Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 14, 2004, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

January 1909


The crew of workers who were stringing electrical wiring, from Winona to Hatfield for the La Crosse Water-Power Company, finished the line that is now connected to the Hatfield powerhouse. This supplies the final connecting link to make what is expected to be the biggest waterpower producer of electricity in Wisconsin. The current has doubtless since been turned on.  The powerful impetus to metropolitan industry at La Crosse and Winona is practically an accomplished fact, only needing the connecting of the industry motors and the proofs of efficiency to complete the fact.


At a meeting of the Shortville Dairy Co. Saturday night, the following directors were elected: A. Short, P. Kuhn, P. S. Bruski, Theo. Kissling and T. M. Winters.  By a vote of the stockholders, it was decided that the patrons haul their own cream to the factory.  The vote stood 46 to 14 with 9 out of the 14 in favor of the factory hauling their cream.  Those patrons live not over one-and-one-quarter of a mile from the factory.  Let us pull together this coming year for the interest of the factory and ourselves.  Drop the little differences we may have and try the new way of doing things.  If it is not better for all concerned, the 46 patrons who voted to haul their own cream will also become dissatisfied and then we will have to hire the cream gathered.  Considering the difficulty of getting ice, late in the spring and during the hot summer, when we were compelled to have ice shipped in, the company has made a good showing.  If we continue to patronize our own creamery, we will be well repaid.


Ice is being hauled and packed at the north Grant Creamery, this week.  The ice is being taken from the Gottlieb Pischer pond.


Sheriff B. P. Lanning, of Jackson County, was buying stone-hammers, last Thursday with a lot of rock being hauled to the county jail. This is in compliance with the resolution passed by the county board at its November session. The combination of a stone hammer and a “Weary Willie” will be made a regular thing at the county jail, hereafter, and applied to the pleasure-some task of reducing large chunks of granite to sized more suitable for road making purposes.  In other words when a tramp is sent to jail, after this, he will either break rock for his board or undergo closed confinement, which will take away his appetite.  It is a safe guess that when the news is once well distributed throughout tramp-world, the tramps will make it a point to keep away from the Jackson County Jail.


The Wisconsin State Game Warden said that 6,208 deer were shipped during the recent open season.  The total was about 11,000 deer that were killed by licensed hunters in the state.


John Apfel, of Evansville, is here visiting his brother, Adam.  He plans to purchase a farm in this vicinity.


Last Sunday, Clemens Esselman, Sr., died at Marshfield, after a few days’ illness.  Mr. Esselman had moved to Marshfield but a few days ago, having recently sold his farm near Loyal.  He moved to the city in order to reap the fruits of many years of patient toil and industry.  His dream of comfort and contentment was rudely dispelled by the grim visitation.  At the time of his death, he was aged 74 years, on Dec. 1, 1908.  Thirty years ago, he settled in Clark County, on the farm near Loyal. He and his good wife faced the problem of making a home with fortitude and industry.  They reared a family of ten children, seven daughters and three sons.


The children are Herman of Athens, Clement, Jr. and Louis of Loyal, Mrs. Sophia Leonard of Marshfield, Mrs. Joe McKimm of the Town of York, Mrs. J. C. Herbst of Brainerd, Minn., Mrs. Geo. Claridge of Reedsburg; Miss Josie of Peoria, Ill., Misses Gusta and Mary.


Mr. Esselman was a man of exemplary habits and as is said, “His word was as good as a bond,” for honesty was one of his most evident traits.  


The funeral was held at the Catholic Church at Marshfield.


The meeting of the Pleasant Ridge Creamery Company lasted so long Wednesday night that all of the wives became frightened and phoned to O. E. Counsell to see what had happened.  But all was well; the creamery paid its patrons 32 ½ cents a pound for their December butter.  Phones are handy, even when ladies get concerned and ponies go home without a driver.


Tuesday night, a bat flew into the Pure Food Grocery when a customer opened the door.  It circled about the store until Ed Suckow knocked it down with a broom.  If this warm weather stays, the robins and blue birds will be here in a few days.


