Clark County Press, Neillsville,

December 29, 2004, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

December 1899


The old Furlong store building on the North Side was sold last week to Denis Tourigny, who contemplates repairing the building and putting it in shape for business use.


The residences and business places, in Loyal are being wired for electricity.


Dwight Roberts is getting up steam in the hot-bed he built and Neillsville may expect to soon see what it has never seen before, homegrown lettuce and radishes in the middle of winter.


The young ladies, of Chili, will give a dance at Fraser’s hall on Monday night, Dec. 25.  The proceeds of said dance are to go toward buying an organ for the Methodist Church.  Tickets will be for sale at Fraser’s, by Ethel Fraser, and at H. G. Prust’s store.


The Clark County Land Company sold three sections of land in Sherwood Forest to parties from Rockford, Ill., last week.  The purchasers plan to use the land for stock-raising purposes.  Consideration of the sale was $3,200 per section. The J. L. Gates Land Co. also disposed of three sections in the Town of Washburn for the same purposes at the same consideration.


The old Breed building, located west of the Omaha Hotel and owned by A. Schoengarth, is being moved to the rear of the lot and will be used as a barn.


The O’Neill parlor was the scene of a pretty wedding ceremony Monday afternoon, which united in holy matrimony Rev. L. Meader, of Eau Claire and Miss Lizzie Eilert of this city.  Rev. R. Grafton officiated the ceremony.


The bride and groom entered the parlor at 2:30 p.m. to the dreamy strains of Mendelssohn’s wedding march played by Mr. Kurt Listeman.  They took their places beneath an arch of pink and white carnations where the words were spoken that joined them as man and wife.


After the ceremony and congratulations, the company moved to the dining room.  There, a three course meal had been spread to which all the guests did ample justice.  The rest of the time, until the train left, was occupied with social converse.  The bride wore a traveling dress of blue poplin and carried a bouquet of red roses.  The parlor decorations were made up of pink and white carnations, accented in white ribbons and bouquets.


The happy couple took the 4:55 train for their new home in Eau Claire, amid a shower of rice, flowers, old shoes and such gala items.


Ross Paulson’s creamery and cheese factory, at Granton, was destroyed by fire last Wednesday night. The fire is supposed to have started in the engine room.  The property destroyed was reported to be worth several thousand dollars, insured for about $1,100.  The factory will be rebuilt.


A ride along Pleasant Ridge, east of the fair grounds, reminds one of the winters in “ye olden time” with snow drifted even with the fences.  Shoveling had to be resorted to in order to obtain a passageway.


Oscar Rude accompanied Fred Huntzicker with a carload of Huntzicker’s household goods traveling to Fresno, Calif.


Chas. Burpee and his wife moved into their new home, lately purchased from Fred Huntzicker.


A man, claiming to be from Fond du Lac, was capering about town Tuesday evening.  He had to be taken in hand by Marshal Hommel and lodged in jail.  He was evidently insane, or afflicted with the “snakes.”


We now have a gristmill.


The city of Neillsville is no longer a loggers’ headquarters; it is a farmers’ town.  The south end and center of this county is devoted to farming, which is increasing fast from year to year.  The farther we can draw farmers from surrounding points, the better it is for every business man and resident of Neillsville.


J. C. Marsh has recently sold his farm located between Loyal and Spokeville.  He will have an auction sale there, beginning at 9 a.m., Dec. 30th.  About 50 head of cattle will be sold to the highest bidder. Also, there will be colts, horses, hogs, farm machinery, a farm creamery outfit and other items to be sold.  No matter what the weather is, the sale will go on.  There is a warm basement in the barn for bidders to stand in during the sale.


The question now agitating the Neillsville Bank and the barbershops is when does the 20th century begin?  Business is suspended at intervals every day to discuss the question.


December 1949


The proposed merger of the Zion Reformed and Congregational churches will reach another milestone this coming Sunday.  Then, each congregation will hold a separate meeting, at which the merger will be debated.


