Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August21, 2002, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 




Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


August 1902


The masonry work on George Wiesner’s new residence, located on Grand Avenue, has been completed.  The carpentry work has been let to Gus Krause who will begin work with his crew this week.  Krause knows what good carpenter work is and this assures a fine building for Wiesner.


Jesse Lowe returned Wednesday of last week from Long Lake where he spent a few days fishing with Dr. Bradbury.  Lowe brought back about 40 pounds of fresh fish which he distributed among his friends.  He, with several others, has decided to build a cottage up there to use for summer outings.


J. W. Hommel has rented the Ring & Youmans building on Fifth Street.  He is fitting it up for a bowling alley. An addition of 20 feet is being built at the rear of the building.  There will be three lanes and it will be run in first-class shape.


The community of Columbia is going to have a new graded school building.  The school building, 24’ x 60’, two stories high, will be erected in addition to the present one of 24’ x 40’ now in use. There will be a basement of nine feet high, with all sanitary appliances recommended for a good school.  The building will seat at least 150 children and have room to play besides. The new school building will be heated by a furnace.  Ground will be broken at once and the building project will be pushed with all possible speed so as to be ready by October 1st.  The buildings will furnish room for five grades.


The Fulwiller Bros., of the Wilcox community, will attach a blower to their grain separator this fall.  They will do away with the common straw carrier.  This new attachment will be a labor saver for both the thresher men and the farmer.


Ray Mortimer, Glenn Rowe, Earl Campbell, Clifford Winn, Orin Lawrence, Abie Turner and Jesse Rowe went to Marshfield last Sunday where they attended the Crusade camp meeting.  Lawrence, Turner and Rowe made the trip on their wheels.  (Wheels, then, were bicycles. DZ)


August Soderberg, of near Thorp, cut a 4-acre field of wheat on his farm last week.  All who had seen it before it was cut said it was the best looking wheat field to be found in the county.  The expected yield is placed at 40 bushels per acre.


A group of Neillsville people left for a camping trip near Christie.  The party consists of: Mr. and Mrs. Claude Sturdevant, Bessie and Gertie Kennedy, Frank Crocker, Forest Calway, Will Campman and Mamie Hewett.  They are camping on the island above the Christie Bridge on the Black River.


Special notice to people desiring to attend the Clark County Fair and who live at Granton, Chili, Marshfield or intermediate flag stations:  You are hereby notified that arrangements have been made to hold Freight Train No. 168, at Neillsville until 6 p.m., each day of the fair.  This will give persons living at those stations an opportunity to attend the fair each afternoon and be able to return home at 6 o’clock.  The railroad round trip cost will be one and one-third the cost of a one-way trip.


August 1937


Work was started at the site of the new post office building in Neillsville on Wednesday morning.  The project is under the direction of Harold Ebbe, of the Ebbe Construction Co., of Trenton, Mo., with Alfred Burk of Memphis, Tenn., as foreman.  Ebbe stated that the company was all set to proceed with construction work as soon as Inspector Wm. Cooke arrives and makes his final inspection, which will likely be next Monday.


Schultz Bros. of Neillsville have been awarded the sub-contract for excavating the site.  P. M. Warlum has the contract for the wiring.  A Gary, Ind., firm has the contract for the plumbing and heating.  A Milwaukee firm will do the roofing as well as the damp-proofing of the basement and other walls. 


Emil Mattson started work yesterday on the water and sewer connections.


The new federal building will be one of the finest in the state for a city the size of Neillsville.  It will be a fine addition to the Main Street. The structure will be built on the large vacant lot just a short distance south of the present building being used for post office purposes.


There was an occasion for a rally and celebration by the Clark County Democrat leaders here on Thursday, August 26, with the ground breaking for the new $70,000 post office of Neillsville. Those present were: John Wuethrich of Greenwood, chairman of the county Democratic committee, Robert Kurth of Neillsville, treasurer of the committee; Louis Kurth, Neillsville postmaster; William Klopf of Neillsville, the oldest Democrat in Clark County, and Dr. R. L. Barnes, of Greenwood, secretary of the committee.


The new $70,000 classical style Neillsville post office will be built of buff face brick lain with light cream mortar under present specifications.  The building will be trimmed with light cream color dolomite stone from Mankato, Minn.  Approximately 30,000 face brick will be required and the interior wall of the building will take another 58,000 of common brick, according to officials.


At the entrance to the building, which will be on Hewett Street, granite entrance steps will be constructed and exterior light standards in bronze with statuary finish will illuminate the front. The commodious lobby will have a floor of quarra tile which is usually red in color and the wainscoting is to be of ceramic tile.  Woods in the inside are to be hard, stained and with varnish finish.  From the lobby through out the building, other floors will be of maple and oak.


Bronze lock boxes, of Greek design and employing the use of keys, will be installed, about 116 in all.  These lock boxes are made under a special government license and keys will be issued by the post master, who will alone be able to find the correct place for lost ones.  Foundation walls of the building will be steel reinforced concrete and the entire structure will be fireproof.  Mesh wire will be used in the basement floor concreting.  Part of the basement will be left unfinished.  The roof will be of copper and 5-ply composition with kitchen gravel.


A large driveway, entering from Hewett Street, will be macadamized and will be approximately the size of the full building at the rear for official parking.  The loading platform at the east end will have a marquise covering and will enter into a small vestibule, which in turn will enter the workroom.  There will also be a swing room on the first floor, which is used when carriers change shifts.  Standard post office lobby windows will be provided for Postal Savings, C.O.D., and similar matters handled in a financial section with Parcel Post, Stamps and other services at windows nearby.  Letter drops and a drop for small parcels will complete the inside frontal section.  Writing desks for convenience and bulletin boards for information will be provided.  Business will be transacted only in the lobby.  The present delay in construction will be for a short time only, until preliminary specifications and acceptances are completed.


