Clark County Press, Neillsville,

November 24, 2004, Page 25

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

November 1924


An interesting incident under our immigration law, which terminated happily, was that of Robert Ratsch and his two small children who arrived safely in Neillsville last Thursday evening.  Gustav Ratsch, a brother of Robert Ratsch arrived, here from Germany some time within the past year.


The Ratsches are also relatives of the Wm. Foemmel family of Pine Valley. Their relatives here made arrangements to bring over Robert Ratsch and his two small children, having tickets forwarded to them and satisfactory arrangements were supposedly made for their entrance into this country.


On their arrival at Ellis Island, the children had taken sick and the medical examiner stated that the father had a slight curvature of the spine and was apparently not supplied with sufficient funds.


A telegram came to the relatives here that an order had been entered to deport the father and children back to Germany and an appeal taken to the commissioner of immigration.  It was a situation that the friends and relatives here hardly knew how to handle.


The Neillsville Bank sent telegrams to assure the authorities that the immigrants had reliable friends who would take care of them from deportation.


On Friday, October 24 Attorney W. A. Campman took hold of the matter and sent telegrams to the steamship company, the commissioner of immigration and as a last resort to John J. Esch, former Congressman from this district now a member of the Interstate Commerce Commission. 


Mr. Esch at once interested himself in the matter, went over to the Department of Immigration where the appeal came up at once and Mr. Esch secured the release of the father and children on the father’s personal bond.  Mr. Campman sent his telegram to Mr. Esch about ten o’clock on Friday, October 24 and by three o’clock on that afternoon, Mr. Campman had a reply from M. Esch stating that he had secured the release.


The next Monday, a letter followed giving details of the case and on Thursday evening Mr. Ratsch and his two children arrived safely in Neillsville, apparently in excellent health.  They were taken to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Foemmel, who, with others of the Ratsch relatives, will help them get started in their new life.


The wife of Robert Ratsch was unable to come at this time, but arrangements will be made to get her over as soon as she can come.  Great credit is due Mr. Esch for his unselfish and active interest in the matter.


On Tuesday evening, Neillsville High School students dramatized the first Thanksgiving dinner.  Their menu was: turkey, baked potatoes, hominy, codfish, cranberry sauce, grape jam, pumpkin pie, corn bread, corn meal pudding, succotash and nuts. They couldn’t produce all of the original menu.


We were surprised to learn that the first Thanksgiving was not the origin of our present Thanksgiving.  The origin of our Thanksgiving was that of July 30, 1622, the first time in the history of American that the governor appointed a Day for Thanksgiving.  It was a year filled with misfortune; a long drought during June and July had almost destroyed the crops.  After a special day of fasting and prayer, rain came; then Myles Standish brought back from an expedition, quite a goodly supply of provisions.  For these blessings, the colonists thought it fitting to hold a public service of prayer and Thanksgiving.


Frank G. Swaboda, former agricultural agent of Langlade County, now manager of the Wisconsin Cheese Producers’ Federation, says Abbotsford will take the lead in the amount of cheese handled by the federation this year, totaling over four million pounds.  The federation will handle 29,000,000 pounds this year, a gain of nearly 5,000,000 pounds over 1923.


Fred Bruley is buying several carloads of cabbage from the Neillsville area for the elevator in Eau Claire, which has a large storage capacity.


One of the happiest social events that ever occurred in the Granton vicinity was the celebration of the 35th wedding anniversary of the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Julius Lautenbach. The event was held at the home of their son, Ed Lautenbach, two miles south of the village, Sunday night, Nov. 2.  About 50 relatives were assembled in honor of the occasion and all joined in the joyous spirit of the meeting most heartily. 


The ceremony of 35 years ago was re-enacted, Willie Breseman officiating as the clergyman.  Mrs. Harry Schlinsog played the wedding march and a little niece of the bridal couple, Beatrice Lautenbach, acted as flower girl.  Elsie Gotter was bridesmaid and Hugo Lautenbach was best man.