The Zion congregation will meet at 10:30 a.m. at the Zion Church.  After brief devotionals, the question of the merger will be taken up as the main subject of discussion.  A vote will then be taken upon the merits.  This is the third vote by the Zion people.  The first, taken more than a year ago, resulted in the affirmative, favoring such a merger. The second, taken earlier this fall, was presented in combination with a proposal to construct a new church building, the two matters being connected in such manner that a vote for merger was also a vote for a new building.


The Congregational people will meet at 10:45 for morning worship, with the Rev. N. J. Dechant preaching the sermon.  Then will come a potluck dinner and the annual meeting, which will continue into the afternoon. To this annual meeting will be reported the result of the Zion meeting, after which there presumably be some final action by the Congregationalists.


The situation has been altered somewhat by the resignation of Rev. Dechant, effective January 1.  The congregations now face the need of filling the pastorate and the decision of Sunday will involve the question whether Neillsville will be looking for one preacher, or for two.


A mystery “car snatcher” who borrowed the car of John Rychnovsky, Neillsville, on Monday evening and used the vehicle in a wild joy ride before returning it, is sought, Police Chief Drescher said Tuesday.


The Rychnovsky car had been parked on East Sixth Street, alongside the post office Monday evening, while its owner went to the movie.  At about 10:30, the car was seen rolling down Hewett Street from the south.  It whipped into a sharp U-turn and slewed to a stop before the Lato tavern.


Rychnovsky was called from the theater and Drescher informed him of the incident.  But the joy-rider had already made his escape, after caving in the right front door of Rychnovsky’s car at some time during the evening.  When the mystery driver made his spectacular stop, he slid his borrowed vehicle against an auto belonging to Darel Kuhl, route 3, Loyal and damaged the bumper on the Kuhl auto.


Chief Drescher said the driver was unidentified and must have escaped while the witnesses were in the theater calling Rychnovsky.  It is not known how long the car had been used, Drescher said.


Marriage applications, for the month of December are: Marie E. Hiem, 18, Greenwood, and Chester W. Nirva, 21, Owen, to be married at Greenwood December 3; Mildred Herzog, 21, Granton, and Charles W. Rossow, 33, Neillsville; Elnor F. VerHagen, 18, Granton and Donald Kapusta 23, Granton, to be married at Bakerville on December 31.


Eugene Mertens, 21, Withee, Imogene A. Knaack, 22, Owen, to be married at Owen on January 14; Lavern Asselin, 27, Thorp, Dorothy Zukowski, 25, Thorp, to be married at Thorp on December 28.


Neillsville city crews have completed work on the decorations designed to attract Old St. Nick’s eye when he makes his annual midnight visit to the city December 25.


The four spruce bough streamers crossing Hewett Street are fitted with lights and ready to serve as landing beacons for the old gentleman in the red suit when he swoops into Neillsville and begins filling stockings.


Two truckloads of spruce boughs have been donated to the city by Forester Al Covell.  The city crew fashioned the boughs into the streamers or wound them about lampposts. A large consignment was placed atop the Seventh Street lamps.


The lights used in the Main Street streamers were very old, Engineer James Hanson said; so old that he didn’t know where they came from.  But old or not, they were wired up last year, repainted this year and they’ll be burning brightly until Christmas.


A Christmas tree will be lit beside the City Library.  If Santa has grown a little myopic with the passing years, another landing light has been set up over the standpipe by the Neillsville City Water Department.  Fifty bulbs are blazing from the 9 and ½ foot star up there.  Commissioner Wilsmann has checked the wiring personally and rearranged the bulbs for maximum brilliance.  At the star’s five corners, 50-watt bulbs are broadcasting Neillsville’s Christmas good wishes to the countryside and to the gent who brings all those mysterious looking packages.


The street decorations required about two days to complete, Engineer Hanson said.  The star required three or four trips to the standpipe’s top.  It is now fully refurbished and ready for the holiday season.


Power for the four long streamers over the business section is being provided by hookups with local business concerns.  Warlum-Robinson, Henry Becker, Dr. E. Lee and the Neillsville Library are supplying electric current and are charged with turning lights on in the streamers at their locations.


