Clark County Press, Neillsville,

February 18, 2004, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

February 1879


A very bold theft was committed recently in Coleman’s camp on Four-mile Creek, near King’s mill.  A man, whose name we suppress at the request of our informant, slipped in and stole 65 logs from the skidways while a crew of workmen was all around him.  There appears to be but one cheeky thing that he did not attempt.  He did not ask the crew to help load, being magnanimous enough to do that for himself.  The logs were recovered, we understand and the thief paid dearly for his brief ownership.


A bill is now before the Legislature to authorize William T. Price, his associates and assigns, to improve O’Neill Creek, in Clark County, for the purpose of facilitating log-driving in that stream.  In case these parties expend the sum of $5,000 in said improvements, they are to be allowed a toll of 25 cents per thousand feet, board measure, for all logs floated out of said stream.


Mr. H. W. Sheldon, of Neillsville, took a cold bath one morning last week.  In crossing the Black River, near Houston’s camp, his horse broke through the ice and scrambled out again, but in doing so, the horse threw his driver into the water hole.  With the assistance of Persh Tolford, Sheldon got out.  He was considerably chilled before he got to camp, a distance of about two miles from the river, where he could change clothes.


The bill to create the county of Webster from portions of Clark and Marathon counties, met with a practical defeat last Friday.  The report of the Assembly Committee, on town and county organizations, recommended indefinite postponement on the issue.  The friends of the bill next had it referred to another committee, the members of which they believed to be more favorable to them, but here again it met the fate of indefinite postponement.  The representatives of the measure, Mr. Shafer, of the Phonograph, Mr. Grow and a bald-headed stranger named Potter, presented, in a very able manner, all the merits it had, but they were not sufficient to convince disinterested parties that a new county was necessary of (or) even desirable.


The bill creating a new county from portions of the counties of Chippewa and Lincoln has passed both houses of the legislature.  The bill had nearly become a law creating the county of Flambeau, when Mr. Scott happened to think that it would please Mr. Price to have the county named after him, so moved.  No one, not even the inhabitants, cared what it would be called, so Price it is.


Where is the man who said we were going to have an open winter and a poor one for logging?  Fourteen inches of snow with the thermometer at 37 degrees below zero, ought to make him realize that he is a fraud as a prophet.


Mr. Buell, who has for some time made an excellent hotel of the Halstead House, of Humbird, has retired from business.  His business is being taken over by Mr. Matchett, formerly of the Ida House, of Sparta.  Matchett’s good reputation as a landlord is a guarantee that Humbird is not to be without a first-class hotel.  He can make one improvement of advantage to himself on the start and that is to change the name for the house.


The classes of Mrs. C. L. Chandler’s school, joint district No. 3, York and Grant, gave an exhibition last Friday evening.  The program consisted of recitations, declamations, tableaux, pantomimes, and such.  A large and very appreciative audience was in attendance.


Notice is hereby given to all whom it may concern, that in view of the condition of public affairs, the price of the rooms to the guests in the Vilas House, Madison, is as follows: Rooms on the first floor, per day, $3; on the second floor, per day, $2.50; on the third floor, per day $2.00; on the forth (fourth) floor, per day, $1.50; all rooms above the fourth floor are free.


Mrs. A. W. Waterman has continued as matron and housekeeper of the establishment and cannot be excelled in her department by any lady in America.


The location of the house and its recent improvements excels any other in the beautiful city of Madison.  The table will continue as it has been in the past, the best food in the northwest.  For more particulars, ladies and gentlemen, call and see for yourselves.  J. Van Etta is the proprietor.


W. H. Kountz, to whom the legal fraternity devoted considerable attention during a portion of the past year, appears to have picked up enough law to embark into the profession.  He is now full-fledged lawyer, having been admitted to the bar at the recent term of the Circuit Court of Taylor County.  Hiriam is no slouch in anything he undertakes and will doubtless make his mark in that direction.


February 1939


Glen White, well known young man of Neillsville, will take over the management of Chapman’s cafe on Fifth Street, it has been announced.  The kitchen will be under the supervision of his mother, Mrs. W. H. White.  Both Mr. White and his mother have had considerable experience in restaurant work.  Mr. Chapman plans to continue to operate the bar.


