Clark County Press, Neillsville,

July 14, 2004, Page 19

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

July 1894


We understand that a hoe-handle factory will be started here in the Town of York.  Then we can replace all of the hoe handles that were broken while work was being done on the road.  L. F. Johnson will be the head of the new enterprise.


Wm. Rowe has the best corn in the Town of York.  The corn stands 2 feet, 6 inches high.


Mrs. Geo. West died at her home, on Pleasant Ridge, during the night June 25, after an illness.  She was born in Wiltshire, England, June 20, 1815.  She was brought up in a woolen factory district where she married Geo. West, 56 years ago. They lived in England until November 1849, then left, traveling to New York City.  They came directly to Oconomowoc, Wis., where they remained until November 1, 1853 when they came to Clark County, settling on the farm where she spent her last days. The deceased was a woman of the quaint, English type peculiar to the Shire people.  She was a devout Christian and a woman whose house was her world.  The funeral was conducted by Rev. Foster, and held at the Pleasant Ridge cemetery.  The offerings of flowers were very beautiful.


The folks, of Pleasant Ridge, helped themselves to ice cream that was served down in Joe Counsel’s woods. A good time was had by all who were there.


Bill Selves had his right hand shattered by the explosion of a gas pipe connection and anvil combination, used at the Pleasant Ridge celebration, to produce a cannon effect.  He came to town to have three fingers taken off but friends urged him to try and save his hand.  He had the hand bandaged and dressed with the fingers on. The doctor’s opinion was that the fingers should come off and it is believed that they will have to be taken off later.


Ernie Bullard lost some of his thumb by a toy cannon going off prematurely.  That completes the list of accidents for the 4th of July.


A picnic and dance were held in the bowery, opposite the Globe post office, on July 4th.


Most of the Greenwood folks celebrated the 4th at Longwood.  The tailor, of Greenwood, went to Loyal on his bicycle, carrying the bicycle on his return home.  The verdict given: too much birch beer.


Robert Ross, an old Black River logger, later a resident of Alabama, died at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Graham, at Minneapolis.  The body was brought here for burial.  Mr. Ross is the father of Mrs. C. M. McDonald of Minneapolis and Mrs. Manes and Mrs. Foote of Neillsville.  He was 75 years old.


Twenty-five years ago, everybody doing business on Black River knew Robert Ross as an extensive and wealthy logger.  He moved from Neillsville to La Crosse with his family and purchased what is now known as the Usher place, corner of Cameron and West Avenues.  Later, he bought and completed the residence now occupied as the Home for the Friendless.  He suffered some business reverses, then his health became somewhat broken and he relocated in the South.  He was a worthy man and his memory will be respected by all who knew him.


His many old friends and employees learned of his death with regret.  This was his home for many years. Along with C. Blakeslee, Wm. T. Price, James O’Neill, and like frontiersmen, Ross helped to open up this country.


Water Commissioner J. W. Hommel is ever watchful for the city’s welfare and aware of the great increase in the city’s income from water rentals that would result from having drinking water in the water system instead of the common creek water.  He is considering the available supply in the neighborhood springs and has found the series of large springs, which feed Frantz Creek, could yield the desired quantity.  These springs are on L. W. Hemphill’s model farm south of town that is located but a mile from the standpipe.  The opportunity for a large reservoir is perfect on Jim Taylor’s land south of town, where the bridge embankments give a good chance for dam and sluice ways.


The bridge to be built across Black River, in the Town of Weston, will be put up by the Milwaukee Bridge and Iron Co.  The span will be 290 feet and will cost $6,125.  The Town of Weston will build the abutments.


The horribly dry weather has parched the county and dried up many gardens.  Potato vine tops are curling up and the crop most surely will fall far short of a fair yield.  Forest fires are raging in several directions from the city.  During the week, the sky has been obscured by smoke and the entire world wrapped in a disagreeable smudge.  Between here and Merrillan, many sections have been burned over.


July 1944


The Dickey property is available for school purposes.  A definite consent to sell at a price of $1,500 has been made by the Dickey heirs and confirmed in a letter to the committee of the Rotary Club of Neillsville.


