Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 13, 2003, Page 28

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

August 1873


On Wednesday, a pleasant shower, of less than ten minutes, running off the roof, furnished us this news item and seven barrels of wash water.


The people of Greenwood and vicinity have at last got a good bridge, or rather three good bridges, across the three channels of the Black River, at Schofield’s mill. The bridges are all substantially built and will meet the wants of that community for many years.  A road running in a direct line from a little south of Chandlers store, in Greenwood, has been cut through and will soon be put into good traveling condition.


Lumber, lumber everywhere yet not a board to be had here without paying a big price and hauling it from five to ten miles.  Such things should not be.


The first school district of the Town of Lynn, is building an excellent schoolhouse.  August Riddle, of that town, has been awarded the contract.  The building will be of frame, 20x32 feet with a 12 foot ceiling. It is to be put up in first class shape and will be a credit to the district.


A spirited horse trot has been agreed upon to come off over the Greenwood course on the 16th, next Saturday.  Several fiery, untamed steeds have been entered and a sufficient forfeit has been put up to insure the race.  This, with the Camp Meeting will make Greenwood about as lively as it has been for some time.


Mrs. Teller and Mrs. Marsh, of Neillsville, are no timorous pair.  They drove alone from Black River Falls to Neillsville, last Monday night.  They made the whole distance after dark, as they had traveled most of the trip down that morning.  Mrs. Teller testifies that they had a good time.


The street improvements business has assumed much greater proportions than any one supposed it was going to when those melancholy mules first began plowing up the sidewalks.  Third Street has undergone such a change that the oldest inhabitant would hardly recognize it.  A perfect grade has been established from the summit at East Street to the turn at O’Neill’s corner.  The streets are now nicely rounded up from the center.  The old shambling sidewalks have all been torn up and are to be replaced by new ones that correspond with the grade of the street, with substantial gravel gutters beneath.  When these are completed, the street will be as perfect as it can be without paving.  Geo. Austin, road supervisor, or some-thing of that description, is to blame for the whole of it.  But this is not all; he has graded East Street in the same shape from Third Street to the bridge that crosses the Black River.  Austin has a thorough way of doing the job, which makes a show when you put him up on the streets.


James Hewett has commenced the building of a dwelling on his farm in the suburbs of this village.  It will be by far the largest and finest dwelling in town.


The dancing party at the Hubbard House, last Saturday evening, was well attended.  The building’s new addition got a most appropriate warming and those present had a very pleasant time.


The busy threshing machine is singing its mournful song from door-to-door throughout the county.  Its teeth have never fed upon a better crop of wheat, as this year.


Robert Ross has an exceptional breed of long wool sheep, on his stock farm in the vicinity of Muscatine. The sheep’s coat, at shearing time, he says is one foot long.  The wool is as fine as silk, yielding twelve pounds of washed wool per head. Ross promises to send some of his flock to friends in Clark County.


Charles Kurth has purchased the well-known Rexer property, in the Town of Weston, along with W. T. Hutchinson’s adjoining farm.  Kurth proposes to fit the Rexer hotel up in good shape and keep it open to the public.  He is also about to put up a store building, in which he will open a general stock of merchandise.


The O. P. Wells & Co. has been sold to Wells’ partner, George Lloyd, who becomes sole proprietor.  Wells, who has become one of the best known of the businessmen of Clark County, by his enterprise, thinks of going west to take a new start.  As he has prospered here and still has considerable in the shape of lands and lots, we do not see why he cannot afford to remain with us, as we hope he will.


Lloyd will now give the hardware, blacksmith, carriage and wagon making business his whole attention.  He has the tact and ability to run it successfully as before, so the old patrons of Wells & Co. will be served as fully and as promptly as ever before.


A Black River Falls landlord recently extracted a large needle from his shoulder, which he thinks he must have swallowed when a child.  May be so, but there is another way of accounting for it.  Darwinism may be true and this man may have been developed from a porcupine.


August 1938


Ernie Snyder and Oscar Gluch were among those from Clark County, at Madison on Friday, to attend a hearing on the proposed Snyder dam, on Wedges Creek, by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission. They reported that sentiment at the meeting was very favorable toward the construction of the new dam.


The construction of the dam would be done as WPA project and will cost around $3,000.  Clark County appropriated $500 toward the cost of the project a year ago.


The Kiwanis Club and the Junior Chamber of Commerce, in Neillsville, both adopted resolutions asking the county board to pass favorably on the matter, which the board did on May 2, 1938, by a vote of 40 to 12.  The project is now practically assured of going through, especially with the government aiding employment projects of this character.


The new dam would be about 11 feet high and would result in creating a beautiful lake about a mile and a half long on Wedges Creek, which is one of the finest pure water streams in Clark County.  WPA labor also would be employed in filling a beach in with sand, helping to make a fine bathing beach.


Fifty years ago, the thriving village of Hewettville was located on the site of the Snyder dam and during the early logging days, was an important center.  It was destroyed in a large forest fire about 40 years ago.  If a new town springs up, it may be called Snyderville.


A project for Clark County to take over the park, on the river, one mile north of Greenwood and improve it with a WPA grant that may run $3,000 or more, of which the county would furnish a minor amount, will come up at the special meeting of the Clark County Board at Owen, August 10.


P. W. Gullord and Postmaster R. L. Barnes of Greenwood were in the city Monday with a resolution adopted by the Greenwood City Council.  It is offering to turn over the ten-acre park on the Black River to the county together with flowage power and all other rights the city of Greenwood had acquired.  They pointed out that the park was located almost in the exact center of the Clark County and last Sunday, was enjoyed by a county meeting of Soil Conservation Committeemen and could be enjoyed by other gatherings.


