Clark County Press, Neillsville,

December 15, 2004, Page 13

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

December 1884


The electric lamp, which brought light to Main Street and has given the city a “Chicago air” during the last 13 months, has been removed by the proprietor from its place in front of the Gates block.  It now has been placed in Sniteman’s drug store and henceforth the belated customer can enter now so conspicuous.


Mr. James Furlong, of North Side Neillsville, died Dec. 6, 1884.  The funeral took place at the Catholic Church.  Mr. Furlong was one of the first residents of Neillsville and did more than any other citizen to build up the First ward.  He had been in shattered health for a year of (or) two, perhaps longer.


Mr. Furlong came to this city in 1856 and has resided here continuously, since.  He was 58 years old on the 9th of October.


A group of genuine tramps were in the city recently and we see by papers from neighboring towns that they are increasing in numbers. They are a nuisance and we trust the authorities will enforce the tramp law vigorously, so that the vagabonds will pass us by.


Those who have no private conveyances, but wish to go to the Episcopal social tonight, will meet at the store of J. H. Thayer & Co.  From there, they will have a sleigh ride to Mr. Manes’ farm, where the social will be held.  After the fun is over, they will be brought back to town.


The proper thing for a man to do in these hard times is to buy a piece of land, if he has not already done so.  The land in Northern Wisconsin has a native crop that will furnish the owner with work and bread for a season at least, or until he can fit it for raising crops.  Too many men depend on their ability to earn a living at day labor.  When labor is scarce, some must suffer and the laborer is the first to feel the hard times.  If he has a piece of land, he can commence working for himself.  He can cut wood, scheme and contrive to make logs, log out his best timber for the mills and do some figuring with his pencil.  Economy and business combined are good things for a settler in a new country.


Our good friend and fellow townsman, Mr. James Delane, landlord of the Delane Hotel, on Third Street, fills a large place in our city.  You may know about the Shiloh cannon accident in 1880, which compels Delane to get along in a one-handed way.  His hotel is run on a generous and popular basis and it keeps him, Mrs. Delane and their assistants moving briskly from one year’s end to another.  He has ample accommodation for guests with good stabling and care for teams of horses.  He is improving his facilities every year.


Keep in mind that starvation commences February 18 and will end April 5.  That is Lent, you know.


The alarm of the fire, Tuesday morning, just before daylight, hustled the city out of bed somewhat earlier than usual. There was a dangerous blaze at the O’Neill House.  The fire appeared to have begun at, or below, the main floor in the kitchen, or in the partition between the kitchen and the dining room.  It had burned along that area, up the studding to the ceiling, from the laundry department under the kitchen.  The ceiling of the dining room burned through in one place, the laundry burned and was blackened pretty badly.  There was a great deal of portable property carried into the street.  Hotel guests made haste to dress and skip into the outer air.  The whole building was filled with dense smoke.  There was most prompt and efficient work done so that the entire house would not burn.  The city chemical fire extinguisher, under the management of Marshal Hommel and the fire company, is entitled to all the credit of saving the building.  The hand grenades were used some and worked very well, but when some were thrown into the fire they bounded back without breaking, until thrown with extraordinary force.  The fire had made its way up to the third story before being put out.  Mrs. O’Neill proved herself as a good commander under fire.  After the flames were subdued, she had the house put in order in good time.  When the editor arrived on the scene at 8:30 a.m. for breakfast, the table was spread and there was little to tell that there had been a fire.  Lige Myers sat at the table smiling at a plate of pancakes and began narrating the night’s particulars.



Tom Hommel was a member of the first organized Neillsville Fire Department.  He wore many hats of service in the city over a long period of time.  He was involved in starting the opera house, building the armory, also serving as city constable and supervisor of the first sewer and water installations.  The above photo is of Hommel when he served as commander of Co. A, 3rd Infantry, Wisconsin National Guard at the time the unit entered service in the Spanish-American War.  (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Drescher’s family collection)


December 1944


Methodists of Neillsville, Granton, Pleasant Ridge and Lindsey are being called by Rev. Floyd A. Fahlgren, minister, to take part in raising $25,000,000 for world relief and reconstruction, the first phase of the denomination’s nationwide Crusade for Christ program of post-war service.  The appeal, for which the goal is $1,300, began December 1, 1944, Rev. Fahlgren announces.  The Methodist congregation here is part of nearly 8,000,000 members of 41,000 churches in the United States who are participating in the four-year, five-fold Crusade.


