Clark County Press, Neillsville,

March 3, 2004, Page 16

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

March 1894


The main or machine floor of the Neillsville Furniture Factory was three inches under water, Tuesday morning, owing to the flood and ice jam in the Black River, below the mouth of O’Neill Creek.  A skunk took refuge on the factory’s front step and barred all passage with his quiet atmosphere.


Rev. Davis’ two discourses at the Unitarian Church, here on Thursday and Friday evenings of last week, drew congregations, which filled the auditorium and over-flowed into the parlor.  There were utterances of rare merit, depth of thought and Christian kindness, which penetrated like sunlight into the innermost conscience of each one who listened.  Rev. Davis spoke from notes only, extemporizing.


Sunday afternoon, Charles Huntley, son of Wm. Huntley, fell, while jumping and having fun with some other boys.  When he fell, one of his elbows went out of joint.  Dr. Esch pulled it into shape again and the youth is getting along nicely.


Dr. Fuchs says there are at least eight cases of scarlet fever in the Town of Loyal, most of which have no physicians in attendance.  Members of the families are no doubt abroad on the streets exposing others.  Unless the town board of health takes steps to quarantine these infected families, or otherwise check the spread of the disease, it will become an epidemic.


The German Lutheran parsonage privy caught fire Sunday night, shortly past midnight.  A vigorous alarm brought the slumbering citizens up, standing with hair on end.  The hose cart got there through the mud quite promptly, considering, and in time to prevent the fire from spreading to the parson’s horse stable, which was close by.


The Esch-Rabenstein building is well advanced toward completion of repairs going on to make good the damage caused by the recent fire.


The Dignin Sisters moved back into their own place of business Monday and Tuesday, again settled and at home.  We trust no further fires will occur to ruthlessly drive them out, as was the case last month.


W. H. Hemphill, of Neillsville, the John Paul Lumber Co. man, was in Medford this week.  Hemphill always shows up in the spring with a checkbook in his pocket.  He greets the boys as they come out from working in the woods, with smiles and checks.


Last week, Fred Mick, of this city, and Ezra Tompkins of Pine Valley made a trade.  Mr. Tompkins acquires the Mick Homestead on Tenth Street, near Grand Avenue and Fred becomes owner of the Tompkins farm, in southern Pine Valley.  The farm contains 80 acres, or thereabouts and is one of the finest farms in that region. The amount to boot, paid by Mick, is not known to us.


Tom Lowe has decided to build his new meat market on the lot now occupied by Charley Lee’s store.


Charley Sherman, our Neillsville iceman, is furnishing ice to a number of customers at Marshfield this year.


S. M. Marsh received a fine new desk the other day.  It was too large to go up the office stairs.  “So it had to be pulled through a window, by main strength and awkwardness.” Krumery stated.


J. W. Snow, of Sparta, has bought the Ketchum farm near Merrillan.  He will live upon it and make a stock farm.  He is going to build a racetrack thereon and Merrillan will give him a $1,000 bonus to help with the venture.


Fred Lindow, of Lynn, intends moving near Yolo where he will engage in cheese making.  He is an old hand at the business and has the necessary know-how.


Max Opelt has a big pile of new lumber on his lot in Lynn.  Now, what are you going to do with it, Max? 


On Friday evening, there will be a 6 o’clock supper, in the parlors of the People’s Church, corner of Clay and Fifth Streets.  Everybody who comes will receive a cordial welcome, a square meal and a lovely consciousness of helping a mighty good cause.


The special Easter services at the various churches, Sunday evening, were more than commonly interesting. The Methodist and Unitarian churches had the largest attendance, both churches being crowded. Children took care of most of the programs and the various selections were rendered in a style that all enjoyed.  The older folks were proud of the youngsters.  The flowers displayed added beauty and suggestiveness to the services.


March 1944


Otto Lewerenz has purchased, from Rose Eberhardt, a parcel of land to the east of his present Sweet Shop property on South Hewett Street.  The parcel is 40’x50’ and now has a barn upon it.