Work on the new $70,000 post office in Neillsville got under way in earnest this week with approval of construction materials sent to Washington and W. W. Cook, federal construction engineer, arriving here last week to supervise the construction work.  On Saturday, work was started on reinforcing the south retaining wall.  Since Monday, a large crew of men has been at work removing earth and digging trenches for the foundation walls.


H. J. Ebbe, who is in charge of the work here for the Ebbe Construction Co. of Trenton, MO. states that pouring of concrete for the walls may start on Friday.  The large mixer is to be here by then.  A number of carloads of sad and gravel from the Eau Claire Sand & Gravel Co. have arrived and are being hauled to the East Sixth Street side of the new building.  Waiting for approval of some of the material samples caused a short delay.


The superstructure of the federal building will likely be well along in a few months, though there may be some delay in getting steel for window and door frames as well as other parts because of the steel mills being behind on orders due to strikes.


C. C. Ebbe, head of the Ebbe Construction Co. is not a stranger in this section, as he spent his youth up this way, having many relatives at Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield.


Neillsville people will watch with interest the construction of the new post office building.  It will be ready for occupancy at about the forepart of the New Year.  The building will be one of the finest of its type in the state, or the entire northwest and one of which the city may well be proud.


The cornerstone of the new post office was put in place Wednesday without ostentation or ceremony, as apparently very few knew it was to take place.  Inspector Cook said that there is no ceremony unless a fraternal or civic body asks the privilege of such and then it is given.  Sometimes these ceremonies interfere with the work for several hours.


Good progress is being made on the brick laying, with eight men working and it will take about 15 more days to finish the work.  The weather has been warm and ideal.


Light buff colored brick with roughened tapestry acing is being laid.  This comes from Galesburg, Ill., and the stone facing comes from Mankato, Minn., which matches very well.


(Sunday, August 25, 2002, the Neillsville Post Office will be honored on its 70th Anniversary when it is recognized with its acceptance on the National Register of Historical Places. DZ)


The Loyal School District voted to build an $84,500 high school building, providing a WPA grant of $37,000 can be obtained.


Fred Stelloh, Neillsville Mayor, has announced that all Neillsville business places will close for the afternoons on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during the Clark County Fair this week.


Evidence that people of the early 1880s took their politics as seriously as they do today: is revealed in the inscription on a tombstone in the Neillsville Cemetery which Walter Dangers recently brought to the attention of the Press and thereby revealed an interesting bit of early local history.


The stone, a small arch, supported by two pillars, stands on the Jacob Rossman lot in the old section of the cemetery.  It bears the inscription, “Young Republicans, Robie S., son of Jacob and Catherine Rossman, died Jan. 10, 1881, AE 1 yr., 9 m’s, 16 days.  Jacie O., son of Jacob and Catherine Rossman, Died Jan. 6, 1881, AE 3 yrs., 2 m’s, 29 days.”


Inquiring of Fred Rossman, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Rossman and Neillsville’s present chief of police, it was learned that these two little boys were victims of diphtheria.  At that time there was no effective treatment for that disease and it resulted in many deaths.


“My father was an ardent Republican,” said Rossman, “and of course was bitterly opposed to the Democratic Party.  When the little boys died he could think of no finer tribute than to honor their memory by inscribing ‘Young Republicans’ on their tombstone.”


Jacob Rossman, who had run a hotel at Plymouth, Wis., came with his family to Neillsville, Aug. 14, 1870, making the trip by a team of horses and wagon from Humbird.  The roads were almost impassable because of mud.  Fred Rossman recalled that they tipped over three times on the trip.  They stopped over night at the Hunter’s home, a half way house that was located a short distance west of the present Wedge’s Creek Bridge on Highway 10.


Almost immediately after arriving in Neillsville, Rossman rented a hotel of Charles Hubbard, which stood on the site of the Merchants Hotel.  A month later, he purchased the inn, operating it for 15 years.  Fred Rossman does not recall who purchased the Rossman house.  His father then built the building now occupied by Eva’s Fashion Shoppe, running a saloon there which was a popular place in those days.  In 1876, Rossman was encouraged by his friends to run for sheriff of Clark County on the Republican ticket, opposing Ed Markey.  Rossman was elected and served from 1876 to 1878.


Fred Rossman said that both he and his wife were the third children in families of 10 children and that he and his wife are the only ones left out of both their families.  Mrs. Rossman’s maiden name was Miss Carrie Kunze. 


Walter Dangers made the interesting observation that the tombstones in the old cemetery disclose that many of those who died were under the age of 15.  During the 1980s, (1890s), 1990s, (1890s) and early years of the early years of the 20th Century, children’s diseases claimed a great number of lives in this community.  Medical science since those days has developed the vaccines, serums and anti-toxins which have been responsible for making many of the old scourges of the human race, for particularly children, virtually harmless.


Jas. Slauson and William Orth are owners of a new sawmill located near the banks of Rock Creek, south of Greenwood, near the railroad track.  They are producing a large quantity of ties and lumber.  The mill is built of steel and power for it is furnished by an electric motor.


Applications are being taken by the Resettlement Administration, in Marshfield, from farmers who wish to permanently establish themselves on farms in Clark, Wood, Marathon and Jackson counties.  These can be paid from current receipts in a form like rental.  The government requires no cash payment, but expects a credit record sufficiently good enough to support the application.



North Hewett Street from the Seventh Street intersection looking northward with part of the Merchants Hotel, the Neillsville Mills and the Hewett Street Bridge in view; as it appeared in the late 1890s.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ family collection)



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