Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

May 28, 2003, Page 13

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

 May 1893


T. Grafton Owen, Unitarian Minister of this city, was a beloved friend of the poet John Greenleaf Whittier.  He has been left, by the will of the great liberator, the key of Libby Prison, a relic both unique in its history and valuable as a memento of the donor.


Stone laying for the foundation of a new residence, on Hewett Street, is now in progress.  It will be the home of R. W. Balch.


A carload of the famous Potsdam sandstone, from Lake Superior, arrived at the Neillsville railroad station, yesterday, for John G. Schmidt.  The sandstone will be trimmed for use in buildings.  Kapellan has already given Schmidt a good order for some of the stone.


The Neillsville City Council has ordered three new electric lights; one will be placed at the corner of 10th Street and Grand Ave., one near the Catholic Church and one at the hill near Richard Dewhurst’s residence.  The line of wire will be set up along Grand Avenue.


Matt Resong of Grant and Miss Anna Lepke of this city were married at the Catholic Church, May 9th, by Rev. F. Volz.  A large company of friends made merry Tuesday night.  They danced at Mike Lorens’ house and feasted at the Lepke mansion, which made up an evening of very gala festivities.


Last Thursday, the Clark County Board made an appropriation of $15,000 toward securing a state normal school in Neillsville.  They subsequently added $5,000 to that sum, making $20,000 in all, provisional, of course, upon the location of the normal school here in Neillsville.


The State Normal School, or Teachers’ Institute, backed by an appropriation of $20,000 in funds by the Clark County Board, in 1893, did materialize.  The Normal School classes were held in the Neillsville High School building.  The Teachers’ Institute prepared many young women and men for Clark County area rural school teaching positions in the late 1890s and early 1900s.  (Photo courtesy of Mary Lou Meredith’s family collection)



Last Friday, at half past six p.m., in York Township, Dan Demon’s three children, Annie, Robert and Lewis, aged 10, 8 and 6 years, went into the woods to gather flowers and lost their way.  Having failed to return home at a late hour, their parents and neighbors went out to hunt for them. The children could not be found and the search was abandoned.  The children spent the night wandering through the forest, no doubt thinking of all the wild animal stories for which they York area is famous.  In the morning they found themselves at the Beach farm, a mile and a-half from their home.  They were given a much needed breakfast and then started for their home.  By then, 50 people were in the woods looking for them.


The Kapellen building now owned by Esch, started on its up-street parade Monday morning.  Contractor Gress cut the building into two parts on Monday afternoon; in order to facilitate handling the structure’s being moved.


Last week, the Presbyterian society bought the Kellogg house on Court Street.  It was known as the old Hank Klopf house, formerly the abode of Capt. J. W. Tolford and will be used as a parsonage.  Rev. J. G. Russel and his wife will soon be at home there.


Saturday, about 2 p.m., fire destroyed the Omaha railroad bridge that crosses Wedges Creek between here and Merrillan. From that time, until Monday night, passengers, mail matter and packages had to be transferred.  A new bridge was completed by Monday night and through traffic resumed.  The fire destroyed every timber in the bridge.  It even burned the piling down to the water level.  How the fire started is not known.


The old Chauncey Blakeslee house was raised from its foundation, last week by mover Gress.  This week, it is being moved, the large part to a lot on Grand Avenue, next to the bridge, facing west.  The smaller section of the house will put on a lot in back of Denis Tourigny’s warehouse, near where now stands the north wing of the old building.  In that historical old home, some of the noblest, most wholesome hospitality and many most delightful social gatherings have taken place, such as Neillsville has ever experienced.  The new Hein house is beautiful and now stands in a commanding place.


The contest for postmaster, in Colby, is between John F. Lamont and J. J. Shafer.  The competition is getting hot.


A new fanning mill can be purchased a Leason’s shop for only $14.00


May 1933


The local congregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church is believed to be the oldest congregation in Neillsville and in Clark County.