A dam, built three years ago at a cost of $3,200 has been partially washed out and needs rebuilding.  Also, other improvements would be in order, such as better sanitary and bathing facilities.


Last spring, the county board appropriated $500 for a dam on the Snyder site on Wedges Creek and this is deemed by the Greenwood citizens to be fully as valuable.


Colby and Owen are among the places in Clark County where pictures were taken for a movie showing safety methods and the evolution of highway travel in the state.  William Sueber, of Madison, motion picture photographer for the Wisconsin Highway Commission, is taking the pictures.


The first picture in the county was taken of Mr. and Mrs. George Reil, of Colby, in their 1904 model International touring car.  Mr. Reil wore a duster, cap and gauntlets and Mrs. Reil wore a hat and veil, as was done 30 years ago.  Children from the neighborhood also appeared in the scene.


The next stop was taken of pictures at the Clark County Asylum grounds, showing Supt. Myron H. Duncan driving a horse and buggy.


Gilbert V. Pakiz, son of Mirko Pakiz of Willard, has enlisted in the regular army and was sent to the Third Infantry at Fort Snelling, Minn.


Walter Hagen, the famous golf player, and his son, Walter, Jr., stopped in Neillsville for lunch and car service while on their way to St. Paul open golf tournament, last week.  The son is quite an expert player.


The contingent of 30 men sent to CCC camps, on July 5, was the healthiest ever to leave Clark County, H. L. Trewartha, in charge of the county relief office stated.  These young men went to Perkinstown.  Also, Mr. Trewartha said 927 young men, from the county, are enrolled out of the 950 who had applied since the CCC was started and have made an excellent record in the service, with only a small number having deserted or been discharged.  The records of every county are given in detail, in bulletins sent out by the state.  There are about 114 CCC enrollees from Clark County in various camps.


At the present time, there also are about 266 men on WPA jobs in Clark County and slightly more that (than) 100 families in the entire county that are receiving relief.


Clark County operates under its own system of relief, without federal or state setup, with the result that today it has the lowest per capita on relief the last figures showing 1.3 per cent.


The CCC crews have improved the fishing possibilities of 132 northern lakes by the introduction of 45,656 fish propagation and structures, a conservation department report shows.  The structures include brush refuges, sapling tangles, bass spawning boxes, and forage minnow spawning forms.  The work was carried on under the direction of Sid W. Grodon, aquatic biologist.


Clark County is coming to the front as a recreational area for people of the Middle West.  Believe it or not, during the past week, applications from people in Minnesota, Illinois and Wisconsin points came into County Forester Al Covell’s office for lots on the new lake to be created on Hay Creek, in the Town of Foster.  There, a new dam is being built.  The concrete dam is being built in an oval shape, the only one of its kind in the state and will be completed in September.  The new lake will cover over 200 acres of land to a depth of about eight feet.  The lake starts at the iron bridge and is one of great scenic beauty, with a wilderness setting.


The lots on the new lake are being leased at $5 a year and may be secured through County Forester Al Covell.


Thomas D. Wage, 86 years old, one of Granton’s best-known pioneers, has not missed a Clark County fair since 1873, 65 years ago.  As usual, Wage attended the county fair both Thursday and Friday, enjoyed the entertainment and other attractions very much. When the first fair was held in 1873, Wage, then 21 years old, bought a share of stock in the fair society and he has been a booster ever since.


Wage recalls that in the first years of the fair, there were but a few grade cattle, hogs and sheep, with sheds built around the fence enclosing the grounds.  In later years, as the fairs grew, hundreds of farmers came with teams and enjoyed basket dinners in the grove, southeast of the grandstand.  Wage raised many horses years ago, which he exhibited at the fair.  He has been a resident of the Town of Grant for many years.


Attorney General Orland S. Loomis states the county dance hall inspectors have the power of deputy sheriffs and as such may make arrests for any offense, misdemeanor or crime committed in their presence.  Loomis also pointed out in his opinion that the county board has the power to adopt reasonable rules and regulations with respect to dance halls.


A group of 70 Gypsies were quarantined in the village park at Cadott after a young boy in the group came down with scarlet fever.  The village will be charged with the expense and then try to collect from the county.  The best way is never to let Gypsies stop in any town, of any county and keep them on the move.


John McClanahan, who taught James Whitcomb Riley, the famous poet, the art of sign painting, spent quite a number of years in Neillsville, where he met his wife who also was a great friend of Riley and of her, Riley wrote several noted poems.  McClanahan was a practical joker always up to some tricks and in the following article L. B. Ring, former editor of the Press, recalls how McClanahan kept Sixth Street a lively place.


“When Johnny McClanahan worked as a clerk in the O’Neill House, he did a whole lot to improve business for John Schmidt, whose grave stone establishment was directly across Sixth Street from the saloon.  Those two young men knew well how to make life in old Neillsville satisfying.  Tom Hommel was the entire police force, but he was friendly to every-body and never went out of his way to jug a friend on a minor charge.  Sixth Street was prosperous.  The brewery was on that street and Capt. Tolford lived just across O’Neill Creek from it and was a forbearing man.”


“McClanahan was a top-notch joker.  While at the O’Neill House, he managed to get free lunches at mealtime when the hotel cook wasn’t looking, eating at a quiet corner of the saloon.  He was a frequenter at Johnny Schmidt’s marble shop across the street, just as Schmidt was a frequenter at the O’Neill House.  On those occasions, nothing worse than sharing a beer or two took place.  They were long time friends.”


“From Hawks hill to Marion, from Hewett hill to Dickeys, Neillsville, carry on”. - L. B. Ring



Clark County Fairgrounds in 1932



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