Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

January 7, 2004, Page 10

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

January 1879


There will be no trouble about the ice supply next summer if people are prudent enough to provide for it this winter.  We notice some ice already has been taken from O’Neill pond.  The chunks of ice are about 15 inches thick, solid and crystal clear.


Take notice, as it will be seen that Mose Baird, of Greenwood, has taken a wife.  Mose is one of the salt-of-the-earth and deserves the good fortune that has met him in his union with Miss Durham.


Baird is the popular clerk in B. F. Brown’s store and has expressed his preference of a married life to that of a bachelor.  He was made a happy man by a matrimonial tie to Miss Lizzie Durham at 10 o’clock New Year’s morn, at the residence of the bride’s father.  The wedding ceremony was performed by our genial friend, G. C. Andrews.  The young couple has gone to make a short visit with their friends at Black River Falls and will soon return to be congratulated by their many friends in Greenwood.  Mose has been among the Greenwood folks for about seven years, most of that time in the employ of B. F. Brown.  He has proved himself a worthy citizen and has made many friends.


The use of water sprinklers for making logging roads has become about universal.  For a week or two, it has been impossible to get any kind of mechanical work done, as ever(y) mechanic has been employed in making sprinklers.  They are built on one general plan, that of a huge tank of pine plank the length and width of a pair of logging sleds and about four feet high.  Different kinds of pumps are being used, but none so far have been found much more economical or effective than the old-fashioned barge pump.  A good sprinkler, exclusive of the sleds, costs $40 and when it starts for business you would take it for the ark on runners undergoing a vigorous bailing.  The latest improvement is a sheet-iron stove for thawing the ice that accumulates on the inside.


Louis Rossman, of Greenwood, has gone into manufacturing sprinklers for logging roads having finished many.


When obliged to do so, the easiest way to saw your own wood is to borrow a sawbuck and bucksaw, then get some other fellow to work with those instruments.  We tried that last Monday, asking our ex-County Surveyor to be the motor and he worked to perfection.


No credit will be given for wood brought and dumped off at the newspaper office without measurement.  Afterwards, parties come along claiming to have brought a certain amount.  Customers from, who wood are due on subscription, will have to notify our office and have the wood measured, then credited up before unloading it.  We do not want wood upon any other terms.


Last Friday morning, a wail went up from almost every house in Neillsville, in which houseplants were kept.  Frost had done its work with withered leaves and drooping stems being all that were left of many a fragile plant.


Mr. Charles Sniteman, of Fort Atkinson, takes Mr. Slocum’s place in Myers’ drug store.  He comes with good recommendations as a druggist and a gentleman.


The Clark County Board made provisions during its last session for liquidating most of the indebtedness of The County’s Agricultural Society.  The principal items of the debt were as follows: To Daniel Gates, due on mortgage of the fair-grounds, $949.31; to James Hewett, on putting up buildings on the grounds, $296.19; to R. J. MacBride, on the Christie note given for making the race track, $371.15.  The board made a direct appropriation of $771.15, $400 of which is to be applied on the claim of Daniel Gates and the balance, $371.15, to the payment of the notes held by MacBride.  They also made provision for the payment of the claim held by James Hewett by endorsement of that amount on notes held against him given in the settlement of the Allen case.  This leaves the Society with one of the largest and most complete fair grounds in the state, against which there is an indebtedness of but $549.  The loan amount is being held by Daniel Gates who has agreed to give the Society a year’s time to pay.  The board did a very generous, as well as a very sensible thing, in thus coming to the relief of the Society, which, though in a very flourishing condition otherwise, must have been swamped by this heavy indebtedness.


The residents of the village of Loyal have decided to invest in a schoolhouse, which they are very much in need of.  They have now nothing but a small log schoolhouse, located half a mile out of town. We understand that they intend to put up a building that will be a credit as well as a great convenience to their village.


The Germans, of Neillsville, held a meeting last Monday evening.  At that meeting they organized a musical society, which will be known as the Neillsville Gersang Verein.


