Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

July 2, 2003, Page 9

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

 July 1918


Monday evening, at one of the largest attended school meetings ever held in the Neillsville and Pine Valley District, drastic resolutions were unanimously adopted prohibiting the teaching of German in the Neillsville schools in the future.  Also providing for the destruction of all German text books and all books or papers printed in the German language. The resolution was particularly stringent and was adopted enthusiastically.


The meeting adopted the recommendation of the school board to raise $16,000 in the district by taxation for school purposes for the coming year.  The report of the school board showed that the indebtedness of the district has been reduced to about $12,500.  The salary of the school clerk was raised to $150 per year and in the election of a school clerk to succeed C. R. Sturdevant, George Zimmerman was elected by a majority of eight votes over Sturdevant.


Clark County Sheriff Hewett was up in the north end of the county last week making a casual effort to locate Leslie Krueger, of the Town of Longwood.  Krueger was drafted into the army and had been called to go to Camp Grant with the last contingency, which went there, but he failed to show up on the day set and has since left for parts unknown.  Louis Krueger, a brother of Leslie, beat the draft also by taking French leave and the authorities are now on the look-out for both boys.  Theirs is a very serious and ill-advised act, for the penalty will hold over them until after the war.  Sometime in the future they will pay the penalty for slacking their duties.


John Galbreath will give a dance in his new barn at Shortville next Saturday night.  Proceeds from the dance will go to the Red Cross.  Galbreath’s new barn is 36 x 50 feet and will give the young folks an opportunity for a fun time of dancing.


Mrs. Allen Wildish and three children and Mrs. Mary Ayers were the victims of an automobile accident Sunday night, which was a very close call to serious results.  Mrs. Wildish and Mrs. Ayers had been to Gust Ayers’ farm on Sunday and were driving home in a two-seated light wagon.  When near the Swann farm, on Pleasant Ridge, they heard an approaching automobile and were turning into the ditch to allow it to pass by.  The driver of the car was Baltz Hoesly and it seems that he did not see the wagon until he was right upon it.  He became confused and drove into the back of the wagon. The wagon tipped over and all its occupants were thrown out.  The Hoesly car also tipped over.  Both Mrs. Wildish and Mrs. Ayers received minor injuries and bruises as did two of the Wildish children.  The smallest of the three children was quite badly hurt and for a time it was thought that the little one might not live.  But the child is getting along fairly well and recovery seems assured.


Herman Wegner, the new owner of the Merchants Hotel, has opened up the hotel again after a few days general cleaning and repairing.  Wegner is well known here and needs no introduction to the traveling public for he has been in the hotel business for some years.  The Merchants Hotel will be run at $2.50 per day, per room with single meals at 50 cents each.


The Stelloh brothers are preparing to move their implement business about the first of the month.  They will occupy the old Crocker livery barn at the corner of Grand Avenue and 5th Street.  They bought the property from Crocker a short time ago and are remodeling it throughout into a modern implement house.  They have built a fine office and display room in one corner. The balance of the large floor will be devoted to storage for machinery.  Their new quarters give them an unusual amount of floor space and will display implements at all times.


The Food Administrator for Wisconsin, and J. E. Ketel, Clark County Food Administrator, has issued the new food rules.


The new beef rules for restaurants and all other public eateries are as follows:


Beef may now be served at the evening meal only, one beef meal is allowed.


The allowance for families remains the same, one and one-quarter pounds of clear beef or one-half pound, including the bone, per person per week.


Mixed flours: Ready-to-use wheat and corn flour, manufactured by the Russell Mill Company contains 51 per cent with corn flour and 49 per cent wheat flour and may be sold without substitutes.


Red Oak pancake flour contains no wheat flour.  Pancake flours may not be sold as wheat flour substitutes.


Governor Walter Kohler will attend the Clark County Centennial celebration on Friday afternoon, July 3 and will take part in reviewing the huge Centennial parade.


The Governor will arrive by airplane at approximately 12:30 p.m., at the city airport and there he will be met by Centennial officials and community leaders.  A luncheon will be held immediately upon his arrival in Neillsville, at the Merchants Hotel.  Approximately 30 civic leaders and Republican Party leaders have been invited to attend.


The governor will ride in the lead car of the parade and will appear on the reviewing stand in the downtown area.  He will be introduced while on the stand and then he will give a brief talk.


Inasmuch as the press of state affairs demands his attention, Gov. Kohler advises that it will be necessary for him to leave immediately after the parade to make his return to Madison by plane in daylight.


A story of interest about Clark County and Neillsville’s early history has been brought forth.


For the Presbyterians, Rev. James Mair held regular services in the old courthouse more than 40 years ago, some few years after and shortly before the building of the Presbyterian Church.  Rev. William T. Hendren became the pastor.  Mair was a Scotchman and had taken the degree of Master of Arts at one of the Scottish universities and he invariably added to his signature the letters, M. A. to indicate it.  However, in this country, those who affect such additions usually use the initials of the Latin equivalent and write it A. M., abbreviation for Artium Magister.


On one occasion, in 1868, the members of the Methodist Church had a donation and raised quite a sum of money, some 60 odd dollars besides quantities of flour, groceries and other articles of that kind.  Inspired by their success, the Presbyterians resolved to have a donation for Rev. Mair.  They enlisted the services of half a dozen young men who were not members of any particular church and who assumed the charge and management of the whole affair.


It was just prior to the election of county officers and the committee in charge promptly assessed all the candidates, on both tickets, in sums from two to ten dollars each, which assessments were promptly paid.


