Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 22, 2003, Page 21

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman




Clark County News


January 1898


The Luethe & Schroeder Company has bought the Phil Berg warehouse by the railroad depot.  They announce that they will buy anything and everything marketable that the farmers have to sell, paying cash or trade as desired.


This is a step in the right direction and a big step. Neillsville merchants can afford – must – to do what the merchants of other cities do. Also, the farming community must bear in mind that they owe a duty to stand by the merchants who pay cash for their produce and in turn pay cash for goods.


Work has commenced on the new iron bridge that will cross the Black River at Hatfield.  There will be three stone abutments and two spans.  Each span will be 74 feet long.  The structure will cost about $24,000.


Bob French has cleared the logs and loose stumps from Ross’s Eddy on the Black River. The place looks as clean and neat as a whistle. The job cost the Log Driving Association $60.


A report of the Levis Cheese Association for the season of 1897 is as follows:


Total number of patrons, 23; number lbs. milk delivered, 366,753; number lbs. cheese made 38, 907; total sum received for same, $2,921.45; the average price per hundred for milk 65c; lowest price for any month 38 1/2c and highest, 96c per hundred.


S. E. Hutchings, Pres.; J. W. Short, Sec.; and J. W. McAdams, Treas


Senator C. A. Youmans is having his land west of the Black River, across from the city limits, cleared off this winter.  Sam Crandall is doing the work of clearing.


Stop in at Gilbert Johnson’s store for a special on overalls.  He has about 50 dozen on hand.  Men’s black or blue overalls, 65c to 75c value, are only 40c each.  He also has a second-hand buffalo-hide overcoat, in first-class condition and it will be sold very cheap.


Milton Alexander gave a birthday party Tuesday evening with a houseful of young folks as guests. They made the roof ring and the hills resound down where Milt is weaving out the web of destiny, which has been adding years to his age and feet to his stature.


Charlie Honeywell drove his horses and a cutter, carrying a jolly load of people, to Withee on Saturday evening.  Mr. and Mrs. John Stewart, James Bryden, L. Sperbeck, G. W. Bishop, F. Taylor and F. M. Carter, all of Greenwood and Mr. and Mrs. S. P. Jones of Black River Falls, accompanied Honeywell to participate in a surprise party for Mr. and Mrs. W. C. Royer. They helped Royers celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.


The Tremont hotel, in Marshfield, is no more as its name has been changed to the Blodgett hotel.


January 1948


Pursuant to a vote taken in 1947, Thorp will become a city in 1948.  Final steps will be taken this spring to secure a charter from the state.


This step will emphasize the development of the busy municipality of the north-western portion of Clark County, for Thorp is one of the busiest places of its size in Wisconsin. It has been a busy village.  It will continue to be a busy municipality, when it enters the city ranks.


Significant of Thorp’s business is the volume of business, which passes through its bank. The transactions range, day after day, between $300,000 and $500,000, with a peak of $1,066,312.78 on August 19, 1947.  These figures are quite beyond the general experience of banks in a community of the size of Thorp.  They speak not only for the heavy business of Blue Moon Foods, Inc., Thorp Finance Corporation and Central Refrigeration, Inc., but also for that of a multitude of solid enterprises in the Thorp area, plus hundreds of thrifty individuals. Behind Thorp, and part of it, are a large number of thrifty, hard-working people, many of them Polish, who know how to turn business into money and who know how to use money after they get it.


Another indication of Thorp’s development is found in the receipts of the post office.  Those receipts stood at $8,345 in 1933, which was the first year of the incumbency of William Wagner as postmaster. By 1940, they had almost doubled, the receipts of that year having been $15,505.  In 1946, they were $23,834.   For 1947, they approximated $27,000, having more than trebled in 14 years.


Some of the preliminary steps have been taken toward becoming a city; others lie in the near future.  It has been decided that there will be four wards.


The city council will consist of eight aldermen.  Of these, four will be aldermen-supervisors; that is they will represent the city on the county board.  The others will be aldermen only; they will not hold seats on the county board.  The additional representation on the county board was one of the reasons, perhaps the strongest reason, for becoming a city.


The thousands of friends and well wishers, of Clark County, who have followed the story of David Krutsch in the last New Year’s Edition, will be delighted to know this bit of news.


Dave, at long last, is being married to “The Girl,” the silent, helping heroine of your story, who waited patiently while Dave, the boy and young man, completed a man-sized job.  You remember Dave wanted to free the farm of debt and get everything shipshape before he took the step.


Well, the Girl Jean Stanley, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Stanley of Neillsville and Dave were married Saturday afternoon, at 2 p.m., in the Cannonville Church.


Circuit Judge Roland J. Steinle, of Milwaukee, who called the story of Dave and his struggle a “modern Haratio Alger story of the farm,” no doubt will be glad to learn that the climax of the story has now been written.


The retirement at the turn of the year of the Rev. M. K. Aaberg brought to a close 46 years and 6 months in the active service of the church. But for the poor health, which forced his retirement, Rev. Aaberg might have gone on to a half-century of ministerial work.


The last 28 years, since coming to Greenwood in 1919, Rev. Aaberg served the Trondhjem Lutheran Church, just northeast of the city.  It was in that church and before a large congregation, that he delivered his farewell sermon recently.


Rev. Aaberg was ordained into the ministry in June, 1901, in Minneapolis and held his first pastorate in Madison, S. D., for eight years before going to Sioux City, Iowa.  He also served six congregations while living in Glenwood City, Wis.


For 13 years after arriving in Greenwood, in 1919, Rev. Aaberg served six congregations, including: United Lutheran, Greenwood; Trondhjem* Lutheran; Emmanuel Lutheran, Longwood and Lutheran congregations in Neillsville, Slidre and Auburndale.