An inventory of “Big game” animals for 1937, recently completed by the United States Biological Survey in cooperation with local and state agencies, placed Wisconsin fifth among the states.  Wisconsin had 324,000 whitetail deer and 2,000 black bears, according to the survey.  Michigan ranked first with 878,000 big game animals, including 874,000 whitetail deer, 2,500 black bears, 1,000 moose, eight buffalo and five elk.  The other ranking states were: Pennsylvania ranked second; California, third and Minnesota, fourth.  Delaware was the only state in which no big game animals were reported.


A deed transferring a lot in the Eidsvold cemetery at Thorp, made nearly 45 years ago, was filed in Henry Rahn’s Register of Deeds office last week.  The fact that the transfer had not been placed on file apparently came to light through the recent death of Sylvanus Sweet Warner, Thorp Civil War Veteran who owned the original plot and had it sub-divided for a cemetery.


Made on March 20, 1894, the deed transferred lot 8, block 13, of Eidsvold Cemetery from S. S. and Phebe Warner to George Eaton.


Records of five other transfers of property were filed in the Register of Deeds office, last week.


The Neillsville City aldermen at their meeting in the city hall, last Tuesday night, voted to purchase the O. E. Counsell lot on the corner of Oak and Sixth Streets.  The lot will be used for storage of city supplies and equipment.


The lot, 104 feet by 90 feet, was offered for $200.  However, about $26 is due to the city for curb and gutter work done along the lot, last year, thus bringing the actual cash outlay for the lot to about $174.


The application of the West Worden Telephone Co. for an increase in rates, which has been before the Wisconsin Public Service Commission for some time, was withdrawn February 6. The decision of the company’s directors was for levy and assessment instead of having monthly rates increased as previously asked.  The telephone company has lines in the north-west section of Clark County.


V. P. Barager, well-known and respected Clark County editor and publisher, this week, observed his 25th anniversary at the head of The Owen Enterprise.


It was a quarter of a century ago, on Valentine’s Day, 1914, that Mr. Barager, then publisher of The Withee Sentinel, and his mother, the later Mrs. A. L. Barager, formed a partnership and purchased The Enterprise in the then small, but growing, northern county community.


The partnership was closed in 1929, when Mrs. Barager died after giving herself unstintingly for 15 years to the progress of Clark County and the building of the newspaper.


In its issue of last week, The Enterprise marked the silver anniversary with a story, which told of the mutual progress of the area it serves and the newspaper.


“At the time of the purchase,” The Enterprise recalled, “the village of Owen was in a primitive stage and was being rapidly developed.  Thus many changes were occurring with the growth of business enterprises and the addition of new ones, progress was made hurriedly.”


For the last few years, Mr. Barager has been ably assisted in the operation of the newspaper by his son James Barager, a popular and well-known young man, who all but grew up in the plant.  James is active in the editorial and business management of the paper.


Mrs. Caroline Lustig passed away at the Clark County Farm in the Town of York on February 16, after three months illness.  She was born Caroline Schlinsog, Nov. 24, 1851, in Germany and was 87 years, 2 months and 22 days old at the time of her death.


She came to America at the age of three years, settling at Cedarburg, Wis., in 1854, and three years later came to the Town of Grant.


She was united in marriage with Ernest Fred Lustig, of the Town of Grant, June 14, 1871. To this union six children were born, three sons and three daughters, five of whom, with her husband, have preceded her in death.  One son, Fred Lustig, of Minneapolis, survives.


Mr. and Mrs. Lustig became charter members of St. John’s Lutheran congregation of Neillsville when the church was organized September 6, 1886.  Mrs. Lustig’s name and photograph were given a place of honor in the congregation’s golden jubilee booklet of 1936, as a surviving charter member.  She held the distinction of being a charter member of St. John’s Lutheran Ladies’ Aid, becoming a member when it was first organized, October 30, 1887.  For the past five years, she was an honorary member, being active in the organization to that time.


