Clark County Press, Neillsville,

October 20, 2004, Page 15

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

October 1884


A post office has been established in the Town of Beaver, which is supplied from Loyal. The postmaster is Geo. W. Barker and the name of the new post office is Terro. We are requested to state that any who wishes their addresses on papers to be changed to that post office, can do so by either notifying their postmaster or our newspaper office.


An improved farm is for sale in the Town of Loyal.  It contains 20 acres of cleared land, a log house and log barn.  The cleared land is now under crop and is some of the best in the town.  The woodland has not been picked over and the timber is in good condition.  The fences on the place are all good. This place, on a main turnpike road, will be sold for the modest sum of $525, half its actual value. For further particulars, inquire of Geo. L. Jacques of Neillsville.


The farm of Andrew Ross, in the Town of Pine Valley, two miles southeast of Neillsville, is for sale. It consists of 80 acres, of which 30 acres are cleared, has a good house and barn, never failing spring of water, good fence and more.  Mr. Ross, on account of poor health, has gone south and desires to sell on this account.  Call on, or address James O’Neill if interested in buying this property.


The Forest Queen House has undergone a thorough renovation.  It is now one of the features, which makes the traveler’s visit to Thorp very pleasant.


Mr. C. Stafford has returned to Thorp. Everybody, especially the ladies, were all glad to see him.


A roller rink has been established in Thorp this past week. Skating is a very choice pastime, especially for those who are only spectators, as some of the performers have not yet learned to fall very gracefully.


Geo. L. Jacques, of Neillsville, addressed the people of Maple Works last week Friday evening, on the political issues in a very able manner.  Afterwards a party of young people from Neillsville and Maple Works indulged in a little recreation in the way of dancing.


J. C. Monson, justice of the peace at Curtiss, Clark County, also does a collection and real estate business.  We assure any one having business in his line, in that locality, that they will find Mr. Monson an honorable gentleman to deal with.


You can buy Neillsville Flour for $1.00 per sack, or $4.00 per barrel.


Thirty years ago, a little German boy, working on a Kenosha farm was mowing, stacking, digging and doing other chores. Then, 23 years ago, a vigorous young man was on his way to Burlington, Racine County, where a company was forming for the First Wisconsin Infantry.  He pushed his way to the table and said, “I want to serve my adopted country in this war.”  He sat down and signed his name, being mustered in.  He followed the fortunes of that splendid regiment, performing well, bravely and faithfully his every duty.  While in the great battle of Chicamauga, where a cruel Southern bullet struck his arm, he coolly picked the few remaining cartridges from his box and pocket, walked to the rear of the fighting unit and lay down.  The next time he got up, his good left arm gone, lay on his country’s altar, where he was willing to put his life, if needed.


Shocked, weak and emaciated, the young German man came back to Wisconsin, no longer able to work on the farm, no longer able to earn a living by manual labor, poor and without an education.


When he fell at Chicamauga, there were not stripes on his shoulder, no bar, leaf, eagle or star.  When he returned home, there were no influential friends to secure a good situation for him.


Undaunted, the young German-American went to work with the will to educate himself.  At the end of a few years, he has acquired a good common school education and graduated from a business college and was about to engage in trade when some members in his county made him county clerk, keeping him in that office for years.  Three years ago, this man, Ernst G. Timme was made Wisconsin’s Secretary of State.


October 1944


Martin O. Zilisch, otherwise known as “Junior,” celebrated his first vacation in four years by catching a big fish in the Black River.  It was 34  inches long, weighed eight pounds and made a lot of fine eating for the little Zilisch’s and the big ones, too. Whether the fish was a muskie or a northern pike, Martin H. Zilisch, the father, leaves to the experts to say.  He is inclined to the opinion that it was a pike, because of its weight.  But there are some real experts hereabouts that saw it and called it a muskie.  The Zilisch’s ate it so the evidence is gone.