The evening was spent in singing, playing cards and visiting, which was suddenly followed by a tremendous “charivari”, all of which gave the assembled guests great appetites for the fine midnight lunch that followed.  Many fine presents were brought for the bride and groom.


The evening was a most enjoyable time for all who attended.


November 1954


Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Pakiz arrived at the home of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Merko Pakiz, of Willard, last week.  Gilbert has served many years in the Army, much of the time in Germany, where he was recently married.  He is now bringing his bride to the United States where he will continue his service in the Army.


Neillsville’s last passenger train slipped into oblivion last weekend, unheralded and unsung.  Aside from those impelled by duty to be in attendance, there was just one Neillsville citizen who honored the occasion by his presence.  He was Art Haugen, who looked upon the passing of the train as a personal and regretful loss.  For 30 years Mr. Haugen had handled mail carried by this train.  For 30 years the blowing of the whistle in the early morning had meant to him the arrival of the makings of the forenoon’s work. To him it was an old friend, filling out the pattern of his life and he was losing it.


The lack of public attention to the passing of the train passenger service was in amazing contrast to the celebration, which marked the opening of passenger service to Neillsville.  That occasion is described as follows in the Curtiss-Wedge History of Wisconsin.


“On July 4, 1881, the Omaha railroad was formally opened for business, from Merrillan to a point on the west side of Black River, about one mile from Neillsville.”


“The opening of the road to a point near Neillsville in 1881 was the occasion of great rejoicing by the Neillsville people and surrounding country.  The first train to come over the road was a special train of nine coaches in charge of Perry Sharpe, conductor, carrying 324 invited guests from all parts of the state, including Milwaukee, Madison, La Crosse, Sparta, Black River Falls and many other points.  With the guests was a military company from La Crosse, called the La Crosse Light Guards and also their band.  On the arrival of the train, the invited guests were met by the citizens of Marshfield, with their military company, known as the Sherman Guards, under the command of Capt. J. W. Ferguson.”


“A speech of welcome was made by Capt. George A. Austin, on behalf of the citizens of Marshfield, which was responded to by Judge J. M. Morrow, of Sparta, on behalf of the visitors.  The procession was then formed, the two military companies leading the way, the visitors in carriages and proceeded to the grounds in Marshfield, where the regular exercises were held. The main address of the day was given by Prof. John M. Olin.  Two days before that, President Garfield had been assassinated by Charles Guiteau, and Professor Olin, who was a personal friend of President Garfield, alluded to it in a very touching manner, voicing the hope of all people that he would recover from his wounds.  He quoted the famous dispatch penned by Garfield sixteen years before, on learning of the death of President Lincoln, “God reigns and the Government at Washington still lives.” “The feature of the occasion was the dinner given in the open air, in a field east of the residence of James Hewett.  Temporary dining tables, 20 in number, were erected, shaded with boughs and each table presided over by a lady from Marshfield.  A magnificent dinner was served to nearly a thousand people.  Toasts were given and responses by Judge Robert M. Bashford, then Justice of Supreme Court of Marshfield and others.”


“In 1887, the Omaha Company built the railroad bridge across the Black River and extended the line to the city of Marshfield.  In 1890-91 the same company extended the line from Marshfield (?) to Marshfield, a distance of 23 miles.


The Marshfield community will be represented by at least nine boxers in the novice Boxing Jamboree, which will be held at Columbus gym, Marshfield, December 3, at 8:30 p.m. and December 4 at 8:15 p.m. 


The local boxers, with weights are: Walter Hahn, 126; Wm. Marty, 160; Kenneth Krause, 135; Bill Hanson, 106; Edgar Bertrang, 140; John Nozar, 147; Charles Gurney, 126; LeRoy Lazotte, 126; Louis Gurney, 112.


The local boxers are organized under the sponsorship of the Marshfield Kiwanis Club and are being trained by LaVerne Gaier.  They meet at the Gym of the old high school Monday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.  Local boys of boxing ambition are welcomed to come to the practice sessions, by Mr. Gaier.


