Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 9, 2003, Page 11

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

April 1883


Clark County Clerk Chas. F. Grow has taken possession of the residence attached to the jail at the courthouse.  He will supply the prisoners with food at the rate fixed upon by the County Board. The amount of rent he offered to pay the county made it very desirable for the county to accept.


Last Friday, J. R. Richmond, postmaster at Shortville, by no means permits his duties as a U. S. official to absorb his whole time. Being an energetic and wide-awake farmer also, Richmond has received a trio of thoroughbred Merino lambs, one ram and three ewes.  Born in 1882, the young sheep came from Walworth County.  Mr. Lawrence, of the Town of York, is the only other man in Clark County who owns thoroughbred Merinos.  These gentlemen and others, who are bringing to this county fine stock for purposes of improvement, are entitled to commendation.


Last Friday night, shortly after nine p.m., and alarm of fire was given and the yell spread up and down Main Street that a fire had broken out in the alley, back of the Lowe Bros. butcher shop.  A large crowd surged into the narrow and dirty quarter where they discovered a building, resembling an outhouse in appearance, was burning.  The old building had been used by the Lowes, where they had smoked their hams and sausages.  Prompt use of axes and water put the fire out.  The smokehouse stood tightly against James DeLane’s woodshed, where a heap of highly combustible kindling wood is piled, standing within four feet of the back shed attached to the old Lowe building on Third Street.  Its location is also within 25 feet of the Re-Union House, within two rods of Taylor’s barn and within 30 feet of H. J. Youman’s large Main Street drug store.  Had the fire broken out two hours later, it is as sure as the inevitable that some or all of these buildings would have been destroyed. The building was formed of four sides of upright boards, forming a square about five by five feet, covered by a board roof.  The sides stand on the ground and the practice has been to take wood from the pile and build a small bonfire on the ground within the frail structure of tinder-like material and then close the door.  Considering the surroundings this has been the worst piece of carelessness ever brought to our attention. We hear that the town authorities have ordered the shell of building removed, allowing the Lowe Bros. the right to leave it for four days, to complete a job of smoking.  After that, they are to have it taken down with a brick and stone smoke house to be put up, if any at all.


Married on April 4, 1883 were Mr. Wm. King to Miss Anna Waterman, both from the Town of Grant; also that day, Mr. Wm. Windsor, to Miss Anna Gardner, both of the Town of York; April 5, Mr. Richard Crocker, of Sherwood Forest, to Miss May Anna Gillespie, of Lowell, Mass.; April 7, Mr. E. F. Butterfield to Miss Anna Harper, both of the Weston Township.


Thus four Annas come to the fore with four Anna-mated husbands.  May many Anna-versaries of these four events come around and find them as happy then as now.


Confession is said to be good for the soul and that applies as well to society as a whole as to individuals.  The newspaper is the confessional of a community, the village priest, with this difference, that people never confess their sins to the editor, but always their good deeds.


Saturday morning, while the train locomotive was on the turntable at the depot, the wheels ran off the circular track.  That caused a two-hour delay in getting it back on the track and the engine was nearly upset in the process.  (At that time, the railroad depot was located west of Neillsville, across the Black River. D. Z.)


Fifteen thousand young brook trout were placed in a pond in the northern part of the city the other day.  The trout were received from the Wisconsin State Fish Commissioners.  If they don’t die, they will live a fearful life in the turgid streams of this locality, which barely tolerates red-horse and never could brook trout.


Since Arthur Hutchinson, formerly postmaster at Pleasant Ridge moved away, that office has been causing a little inconvenience.  We are happy to state that Fred Vine, Town of Grant, has now become postmaster.  The postal department has changed the mail route.  Instead of going by way of Kurth’s Corners, the stage hereafter will turn northward at the Ridge Church and then to Vine’s, striking the old route at the corner near Howard’s farm.  The distance is the same, but with a little more hill-climbing, perhaps.


April 1943


Fred Bullard once asked his father for 20 cents to buy skate straps.  He got the money.  It was the first and last time he ever asked his father for money.  Sometimes his mother gave him a few coins and she generally looked after his needs. But from the time that he was 13 years old, he bought his own clothes and it was not long before he was on his own altogether.


The Bullard family was of the old style.  The father, Warren C., worked in Neillsville saw mills and factories.  When he was doing well, he made $1.50 per day.   Somehow, the Bullards got along, but Fred grew up with a healthful idea of the value of a penny.  He was assisted in the endeavor by the rate of pay which he earned when, at the age of 15, he worked eleven hours a day for 50 cents a day.  He was also assisted in learning how to run the old electric plant while being paid.  He was paid $6 per month, plus they threw in the opportunity to learn for good measure.


The modest scale of earning of his youth taught Fred V. Bullard the necessity of managing.  If returns could not be large, the way must be found to stretch what came and how to supplement it.  One of the best ways, both to stretch and supplement, was to tend garden.  When the Bullards lived on Seventh Street, not far from the present Clark County hatchery, there were gardens on the surrounding areas, including the site on the corner of Seventh and Grand Ave.  Young Bullard, then 13, went to work on those gardens.  It was his first try at gardening and he has been working away in the gardens ever since.  Each summer, he has a big garden, adjoining his home on the North Side.  He finds it as a good way to keep out of mischief and it furnishes food in the Wisconsin winter months.


Learning to work at an early age, Bullard had relatively little time for a formal education.  He went to school and worked, caring for cows and horses.  One winter, he worked Judge O’Neill.  He stuck it out until he had finished the seventh grade.  Most of the time since he has wished that he could have gone on farther with his schooling; but work was on his trail, or he was on its trail and he had to let the long hours of labor take place of hours of formal education.