January 1939


Cold storage lockers are becoming more popular among Wisconsin farmers.  No less than 60 of these plants have been built in Wisconsin during the past three years.  These provide about 8,800 locker units in which families can store meat, vegetables, fruit and other foodstuffs.


(Cold storage lockers filled the need for storing frozen foods before the home deep freezer units became available. D. Z.)


Social Security claims amounting to $1,782.46 were certified for payment in the area covered by the Wausau field office, which includes Clark County, in November, according to work from G. W. Spencer, acting head of the office.


The claims were paid to 37 persons, making an average claim payment of $48.17.  The payments were to wage earners who had reached the age of 65 and to heirs of estates of those who had died.  The Wausau field office serves the counties of Clark, Forest, Iron, Langlade, Lincoln, Marathon, Oneida, Portage, Price, Taylor, Vilas and Wood.


The Vivian Krause Home, directly opposite the Clark County courthouse, on 5th and Court Streets, is being remodeled and will be ready for business in the very near future.  A. W. Jaster will conduct the new funeral home business.


Dad and Grandpa may have worn red flannels, but it’s a cinch that sonny won’t.


For one reason, he can’t buy them in Neillsville or in practically any other city in the northern hemisphere, for that matter.


And, for a second reason, sonny doesn’t place much faith in the once-common belief, held by dad and grandpa, that red flannels are “good for rheumatism.” 


Local men’s clothing dealers recall the days, back in the late 1890s and early 1900s, when two-piece red flannels were the most popular underwear of the time.  But none of the stores have carried them in stock for the last 20 years.


“They were great favorites with people who were troubled with rheumatism,” commented Joe A. Zimmerman, recently.  “Even now we have an occasional call for them.  But we haven’t been able to buy them.”


“Why people had the idea they had to have red flannels for their rheumatism, I haven’t been able to learn,” Arthur Berger said, “But, for some reason or other, some garment of the same quality in a different color wouldn’t have done the trick for the aching joints.”


However, red flannels enjoyed a high degree of popularity for several years before favoritism shifted to a yellow, or eggshell, color of underwear in the early part of this century.  And, it is probably a hangover from this popularity that members of the younger generation are bothered by when they go out into the cold weather, undermining the time-honored dignity of the red flannel underwear.


“Next to me, I like my red flannels best,” one is likely to hear on any cold morning.


But, in spite of the jibes, red flannels may be staging a comeback.  A few underwear manufacturers have put themselves in position to make up red flannels on special order, according to the word left with Mr. Berger, a local clothier.


Last Thursday, the life of Sylvanis Sweet Warner, a 92-year-old Civil War veteran and pioneer resident to Thorp ended.


The war of the blue and the gray ended in 1865 at Appomattox, Va.; but it did not end for Mr. Warner.  Nor has it ended for Thomas Goodell, of Spokeville and Albert Darton, of Loyal, Clark County’s only two surviving veterans of the great conflict.


In their memories, they have relived the campaigns through the passing years, frequently recounting for those of younger generations their experiences of the great rebellion.


High in Veteran Warner’s prideful memories of the war was the fact that he served in the Army of the East under the immortal Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.  During the majority of the two years he served, Warner was a scout for Company F of the 20th New York Cavalry, with which he enlisted on August 10, 1863.  He was a lad of 17 at the time.


It was only a short time following Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender on the courthouse grounds at Appomattox that Mr. Warner was mustered out of the Army at Rockfield, VA, near Richmond.


Returning to his native New York state, he married Miss Phebe Jane Warden on October 20, 1866, in Jefferson County. Two years later he, his wife and small son, William, followed Mr. Warner’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen A. and Elizabeth (Sweet) Warner, to Juneau County, Wis.


But the pioneer spirit was strong in Mr. Warner.  So because of this and perhaps partly because of the restlessness which grips one who has witnessed the terrors of war, he loaded his family in an ox-drawn cart and journeyed northward in May of 1874.


