Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 18, 2002, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


September 1902


The new fountain at the Clark County courthouse park has been finished.  The water to the fountain was turned on this Tuesday.  The fountain is a gift to the city of Neillsville from Robert Gates, of Milwaukee, the son of Jas. L. Gates.  It is a beautiful gift and one that will be greatly admired by all who see it.  J. W. Hommel had the job of setting up the fountain on the lawn.  (It is believed that this same fountain is now in the Memorial Hospital’s courtyard. DZ)


The new Wedges Creek Bridge in the Town of Hewett will be ready for crossing by Monday. Travelers can presently use the nearby ford, as it is a safe means of crossing the creek.


The work of the pupils of the Neillsville Day School for the Deaf drew considerable attention at the Clark County fair.  Their work in basketry consisting of jardiniθre mats, tablemats, fancy basket display and other weavings was greatly admired.  One of the pupils, Grace Begley, took two first premium and two second premiums in embroidery; Ina Obrien took a first premium on embroidered doilies and Jessie Oldham took first premium in point lace collars.  W. D. Parker, Inspector of Day Schools for the Deaf sent a card to Mrs. E. H. Irish in regard to the exhibit of the Neillsville Day School at the fair. The card said, “Your school enterprise is up to a high mark in this exhibition.  I know of no other such fine exhibit.”


A cyclist mounted on a gasoline motor bicycle was in Neillsville on Tuesday.  He claimed to have left Green Bay in the morning and was expecting to eat supper that evening at Eau Claire.


Many of our local nimrods with their dogs, guns and hunting licenses have invaded the wilds of Clark County.  The hunters are reporting various amounts of success in bagging grouse and prairie chickens from the lairs in the towns of Levis, Washburn, Sherwood and Hewett.


Fred Seif has lumber on the ground for a new barn to be built on his lot along Grand Avenue.  Nick Wilger and M. L. Wing have put up the foundation for the barn. Seif will not build his new house until next spring.


Fred Oelig of Greenwood, and Miss Margaret McNamara of Neillsville, were married at the home of the bride on the North Side, Saturday afternoon Sept. 20, 1902.  Rev. T. Grafton of Owen officiated the ceremony.  Only relatives of the parties and a few intimate friends were present.  A large number of beautiful presents were bestowed.  The groom is highly esteemed by all who know him.  The bride has a host of friends among the people of Neillsville and places where she taught school. The young couple has begun housekeeping in the groom’s home in Greenwood.


Fred Beel, the strong man of Marshfield and “Farmer” Nettleton, of Alma Center, will have a wrestling match at the Opera House on Monday evening, Sept. 29.


Harve Rickard caught two immense fish at the mouth of O’Neill Creek on the Black River, Monday.  Some who saw the fish said they were pickerel while others said they were muskellunge.


August Schoengarth, who owns the Delane hotel building now occupied by O. P. Wells shop, will be doing some remodeling on the building.  He plans to put a new wall under the building as well put in a new front with brick veneer and other improvements.


Sealed proposals for furnishing 250 cords of green wood for the Neillsville schools will be received by the school board at any time prior to October 14, 1902, at 2 p.m.  An amount of 190 cords is to be delivered at the South Side schoolhouse and 60 cords at the North Side schoolhouse in the city of Neillsville, before March 20, 1903.


The wood must be smooth, sound, body hardwood and cut from live timber, 30 inches in length.  Black or red oak, elm, basswood or poplar will not be accepted.


Bids for furnishing the largest percentage of body hard maple and ironwood will be given preference and should therefore specify such percentage.


Bids will also be received and considered at the same time for furnishing 30 cords of 30-inch dry pinewood.


September 1942


The nation-wide scrap harvest will be opened in Clark County on Saturday, Sept. 19th.  The gathered junk, anything made of metal or rubber, will be made into guns, tanks, and ships for our war-fighting men.


One old farm disc will provide scrap steel needed for 210 semi-automatic light carbine rifles.  One old plow will help make 100 75-mm. Armor-piercing projectiles.  One useless old tire provides as much rubber as is used in 12 gas masks.  One old scoop shovel will help make 4 hand grenades.


The city of Neillsville is heaving in a 17-ton steamroller that has seen a lot of good service in the city since it was purchased in 1901.


The steamroller was sold to a La Crosse salvage dealer who had the equipment to cut and break the machine up. The guaranteed price for the steamroller as scrap is $160; but the exact weight is, as yet, not known.  City Clerk William F. Hemp provided that, should the machine weigh more than 16 tons, the city will receive additional payment at the rate of $10 per ton.


After the sale was completed, Hemp went laboriously through the minutes of early council meetings in Neillsville to learn some of the history behind the old steamroller.  He found that it was purchased in 1901, as a second-hand machine, from the city of Duluth, Minn.  The price was $1,050; and the city paid freight of $55.96 to get it here.


For many years, the roller was used to provide good streets for the city.  In that connection, it worked in conjunction with a granite pit operated by the city near the mouth of O’Neill Creek on Black River.


The American Legion post of Neillsville is making its positive contribution to the scrap harvest.  It is putting up on bids, the 7,950-pound cannon, that was, until a few days ago, an ornamental field piece before the courthouse.


The cannon, is being sold on bid and Legion commander Harry Roehrborn says several bids have been received.


An amount of 265,349 pounds of scrap metal has been collected by Clark County implement dealers in the first week of the countywide drive.


There is little doubt that the county’s quota of 500 tons can be reached.  But this will require the utmost cooperation of every farmer in the county. The drive will continue until every farm in Clark County has been collected from. A flat rate of $8 per ton is being paid when the metal is picked upon the farm or $10 per ton if the scrap metal is brought in to a collection depot.


The school bus, when for two years has served the children of Washburn and Sherwood towns, has departed from our midst.  This leaves its former patrons high and dry, at least for the time being.


