Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 2, 2002, Page 20

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 

Good Old Days


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County Press


January 1877


Last Wednesday, “Lige” Myers turned his horses too short and ran them into a show window at Hewett & Woods store.  The team took off running at a lively pace until they became divided in opinion as to the direction to be taken.  At the southern terminus of Main Street, they came to a standstill against a fence, with no other damage than breaking the dash-board of the cutter.


A report has been received from E. R. Armstrong, Superintendent of C. W. Pain & Company’s lumbering operation, near Merrillan. A New Year’s celebration was held in one of their camps.  John Bremen was that camp’s foreman, where a record was set.  The camp had three teams of oxen with drivers who took logs that had been taken from the stump, hauling the loads for a distance of one-half miles. They came up with a total of 606 logs, scaling out at 138,273 feet, a great record.


On January 10, 1877, the Rev. W. T. Hendren performed the rites of marriage when C. A. Youmans took Nettie French as his wife.


The ceremony which united the destinies of this happy couple was performed at the residence of the bride’s father, Dr. B. F. French.  The 10 a.m. rites were held in the presence of a limited circle of relatives and friends. A good display of valuable presents, from friends and relatives present and absent, betokened the universal wish for the couple’s prosperity and happiness.  After partaking of a well spread of foods and good wishes, the newly wedded couple left on their wedding tour and expect to be gone for several weeks.  May happiness attend them throughout their journey in life.


The old Clark County courthouse is being made over into a store room and dwelling place by the Hart brothers.  A show front has been recently put in which gives the building a first-class appearance.


The new Methodist Church in Loyal is paid for and dedicated.  The debt was $500 last Sabbath morning.  Within a few minutes after the close of the sermon, the debt, plus an additional $200 was subscribed.  John Gwin, though not exactly a Methodist, kept an open house on dedication day and entertained his guests like a prince.  Jones Tempkins made a run on the larder, about 2:30 p.m., which caused an advance on the staples for guests at once.


C. B. Bradshaw has informed us that 28 buildings were erected, or completed, in this village during the past year.  Fifteen of those dwellings were houses, three stores and shops, nine barns, an engine house and public hall; a courthouse and a church.  Some of the dwelling houses are very fine ones, such as that of Jas. O’Neill, Jr., being the best house and with one exception is the most costly building of its kind.  With an exception, the courthouse with the cost of $32,700 is the most expensive structure to be built.  We aren’t able to learn the cost of the other buildings enumerated above.


The bridge, that crosses the Black River, west of town, is being repaired.  It was found necessary to repair the piers and add new planks to the bridge floor.  The work is progressing and will soon be completed.  It takes the ordinary traveler two-and-a-half hours to drive from Neillsville to Black River Falls.


D. H. Haner was badly bruised the first of the week by having a barrel of syrup roll over his leg.  He was unloading goods at the Cole & Campbell store when the accident happened.  Haner is able to be around, but is obliged to use a crutch to do so.


It may be of interest to those of our fellow citizens who are contemplating a trip to the Black Hills next spring, to know that a joint session of the two houses of the Dakota Legislature was held last Saturday afternoon.  The purpose of the session was to listen to addresses made by parties representing the interests of the people in the Black Hills, concerning their resources, interests and wants.  Prof. Henckle presented a accurate map of the entire mining region.  It was made from actual surveys and showing the location of all the chief claims, accompanied with statistics as to their richness.  Gen. Dawson, revenue officer, located there, and C. W. Meyer, publisher of a newspaper, also made an address.  Meyer is on his way to Washington to urge legislation.  The statements were all unqualified as to the richness of mineral wealth, quality of soil and extent of timber.  The Legislature awaits the action of Congress in ratifying the agreement of the Sioux Commission, to provide settlers with information of courts and local organizations, but can do nothing until the Indian title is thus extinguished.  Meantime, arrangements are being perfected to take effect upon the opening of navigation, about the 1st of March.  Then boats will make regular tri-weekly trips between Yankton and a point on the Missouri River, only 130 miles from the Black Hills, a stage line will then connect at the Missouri River point that will make the entire trip in 30 hours.  Under this arrangement passengers will be carried from Chicago or St. Louis, via Sioux City and Yankton, for $40.


Black Hills fever is an epidemic.  Strong-men show marked symptoms of the malady.  For the first few days the victim seems listless and unsettled, a loss of appetite soon sets in, then delirium commences and the patient raves about gold, Indians and opulence.  The treatment is 700 miles overland, via Bismarck, with a forced diet of meals at $1.50 each and stimulants proportionately high.  The patient is allowed to ride out to the Black Hills, but if he is thoroughly cured, he is expected and will, as a rule, walk back. As to his baggage, he can send what he has left at home by telegraph.  It is hoped that the walking will be good next fall through Dakota Territory, as many will need good walking conditions.


January 1937


The organization of the Clark County Electrification Cooperative, which has been going on under the direction of Wallace J. Landry, Clark County Agent, is now the largest unit of its kind in Wisconsin with more than 2,000 farmers signed up as members.


Actual distribution of power to these farmers is expected to be achieved by next summer, according to Landry. Electrical energy for the cooperative either will be purchased from the Northern States Power Company or be supplied by a cooperatively owned plant, it is stated.


As soon as the membership list is completed, each town will elect a representative to the board of directors, the directors in turn electing officers.


