Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 24, 2002, Page 26

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman













Clark County News




April 1912


The farm known as the Tom Garvin farm, one mile from Main Street, Neillsville, is for sale.  It consists of 74 acres, all cleared and is said to be once to the best farms in Clark County.  The farm has a 9-room house, new 36’ x 60’ barn with basement, granary, sheds and living water in pasture.  It is an ideal home in a good neighborhood.  This has heavy clay soil with no wasteland.  See Dr. W. A. Leason for more details.


The stone cistern in the old Counsell home on Pleasant Ridge was recently re-cemented.  It was first cemented about 35 years ago.  Denis Tourigny did the work then with his own hands and the cistern has stood all of these years without a leak or any repairs ever being done.


There will be a dance at Wasserberger’s Hall on Saturday night, April 20.  The evening’s music will be provided by a five piece orchestra.  Everybody is invited to attend as good order will be kept.


Blum’s Fair Store is closed.  It is in the hands of the American Creditors Association.  The stock, fixtures and everything else in the building will be sold at an auction Saturday and Monday, April 20 and 22.


The W. C. T. U. members have received the promise of help from the officers of the St. Paul railroad company in beautifying the Neillsville depot grounds.  The ladies have sent for plans and will follow these designs in planting flowers and shrubs.  The company officers will assist in any way possible.  Locke, the local railroad agent is much interested in the project.


Rollie Benedict was out on our streets this week.  We think he was trying to see how many mud holes there were between York Center and Neillsville.


A petition is being circulated in the Town of Levis to change the county road in that town as it is now located.  As was stated at the last county board meeting, they would like the said road to run directly south for three miles from Hutchings Corner, then straight west to Dells Dam.  The petition gives each signer an opportunity to state whether he wants the change made or not.


I will have about 60 acres of good pasture with spring water, ready on May 1st.  Prices will be; cows, each $1.00 per month, or horses, each $1.25 per month.  Pasture is located on the north side of Neillsville.  If interested inquire of Sherman Gress.


Between two and three o’clock, last Thursday morning, fire broke out in the O’Neill House.  The fire bell was rung as soon as the alarm was given.  As quickly as possible, at that time of the night, the fire company assembled and a large crowd of citizens turned out.  It seemed, even to those who arrived first on the scene, that the whole interior was soon afire.  The steel roof and the brick walls held in the flames for awhile.  All parts of the building interior were far beyond saving long before the flames broke out through the sides and roof.


The hotel was three stories high, besides the basement, covering a large ground area.  Had it not been that the night was calm and had not the fire company responded so very quickly and efficiently, there may have been damage or loss to other buildings nearby.  As it was, the fire remained confined to the hotel and before morning it was a mass of ruins.


The O’Neill House was one of the oldest buildings in the city and had a most interesting history.  The hotel was started first as a residence and boarding house by James O’Neill.  At that time, O’Neill was a Wisconsin State Senator, about 1860.  As business increased, the building was enlarged and remodeled form time to time.  For many years the patronage increased and it was a very popular stopping place.


When the business came into the hands of John Paulus, the third story was added and the brick veneer was placed on the building.  The hotel’s business was then carried on in a metropolitan way.  Through the years the business has passed through the hands of many landlords. Also, through the years it was a most popular meeting place for city visitors, politicians and men about town.


Recently, the business has lost its prestige in this way and has been closed entirely at intervals.  For some months past, the hotel has been occupied by Mr. and Mrs. John Wright and family.  Wright had formerly cooked in the hotel and remained after the last renter left, for a time, cooking and serving meals.


On the afternoon preceding the fire, Wright had left for Stevens Point, leaving Mrs. Wright and their small children alone in the hotel.  Mrs. Wright states that she was awakened by their baby’s crying and then could smell smoke.  She arose to find the fire spreading throughout the building.  She hastily donned a wrapper and gave the alarm.  Very little of their belongings were saved.


The title of the property is quite complicated.  The first mortgage on the business is held by a man name Post of Fond du Lac and a second mortgage is in the hands of Mr. Sellers of Stevens Point.  The equity is held by H. C. Clark in trust for the creditors of C. E. Veasy.  It is said that an insurance policy of $3,000 was held by Mr. Post, and a policy of $200 on the household goods was in favor of Mr. Wright.  The mystery of the origin of the fire has given rise to many rumors and conjectures as to how it came about.


Old Neillsville residents state that the building was on fire no less than five or six times in its past history, but no serious loss ever occurred.  State Fire Warden Good came immediately to make all possible inquiries into the cause of the fire.

The historical O’Neill Hotel was destroyed by fire in April, of 1912.  Located on the northeast corner of Hewett and Sixth Street, only a shell of the building remained, with the chimney standing tall amid the ruins.  About 25 years later, the new Neillsville Post Office (was) built on that site.


Members of the Neillsville Fire Company took a break after an evening fire in downtown Neillsville, that of the O’Neill Hotel.  The west side of Hewett Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets, is in the background.  (Photos courtesy of Bill Roberts’ Collection)


April 1952


A team of freshmen girls from Neillsville High School accomplished the almost impossible feat recently by winning the National Junior Bowling Congress tournament.  They competed with bowling teams from throughout the nation.