January 1959


Cadet Gary L. Mills, son of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Mills of Rt. 3, Neillsville, has been designated one of 37 distinguished military students at the University of Wisconsin.  He is a senior in agricultural economics and was graduated from Neillsville High School in 1955.


A rare animal is being imported by the state of Wisconsin because it has an even rarer appetite for porcupines.  Wisconsin has an over-abundant population of porcupines.


A porcupine’s favorite dish is the inner bark of a tree.  It does not, however, eat all the bark off a single tree, but nibbles on many, often just sufficiently to kill them.  It is estimated that a single porcupine is capable of killing 2,000 trees a year.


All states with forests, particularly those in the northern part of the country, have porcupines in abundance. A number of them, including New York, are watching the Wisconsin experiment with interest.  If the importing plan is successful, it may be extended to other states.


Clark County, leader of the world in cheese production, has 50 dairy plants, each making its contribution to the proud position of the county.  Some of these are very large, with reputation and acceptance over the entire country.  Others are of more modest size, but equipped with modern machinery and conducted upon an efficient basis, in accordance with the quality program of Wisconsin.


Following the marriage of Celia Reed to Julius Benedict, 80 years ago, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Reed on Pleasant Ridge, Town of Grant, the Rev. William Hendren, Presbyterian minister, stepped into the back yard and twisted together two small elm saplings.


The saplings at that time were smaller than a pencil in diameter.  The “wedlock” has continued down to the present time.  The saplings are now one tree, more than 36 inches in diameter, at the base.


Celia Reed, an aunt of Harold Huckstead who now resides on the Reed farm, was the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reed, after whom the Reed School was named.  Mr. Reed donated the land for the school, which has always been known as the Reed School.


Mr. and Mrs. Benedict took up residence on a farm, south of the school.  Five sons and a daughter were born to them: Russell, Arthur, and Norene, deceased; Murray, now head of the Department of Farm Economics, University of California, Berkely; Harry, formerly with Frank Vanderlip a prominent New York banker and now located at Portuguese Bend, Calif.; and Marion, who married a Neillsville school teacher.  Mildred Overton lives in Wauwatosa and is sales manager of the American Lace Paper Company, Milwaukee.


Mr. and Mrs. Julius Benedict retired from their farm, in the Town of Grant, to a home on Oak Street, Neillsville.  Their former Oak Street home is now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Karnitz.  The remainder of the Benedict lot, which was once the garden and orchard, is now occupied by the homes of the Leo Fosters, Leslie Yorkstons and Frank E. Browns.


Several families of the area have purchased building lots on the north side of U. S. Highway 10, in Hewett, between Ralph Alstot property and Snyder’s dam.  All of them have started clearings and several plan to build residences in 1959.  Lots that have been purchased and cleared are those of Lyle Johnson from Pine Valley; Prince Menning and Mrs. Martha Albrecht of Hewett and Walter Wanger, Mark Vornholt and Fred Vorholt (Vornholt) of Neillsville.


The Jordahl brothers, Neillsville retail merchants, have taken an option on the old Paulson residential property at the corner of Grand Avenue and West Fifth Street, with the expectation of building a large retail store there this spring.


The plan is to erect a one-story building, approximately 132 feet by 68 feet, fronting on West Fifth Street.  Building designs now are being studied in preparation for the drawing of detailed plans, according to Chuck and Jim Jordahl, the brothers.


Funeral services for Miss Kathryn Wasserburger, 72, one of the city’s oldest retail merchants, at this point in time, will be held Saturday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  The Rev. Joseph Eisenmann will be in charge and burial will be made in the parish cemetery.


A life-long resident of the area, Miss Wasserburger was born January 21, 1886, the daughter of the late Charles and Mary (Zeller) Wasserburger.  She attended the old St. Mary’s Catholic School here and was graduated from Neillsville High School.


She entered the retail business following her graduation 56 years ago, working in the location of the present Wasserburger store for Henry Klein.  In 1914, she and her brother, Charles, formed the Wasserburger & Company, which has operated through two world wars and through the present time.