Seventeen years ago, Rev. Aaberg confined his activities to the Longwood and Trondhjem congregations, then serving only the Trondhjem parish in recent years.


Rev. and Mrs. Aaberg are parents of five children and eight grandchildren.


Kenneth Speich, son of Mr. and Mrs. George Speich, Signalman, 3rd class, received his honorable discharge in Alameda Calif., January 7, after three years service in the U. S. Navy.  He served on the U. S. S. Tanker “Cacapon” in the Byrd Expedition to the Antarctic and also saw service in China, Japan, Arabia, and for several months before returning to the United States was in Pearl Harbor.  He arrived in Greenwood, Friday for a visit with his parents, his sister, Carol, and other relatives and friends.


More than 700 silver dollars were turned loose in Neillsville Monday night when the local Service Company received its first pay since reorganization.


Attached to each dollar was a red sticker to indicate that the coin had come into the community as a part of the National Guard payroll.  By that means, people of the community will be able to gain some impression of the financial value to the city of the Service Company.


The total payroll amounted to $944.99, of which $166.63 went to out-of-town officers connected with the company, according to Capt. Hallie Gault.  The remaining $778.16 was distributed to local members. The payroll covered the period of September, October and November.


Ordnance equipment was issued to men of the local Service Company at their weekly drill Monday night.  The equipment included rifles.


Army equipment was brought here from Camp McCoy, late last week, by Lt. Heron (Pink) Van Gorden and Claude Ayers.  Earlier in the week, they brought up an army truck – the first of 83 vehicles, which will be issued to the company.


Ayers will be custodian of the government equipment and property for the service company.  The job is a full-time one, calling for the caring of equipment that will be stored in the Service Company garage near the water works and government equipment in the armory.  The work is similar to that which Ayers supervised as a warrant officer during World War II.


The government thermometer in Neillsville hit 40 below early Saturday morning, January 17, 1948.  It was the coldest in the memories of most local residents, but not so cold as some of the old-timers tell.  In the pioneer days the reckoning was not by government thermometer and so the stories must be taken with allowances.


It was so cold Saturday morning that the fuel oil congealed in the outside tank at the George Freezy home, 132 21st Street.  The fire went out and Freezys were compelled to pour hot water over the connections before their oil heater went to work again.


Temperature reported from Merrillan was -44; from Hatfield, -42.


The first meeting of the newly appointed Clark County Park Commission will be held in the courthouse Friday at 10 a.m., according to word from County Clerk Mike Krultz, Jr.


Members of the commission are: Joe Plautz, Willard; Otto Hiller, Thorp; Elroy Broeske, Dorchester; H. R. Baird, Greenwood; Otto Lewerenz, Neillsville; Paul Stasek, Owen and Lowell Schultz, Spencer.


Go back to wood or coal for heating is the decision of a Clark County group, due to the present fuel oil shortage.


That was the one point of complete agreement among oil dealers and public officials who met at Greenwood Monday evening to face the oil crisis.  On other points, their viewpoints and conclusions carried, but on the point of re-conversion, there was complete unanimity.


So the upshot of this county-wide meeting, which brought together practically all the oil men of the county, together with nearly all town chairmen, village presidents and mayors, was the urgent advice to reconvert wherever possible and the appointment of deputy fuel coordinators, one for each community.  The coordinators, as named by Arthur Stadler, chair-man of the meeting, are the town chairmen, the presidents of the villages and the mayors of the cities.


All of the 100 present were brought to grim realization of the situation, as they exchanged information and views.  Not a single community in the county has enough oil.  The shortage varies in present intensity, with Abbotsford hardest hit.  The report from Abbotsford was that by Thursday of this week, every oil user will be out of fuel oil.  In that village kerosene is the only oil available and that has been selling in five-gallon lots, cash and carry.  Loyal and Granton were also reported to be entirely out of fuel oil.


The report from all over the county was that there had been almost an epidemic of conversion.  Users of wood and coal had abandoned those fuels and had gone to oil.  The result had been a demand in Clark County completely beyond all precedent.  This local demand is typical of the country.  Everywhere it has been the same.  Conversion has been going on apace, as fast as oil-burning equipment has been available. The result is that the oil companies have been swamped.


The only way for many families to keep warm, it was agreed, was to use wood or coal.  That means in all possible instances that here will be a re-conversion from oil to wood or coal.  In cases where such a re-conversion is not feasible, it will be necessary for families to rely upon kitchen ranges, cook stoves and other similar equipment for heat.


Wisconsin’s centennial year celebrations have officially begun and the state is now in the second century of its statehood.  It was in 1846 that the first state constitutional convention was held and the first state government constitution was adopted.


That document was rejected by the board the following year, however and another convention made a second attempt late in 1847.  The present state constitution was endorsed by the pioneer citizens of the commonwealth in a popular vote in 1848. So on May 29, of that year, Wisconsin, came into being as the 30th state by an act of Congress.


At initial ceremonies in the statehouse, last Monday, state and national government officials cited the historic achievements of the people of Wisconsin during the first century of progress and accomplishment.  The state’s major centennial observance will be held May 29th, as declared by the legislature to be a legal holiday.  The mammoth Centennial Exposition will be held at the State Fair Park, West Allis next August.


Ray J. Conzemius, of Owen, will be installed as lieutenant governor of Kiwanis’ North Central Division at ceremonies in Milwaukee Monday and Tuesday.  He is one of 15 lieutenant governors to be installed at the mid-winter conference.


In 1939, Conzemius entered business in Owen, where he operates his own store.



Hewett Street, Neillsville, as it appeared in the late 1800s; Horses and buggies were the mode of transportation.  Storeowners used the roll-down cloth awnings for advertising their wares while providing shade on the front display windows.  (Photo courtesy of the Bill Roberts’ Collection)




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