As a prize for their efforts, the National Association will stage an all-expense banquet in Neillsville.  It will be for the members of all the girls’ bowling teams, as well as the officers in the women’s association.  In addition, the prize-winning girls will be awarded an all-expense trip.  Details of the trip have not yet been set.


Members of the bowling team are: Charlotte Covell, Terry Manderfield, Carol Nauertz, Mary Lou Heaney and Dorothy Hart.  Mrs. Mary Lee is their instructor.


The girls also won the state championship, so the traveling trophy, which has been the property of Neillsville the last two years, will remain here permanently.


There are 2,800 members of the junior bowling congress in the United States.


On Easter Sunday, April 13, the Easter outfits were few at the worship services.  A spring blizzard brought four inches of snow and slush with slightly more than one-half inch of moisture.


Parking lots and driveways were turned into seas of mud, resulting in a record number of wrecker calls.  The bus lines kept operating but the Minneapolis-bound evening bus slid into a ditch west of Neillsville and had to be towed out.


Melting snow on Monday and Tuesday resulted in almost a foot rise in the Black River, brining it to a height of 8.04 feet.  The river reached its highest point on April 2 when it rose to 16.49 feet, less than two feet under flood stage, which is 18 feet.


Clark County roads were again impassable and a common sight is that of cars and tractors parked just off the highways.  The farmers use tractors to get from their farms to the highways, leaving their cars parked at the intersection for use on the highways only.


The proposed new building for the Clark County Fairgrounds has received the approval of the County Board.  They have appropriated $15,000 for the building that will be of reinforced concrete and steel construction, 60’ x 100’ x 14’.


The board’s authorization starts a chain of improvements which will give a new appearance to the next fair, to be held in August.  The new building will be located just north of the grandstand, occupying part of the present Midway.  The Midway attractions will be moved farther eastward.


A large crowd attended the miscellaneous shower for Joan Drescher and Robert Prust at the Big Four School in the Riverside community on Friday evening.  Cards were played for entertainment. After the honored couple opened their gifts, refreshments were served in the basement of the school.  Guests from outside the neighborhood included Vera Johnson and Harold Prust of Greenwood and Mr. and Mrs. Willie Davis of Marshfield. 


The Loyal Sportsman’s Club Sports Show will be given this weekend at the Loyal city garage.  The program includes an indoor trout fishing pond, free movies, conservation department exhibits and fly tying.  The doors will open at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday and close at 11 p.m.  A dance will be held Sunday evening following the show.  Proceeds will be used for the club’s conservation programs.


Four Clark County youths were inducted last week into the armed services as part of the April county draft quota.


James Suda of Greenwood and Howard Frane of Curtiss were inducted into the Army at Minneapolis on April 23.  Harland Heimke of Granton, who volunteered for induction this month, was inducted into the Marine Corps.  Charles Gundlach, of Loyal, who transferred from Waukesha, was inducted into the Army.


Frank M. Broeren is concluding today, 22 years of service as chief executive of Thorp Village and city.  He was president of the village from 1927 to 1946 and became Mayor in 1948, when Thorp became a city.  He was not a candidate for re-election this spring.  His retirement has opened the door to his old friend and associate, Otto Hiller.


The annual Spring Clean-Up will be held the first week in Neillsville, the area Chamber of Commerce has announced.  The clean up will herald the beginning of a five-year city beautification plan.


“This year, the first year of the program, the use of annuals to gain the most color will be stressed,” George Glass said.  A long-run objective of the plan is the planting of flowering crab trees by the city and private individuals.  Lilacs also will be sought, for they do well in this climate.


Seeding and re-seeding of lawns cannot be started too soon.  Joe Zilk, a Chamber member, is building a roller that he will lend out free to anyone who wants to use it. The roller has spikes on it; this helps push fertilizer in the ground.  It also creates tiny wells to collect the rain water, bringing more moisture to the roots.


The big cucumber crop is due in the Clark County area!  Prices are at the all-time tops.  See our representative in you (your) territory for our cucumber contract, they are as follows: Henry Seidelmann, Neillsville; Henry Schlinsog, Granton; James Patten, Price; J. A. Johnson, Humbird; Sam G. Finn, Merrillan, Mrs. Oswald Henninger, Loyal; Mike Kowieski, Greenwood; Elmer Severson, Willard; Andy Miller, Sherwood and Rich Hall, Augusta.  Or write direct to: Green Bay Food Co., Green Bay, Wisconsin.


Marriage licenses issued within Clark County have been as follows: Harold A Prust of the Town of Fremont, and Vera Marie Johnson of Greenwood, to be married in Greenwood on May 1st.  Robert George Sebold, Dorchester, and Elaine Marie Smith, Dorchester, to be married at Dorchester on May 1st.  Isadore J. Umlauft, Town of Holton, and Lucille E. Augustine, Town of Colby on May 10.  Alice Wehrman, Town of Beaver, and Gerald Kobiske, Town of Beaver, to be married at Loyal on May 3rd



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