on a WPA project.  Mrs. Holtz’ mother, Mrs. Julia Barness, is caring for the children.  Mrs. Holtz said she had scolded Geraldine Monday morning and presumed that was the reason for the child’s deciding to run away to her aunt’s house.  

The Slocum Bridge spanned the Black River west of Neillsville, on Highway 10, being built in 1922, at the time the highway was surfaced with concrete. This was the second bridge on that site and was named in honor of Otis (Otie) Slocum, a long time member of the Clark County Board who represented the Town of Grant.  The first bridge was an overhead truss.  A third bridge now spans the river there, being built in the late ‘80s (1980’s).  (Photo courtesy of the Bill Roberts’ Family Collection)



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