The Clark County program is now ready to be submitted to authorities at Washington, D.C. and an early approval is expected.


Many farmers, not now served by electric lines, have long felt the need of electricity and it is hoped the new cooperative venture will make it possible for every farm in Clark County to enjoy this convenience at reasonable rates.


At the hour of 7:30 p.m., New Years Eve, Hope Wildish, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Allen Wildish and Lester Zasoba, son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Zasoba were quietly married.  The marriage ceremony was performed at the Methodist parsonage with Rev. E. P. Stone reading the single ring nuptial service.  The bridal couple was accompanied by Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hohmann.  They are extended heartiest congratulations and all good wishes for a Happy New Year.


Gladys Parslow, teacher of the third and fourth grades at the Neillsville Northside School for the past three years, was reported “snow-bound” at Cloquet, Minn., when she failed to return from her Christmas vacation this week.  The mystery of her absence was solved today when D. E. Peters, superintendent of schools received a letter telling of Miss Parslow’s marriage to E. A. Fulton, undertaker and furniture storeowner at Cloquet, Minn.


Miss Parslow informed Peters that she would not be returning to finish out the school year and added that she was married on Nov. 28 during her Thanksgiving vacation.


Miss Parslow was very popular in this city, beloved by her pupils and a vocalist of rare ability.  The Press joins her many friends in extending congratulations.


Mrs. Horace Wiley is substituting in her place until a new teacher is employed.


Roy Montgomery of Neillsville, regional manager of Maytag Washing Machines, led all other representatives in Wisconsin during 1936; it is reported by the main office in Iowa.  Montgomery sold 1,780 washing machines which equals 35 carloads or one trainload.  (The mid-30s was the time that the Maytag wringer washing machines became a new and popular item in many households.  Machines could be purchased equipped with electric motors or with attached gasoline motors to be used by homes without electricity.  The era of using a scrub board for washing clothes quickly came to an end. D. Z.)


F. H. Casler, Northern States Power Company manager, explained to the Neillsville City Council Tuesday evening why the present street lights cause radio interference, when they burn out.  Casler said that owing to the small size of the present lights, the filament supports are so close together that when a filament burns, the filament is held up and permits an arc to flow which interferes with radio reception.  The remedy, he said, would be to use larger street lamps in which the filament supports are further apart, allowing the filaments to drop out of arcing position when they break.  Larger lamps would cost the city about $900 more a year, it was said.  These lamps, however, are responsible for only a small part of the radio interference in the city, according to Casler.


The Balch Hardware store building has been sold by the Neillsville Bank to John P. Adler of Marshfield, according to records filed Jan. 16 in the Register of Deeds office.


Al Kreisch has taken over the Orchard tavern, east of Granton, which he will operate until spring.  The tavern has been redecorated and a special bill of fare has been arranged for the opening on Saturday evening.  In the spring, Kreisch plans to build an addition to the “House-by-the-Side-of-the-Road,” located on South Hewett Street here in Neillsville.


J. C. Moen has announced the establishment of the Clark County Monumental Company in Neillsville.  The company will handle the widely known “Montello Beautiful” and other attractive lines of grave markers.  The sales work will be in charge of E. R. Barr, son-in-law of Moen.


On Saturday evening, January 23, Byrl Lawrence of the Town of York and Dorothy Vanderhoof of the Town of Sherman were united in marriage.  The wedding ceremony was performed by Rev. Bixler at the Reformed Church parsonage.


The wedded couple was attended by Mr. and Mrs. Horace Lawrence, parents of the groom.


Adelbert Rodman, or as he was generally known, Dell Rodman, probably Clark County’s oldest native born citizen, passed away at his home on Division Street, Neillsville, January 18, at the age of 81.


Dell Rodman, who was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Lyman Rodman, was born March 15, 1856.  He was born at the old Rodman home in the Town of Pine Valley, southeast of the Clark County fairgrounds.  In this home under all the old pioneer conditions he grew to manhood, working on the farm in the summer and as he grew older he worked in lumber camps in the winter. Although he lived two miles from school, he acquired a fair education and always took an active interest in public affairs.


In 1880, he was united in marriage to Hattie E. King of the Town of Grant.  The next year they settled on 20 acres from the home farm land, later purchasing 20 more acres from adjoining lands.  Here again they went through the experiences of pioneer life under which he had grown to manhood, clearing land and working out besides.


On October 6, 1911, the Rodmans moved to Neillsville, bought a small home and there with a good garden and a few chickens, they lived a quiet comfortable life.


Rodman, however, never sat in idleness.  As long as he was able to work, he found a job if he was not employed with work at home.  In earlier years, he served several terms on the town board and always took an active interest in the county affairs.


Rodman was long an active worker in the Neillsville Odd Fellow Lodge and both he and his wife were members of the Rebeccas (Rebekahs).


Rodman is survived by his wife and three children; Warner, who lives near Athens, Wis.; Ida, Mrs. Gus Hagen, Neillsville and Horace of the Town of Levis.  He is also survived by 18 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, one brother Hershell of Waukegan, Ill and two sisters, Mrs. Wm. Lapp, Neillsville, and Mrs. Robert French, Town of Levis.


Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view.



The replica of a pioneer log cabin was built and used in a parade that was held in Neillsville when a presidential candidate stopped in the area while on a campaign tour.  (Photo courtesy of the Sontag family collection)



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