Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

December 10, 2003, Page 16

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News


December 2003 (Believed to be 1903)


Something dreadful will surely happen in this town before long. It is fearfully quiet at present: No fires, robberies, accidents, elopements or anything else transpiring to enable us to gather a few local items.  There is always a lull before a terrible storm. 


“Sebe” Woods, of the firm of Hewett & Woods Company, is in town.  He is ever welcome here, where earlier associations have gained, for him, hosts of friends.  La Crosse now claims him as its citizen, at which place he attends to the interests of the company.  But he will never be severed from the attachments created here, while he arose from the humble yet honorable position of “ox-driver” to be associated with one of the wealthiest lumbering firms on the Black River.


Our friend Arch Day, proprietor of the new hotel at the Black River Bridge, six miles south of Neillsville, will give a Christmas ball at his hotel on Friday night, December 25th(Arch Day’s hotel was located on what is now Poertner Road. D. Z.)


Mr. H. Stiles, from King’s Mill, informed us the other day of the narrow escape of the hotel at Kingston, from total destruction by fire.  There was quite a serious accident to the proprietor, G. W. King Esq., in his successful efforts to subdue the flames.  The pipe from the bar room stove, passes up through a bedroom.  The hot pipe, from the stove, set fire to combustible material in the chamber.  Before the fire was discovered and distinguished, about $50 worth of clothing was destroyed.  Mr. King endeavored to smother the flames with a blanket and forgot the jeopardy of his own person and came out of the fire contest minus his scalp.  The hair on the top of his head is burned off and the skin blistered. The burn is no less painful than the embarrassment and we truly sympathize with Mr. King in this unfortunate accident.


Mr. Hans Johnson is making preparations for a grand Christmas ball at the O’Neill House on the evening of Dec. 25th.  Tickets are already out and Hans is going to do his best to make the affair a big thing.  He has engaged four of the best musicians of Black River Falls to play for the ball. 


Be sure to attend the Sabbath school entertainment at the schoolhouse on Christmas Eve.  In distributing gifts upon the tree for the young folks, remember the poor and needy.  There are always some in the community whose poverty denies them many little luxuries and comforts that could be easily bestowed upon them by those who enjoy a good share of this world’s goods.  How that little child’s heart would leap with joy at the sight of some little gift carefully addressed to its keeping.  It’s not only in gaining possession of a much desired treasure, but in the thought that he or she is being remembered during this season.  Let it also be remembered during the holiday season that while some can feast over their fat turkeys and live in pleasant scenes, that there are others who cannot enjoy it through urgent need.  Let such be made happy with liberal donations from those who are able and let all our hearts be glad.


The lumbermen in the pinewoods, of this section of the county, are just now fairly at work.  Men are still coming into town for employment and have little trouble in getting it.  The supply has not been, at any time, inadequate to the demand for labor.  Camps are scattered along upon nearly every stream in all directions from here and over 30 miles north of us.  The bad season during the present year does not seem to check the operations of the coming season and the prospects are that more timber will be cut this winter than last year.  In the southern part of the county, not much snow has fallen and scarcely any log hauling has been done.  But in the northern part of the county, snow is about a foot deep and the loggers are predicting a favorable winter with a rich harvest in the spring.  It surely will be of much benefit to us all if the season is good.


Mr. Carl Peterson’s boot and shoe shop, in the building opposite the O’Neill House, on the south side of the street, is turning out good work.  A fine or coarse boot can be made in a style to give perfect satisfaction.  He will also do shoe or boot repairs on short notice.


Forty acres of unimproved hardwood land, situated about nine miles east of here, was sold last Saturday for the big price of $7 per acre.


J. P. Thompson & Company has taken unusual pains to furnish their store with everything pertaining to lumbermen’s supplies.  Lumbermen should consult their interests by calling on the J. P. Thompson store.


December 1943


The Calway cranberry development, in the Town of Hewett, has been sold to Leonard Rodiger and Edward Johns of the Wisconsin Rapids area.  The young men are in possession and are proceeding with plans to carry on the development, which was started by the late Forrest D. Calway.


This transaction is one of the most important transfers in the recent history of Clark County, involving an opportunity to develop a project that may well attain high value.  The beds already planted extend over about 11 acres, but the opportunity is there to developing seven or eight times the present area of cranberries.  That means it is an important project with very substantial potential.


The cranberry project, in the Town of Hewett, became the chief interest and life work of Forrest D. Calway, who in the Depression years turned to it in preference to exclusive devotion to the practice of law.  Mr. Calway felt that such a development, in the lean years of the Depression, would grow with recovery to an important investment.


In developing this idea, Mr. Calway purchased about 640 acres of land and possessed himself of water rights needed for the development and perpetual care of the cranberry beds.  He had first investigated the possibilities of that particular area and had satisfied himself that the correct elements were present in land and water for the growth of cranberries.  He retained all of the water rights and all of the land, about 320 acres, needed for the cranberry project.


Having collected the necessary land and rights, Mr. Calway did such construction work by way of dams, ditches, ponds and flumes as would provide for the cranberry beds.  He made considerable plantings and had brought some of the first beds to bearing.  It was in the company’s pickup truck, which he used for his work at the cranberry marsh, that his seizure came, not quite two years ago, which brought Mr. Calway’s efforts summarily to an end.


This left the responsibility of the marsh to Mrs. Calway, who has managed it for two seasons, but who at no time intended to attempt its further development and permanent ownership and management.  With the sale now concluded, she is relieved of the burden.


Edward Decker has sold the South Lynn cheese factory and farm to Edward H. Verhagen.  Possession of the factory was given Wednesday, December 1.  The Deckers are intending to return to Thorp, where they have bought a home.  Mr. Decker intends to go into the local dairy business there, catering to the home trade.