The donation party was held at the hall of the O’Neill House, a large room or hall upstairs, which was used for dances, concerts and theatrical performances.  When it was not so used, it accommodated a dozen or more beds for sleeping purposes and was called the school section.  Without the knowledge or sanction of the church members, the committee in charge sold dance tickets and, after the older people had gone home; the donation party was turned into a dancing party.  Mrs. Jane O’Neill, the wife of our first settler, was landlady of the hotel.  She was very religious and was shocked to learn that dancing was going on.  She appeared on the scene and forbid it, but the hall had been rented and paid for and her expostulations were without avail.


When the net results were figured up, the donation party had raised $165.00 in money, four barrels of flour and groceries in great quantities.


Rev. Mair made a speech but did not participate in the dancing part of the program.


Afterwards, he studied law, then was elected and served as justice of the peace, finally moving to Minnesota, where he died a number of years ago.


Rev. William T. Hendren was largely instrumental in securing the construction of the Presbyterian Church at Neillsville and, for many years after its construction, was pastor of the church.  He moved to Greenwood, in 1901, where he and his faithful wife still reside, having the love and confidence of everyone in the county.  Hendren still has the armor on and occasionally conducts divine services at Greenwood and the surrounding area.


The late Rev. Harvey Palmer, of the Town of Pine Valley, was a regularly ordained minister and preached occasionally in the early days.  The same may be said of the late John Graves of Loyal and no doubt of others in different sections of the county, who served with preaching throughout the area.


In the fall of early 1866, Neillsville was a village of a few dozen buildings scattered around within a limited area. There was an old sawmill on the north side of O’Neill Creek, near where the present electric light plant stands.  The mill was an old fashioned one, with an up and down saw, run by waterpower, but at the time mentioned, it was out of commission.  A year after, it was either rebuilt or else repaired by Marville Mason, then of the Town of Pine Valley, a good man and a good millwright, who long since has gone to his reward.


On the north side of O’Neill Creek, in what is known as the first ward of the city of Neillsville, there was a blacksmith shop along with three or four houses.  One of those houses was that of James Furlong, which then stood on the same land and near the site of the fine brick dwelling built by Gus D. Hosely a few years ago.


On the south side of the creek, on the same location as the present Merchants Hotel was a dilapidated frame hotel called the Hubbard House then kept by L. K. Hubbard.  He was the father of Richard Hubbard, now a prominent citizen of Hayward, in Sawyer County.


Across the main street, or Hewett Street, as it is now called and a little south of Carl Rabenstein’s brick block, was a small two-story frame building.   The building’s upper story was occupied by Tom Roberts who made logging sleds, or at least made the wooden parts for sleds.


Below, on the first floor, was the store of Hewett, Woods & Co.  The small room store then had no clerks, nor window trimmers.  The one front window was of the two-sash 8x10 glass variety and incapable of being decorated very elaborately.  The books, such as they were, lay upon the top of an empty kerosene barrel, which did duty as a desk, when such an article of furniture was required.  About November 1866, the store was vacated and the goods moved to a building that stood on the corner where the Neillsville Bank now stands.  This building was a store and dwelling house combined, occupied by Chauncey Blakeslee and his family and it was only a short time until very large stocks of goods were on the shelves.


Back of and to the north of the original store of Hewett, Woods & Co., facing the north and the creek, was the old frame dwelling house of James O’Neill, then occupied by James Hewett and his family.  The Hewett family then consisted of James, his wife and one-year-old son, named Sherman F. Hewett.  S. F. Hewett is the present Clark County Surveyor and more familiarly known as “Frank” Hewett.


All of the land on the east side of Main Street, including the store building first mentioned and the house occupied by James Hewett, were the property of James O’Neill.  There were no more buildings on the east side of O’Neill Creek to the site of the present O’Neill House.


On the corner, O’Neill had built a two-story frame building for a residence, which he then occupied.  Afterward, he ran a hotel there for a short time.


On the west side of the street, across from the Hubbard House, was a drug store, the proprietor being George O. Adams.  He was a full-fledged Yankee from Nashua, N. H.  He generally wore a long pair of rubber boots and always wore a silk high hat.  He was a keen businessman, but somewhat odd in his manner.  He generally walked in the middle of the road peering from one side to the other.  One of his common expressions in conversations was, “I want to know.”  He died at Waukegan, Ill., years ago at a very advanced age.


South of the drug store was a general store kept by Chas. E. Adams, son of the druggist.  It occupied the site where the elder John G. Klopf for many years afterwards resided and had a saloon.


On the corner where the Neillsville Bank now stands was the dwelling house of Chauncey Blakeslee, the lower part being used as a store for Hewett, Wood & Co.  From that corner south, clear to the end of the block, to the site of W. J. Marsh’s dry goods store, was an apple orchard and garden.


Across the street, on the east side, were a printing office and a post office, both one-story buildings. To the south of these buildings was the wagon shop of W.K. Dickey.


Dr. B. F. French had a house on the corner of 4th and Hewett Streets, and south of that was the house of Lambert Miller.  West of Miller’s was a house on the Ross place, with the Samuel Ferguson and L. L. Ayers residences across the way.  The W. K. Dickey house was at the extreme east.


The first sidewalk in Neillsville was built on a Sunday morning in the spring of 1867.  The sidewalk was constructed by B. F. French, James Hewett and two or three other men.  It extended from where the Neillsville Bank is located to the corner at Marsh’s dry goods store.  It was made of plank, laid lengthways and did good service for many years.


(The above article was taken from the McBride History of Clark County and included in the July 2, 1953 Press, in recognition of Clark County’s 100th anniversary D. Z.)



This is the intersection of Seventh and Hewett Street as it appeared after World War I.  The Victory Arch was built to span Hewett Street and a Victory Arch was placed on the Fourth Street intersection, both to commemorate the end of the war.  The Merchant’s Hotel is visible in the background.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ Family Collection)




© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel