Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 15, 2003, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 





Compiled by Dee Zimmerman




Clark County News


January 1908


Last week, the school board of Neillsville Schools appointed Marshall Hommel as Truant Officer under the new compulsory educational law.  All children in the city of Neillsville, between 7 and 14 years of age are required to attend a private, parochial or public school at least eight months in the year.  Parents who are not complying with the law, in regard to sending their children to some school, should attend to it at once.


On New Year’s Day, there was a most notable Short family gathering held at Shaffer’s hall in the Town of Washburn.  The reunion consisted of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of James and Betsy Short.  There were also members of the families of these descendants.  In all, about 50 people were present.  While many members of the relationship, from a distance, were not able to attend, the meeting was still a great success.


The hall was equipped with tables and dishes and all who came brought eatables.  When the long tables were loaded with the good things, it was a veritable banquet.


All ages were represented from the oldest, James Short, age 71, to little Albert Toptine, age of three months, grandson of John Short.  It was a happy gathering, reuniting family ties, acquainting the younger ones with family history and bringing all together in a joyful holiday.  No such a great family gathering has before taken place, perhaps, in the history of this county and it would seem well worth repeating such in the years to come.


Everything is quiet in the Bruce Mound area as people wait for the snow. There are but few teams of horses and wagons on the roads, compared to last winter when there were many horses and sleighs.  Farmers are sunning themselves on the south sides of their barns; talking equity until the weather changes and brings snow.


Another carload of salt has been set off at the Columbia depot for the pickle factory.  That adds up to four carloads that have been used there for the pickles.  A member of the Libby, McNeil & Libby firm was here a short time ago to look after the pickles.  He found the pickles in excellent shape and said they should soon be ready to ship.


Last week, Miss Katherine Mick found a beautiful pearl in some oysters.  She has not as yet ascertained its value but it is said to be a fine looking specimen.  Paul Walk, of Walk’s store who sold her the oysters, says he can’t guarantee a pearl with every sale, but that every purchaser has a chance of finding such a gem.


Last Sunday, every place in the village of Abbotsford, in which intoxicating liquors could be purchased, was closed throughout the entire day.  In fact, the “lid” was on tight and our citizens were given a sample of what might be expected every day in the week when the prohibitionists rule the country.  Some complaint was heard from the thirsty ones who had not prepared themselves for the drought ahead of time.  Except for the fact that the saloons were closed, the day passed off much the same as many other Sundays have.


The Presbyterian Church has scheduled some of their events.


Special evangelistic meetings have started at the Dells Dam Church. The meetings are held every Wednesday evening and will continue for some time.  Services begin at 7:30 p.m.


Hoganson’s string band furnished fine music for a dance Friday night at Tioga.  There were 78 people in attendance and that made it a great success.  At midnight, everyone took a break and was served hot coffee and a fine lunch.  After the lunch, everyone resumed dancing until about six o’clock in the morning.


Preparations are already being made for building summer cottages on the banks of the Hatfield pond.  Neillsville parties have secured over 800 feet of frontage at what was known as Green’s Landing.  Green’s Landing is located about a mile and a half below Dells Dam. Among those who expect to build cottages or bungalows by the pond, are A. H. Halvorson, Gerhart Johnson, Hi Hart and Ed Halvorson.


January 1958


The Romadka School District in the Town of York with $402,000 equalized valuation will become a part of the Granton School District next July 1.


This consolidation move was voted upon and passed unanimously by the Clark County school committee, last Friday evening, following a public hearing.


The addition will give the Granton District nearly 50 percent more valuation, increasing the total to slightly more than $1 ½ million.


Comprising seven sections of land – a larger area than that of the original Granton School District – the Romadka District becomes the first full district added to Granton.  Other consolidations with that district heretofore have involved only portions of other districts.



The Romadka School, Dist. No. 4, Town of York, was located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Highway H and Romadka road, at the top of the hill.  The district was established at its first school meeting on July 5, 1887.  John P. Kintzele was then elected chairman at the meeting.  A new two-room building was put up in 1906 and put into use starting in 1907, operating until 1958 when the district consolidated with the Granton School District.  There were two teachers for most of the years during its existence.  Some of those teachers who taught Sadie Graves Rowe, Bertha Albrecht Bartz, Victor Pagenkopf, Helen Braatz, Mildred Bartz, Evelyn Bartz, Verna Kozmoski, Anna Scherer Zank, Marie Zillmer, Mary Yankee, Ella Raine, Ethel Grottke Paulson, Violet Walker Bender, Natalie Dankemeyer, Nina Wolter and Faith McVean.



Members of the Loyal City Council were meeting Wednesday afternoon with Melvin Zettler to resolve questions and formalize his hiring as Loyal City’s police chief.


Zettler, a substitute rural mail carrier working out of the Loyal post office, was the unanimous choice of the council when it met to select a new chief Tuesday night.  Zettler’s name was at the top of the list of four men recommended by the police commission out of 12 applicants.


On the applications, according to City Clerk Lawrence Davel, the question of expected salary was raised.  Most of the applications listed a salary of “around $300 per month,” Davel said.  Zettler’s application listed that figure.


