Clark County Press, Neillsville,

October 27, 2004, Page 16

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

October 1914


R. E. Lawrence, who lives one mile south of Columbia and sends his milk to the cheese factory in Columbia, reports the following returns.  He is milking 13 cows of which four have been milking since last October.  His check for May was $109.00 and for June, $99.76.  For the three months of April, May and June his 13 cows have brought him an average of $100 per month.


Another good record is that of John Durst of the Town of Hewett.  With 13 cows, his June check was $125.35.  His milk was sent to the cheese factory in Hewett, the cheese maker is Frank Keller.  Both, the Columbia and the Hewett cheese factories are operating by Fred Theiler of Humbird.


Last Saturday, the Library Board of Neillsville met with architect C. Awsumb, of Chicago and considered the bids for erecting the Carnegie Library of this city.  The contract for the building was awarded to the Withee Construction Co., at $8,400.  The heating and plumbing contract goes to W. E. Poate of the city, he being the lowest bidder.  As some minor changes in details may yet be made, the figures for heating and plumbing are not fully settled.  The Library Board and the architect have done some very careful figuring to bring the specifications down to a point where they will not exceed the limits of their funds and yet secure all essentials in beauty and efficiency in the building.


Work will begin as soon as the grounds are cleared from the old buildings, then be pushed rapidly.  The contract provides for completion of the building by January 1st.


Owing to the fact that S. M. Marsh has left Neillsville, he offers his residence for sale.  The eight-room house has a complete bathroom on the first and second floors, screened sleeping porch, laundry in basement, hot water heating system throughout, electric lights and all hardwood floors.


The home is located on four large lots with fruit and shade trees, a garage and barn.  The property can be bought for $3,500, on easy terms.  Inquire of A. B. Marsh, at Neillsville.


Last week, a deal was completed between F. A. Stapher and C. M. Bradford, by which Mr. Bradford becomes owner of the Merchant’s Hotel.  In the deal, Mr. Stapher takes Mr. Bradford’s farm of 20 acres, located just outside the city limits, on the fairgrounds road.


Mr. Bradford took possession of the hotel on Sunday morning.  While it is a new experience for him, he has a wide public acquaintance and experience in various lines of life.  He is affable in manner, naturally pleasant, accommodating and no doubt will make an ideal landlord.


Mr. and Mrs. Stapher will remain for a short time to help Mr. Bradford before moving upon the farm.


It had been planned to open schools, in the city of Neillsville, September 7.  But as the Clark County Fair is held that week and the canning factory, which is probably running its full capacity and employs a large number of students, the school board decided to delay opening school until September 14.  A large number of students, coming from the country, will thus be enabled to attend the fair full time, without losing any school.


Leat McKinney, of West Pine Valley, is organizing a work bee.  Those who come to help will be cutting hay with scythes for the coming six days to help August Wagner whose barn was struck by lightning.  The barn, feed and all of the other contents were lost in the fire.  All of you come for a day or more; bring your own tools and grub.


A company, capitalized at $250,000, has been organized at Owen to manufacture canning machinery.  The officers are as follows: Edward J. Vaudreuil, president and manager; Paul Phelps, vice president and civil engineer; W. C. Tufts, treasurer; Gunder Anderson, secretary.


Fred Nemitz’s barn, in West Pine Valley, was struck by lightning and burned Saturday night.  It is a strange coincidence that just two months ago, Mr. Nemitz’s barn was blown down and destroyed in the windstorm of June 23.  He rebuilt the barn and had put the entire hay and grain crop into it, all of which was lost in the fire.  It certainly seems as if Mr. Nemitz has more than his share of misfortune.


The annual picnic of the Pine Valley Lutheran Church, known as the Beyer Church, will be held next Sunday. A good dinner and program will be prepared.


October 1954


Half a century looked down upon the group which gathered at the old Union Church at Granton, last Sunday evening.  The half-century had a voice, too, in the person of Mrs. F. E. Winn.  She told of the labors of the women, who, through the years, have carried on the work of the Ladies Circle.  It was this organization, which 50 years ago, was responsible largely for the impetus behind the construction of the Union Church building.


The occasion was the formal acknowledgment of the gift by the Ladies Circle of the church building.  The gift was made to the trustees of the Granton Methodist congregation. The formal thanks of that organization were expressed by Horace Hack for the board of trustees.


Rev. Virgil Nulton, the pastor, voiced the purpose of the Methodist people to carry on in the tradition of the Circle women, to the best of their ability.  He cited the policy of the Methodists that property is vested in the local congregation; it remains in Granton, with the local trustees.  He also opened the door for wide community service, emphasizing that the Methodist Church of Granton is open to the call of any who need religious service, whatever their religious affiliation, or lack of it.


Mrs. Winn summarized the accomplishments of the organization over a period of 50 years:


“To give a real picture of how this organization came into existence; It will be necessary to go back a few years previous to its birth and recall for you the events leading up to the establishment of the village of Granton.”


Try to visualize, if you can, this area that we call Granton and its vicinity as a large tract of land, heavily wooded with stands of pine and hardwood.  Settlers had been coming in here from the East since 1850, but the clearing of the land was slow because of the lack of transportation of the logs and saw mills to convert the logs into lumber.


Prior to 1889, there was a little settlement at Maple Works Corner, now known as Trimmy’s Corners. This settlement consisted of a post office, the mail brought in by foot, or stagecoach.  There was also a general store, blacksmith shop, hardware store and a Lutheran Church.  At the north end of this mile, still known as the Windfall corners, was the district school, an Adventist Church, a blacksmith shop and cemetery.  Down on the banks of O’Neill Creek was a small saw mill, turning out lumber for local needs.