The purpose of Mr. Lewerenz is to enlarge his present building, making provision for increased facilities.


The purchase gives Mr. Lewerenz an L-shaped holding, with frontage on Hewett and Fourth Streets.  The frontage on Fourth is that of his residence, the rear of which is immediately east of the parcel.


The police court of the city of Neillsville has been abolished.  On May 1, 1944, when the term of George A. Ure will have expired, the court will come to an end.  Its termination has been brought about by an enactment of an ordinance, passed at last week’s session of the city council.


The council’s action, accompanied by little discussion, has brought an end to the institution, which has existed in Neillsville for about 60 years.  The existence of such an office and officer were recognized in the original city charter, dating back to 1882 or 1883.  From the day that Neillsville was made a city until May 1, 1944, the city will have had its own police court, but not thereafter.


The passing of the police court marks a final step in a long transition.  Originally, the police court was definitely a city court, exclusively concerned with matters local to the city of Neillsville.  The law, which it enforced, was the law of the city’s ordinances.  Presumably the original intent was that the police magistrate would be a specialist in this local legislation and that is what he originally was.


For many years the police judge had jurisdiction only of city cases.  He was not authorized to hear cases under state law or county ordinance. This was the situation until comparatively recent times. But a decade or so ago a statute was enacted, which gave police magistrates the same authority and jurisdiction as justices of the peace.  Thus the local police judge was authorized to handle cases brought under state laws and county ordinances and to attend to the civil cases commonly handled by a justice of the peace.


Armed with the enlarged jurisdiction, the tendency has been for the police judge of Neillsville to take on the other work and in recent years the city work has been the minor, while the other work has been the major portion.  During the period of this change, the city has continued to pay the police judge a salary of $30 per month and he has been furnished a good office in the front of the city hall.


For many years the police judge was a good investment, from a financial standpoint. The fines and costs, which he collected, went into the city treasury and the court paid out more.  Even the costs alone were a considerable item in the old days.  But of late the police court, as a business proposition, has gone completely sour.  The costs on city cases have become negligible and as for the court costs in state and county cases, well, those went to the judge rather than to the city.  So the trend of development was not in the direction of sweetening the investment from the city standpoint.


Not only so; there seemed to be some indication that the police were becoming the occasion of prejudice against the city of Neillsville. The city police court and the city hall, where that court was held, were thought to be associated in the minds of some neighboring citizens with unhappy episodes of arrests, trials, fines and costs.  Brought in for killing a deer or for speeding on the county roads, they suffered the penalty within the city hall and at the hands of a city magistrate.  Was that the way for a city to build good will, especially when its only recompense was the privilege of furnishing an office rent-free and of paying the basic salary?   The answer to that question has been in the negative and the action of the city council has presumably been intended to remove the occasion of offense.


Of course, the fact is that the city and the city government have no part in these state and county cases.  It has no official relation to violations of the game laws, to the speeding of automobiles outside the city limits or the watering of milk in the rural area.  Yet, the city court has been handling all these cases, with whatever reaction there may have been in the minds of the persons concerned.


Undoubtedly convenience has been an important factor in developing the outside activities of this court.  It was situated right on one of the main U. S. highways, on the ground floor.  The judge located there was easily accessible and the court room was handy.


Although the police court has a history of 60 years, we were able to find only the names of four judges associated with it.  The first police judge was Louis Glass, the father of Major Glass.  He was a judge for a long time and was also the first city librarian.  He was a veteran of the Civil War.


A name long associated with court was that of Richard Kountz.  Presumably, he succeeded Judge Glass.  Mr. Kountz presided over the court a long time and was finally succeeded by Judge Dudley, who held the court until only a few years ago.  In his days, he was regarded as an able and astute judge.  Upon Dudley’s death, George Ure succeeded to that position.  Ure was appointed by the city council in 1939 and has been twice elected since that time.