Workers at the Farmers’ Union mill, here, have been fighting a losing battle with a nine-foot hole.  With shovels flying, they sought to drive a nine-foot excavation into soil underlying the mill. The hole was to provide a resting place for the mill’s new 75-horse-power hammer mill.


What appeared to be solid mother earth on the surface, however, proved to be quicksand.  As fast as they hole was reamed out to a sizable depth, the walls collapsed and the work had to be repeated.


The project has consumed two weeks and it appears the hole has forced the fight to a draw.  The Farmers’ Union men have decided to come to a compromise. They’ve dug a hold (hole), but the revised model is only 6-feet deep rather than the nine foot depth originally called for.


It might be said that they couldn’t go the “hole” way.


About 200 lutefisk lovers disposed of 200 pounds of the Norwegian dish at the Legion Lutefisk and Lefse supper at the Legion hall last seek.  At the same time, they consumed about 300 pieces of Lefse, each piece averaging 12 inches in diameter.


Serving began at 5:30 p.m. and continued until 10 p.m., Mrs. Otto Schlimme reported, but the heaviest traffic in lutefisk sales came between 6 and 8:30 p.m.


Along with the lutefisk and the 300 feet of Lefse, they served ham baked in wine sauce. But, preparing Lefse was the biggest job, it was reported.


The Lefse workers were: Mrs. John Mattson, Mrs. Beill Schroeder, Mrs. Della Botnen, Mrs. John Lullikson and Mrs. Otto Schlimme.


Preparation of the lutefisk wasn’t begun until Wednesday afternoon, the ladies said, since it only needed to be boiled and butter added.


Henry T. Rundle, of Humbird, died December 18 in the hospital at Black River Falls.  He was an old-time lumberjack, spending much of his active life in the pine woods of Clark County.  For the following account of his life, The Press is indebted to John M. Peterson of Neillsville, to whom Mr. Rundle told his story and who passed the information on to us.  Mr. Rundle’s home was in the Town of Mentor, about half-a-mile south of Humbird village.


Following is the account as given by Mr. Peterson:


“Henry Thomas Rundle was born June 26, 1862, Pike County, Pennsylvania.  His father was Frederick A. Rungle (Rundle) and his mother was the former Lavina Appleman.  There were thirteen children, six older and six younger than Henry.  At the age of three, Mr. Rundle’s parents moved to Huguenot, Orange County, New York and in 1873, to Clark County.”


“Henry Thomas Rundle virtually grew up in logging camps in Clark County.  His father cooked at one of the D. J. Spaulding camps on Popple River in 1876 and young Henry was what was called a “cookee.”  Young Henry took various jobs in and about logging camps and was regarded as an all around lumberjack.  This included being cook on occasions.  He saw millions of feet of the finest white pine go down Black River.  In 1887, he married Ada Johnson.  One child was born to this marriage, namely Hazel Welsh, who resides at Jim Falls, Wisconsin.  His first wife died and he thereafter married Gertrude Colgrove in 1902.  No children were born to this union.  Besides being an all around hand in the lumber camp, Mr. Rundle also spent some time, after the logging subsided, as a machinist in Iowa, later working on telegraph line construction and in the plumbing and wiring business.  He has resided in Humbird since 1917.”


“The Rundle family has a unique and extraordinary military record.  Henry Thomas Rundle is the fifth generation of the family who served in the military forces during wartime.  This record began with the Revolutionary War when one of his ancestors fought for England and one for the colonies.  Mr. Rundle is a veteran of the Spanish American War having been with Company “A” of Neillsville, serving as a “Mess cook.”




The Honorable James O’Neill was Judge of the Wisconsin 17th District from 1898 through 1921.  Judge O’Neill, nephew of Neillsville’s founder James O’Neill, Sr., was a practicing attorney in the city for 25 years prior to becoming circuit judge.  Judge O’Neill built his residence on the corner of East 4th and State Streets, circa 1880, in Neillsville for the cost of $6,000.  Occasionally, the beautiful, spacious home served as an attractive setting for wedding ceremonies.



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