Funeral services were held February 20, 1:30 p.m. at the Jaster Funeral Home and 2 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church.


Interment was made in the Mapleworks Cemetery of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, of Granton, where her husband, buried 40 years ago, was the first person interred in that cemetery.


When Governor Julius P. Heil recently appointed Theodore Mentges, of Withee, to the State Board of Pardons, he placed on that board one of his oldest and most valued friends.


Theirs is a friendship, which budded in their native home of Dusemond, now Brauneberg, in Germany’s Rhineland, blossoming in Prospect Park, Milwaukee.


Mr. Mentges was busy with his new duties in Madison, last weekend.  Mrs. Mentges was well qualified to tell about them, their days in the Rhineland and the years which have intervened.


“Yes,” she said, “the governor and Mr. Mentges have been close friends for years.  Their houses stood side-by-side in Brauneberg, it was Dusemond, then, and they were always together whenever Theodore could find time.


Theodore’s father operated a river ferry and he had to work hard for his father.  But Julius and Theodore went to church together, went to school together and played together as much as they could.


Mr. Mentges has never said whether Mr. Heil gave any indication, at that time, the he would be the head of some great state.  They were a little too young at the time to show any marked aptitude for anything in any particular line,” she went on.


“As a matter of fact,” Mrs. Mentges explained, “it was because of the Heils that Mr. Mentges came to the United States.”


The Heil family, they were comfortable financially fixed in Germany, urged Mr. Mentges to come along with them when they sailed for America.  But Mr. Mentges’ mother wouldn’t let him go.  She said he was too young, as he was 12 years old at the time.


In 1887, when Mr. Mentges was 18 years fold, Governor Heil’s mother wrote to him and said he should be old enough to leave Germany.  So Theodore packed up and sailed to America.


Mr. Mentges went to the Heil family place in Prospect Park and lived with them until we were married in 1896,” she continued.  During this time Mr. Mentges was “working out,” she said.


“All through these years Julius proved himself to be a hard working, conscientious young man.  He didn’t have much formal education; but he was intelligent and attended many night school classes.


It was during those years that young Julius learned the blacksmithing trade. ‘And it was during those years, too, that he was tinkering around with the ideas, or inventions as they are called, which have resulted in the great manufacturing establishment which he since has built up in Milwaukee.


When Mr. Mentges and his wife, the former Kathryn Kramer of Waukesha, were married, they moved to Waukesha.  “We saw a lot of the Heils while we lived there,” Mrs. Mentges said.  “But we have seen him only occasionally since we came to Withee in December of 1899.  After all,” she said, “there’s a lot of difference between 20 miles and 250 miles!”


Nevertheless, Mr. Mentges and Mr. Heil kept in close contact through the intervening years and when the governor was nominated for the highest state office, Mr. Mentges set aside his Democratic leanings to campaign for his oldest friend in America.


“He has always been a hard worker, too,” his wife said.  Since coming to Withee, Mr. Mentges has cleared three 40-acre plots of land, alone.  “He could clear brush as fast as an ordinary man can cut corn stalks,” she said.


Roehrborn’s Store specials for the week are: Fat herring, heads off, 10 cents per pound. Also, we have all kinds of smoked fish on hand.  Soda Crackers, 4 lbs. for 25c; Texas Grapefruit, size 96, about 55 in a bushel, $1.59 per bushel, or 35c per dozen.  Oranges, size 344, 1 cent each.




Governor Philip La Follette and a group of Clark County Progressives stood in front of the Slovenian Hall after an October 1938 meeting, in Willard.  Soon after Gov. La Follette’s campaign visit in Clark County, Julius P. Heil, the Republican nominee, made three campaign visits within the county, with stops at Loyal, Granton, and Neillsville.  (Left to right in the photo) Hugh F. Gwinn of Loyal, Henry Rahn, Calvin Mills, La Follette, Senator W. J. Rush, John Ockerlander, and Peter C. Ludovic.  Rahn, Mills, Rush and Ludovic were residents of Neillsville.  (Photo from the Clark County Press files)



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