The bus took its departure just a week or ten days before the opening of school, much to the surprise of the school authorities of Neillsville and of the children’s parents. As a result the parents are wondering how to manage with some 45 or 50 school children.  The school people are hoping that some prophet will arise to produce a bus and a driver.  In the lack of an immediate answer, some of the parents are looking around in Neillsville hoping to arrange for local accommodations to keep the children during the school week.


The bus that has vanished did not belong to the school district, or the parents.  It was the property of Clayton McCann, who had operated the bus for two years.  McCann had attended to the transportation business for two years, on a contract made just as each school year opened.  He and his bus were rather taken for granted for the school year 1942-43.


On last Friday evening, McCann called Superintendent Don Peters and asked him whether the school wanted to buy the bus.  He said that there was a man coming up on Saturday to take it, but he wanted to give the school the first chance.


The school board held a meeting with McCann present.  They explained to McCann that, under the new budget law, the school board can buy nothing not provided for in the budget.  The offer was made to McCann, in maintaining the service, by liberalizing his returns there from.  Prior to that time the school had paid ten cents per day per pupil transported and the parents had paid 75 cents to a $1.00 per week, depending on distance.


The school board requested McCann to wait a few days in which they could make arrangements.  However, McCann proceeded with his plans to sell the bus.


A stranger, who happened to be passing through Neillsville, saw the bus being service in preparation for the new school season.  Needing a bus badly, he asked for the owner.  McCann felt he couldn’t refuse the great offer made by the man for immediate sale of the bus.


The perplexity of parents and school arises from the difficulty of making hurried arrangements under present conditions. The big question is whether a bus can be purchased.  With automobile factories practically all turned to the war effort, school buses are not lying around loose.  All of those involved are hoping that one will turn up in time to save the local situation.


The one remaining building used as a business place in Columbia, has been sold to Herman Embke, who is busily engaged in tearing it down. The old structure was built by a man named Copley in about 1896-97.  He operated a store and also lived in the building.  A number of people living here remember when the building was put up.  Since the time it was built, the store has been operated by numerous individuals, but finally became only a dwelling place.


Embke has also purchased the garage which was built by August Schlender when he conducted a business establishment in Columbia a number of years ago.  This building will also be razed and the material from both buildings taken to the Embke’s farm. There, he intends to use the lumber for building a poultry house. Embke made both purchases from William Sollberger who owned the buildings.  With the Columbia lots vacated, the removal of the depot and the switch track, and the razing to these buildings one can truly say that Columbia is a “ghost” town and has finally vanished from the past.


George Crothers, age 11, son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Crothers, suffered a fracture of the right leg about four inches above the ankle. A cart in which he and John Cummings were riding down a hill on South Hewett Street swerved into a tree, his leg being caught between the cart and the tree.  George was taken to the Neillsville Hospital where the fracture was set.  After a few days of rest there, he was able to return to his home at Maple Glen farm.


The Granton school bus is temporarily out of commission.  On the first day of school, August 31, a connecting rod broke and damage was done to the motor.  The parts have been slow in arriving. The school authorities have not received a hopeful prophecy as to the time of the parts receipt.  So, four passenger cars are making the rounds to pick up the 36 pupils on the bus route.  Some of these cars are making two trips night and morning, four trips daily.  These cars are driven by Mrs. William Schmidtke, secretary of the school board; Armin Moh, a member of the board; William Young, the regular bus driver and Mr. Kinney, the instructor in agriculture.


Culminating six weeks of intensive study, the rubber investigating committee headed by economist Barnard Baruch, has reported their decision to President Roosevelt.  They suggest a nation-wide gasoline rationing to save rubber as one of the steps that must be immediately taken.  The speed limit of 35 miles per hour on all highways will also be enforced.  This will hopefully prevent “both a military and civilian collapse.”


A thrilling, yet horrible story of the battle for northern Norway was told by Theodor Broch, refugee mayor of Narvik.  He was a guest and speaker in Greenwood last Thursday evening.


The mayor of Narvik for six years previous to German occupation in the spring of 1940, Broch twice escaped a death sentence placed on his head by the conquering Nazis.


Fog enshrouded the city of Narvik when the Germans came on April 9, 1940, he related.  At 4:45 that morning, the city’s 10,000 people were awakened by the sound of terrific explosions in the harbor.  We later learned that the only two Norwegian warships in the area had been attacked by a force of nine enemy warships and were sent down in only a couple of minutes.  One didn’t get in a single shop (shot).


The attack came as a complete surprise, Broch said.  For the year previous, Germany had been Norway’s best customer. The Norwegian people believed in peace, so when the blow came they were unprepared.  The people had no understanding of war. They had only two months to learn – yet they left 60,000 German soldiers killed in Norway.


Narvik was twice captured by the German army and twice was able to escape.  In the second escape, he, his wife and daughter, were able to flee in a fishing boat and after two days at sea, they landed at a small island fjord.  Broch persuaded a young lad to show him a way over the mountains into Sweden, leaving his wife and child behind.


In Stockholm he met Mrs. Harriman, American counsel there, and from her secured a visa to permit his passage through Russia and Siberia, across the Pacific Ocean and to the United States.


Through a letter smuggled out of Norway, Broch was able to learn that his wife and daughter had been captured by the Gestapo.  Then a year ago, Broch received word from Stockholm informing him that his family had been rescued by the underground.  Eventually, they made their way across Siberia, across the Pacific Ocean and were reunited with Broch in Chicago.



Wrestling matches were occasionally held within the Clark County area during the early 1900s.  Well-known wrestlers would come to challenge some local talent that drew a crowd of spectators. The above photo was presumably taken at the Clark County Fairgrounds.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ Collection)



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