Expenditures of the Crusade fund by the regular, general agencies of the church will provide for “feeding the hungry, clothing the destitute and freeing the minds and spirits of the underprivileged, the driven and dispossessed,” Mr. Fahlgren said.  Part of the fund has been allocated for the “rebuilding and rehabilitation of human life” in foreign countries, some will go to war devastated areas and the rest in other mission fields.  The balance will be used for emergency, war-caused needs in this country. 


The Rotary club constituted a committee to decorate the business section of Neillsville for Christmas.  Members of the club went into the country Sunday morning to cut spruce trees from areas, which are being thinned out by the Clark County workers.


There were 122 little spruce trees that came to Neillsville to make Christmas merry.  The trees were placed throughout the business section, some in the little holes in the sidewalk that were designated for flag placement.


They make the old Home Town look as much like Christmas as it can be in the war-forced absence of electric lights.


The Rotarians decorated the trees Sunday afternoon.  The Brownie Scouts helped, their services being offered through the leadership of Mrs. Oluf Botnen and Mrs. Don Schwantes.  Members of the Brownie Scouts troop helped by cleaning up the trimmings, as the Rotarians progressed with their work.


The Congregational Church, Neillsville, was the scene of the marriage of Miss Pauline Pearl Medicke, daughter of Mrs. Blanch Medicke of Christie and Raylond Oberlin Larson, Neillsville, son of Mrs. O. E. Larson of Milwaukee, December 27 at 4 p.m.  Rev. G. W. Longenecker officiated at the single ring service.  The church was decorated with chrysanthemums, evergreens and candles.


The bride, who was given in marriage by her brother, Warren Medicke, wore a white faille taffeta gown, made princess style and designed by Mrs. Emily Smalek of Chicago, aunt of the bride.  She also wore a coronet veil and carried a bouquet of mixed Talisman roses.  Mrs. Warren Medicke, sister-in-law of the bride, was her matron of honor and Miss Claire Law, of Chicago, cousin of the bride, was bridesmaid.  Little Miss Arlie Veum was flower girl.


The groom was attended by Jesse Nourse of Neillsville.  Ushers were Jimmie Veum of Strum and Dale Armitage of Neillsville.


Miss Wilma Olson, of Eleva, sang during the service and Mrs. A. C. Covell presided at the piano.


Friends were received informally at the church and later a dinner for 45 guests was served at Wagner’s party room, where chrysanthemums and evergreens were also used as decorations.


The bride is a graduate of the Neillsville High School and of Central State Teachers’ college.  She has done post-graduate work at the State University.  She is an assistant principal of schools in Cottage Grove, Wis.  The groom is a graduate of the State University.  He is a state probation patrol officer, with headquarters in Neillsville.  Mrs. O. E. Larson was here for her son’s wedding.


A greatly expanded food rationing program, again including canned vegetables, will be effective as of Tuesday.


Price administrator Bowles said the tighter controls are necessary to assure fairer distribution of small supplies.


The changes, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Tuesday, included a rise in the red point value of butter from 20 to 24 points a pound.  There will be a cancellation of all red and blue stamps, which became good before the first of December and cancellation of all sugar stamps and home canning certificates except No. 34.


About 85 per cent of all meats will be placed under rationing beginning December 31.


The canned vegetables, which require points, are peas, corn, green and wax beans, asparagus and spinach.


“Civilian supplies of sugar, butter and commercially canned fruits and vegetables are at the lowest point since the start of World War II and meat supplies are declining,” Bowles said.


It originally was planned to announce the changes on Wednesday, December 27.  OPA said the effective time of the action was advanced 24 hours “to protect existing supplies on store shelves from buying runs.”