Surviving are two brothers, Henry and Leo, who have been associated with her in the operation of the general store on West Seventh Street; and three sisters: Mrs. Charles (Josephine) Sherman of Wausau, Mrs. Millard (Tillie) Chadwick of Greenwood; and Mrs. Carl (Clara) Kessler of Neillsville.


Mr. and Mrs. Richard M. Horswill, of Neillsville, observed their 56th wedding anniversary, at their home Wednesday.


Richard Horswill of Black River Falls and Miss Elizabeth Bower of Columbus were married in Eau Claire on January 28, 1903.  The newlyweds moved to Clark County, locating on a farm at Longwood, where they lived for many years.


While there, Mr. Horswill served as bookkeeper for the Bright Lumber Company, then located on the Popple River, east of Longwood.  He also served for a period as rural mail carrier out of Withee and was one of the first to own a model “T” car.  During his farming days at Longwood, he took up auctioneering, a profession he followed for many years.


In 1921, Mr. and Mrs. Horswill moved to Neillsville, where they have made their home since.  During the years in Neillsville, he served as an appraiser of property, was an administrator, had an interest in real estate, continued his profession as an auctioneer and was a county supervisor for the Regional Agriculture Credit Corporation.  In 1934, he was selected secretary-treasurer of the Neillsville Production Credit Association.


Due to ill health, Mr. Horswill resigned in October of 1950.  He is now 84 years old.


Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Horswill, five sons and two daughters: Edward and Merlin of Milwaukee; Hallie of Neillsville, Hugh of Janesville; Mrs. Wayne (Joyce) Wall of West Palm Beach, Fla.; Mrs. Donald (Edris) Paulus, La Crosse; and Robert of Neillsville. There are 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.


James R. Colby, of Loyal, retired as executive vice president of the Citizens State Bank of Loyal on December 31, after 48 years of service to that institution.  He continues as a director and stockholder.


Mr. Colby’s duties are being assumed by Paul Davel, who has been appointed interim cashier until the annual stockholders meeting in February.  Mr. Davel had been in charge of the Granton station of the Citizens State Bank for the last four years.


Succeeding Mr. Davel, at Granton, is Ewald Schlinsog, a resident of Granton who has been connected with the institution, at the Granton Station, since February of 1958.


In 1900, O. C. Colby and son purchased the general merchandise store of Wiric and Mulligan.  The son, Bert Colby and family, Mrs. Colby and four children, came from Nunda, Ill., (now part of Crystal Lake) to make their home here and manage the store.  James was born in Nunda in 1892.


In 1910, James became a clerk in the bank and remained there until 1920 when his parents returned to Illinois to live and he formed a partnership with his brother, Raymond Colby, in the store.  In 1929, he withdrew from the store partnership and became the bank’s cashier.


When his parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Bert Colby, returned to Illinois to live, the bank stockholders elected James to succeed his father as a director.  His father had been one of the organizers of the bank and one of its first officers.


A testimonial dinner was given Mr. Colby at the Municipal building at 7 p.m. December 29.  Paul Davel was toastmaster.  O. W. Trindal, president of the bank gave a talk and Mr. Colby responded with expressions of appreciation.


(In reference to last week’s photo on the ‘Good Old Days’ page of the Husky station with its owner, Free Christie: Free and his wife, Libby, had four sons; Ernest, Eugene, Arthur, John and two daughters; May and Arlene.  Eugene, better known as Gene, and Arthur remained living in Clark County.  After working at the Husky station with his father, Gene was employed by NSP, continuing to live in Neillsville.  Arthur moved to Greenwood and worked as a salesman for the O. W. Trindal Co. of Loyal, later becoming manager of the company. D. Z.)




This Ford model “T” phaeton, touring style car, was a popular automobile during the 1920s.  The isin-glass cloth curtains could be folded down during the inclement weather designed to protect the car’s passengers from the elements. For those of you who remember riding in such a car during a rainstorm, the passengers did get wet.  (Photo courtesy of the Zipfel family collection)



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