If Fred Bullard learned less from books than he would have liked, he was able to learn more about machinery.  He was one of the first to know about running an electric light plant, Neillsville being the third city in the United States to have electric lights.  He worked at the light plant for 10 years or more and he learned a lot, not only about electricity but also about steam, for in Neillsville the electricity was then generated by steam.  Since then, he has always worked with machinery.  If he had a job not working directly with machinery, he found machines to work with as a hobby.  He now has, in the basement of the North Side School, of which he is janitor, a veritable machine shop, consisting almost wholly of machines, which he has pieced together with odds and ends.  In this way, he has provided himself with a sander, a wood turning lathe, a drill press, a jig saw and a band saw.


But there is one thing in his machine shop, in the basement of the North Side School, which Bullard did not improvise.  That is a combination saw, which is the apple of Fred Bullard’s eye.  That saw was the result of the good will of the pupils and teachers of the school. They wanted to give him something for Christmas, in accordance with their usual kindly custom.  They asked what he would like.  To him, the “what” meant the combination saw, which he had wanted and that’s what he now has.


This combination saw, three shirts and two sweaters, along with some other little things are what Bullard received from the students and children of the North Side School. This is evidence that he has learned something that doesn’t come from books.  Out of the tight experiences of hard work, he has learned the common touch.  He knows the life of people with whom he works because he has worked modestly and earnestly, throughout his life in Neillsville for nearly half of a century.  He likes to think of himself, in connection with the North Side School, not primarily as the man who keeps the building warm and clean, but rather the friend of the 90 or more North Side children who attend there and the friend and helper of the teachers who work there.


One of the things Fred Bullard is not educated in is politics.  He never ran for a public office until this spring, when he became a candidate for alderman in the First Ward.  He is diffident about his abilities as a vote-getter and he does not hold himself out as an expert in city affairs.  But if the old First Ward can make use of such services as he can render, he would take considerable pride in becoming alderman of the ward.  That ward was once represented on the city council by his father-in-law, the late W. W. Taplin, with whom he and the members of his family have spent many years of pleasant associations.


Bullard came to Neillsville in 1886 and has resided here ever since, except for short absences.  The most stirring of an absence was his service with the local company in the Spanish-American War.  In that war, he went to Puerto Rico, being in active service eight months.


Lee L. Bluett and Lloyd L. Spry had a tie in the village election in Granton, each scoring 52 votes.  They decided it by the flip of a coin.  Bluett won and will enter this spring upon his third year as village president.


Other places were filled with opposition, as follows:  William Schmidtke, trustee for two years; clerk, Roland Quicker; treasurer, Clarence Nowak; assessor, Hugo Trimberger; supervisor, D. S. Rausch; justice, George Wilson; constable, Wilbur Goebel.


The following pupils will be confirmed and received into membership of St. John’s Lutheran Church next Sunday at 10 a.m.:


Eileen Dahnert, Dorothy Cook, Evelyn Tresemer, Glen Wachholz, Donald Knoop, Milton Tock, Betty Marg, Raymond Zipfel, Harold Beilke, Robert Knoop, Melvin Appleyard, Velda Lewerenz, Jake Moeller, Jr., Lavern Zschernitz, Glorietta Grottke, Esther Keuer, Duane Anding, Edith Pflughoeft and Herbert Jaster.


Neillsville’s Clarence L. Sturdevant, builder of the great Alaskan Highway and assistant chief of engineers of the United States Army, won acclaim recently, when he told Canadian engineers his own story of the construction of the Alaskan Highway.  The story is published complete in the technical publication, “Roads and Bridges,” which comments editorially thus:


“The Canadians who had the pleasure of meeting General Sturdevant at the luncheon of the Engineering Institute of Canada, in Toronto last month, shared his well-merited pride in the performance of the men under his command.  He won their respect and their admiration.  At the conclusion of his address, descriptive of the Alaska Highway, they gave him an ovation seldom equaled by our notoriously conservative Canadian technical audiences.”


“A graduate of West Point, class of 1908; the Army Engineer School class of 1911; and the Army War College, 1931, along with a long record of distinguished service in the Philippines and in many United States military districts, General Sturdevant is an army engineer executive typical of the fine class of men who today stand at the head of the Allied military organizations.  Efficient but unassuming, competent but patient, keen but kindly, he captured Toronto single-handed in a day.  He has engineered the building of many dams, docks, canals, roads, fortifications and other public works, but the Alaska Highway is his greatest work – a stout thread of roadway that in the days to come will bind the United States and Canada even more closely together.”


The Franklin School, Town of Fremont, will be closed during the next school year.  This was determined at a meeting of the electors of the district last week.  The vote was 10 to 6 in favor of closing the school and the decision effects the coming school year.


The pupils at the Franklin School have numbered ten in the current year, with the prospect of perhaps even fewer in the coming year.  All of the children, with possibly one exception, are within walking distance of other schools.


The Franklin School thus becomes a World War II casualty.


The decision has also been reached to reduce the White Eagle State Graded School in the Town of Thorp from two rooms to one.  The current enrollment in that school is 28.


The death of Emery William Neitzel, farmer in the Town of Colby, will not stop the family’s farming operation.  Faced with the loss of the head of the family, Florence E. Neitzel, the widow, has placed her reliance in her children, three boys and two girls.  The oldest of the boys is 18.


The Neitzels live on a farm that they rent from the Colby State Bank.  Upon Mr. Neitzel’s death, they arranged with the bank to proceed upon the same basis as before and the widow has been designated by Judge Schoengarth to act as special administrator, to proceed with the farming operation.  Thus the Neitzel family, with spring seeding right around the corner, is prepared to face the world and the weather.



Neillsville’s Northside, north of O’Neill Creek, as it appeared circa 1900 (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts Collection).




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