“Junior” Zilisch hadn’t fished in the Black River for a long time.  He works at Kansas City, Kansas, in charge of the parts department of North American Aviation.  He has been so tied up with work so that he had not been able to get away for four years.  He brought with him his wife and two children.


“Junior” fished with a plug.  In addition to the big fish, he caught a creelful (creel full) of black bass.


Another local fisherman of parts, and fish, is Louis Meinholt, who brought back with him three walleyes of eight, five and three pounds, respectively.


Doubtless, there are other local fishermen who hve done as well, or tell it better, than these two, but Mrs. Noble, who edits the Banner Journal in Black River Falls, either has better material to work with, or she tells all of these fish stories in a recent edition of her splendid publication:


“Jim Tollefson, who puts in his time as engineer at the post office, when not fishing, holds the record so far as we can find out.  He is the big muskie man of these parts for the season.  He has caught seven this summer, the last one a week ago.  It weighed 11 pounds and was 34 inches long.  That’s not exactly a mean fish but it was almost a baby compared to his catch at the Halcyon on the Black River, which weighed 25 pounds, being 48 inches long. The other five were not so pretentious but were all over the required length of 30 inches.  Muskellunge is an Ojibwa Indian word meaning ‘big pike,’ native of the Great Lakes, where they weighed 70 to 80 pounds each.


“Jim is a fishing enthusiast not only by profession but by inheritance, for his father, John Tollefson, is another champion fisherman of these parts.  Jim says the river has pickerel, muskies, rock bass and crappies.  Henry E. Olson, another fisherman of no mean note, can remember the days when the sturgeon abounded in the river.  He can remember seeing schools of them in the river near his home and can remember one time when the late Bob Mason speared one there that weighed 75 pounds.  He said no one paid any attention to them at that time and only the Indians took them.  You could buy one weighing 30 pounds, or more, for 50c.”


“A. N. Larkin caught a muskie in the Black River the other day, just back of the Olaf Nelson farm, a short distance below town.  He said it wasn’t a very big one, only about 31 inches.  Mr. Larkin has his favorite big muskie staked out down the river and has been after him for a couple of seasons.  One of these days, he will get him”


“Bert Jones, Franklin Skogstad, Henry E. Olson and Clarence Sprester are among the faithful trout fishermen and have caught a goodly allotment during the summer.  However, Mr. Jones says the catches haven’t been as many as usual although coming home with six or seven isn’t a bad day.  Some of the trout he ahs caught have been around 17 inches long, which isn’t bad wither.  Ben Hagen, of Hixton, F. Skogstad and a salesman came home with 45 trout from one trip in the county, which was the limit for all of them.  Mr. Olson caught seven on Robinson Creek about that time.  Otto Erickson, confirmed Sunday fisherman, who gets his relaxation from a week’s work on the farm that way, has not specialized in trout so much this summer because he preferred not to be eaten alive by mosquitoes, which gives one a pretty good idea of what the others had to contend with.  We had an outstanding crop of mosquitoes this year, big, bouncing beauties with ravenous appetites.


W. C. Wells, re-visiting Neillsville after many years, started in the dairy business here more than 50 years ago.  His first work was to drive a team of mules and gather up the cream for the S. A. Walker creamery.  That plant was a frame structure, located westward from the present site of the Indian School.


Mr. Wells worked at this job three days of the week, and worked inside the plant the rest of the time.  He recalled conditions of dairying then, upon inquiry of The Clark County Press.


The Walker plant was without competition in Neillsville and for miles around.  Hence, its operation gives a fair picture of the volume of milk in the 1890s.  In that plant was a churn of about 600 pounds capacity.  They usually churned about three times per week and made about 300 pounds of butter at a time.  They might have handled as much as 25,000 pounds of milk in a week in the flush, but Mr. Wells thinks that figure would be high.


The growth of the dairy business, locally, may be appreciated when it is stated that the two principle plants of Neillsville may be said to run about 140 times the amount of 50 years ago.  In addition, there is now the milk received by neighboring cheese factories and other dairy plants, none of which was in existence 50 years ago.