In addition to the salary, a car expense of $40 per month also will be provided.  The chief is expected to provide a car for his own use.


Zettler will succeed Oral Paulson, who resigned in December.  The police chief position has been filled in the interim by Elmer Newman, a long-time police chief who had retired.


The Clark County law enforcement committee, on Monday afternoon, accepted the low bid of Fel-Gross Chevrolet, Inc. of Neillsville for three new cars for the county traffic police.


The cash price, plus trade-in of the present units, is $1,779.25 per unit.


The cars will have black tops with white bottoms, plus several other special features.


Members of the law enforcement committee who made the selection are: H. R. Baird, chairman of the County Board of Supervisors: Herman Schoenherr, Town of Weston; Richard F. Gaffney, city of Owen; Bernard Neumann, Town of Unity and George Schmitz, Town of Lynn.


Members of the Immanuel West Side Evangelical and Reformed congregation officially changed the name of their church to the Immanuel United Church of Christ at their annual meeting Sunday afternoon.


The change is in line with the union of the Reformed and Congregational Churches, which has taken place on a national scale; but which will require a considerable time to be implemented on the local levels.


Thus, Immanuel becomes the second church group in Clark County to make the move toward unity of the two congregations.  Zion United Church of Greenwood was the first to take similar action.


Linus Prock, one of the area’s oldest merchants, has retired, announcing the sale of his Globe store to Raymond Kalsow.


The sale ended a half century as a Globe merchant for Prock, who went into the store business on that stand in 1908. For the 28 years preceding that, he had worked on his father’s farm, on a little plot of land east of the store.


Prock’s father offered to give the farm to him, he reminisced the other day; but the stone on the land – and those early Globe area farmers didn’t need anyone to tell them about the stone – held no appeal for him.


“Working the land with all of that stone was hard on machinery and on men,” he commented.  “It would make a wrestler out of anyone.”


During one winter, Prock has a taste of store work in Neillsville.  He was employed at Klein’s store (later purchased by C. C. Wasserburger) that winter.  One of his fellow-workers was Katie Wasserburger, who still is connected with that store.  She is one of the oldest – if not the oldest – merchant still active in the area. With the retirement of Prock, her horizon expands in this respect.


In those early days, the Globe area was not the developed farmland that it is today.  Woods bounded on every side of the store and the farms were scattered.  Horse and buggy, of course, were the mode of transportation and this crossroad store was a Mecca for all that countryside.  People came from Tioga and Willard to do their trading there.


In his early days as “the Globe merchant,” Prock built a large horse shed and dances frequently were staged above the store.  On dance nights, dinners were served in the store’s basement.


The advent of the automobile has brought about a change in that, however, and today the dance hall has been converted into two apartments.


Several years ago, when Prock’s son, Harold, was interested in mink, they installed a freezer for use in that business.  But when Harold gave up the mink business, Prock converted the freezer space into lockers, which now are used for meat storage by farmers in the area.


Although he leaves the Globe store, Prock takes with him memories of people and events that have crowded the last century.  One is the “Globe Band,” a galaxy of musicians who played far and near in his earlier days.  Prock played second cornet in that group and other members of the group included Ellis Jacklin, Alvin and Mike Gall, Bill Schwellenbach, his brothers, John and Ed Prock, Eric Schoenherr, Louis Scheel, and Carl and George Hoffmann.


The crowded moments also include a couple of hair-raising experiences, both of which are hunting-connected.  The last occurred six or seven years ago, when the bullet from a hunter’s high-powered rifle ripped through Prock’s car, from one side to the other, narrowly missing his chest.


Prock has nothing in view of the immediate future, except maybe going to Florida for the rest of the winter.


A 1957 Ford, belonging to Melvin Marg, broke through the ice on a back-water of the Mississippi River and spent 24 hours in 13 feet of water, with only the headlights and radiator showing above the water line.


Art Tews, Melvin Marg and Curt Stone, all of Neillsville, had made two other trips to the Mississippi River, near Trempealeau, this winter.  On Sunday morning, they took with them Irvin Marg for his first ice-fishing trip of the year.  During the morning, they caught seven good-sized crappies.  At noon, they decided to move to a new position.


Supposing that the ice was safe, Melvin, alone, drove out onto the ice. The ice had been weakened and the rear end of the car broke through.  Melvin jumped from the car, which kept sinking and sinking for two hours, until only about four inches of it could be seen.


A wrecker was brought to the scene Sunday afternoon, but darkness ended the rescue attempt.  The men returned to Neillsville, going back to the river early Monday morning, to find the car in the same place.  By 1 p.m. Monday, with the help of a wrecker, the car was pulled to shore. The only damage to the body of the car was a few bends in the front where the car and ice came together, which had been caused by a good soaking.


Pulling it slowly behind the Art Tews car, the Marg car was brought to Neillsville, where an over-hauling will be made. Although they left their car over on the Mississippi for 24 hours, not a thing was missing, the seven fish were in good condition and the fishing equipment apparently will be all right for future fishing trips – if anyone wants to go again.




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