Pvt. Fred Laager, son of Jacob Laager, Route 2, Neillsville, is fighting in Italy with the 338th Infantry Regiment, which is credited for overcoming many hundreds of Germans and taking nearly 700 prisoners in four weeks of cold, bitter fighting in the Gothic line.


They are called the “old timers,” these men and officers of the 338th, part of the 85th “Custer” Division in Lt. General Mark Clark’s Fifth Army.


They are veterans of bloody Solacciano Ridge and the Gustav Line, Formia, the Gaeta Peninsula and Rome.  They are now standing at the approaches to the Po Valley, a long haul from Minturno, where the regiment entered the lines on last April 21.


The First Battalion led in the capture of Mount Altuzzo, 3,000 feet of straight up rock, key to vital II Giogo Pass, a major objective of the 85th Division. This same unit staged an amphibious landing to occupy Sperlonga above Gaeta last May.


Earlier, a company in the 2nd Battalion seized a strategic position in the Gustav line and held it against a desperate German battalion for three days.  This feat was almost duplicated by the same company in attacking Mount Zanobi above Firenzuola and holding the peak all day against four Jerry counterattacks, including two with tanks, which fired directly into the GI’s foxholes.


The “old-timers” of the 338th have won three Distinguished Service Crosses, 35 Silver Stars and more than 200 Bronze Stars.


Corp. Lester Volz, son of Velmer Volz of Route 4, Neillsville is fighting with Gen. Clark’s Fifth Army in Italy as a member of the 27th Field Artillery Battalion, First armored division.  The outfit has fired 300,000 rounds of ammunition at the enemy.  Members of the unit had completed their 413 combat day on Sept. 15.  They hold an imposing number of decorations, six Distinguished Service Crosses, four Croix de Guerre medals, an Order of the Red Star, eight Legion of Merit medals, 36 Silver Stars, 375 Purple hearts and 93 individual decorations.


Ross Lawrence is rounding out 32 years as Thorp’s banker.  He went to Thorp originally to stay for a month; intended at the end of a month to set out on a long expedition to the South.  But when the month rolled around, there was still work ahead at the bank and he never has caught up with it.


As a banker, Mr. Lawrence can now see that he used to do better as a professional ball player.  The only trouble was the money slipped through is fingers; easy come, easy go, as the saying is.  He could see as a ball player that he needed a banker, but he couldn’t be both at the same time.  So the ball playing slipped into the amateur status and Mr. Lawrence has ever since been devoting his energies to the conserving end.


Taxes in Loyal will be $3.99 per hundred of valuation.  The rate is 12 cents lower than last year and is lower than any year since 1938.


The village budget is $7,000, this year, $500 lower than last year.  The budget for school district No. 1, Village of Loyal, is $15,000, the same as last year.  This includes the seventh payment of $2,488.35 in bonded indebtedness, principal and interest incurred in the building of the new high school and gymnasium.


On Thursday, Dec. 7, anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Loyal unveiled its memorial to her service men and women of the current war.  The exercises were held in the high school gymnasium at 8 p.m.  Principal speaker was James Dutton, attorney of Marshfield.  Others on the program were Fred Lakosky, village president; Arthur Stadler, chairman of the Clark County Board; Myron Duncan of Owen; Dorothy Kanneberg of Loyal and the Loyal High School band.


The plaque, the first of its kind, is intended to serve as a model for those in other communities of the county.  It contains the names of Loyal’s veterans of the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I and World War II.


It stands five feet in height and is three feet wide.  To the left of the names in the honor roll is a “Minute Man” statue and two eagles flank the top of the plaque.  Several oak leaves also adorn the memorial.


The Rotary club and American Legion Post No. 175 were in charge of the program.  The public was invited.


Sgt. Clayton Turner is the first York Center boy to be returned to civilian life from overseas duty.  He arrived home Nov. 30.  He entered the service Aug. 28, 1942; spent 11 months in Guinea until he left for home, where he worked as a carpenter and was in charge of supplies.




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