Mr. Wells is making a visit on his brother, Burton H. Wells.  He is stopping here en route to his home in Hamilton, Montana, where he has for years operated a dairy plant and a retail business in food and ice cream.  He has been attending a convention at Toronto of the sovereign grand lodge, I.O.O.F., to which he was a delegate of the state of Montana.


Clark County will proceed with the purchase of the Neillsville MacMillan property and will use it as a home for pensioners.


This is a decision of the Clark County Welfare Committee, after a hearing and after extended inquiry and perplexity.


The proposal of objections to the use of the MacMillan property was of the more concern to the members of the committee because they had passed through no little difficulty in seeking a solution.  As World War II has proceeded, with personal service becoming more and more limited and with business opportunities becoming more and more inviting, it has become almost impossible to provide for pensioners.  The problem before the committee was to find some manner in which pensioners could be promptly housed and that was the first consideration.


Beginning October 1, the paper used for the production of The Clark County Press is rationed. This means that this newspaper is proceeding under a limitation by government order, being allotted a prescribed maximum in accordance with the government regulations.


Heretofore, newspapers like The Press, those using a relatively modest amount of paper, have not been restricted.  By the new regulations, these rural newspapers are now brought under rationing.


The job of rationing in Clark County is indicated by figures just made available by Leo Foster, chief clerk of the local Rationing Board.


In September, ‘A’ gasoline books were issued to the number of 7,019.  Each coupon book contains 30 coupons and the first coupons to be used were good for four gallons each.  If that same rate were to be used for the remaining coupons, the books would call for a total of 842,200 gallons of gasoline. This quantity is intended to last a year.


In addition, for other categories of gasoline users, the rationing board put out in September, ‘B’ books calling for 59,030 gallons; special mileage calling for 2,400 gallons; ‘C’ books calling for 18,820 gallons; ‘E’ coupons calling for 16,209 gallons; ‘E’ coupons calling for 16, 200 gallons for non-highway use; tractor gasoline to the amount of 181,235 gallons, as approved by the AAA; truck gasoline to the amount of 157,665 gallons.


(In this present day, could you imagine yourself, as a car-owner, being allotted only four gallons of gasoline, which would have to last for 12 days?  At that time, most family cars t raveled only once a week, going to town for basic supplies. D.Z.)


James Redmond is in possession of various remembrances, which came to him at a farewell party in Humbird.  His friends and former patrons of the milk route got him over to Humbird on a recent evening and gave him a surprise party. The party was an expression of appreciation and good will, after Mr. Redmond’s long service on the milk route.


The football game, last Friday, at the North Side School grounds, between the squads from St. Mary’s Catholic School and the South Side School grades, resulted in a score of 30 to 6, in favor of the South Side players Charles Wasserburger and Wallace Gault acted as referees and Robert Eggiman was timekeeper.  Leonard Vandehey made the only touchdown for the Catholic School and Bradley Larsen as the high scoring player for the South Side School.


The marriage of Miss Emma Hardwick, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Hardwick of Humbird and Robert Dignin, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Dignin, also of Humbird, was solemnized Sept. 28, in the Reformed Church in Humbird.  Rev. N. J. Dechant, Neillsville, also pastor of the Humbird church, officiated.


Miss Delores Hardwick, sister of the bride, was the bridesmaid.  Another sister, Miss Phyllis Hardwick, and Miss Betty Dignin, sister of the groom also attended the bride.  The groom, who has been in the U. S. Navy, had as his best man, Edward O’Mar of Eau Claire, who is also in the service of the U. S. Navy.  The young men have been shipmates for the past two and a-half-years.


Dale Dignin, youngest brother of the groom, was the ring bearer.




Delivering milk the old way, by horses and wagon, or sleigh was a common sight in the years of 1900 to 1940 throughout Clark County.  As the farmers waited in line at the local creamery, or cheese factory, there was time to chitchat and get caught up in the exchange of area news.



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