“Slot machines are out of Clark County, to stay out.”


That is the joint statement made by District Attorney Richard F. Gaffney and Sheriff Ray Kutsche.  The statement authorized by them, followed notices served last week upon tavern keepers and others, who had slot machines in their businesses.


New postal rates go into effect throughout the nation on Sunday, March 26.


First class mail for local delivery, in Neillsville or rural routes, will be 3 cents per ounce or fraction, instead of the former 2-cent rate.


Airmail, from one post office to another on the mainland of the United States, including Alaska, will be 8 cents per ounce or a fraction. The former rate of 6 cents per half-ounce, or a fraction thereof, will continue to apply to air mail sent to, or by, the Armed Forces of the United States overseas, served through Army or Navy post offices.


Postage on all fourth class or parcel post mail is increased to three cents.


The Joseph Chase farm, one and a-half mile east of Neillsville, has been purchased by Carl Eisentraut.  The farm will be operated by Mr. and Mrs. Earl Erickson, who have been living at Rt. 1 Marshfield.  They will take possession on April 1.  Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Chase, Jr., expect to move at that time to the former James Milton farm, west of town and now owned by Andrew Mason.


A blood bank for the Neillsville community is to be sponsored by the Rotary Club.  This was voted upon on Tuesday evening, after a detailed explanation of why a blood bank is needed here, was made by Dr. M. V. Overman.  The blood bank will be kept at the Neillsville Hospital and will be available there for immediate use.  The cost of a standard infusion of blood plasma will be $10, as compared with the standard cost, as Dr. Overman stated, of $30.


The arrangement will be that blood donors will be taken to Eau Claire in groups of three or four.  A hospital there has agreed to take the blood and prepare it, as there are no facilities for that process in Neillsville.  The plasma will then be brought to Neillsville, where it can be kept under refrigeration.  The facilities are available in the Neillsville Hospital for its use.


The first donors will be members of the Rotary club and the club has taken the responsibility of seeing to it that a proper reserve is maintained.  Donors from outside the club will, however, be welcomed.  It is anticipated that, on occasion, friends and relatives of patients will wish to contribute.


A large crowd attended the Neillsville American Legion and Auxiliary 25th birthday anniversary party held at the Legion hall Friday evening.  The meeting was opened by the pledge of allegiance to the flag and the singing of the national anthem.  Mrs. J. D. Cummings and H. J. Naedler, commanders of the two organizations, gave short talks.  Instrumental selections were given by Miss Eileen Dahnert, James Kvool and Donald Mattson.  Miss Alice Lukas rendered a vocal solo; Miss Lynda Goeres was the accompanist for all the musical numbers.


An interesting talk was given by John M. Peterson, in which he reviewed the history of the American Legion.  He read the list of names of the 128 members of the local post in 1919-1920.  At that time, there was no post at Humbird or Granton and since that time a few members have withdrawn to those places.  The Legion now has 106 members and the Auxiliary has 83 members.  The Auxiliary was organized in 1921.


After the program, a social time at cards was enjoyed.  Mrs. John Swenson had high score at 500 and Mrs. Hollie Moffatt was the winner in playing sheepshead.  A lunch, including a large birthday cake, was served.



The church building, on the southeast corner of Clay and West Fifth Street, has been home to various denominations through the years.  The lot was purchased from Sal Jaseph in September 1891.  The following year, a new church building was constructed, being dedicated in February 1893, with James O’Neill being one of the speakers.  The Unitarian Church occupied the worship center until November 1913 when it sold the building to the Zion Reformed congregation, moving to Neillsville from their southern Pine Valley church location.  The Zion Evangelical Reformed congregation merged with the Congregational Church in 1958, then built a new worship center, becoming the United Church of Christ, located at the corner of West Second and Park Street.  The Assembly of God congregation occupied the building for a few (about 40 years) and later the Seventh Day Adventists, who are presently in the facility.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ family collection)



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