But in 1899-(1889?)-1890, when the railroad was extended from Neillsville to Marshfield and a station of Granton was established by railroad officials, about one-half mile from the post office at Maple Works, the entire life of the community was changed.  More settlers came to buy up the land as soon as they knew the timber could be disposed of at a profit.  The post office moved down to the station site; saw mills were built; families moved in to build homes, stores, livery barns.  By 1900, Granton was a thriving little saw mill town.


It was during this year of 1900 that a fraternal organization was organized, membership open to men and women, to promote sociability among the members and to help defray the expenses of the Lodge.  The women members, numbering seven, organized themselves into a group known as “The Mystic Circle.”  These women had a unique way of earning money.  Each member entertained either at a dinner or supper, charging one cent for each serving of food. Thus bread, butter, pickles and coffee would cost you four cents. But strange as it may seem, the ladies soon had plenty of money in their treasury and membership into this select Circle of seven, which was coveted by outsiders.  The population of the settlement was growing.  Stores, a bank, public halls and such had been built, but no special place for religious services had been provided.  Sunday school and church services had been held in the room over what is now known as Hack’s locker and grocery store.  At one time, a room had been partitioned off in the basement of the big hall where church services were held.


The Mystic Circle Ladies were the only organized group and these ladies convinced their husbands that a church building was badly needed to give the young people a place to receive religious training and that they should provide the leadership.  So a public meeting was called to place the idea of a building before the public.


The leaders of the community, both men and women, were enthused with the idea and very soon the Union Church Association was organized.  This church building was to provide a place of worship for all creeds and religions.  The Mystic Circle severed its connection with the Lodge and opened up its membership to all women interested in this project.


Over this period of 50 years, I have found on the Circle membership files the names of 110 women, not just those living in the village, but out in the surrounding territory as well.


There are no records to tell how the money was obtained, but I have talked with several of the second generation of families who carried on this project.  Their consensus of opinion has been that people donated enough money to buy the land where this building now stands.  My father, T. D. Wage was one of the committee selected to buy this land and I very well remember hearing the talk but I have no recollection of the price or where the money came from.  Credit was easily obtained in those days even if cash was scarce and many hours of labor were donated.  When the church building was nearly completed but not paid for, the Union Church Association was disbanded and the control and upkeep placed entirely in the hands of the Circle Ladies, who had a board of trustees to oversee the needs of the church building.


That is the way this church building was built.  Now how was money raised for upkeep?  Mostly by suppers at regular Circle meetings held every two weeks, rain or shine, wind or cold weather.  Price of suppers at homes, 10 cents; public dinners ranged from 25 cents to 75 cents.  Dinners were held in the MWA hall, now the Village hall and if you have any idea that the serving of these dinners was easy, let me name for you the different committees named whenever a dinner was served: First, stoves, some of the members had portable oil stoves but imagine using one of them where most every member was used to her kitchen range, with the best of hardwood for fuel.


Second, dishes, these were borrowed from the local stores, counted out to the committee, carried to the hall, washed and dried; water was brought in from homes in milk cans and an ample supply must be planned for.


Third, linen and silverware, most loaned by members;


The sale of aprons, all year long, was a source of income.  Quilts were either sold or given to needy people.  Sale of rag rugs, birthday barrels, ice cream socials, was some of the other sources of income.


Then for several years, there was a lecture course sponsored by the Circle.  The profit from these entertainments netted $50 or more profit.  One year, the profit from this course was used for a public dinner for the soldier boys of World War I and their families.


The Circle had by this time purchased chairs, an organ and other furniture, helped maintain a Sunday school by providing fuel and janitor work. They purchased several war stamps, bought and presented a pin to the outstanding senior in the local high school and as far as I can gather from Circle records, this senior was always a girl.


After several years of hard work serving public dinners, the Circle Ladies realized a church basement would allow them to serve their public dinners in an easier and more efficient manner, but because of increased costs they were hesitant to start.  But one of the members persuaded her husband to lend the money to the Circle Ladies at a low rate of interest and soon the basement became a reality.  A newspaper clipping tells us that on December 10, 1931, the ladies met to celebrate the final payment of a debt of $1,500, the cost of building the basement.  They pinned the note to a tiny silken U. S. flag, signifying victory and had Mrs. E. A. Beeckler, the only one of the original seven members left, burn the note. The ladies paused with bowed heads in memory of the member who had made the basement possible.


The Circle’s first seven members were:  Mrs. A. J. Knorr, Mrs. C. F. Beeckler, Mrs. E. A. Beeckler; Mrs. John Wright, Mrs. T. D. Wage, Mrs. H. J. Pietenpol and Miss Louise McIntrye (McIntyre?).



The Union Church was established through the combined efforts of the “Mystic Ladies Circle,” of Granton.  Eager to start a worship center, the ladies worked diligently with various fund-raising projects, performing miracles in collecting the necessary money to realize their goals.  Being able to construct a building in 1904, the Union Church was then established.  In about 1925, the building became home for the United Methodist congregation, located on Main Street in Granton.  (Photo courtesy of the Webster family collection)



A meeting of the new Homemakers club of Loyal was held in the municipal building, Thursday evening, October 14.  Hostesses were Mrs. Edward Brown and Mrs. Clarence Brecht. At this meeting the name, “Live and Learn” was chosen for the club. The hostesses and project chairmen were chosen for the year.  The club will meet at the municipal building the second Thursday of each month.  Mrs. Edward Brown, health chairman, presented the topic, “Blood,” the blood mobile will be coming to Loyal, December 1.  Mrs. John Olson and Mrs. Bob Bredlau demonstrated the project on “Winter Bouquets.”


The new club has 22 members.  Clark County Home Agent Miss Sara Steele attended the meeting.  Mrs. Dale Young and Mrs. S. L. Mack will be project leaders for the next meeting, to be held in November.




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