After ten days of the wearing overland travel, the family selected a site in what was the Town of Hixon and now is the Town of Thorp. There, they built a small shack to live in and homesteaded 160 acres of land.


Interested and active in the affairs of that area and Clark County, Mr. Warner was one of the leaders in the organization of the Town of Thorp.  After its organization in 1876, he served as the supervisor for the county’s first board of supervisors.  He was a member of the township school board for 16 years.


Four years after their arrival in Clark County, the Warners built a new house, which was to be the first completed home in the Town of Thorp.  In 1884, a third dwelling was built on the homestead.


Mr. and Mrs. Warner were the parents of five children.


The J. B. Lowe and Son furniture store building, in downtown Neillsville, was destroyed Monday night by a $16,000 fire in which Mrs. J. B. Lowe, 77, lost her life.  Mrs. Lowe lived in the building’s upper story apartment.


The amount of damage, to the building and stock, was estimated by Neillsville Fire Chief William F. Dahnert, at $16,000, following an inspection of the ruins.  About $200 water damage was suffered by the A & P food store, adjoining the ruined building on the north.  Smoke and water damage estimates had not been made for Eva’s Fashion Shoppe, located in the building adjoining on the south and Otto Catlin’s barber shop, in the basement of the A & P store building.


The oldest portable saw mill in Clark County and one of the oldest mills of its kind in the United States was placed in well-earned retirement on January 9.  Tom Wren, its owner, of Sidney, said the engine’s venerable flues gave out after 57 years of service.


The 20 h.p. saw mill was brought to Clark County on December 1, 1881, by Tom’s father, Sereno Wren.  It was unloaded at the Ed Hubbard farm, where the railroad station was located at the time.


Since its arrival here, the saw mill has been operated yearly and for many seasons was kept going full speed ahead.  Mr. Wren was unable to estimate how many feet of lumber had been sawed from logs by the portable machine.  However, he said the total would run into many million feet.


The last big job, by the saw mill, was the sawing of 4,000 board feet of lumber for P. M. Warlum, of Neillsville.  That job was just recently finished.  A great deal of the material used in constructing farm buildings, in and around the country, was sawed by the portable mill.


About 10 years ago, Tom bought the old stone cheese factory at Sidney and moved the saw mill there from the Bob French farm in the Town of Levis, where it had been maintained for about 12 years.  After moving it, the saw mill was overhauled by Mr. Wren.  Then, the original flues were in perfect condition.


“I’ll just retire the mill,” commented Mr. Wren.  “Maybe the makers of the engine will want it.”


A commission to paint a mural for the lobby of Neillsville’s new $60,000 post office building has been awarded to Prof. John O. Van Koert, instructor in the Department of Art Education in the University of Wisconsin.


The announcement was made this week in a communication received by Postmaster Louis W. Kurth from the acting super-vision architect of the Treasury Department.  The Treasury Department is in charge of administration of Federal buildings.


Professor Van Koert is expected in Neillsville late this week to determine the subject and to study the architectural setting for the decoration, the announcement stated.  He will execute the mural in Madison and transport it for installation here.  The mural is to be completed in a year and will be painted in egg temera (tempera). 


He was awarded the mural commission on the basis of designs submitted to the Federal Department in recent competition.


Well-known in Wisconsin through his art works, Professor Van Koert has exhibited at the memorial Union in the Wisconsin Salon of Art and in a one-man show of his work late last spring.


The mural design for the Neillsville post office submitted by Van Koert was highly praised by the regional jury, in Milwaukee and the Committee of Art in Washington D. C.   The competition was open to all artists in Illinois and Wisconsin.




The Husky gas station was located in Neillsville; on the corner of Seventh and West Streets, in the 1930s, being in existence until about 1950.  Free Christie and his brother, Art owned and operated the station during that time.  The station also was a place for retired men to gather around the wood stove and swap stories of the by-gone pioneer days.  (Photo courtesy of Marge Hanson)



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