“Among the settlers, the first services were held by the circuit riders of the Methodist Episcopal faith.  In 1847, Rev. R. R. Wood, a Methodist clergyman of Black River Falls, preached the first sermon in Neillsville, coming as a guest of James O’Neill, preaching in the O’Neill home.  For ten years succeeding this date, the people of Neillsville had no regular religious services, except when an occasional itinerant divine would exhort them to flee the wrath to come.”  (As recorded in Clark County History)


In 1858, Neillsville was made a regular appointment with preaching services being held once in three weeks by Rev. James Cady.  This gentleman was appointed pastor of the West Wisconsin Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church which was held in La Crosse in April of that year.  Rev. Cady organized the first class of members in that year, which consisted of five people: James Lynch, M. E. Lynch, M. A. McAdams, Jane O’Neill and Mary A. Sturdevant.


In the year of 1869, during the pastorate of Rev. J. J. Walker, who was the tenth pastor to serve the congregation, a comfortable house of worship was built.  It was built upon a lot, which was a gift of James O’Neill, and the site of the present church.  This church was used until the year of 1895.  During the leadership of Rev. G. N. Foster, the old church building was sold to the Women’s Relief Corps and a new structure was built which is used by the present congregation.


The work of the early pastors of the congregation must have been much like that of Rev. John Holt, the second to serve the church.  It was said of Holt “He was an earnest pioneer preacher of indomitable perseverance and untiring zeal.”  Their work bore fruit and they reached out into outlying communities, organizing people for worship and the conducting of Sunday Schools.  Statistical figures reported by the pastors of this charge and recorded in the Conference minutes show as many as five Sunday Schools under their supervision, as was true during the pastorates of Rev. J. J. Walker in 1868 and 1869 and H. W. Bushnell in 1870 and 1873.


In 1881 and 1882, under the pastoral work of Rev. J. E. Webster, the Pleasant Ridge Methodist Church was built.  This work has continued until the present time, as known to most people, our Pleasant Ridge Church as been recently rebuilt providing a very comfortable and serviceable place of worship for the people of the community. 


In 1881, Rev. J. D. Brothers was able to lead the people north of Neillsville in the building of the Visgar Church.  Here, a congregation remained intact until the year of 1911, when due to the organizing of other churches in the Town of York, the removal of many supporters of this church and the ease of people being able to travel to Neillsville, the building was sold and moved elsewhere.


Through the 75 years of its existence, the local church has been striving to meet the needs of the people of the community.


Schultz Bros. Company has entered into a five-year lease with A. J. Petersen for his large store building, formerly occupied by the Cash Hardware Company, at Hewett and Fifth Streets.  The new concern deals in variety goods priced from five cents to one dollar. This will be one of its several similar establishments in other Wisconsin cities, the nearest of which is Black River Falls.


The interior of the store building is being entirely redecorated and improved otherwise.


Mr. Krogan, manage for the Schultz Bros. Company, is here looking after the work being done.


The Neillsville City baseball team took on important proportions, this week, when arrangements were completed for entering the Wisconsin Valley league.  It will be the biggest association this city team has ever played in, including Wisconsin Rapids, Stevens Point, Wausau, Tomahawk, Mosinee, Medford and Marshfield.  Being a member of this league will assure local fans of the fastest baseball they have seen in many years. It is expected this league will result in record-breaking attendances at the games.


Negotiations were completed for entering the league, on Sunday evening, through J. C. Reeths, Marshfield, secretary and treasurer of the league. A number of public spirited citizens are offering to advance the entrance fee of $50.


Owing to the rain storm Sunday, the baseball game scheduled for last Sunday went only one inning.  During that brief period, the local squad showed up good against the Marshfield Dairymen team. Stuffy Gerhardt struck out the first three men up while the Neillsville batters chalked up two hits.


The line-up last Sunday was Albert Zank, 3b; Adolph Gandler, 2b; Walter Weaver, 1b; Floyd Bush, c; Robert Zank, lf; A. Kale, rf; Chester Seif, cf; Harry Donahue, ss and Arman Gerhardt, p.