The Deckers have been at South Lynn for five years.  The factory was closed before they bought it.  They have worked up the business until they have 37 patrons.  They have a family of four children, one of whom, a girl, had been attending Neillsville High School.


The Verhagens have been residing on a farm near Chili.  For the past few years Mr. Verhagen has been farming, but prior to that he was in the cheese business.


Thirty-three men from Clark County were accepted for the November selective service board.  Of these, 11 went into the army, 19 into the navy and three into the marines.  It will be noted as significant that the navy and marines got double the number taken for the army.  Some were fathers.


The Neillsville area contributed none for the army.  Greenwood furnished Edward T. Wolowik, route 2.


Loyal sent Sherrin L. Mack.


Curtiss sent Norman A. Bakke, John J. Skutak and Harold M. German, all of route 1.


Owen furnished John P. Devine, Carl E. Sillampa of route 1 and Onnie Puro of route 2.


Thorp sent James G. Caterina, Jr., of the village and James W. McHenry of route 1.


Those who joined the navy were:


Neillsville contributed four men to the navy; Milo R. Mabie, John E. Adams and Hilmer Dudei of the city and Joseph P. Reinart of route 4.


Greenwood furnished Edward A Malinowski of route 5 and Lester W. Severson of route 3.


From Withee went John L. Blunck and Edgar J. Linjer of the village, Lester Bytof of route 1 and Edwin E. Niemi of route 2.


From Thorp went Robert C. Herman of the village and Leonard E. Krych of route 2.


From Curtiss went Norbert W. Buss and Lorin I. Peterson.


From Owen went Cecil W. Beede of the city and Thomas L. Simon of route 2.


From Colby went Calvin E. Schultz of the city and Arnold H. Gosse of route 2.


From Dorchester, route 1, went Delbert C. Dake.


The three men joining the marines were Russel A. Gehrke of Loyal route 1, Jimmy C. Thomson of Chili and Stanley J. Fisher of Spencer route 2.


The pelting season, now under way, will bring approximately $85,000 into the Neillsville community.  This will be the amount of the return to some seven mink and fox breeders whom the Press was able to reach.  In the aggregate, these breeders will pelt about 800 fox and 2,700 mink.


With prices the highest in years, breeders are now reaping the reward for their industry and patience.  The Depression years have been lean, with the fur business reasonable good to those who worked hard and persisted, but with no easy money.  However, local growers have in some instances been building their ranches and their stock during the lean years, with the result that they are cashing in now, when the prices are high.


The prospect is that mink will average close to $20 per pelt this year, the ceiling being $32.  Fox will range from $30 to $50, according to the present outlook.


The pioneer in the fur industry around here is Robert Quinnell, whose ranch is now in the care of Harold Prock.  Mr. Quinnell was forced, by ill health, to abandon his long work and residence here, going to live in the west.  Mr. Quinnell was followed in 1930 by Kurt Marg, who started then with a little breeding stock.  Mr. Marg has kept building his stock until this year, now pelting about 1,500 mink and 500 fox.  He is, of course, carrying over sufficient breeding stock to maintain his production.


The Prock and Quinnell ranch will pelt about 200 fox and 500 mink.


Eugene Short, in the Town of Grant, started with a little breeding stock seven years ago and is now pelting from 300 to 400 mink this fall.  He will carry over 200 mink as breeding stock.  Mr. Short also keeps a few fox, but his chief interest is in mink.


Alvin Schutte is pelting about 100 mink and five fox, this being the last of his fox.  He started the business in 1935.  He will stick to mink from this time on, having found them easier to care for.


Bob Wagner, of Neillsville, is pelting 40 mink and is carrying over 62 breeders.


John and William Sollberger will pelt around 50 fox.


Quite likely, there are other mink and fox breeders in the county also.


Granton now has a full-fledged Rotary Club.  At a banquet on Tuesday evening, a token presentation of the charter was made by District Govenor (Governor) John P. Adler.  There were 27 Granton men who accepted the charter through the fitting words of George J. Edlebeck, chosen as the club’s first president.


The presentation was made in the cordial atmosphere of a real out pouring of neighbors from Clark County.  More than 200 persons were present in the Granton village hall with a large representation from the Rotary clubs of Neillsville, Greenwood and Loyal.


The Granton club takes the number 5667 among Rotary clubs and is the 40th Rotary club to be organized in 1943.  Of the 40 new clubs, Governor John Adler said, 29 are in foreign countries and so the Granton club was the 11th to be organized this year in the United Stares (States) and the first of the year in District 143.


As an American community, Neillsville has its duties.


Our first duty is to support the war.  We must fight for victory and keep on fighting until we win.


Our next duty is to help with reconstruction.  This means that we must make provision for the employment of the many that will be released from the armed services.  We must also make provisions for training our coming generations so that they will be worthy of the present sacrifices.


A further duty is that, as a county seat in a substantial American community, we shall maintain our proper position of service and modest leadership.


All of these duties, it seems to many of us, will be best served by making plans now for the postwar construction of a modern high school building.  In that behalf the Rotary club has appointed a committee of three, after emphatic endorsement by the club of a new high school building, as postwar Project Number One.


First, provision for a high school can be made to promote the war effort.  If a high school is to be built after the war, it will be wise to begin saving for it now.  Let provision of a reasonable amount be made in the next school budget and let the money so raised be invested in War Bonds.  Thus we shall work for victory and at the same time make provision for our postwar duty.




In the World War II years, many homes in Clark County and throughout our county, displayed star flags in the front window of their homes.  The above photo was taken of Richard and Hattie Beyer’s Neillsville home with three star flags representing their three sons who were in the service.  Walter and Harold were in the Army while Robert was in the Navy.



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