A farewell party in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Volz was held at the Washburn town hall Saturday evening, November 13, with around 100 people in attendance. Dancing, card games and visiting were the entertainment.  Mrs. Neal Meddaugh, Kenneth Wallace and Henry Wallace furnished the music.  Mr. and Mrs. Volz were presented with a sum of money as a going away gift, after which lunch was served.


The Volz’ sold their 160-acre farm to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Bright and family from near Indianapolis, Ind.  The Brights took possession Saturday.  Mr. and Mrs. Volz lived in this vicinity 41 years. They have rented a house in Pittsville, where they will reside until they find a smaller farm.


Several motorcycle riders from Neillsville attended the fall field meet at the Marshfield motorcycle clubhouse in mid-October.  Winners in novelty races were Walter Gerber and Wendell Ott.


Forest Larson took first in the final and big event of the day, winning several motorcycle’ and riding accessories.


This is the first racing he has done since his accident earlier this summer and he is especially pleased with the result.


Because of the costs and implications of a new tax it involves, wide interest has been generated in the proposal for a state-owned tax-supported network of television stations, which will be discussed at a dinner meeting of the Clark County Taxpayers Association.


Two speakers, Prof. R.M. Rightsell of Stevens Point Teachers College and Edwin Brady, farm leader from Valders in Manitowoc County, are members of a committee that has been studying the feasibility of the proposal for more than eight months and recently indicated it felt the proposal unjustified.


The following Clark County men left by chartered bus in October, for Minneapolis and were inducted into the Army:


Elroy J. Gottschalk, Colby; Gerald W. Uhlig, Colby; John L. Denk; Richard Catlin, Loyal; Allen J. Schoonover, Loyal; George H. Albrecht, Neillsville; Walter J. Grabon, Thorp; Richard J. Szymanski, Thorp; Dennis G. Ewald, Unity.


Clark County Local Board No. 10 has received the call for the month of November, eight men to report for induction and twelve men for physical examination, the date of reporting being November 3.  The induction call will be filled entirely by volunteers.


The annual Mission Festival was held at Zion Evangelical and Reformed Church, Greenwood.  It marked the first time that the assembled congregation entered through the new front entrance, which is in its final stage of completion.  It also marked the first Sunday since the new Art Glass windows, depicting the Life of Christ, had been presented to the church as Memorials and Special Gifts.  The windows were given in memory of Mr. Ed Buker, Mr. Don L. Miller, Mrs. John Speich and Mrs. Caroline Volk.  The other windows were presented to the church as gifts by Mrs. Ed Buker, Mr. and Mrs. Ed Braun, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Beyer, Mrs. Charles Ludwig, Mr. John Speich and Mrs. Bertha Volk and the Women’s Guild.


The new windows and the new addition will be dedicated next year when Zion church will observe its 50th Anniversary.  Rev. Charles Koch is pastor of the church.


October 16, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Kuenkel, of Willard, celebrated their silver wedding anniversary.  Paul Flechtner, now living in Ypsilanti, Mich., who served as best man at the Kuenkel wedding and the bride’s sister, Mrs. Joe Volovsek, who was maid of honor, were both present.  A delicious chicken dinner was served at the Kuenkel home to 116 guests.  Each guest was presented with a boutonniere.  In the evening, there was dancing in the yard under a large tent.  Music for dancing was furnished by Mike Briski, a friend of the family.  Refreshments were served all evening.  Many lovely gifts and money were received.


The Southern Clark County Conservation Club will hold its annual coon and ham supper, November 16 at Earl Markham’s dance hall, Chili Corners.


The Bowman Dairy Company is buying eggs.  It furnishes a dependable, year-around market that assures you of good prices.  They are located on the corner of Grand Avenue and 7th Street.




In the spring of 1878, N. C. Foster constructed the first tramway at Fairchild. Within three years, the operations of his company had greatly expanded.  The purpose of the tramway was for bringing out logs from the wooded areas. The above photo was taken of Foster’s 16-ton Dickson locomotive named the “Willie,” often used on the tracks in the western Clark County, the area that bears his name today, Foster Township.



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