A car belonging to C. D. McKee, editor of the Granton Herald had been parked on the Neillsville Main Street hill, near the post office Sunday afternoon.  Suddenly, the car started down the hill and crashed into the condensary, smashing a hole, several feet in diameter in the brick wall.


The Neillsville lodge of the Loyal Order of Moose increased its membership on Sunday by initiating 34 candidates.


A large delegation of visiting Moose from Rice Lake, Menomonie, Bloomer, Chippewa Falls and Eau Claire lodges came to help make it a grand occasion and help with the work.   Rice Lake degree and drill teams put on the ritualistic ceremonies, which were very impressive. The Rice Lake drill team stood second in drill work at the state convention held in 1932 at Beaver Dam, putting on a drill that was well worth watching.


The Neillsville Moose women entertained the women of the visiting Moose, in the afternoon.  At six p.m., a fine supper was served to about 300 people at the Odd Fellows Hall, after which a couple of hours of impromptu dancing were enjoyed.


Neillsville Moose lodge has the honor of being one of the outstanding lodges of the state for its good work and increase in membership the past two years.


Mrs. John Mike, 74-year-old Winnebago Indian mother of Dells Dam, left Sunday night for New York City to join a party of other Gold Star Mothers on a trip to France. They are guests of Uncle Sam and in France they will visit the graves of their sons who died in World War I.


The past ten days were busy ones for Mrs. Mike as she prepared for the journey, which she realizes is a difficult under-taking for one of her age.  She speaks no English and understands it but slightly.  Beckoning her from the peaceful quiet of the pines of the Black River is the memory of her 19-year-old son, Dewey, who was killed in action on October 13, 1918.


No white parents have displayed greater affection, deeper sentiment, or display of patriotism for departed kin than that expressed by Mr. and Mrs. John Mike. Their home, in the wooded fastness, has changed little from the days when their ancestors roamed the same ground before the white man came.


A few rods east of the Mike home, the family erected a 50-foot flagpole, slender, straight as a die and beautifully tapered.  It is the finest pole in that entire country according to John Mike, who combed the woods for days before he came upon one that, satisfied him as befitting a young Indian who died for his country.  On every legal holiday, the American flag flies high above the tops of nearby pines, the proud symbol of proud parents, paying homage to the memory of their boy.  Last week, the Mike family looked at the pole, it was becoming weather beaten. They laboriously dug it out and lowered it to the ground so that it might be given a fresh coat of paint for Decoration Day.  This week, it was raised and made ready for the day of tribute.


Through her daughter-in-law, Mrs. Josephine Mike, acting as interpreter, the aged woman, on Sunday evening, told the old story of grieving motherhood and a desire to look upon her son’s grave.


“I want to kneel down on his grave and have a picture taken.  It will comfort me in the few years I have left before I join my son,” Mrs. Mike said.  “I made a wreath of pine boughs from the trees that Dewey played beneath when he was a boy and I am going to lay it on his grave.”


When Mrs. Mike arrives in New York, she will mail a letter to her husband telling that “she has arrived safely and well.” She made a trip to Neillsville last week for the purpose of having a friend write the letter and address it for her.


E. H. Wry, agent of the Chicago Northwestern railroad line, announces a special during May 26 thru June 2.  You can pay about a cent and-a-third a mile, round-trip, between all stations.  The fare is good for riding in coaches, only.


One fare, plus 25 cents, round-trip, is available in sleepers and parlor cars, on rail lines between all stations.


Prom and graduation dresses can be purchased at Picus’ Style Shoppe, in Neillsville.  Prices are at $2.95, $3.95, $4.95 and up to $12.50.  The dresses are in organdies, taffetas, crepes, nets, ankle length, puffed sleeves, flared skirts, of white and pastel shades.


Other 3-day specials are: ladies’ and misses’ slips 2 for $1.00.  One group of ladies house dresses, regular $1.00 values, now 79c.  They have just received a beautiful assortment of ladies’ purses in white, gray, beige and blue, priced at only $1.00 each.





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