This property lies at the east end of Fourth Street, Neillsville immediately east of Standpipe Park.  It consists of more than 15 acres.  The northern part of the land lies high and a building constructed upon it would be clearly seen.  The grade falls away to the south, making it possible to develop quite readily at the south end, am amphitheater and athletic field.  Thus the possession of this site would make provision both for building development and for a site for an athletic field.


The site is only a block east of the present high school and is close to the business district.


This property has been held for many years by the Dickeys, who moved away some time ago.  One member of the family was Miss Marion Dickey who long taught in the Neillsville Schools and who only recently gave up the idea that she might some day return here for residence.  The property has not heretofore been available for purchase.


The advantages of this site were discussed months ago by the Rotary club and the result was a letter from Fred Bullard, a member of the club, to Miss Dickey, an old friend.  This correspondence was followed up and the final letter, offering $1,500 for the property, was made in the name of the Postwar Planning Committee of the Rotary club, signed by Mr. Bullard.  This committee consists of A. C. Wagner, Park Sample, Art Berger, Harry Wasserberger, Adolph Unger and Art Russell.


On the whole subject of postwar planning, the service clubs will be represented by their committees at a joint session to be held before the end of the week. The joint session has been called at the instance of Mayor Anderson, who appeared before both clubs this week and explained the postwar organization, which is being sponsored by the Committee on Economic Development.  This Committee, with headquarters in New York, is a national organization of businessmen, which is guiding postwar development upon a free enterprise basis and is trying to ensure that free enterprise can and will function after the war.


Five cents for a cup or pot of coffee, including cream and sugar, is the ceiling price that has been fixed by the Office of Price Administration.  This is the maximum charge to be made by public eating places, unless in any case a higher charge was made in the seven-day period, October 4 – 10, 1942.  If the proprietor now proposes to charge more than five cents, he must file a statement to that effect with the local Price and Rationing Board.


On and after July 31, also, all public eating and drinking establishments must post prominently a list of their ceiling prices for the base period, April 4 to 10, 1943.  This list must include 40 basic items of the menu.


Clark County is 100 years old.  In this year, 1944, it celebrates its hundredth anniversary.  It was in 1844 that the first whites came to what is now Clark County, with a view to permanent settlement.  It was in that year, also that the Mormons, building their colony at Nauvoo, Ill., came into this county to get timber for their settlement.


The first whites associated with permanent settlement were the O’Neills and their associates.  It was the O’Neill brothers who first came into Clark County in search of a site for lumbering operations.  They selected the spot on what is still known as O’Neill Creek, in the city of Neillsville.


Funeral services for James A. Paulus, 76, a well-known businessman of Neillsville, were held July 20, at the Lowe Funeral Home.  Rev. N. J. Dechant was the officiating pastor. Burial was in the Neillsville cemetery.


James Paulus, the son of John and Catherine McKeand Paulus, was born February 18, 1868, at Oconomowoc, Wis.  When he still was a small child his parents moved to Clark County, and settled on a farm south of Neillsville in Pine Valley.  The remainder of his life, with the exception of a few years when he had a business in Loyal was spent in and near Neillsville.


He lived for a time on a farm west of Neillsville and later on a farm near Christie. When his father died in 1902, Mr. Paulus took over the management of the O’Neill House, which stood on the ground where the post office now stands.  He continued this work for several years and later was manager of the Hamilton hotel. Afterwards, he was engaged in the ice business in Neillsville and in 1911, with Kurt Listeman, constructed the present concrete dam on O’Neill Creek. He sold this business to Charles Goldhammer and in 1920, bought the present business, the Neillsville Bottling Works.  His son, Blucher, has been engaged in this business with him the past 24 years.


He was a charter member of the local Moose lodge and had served the organization as a director.


Mr. Paulus was a man well liked by all whose good fortune it was to know him.  It can truthfully be said of him that he never intentionally wronged anyone.  He was never too busy to listen to the troubles of others, or to lend a helping hand.


He was married to Fannie Welsh, April 20, 1907, in Neillsville.  He is survived by his wife and two children, Blucher Paulus, of Neillsville, and Flossie, Mrs. James Jones, of Milwaukee; also one grandson, S/Sgt. Donald Paulus, who has been with the U. S. Army in the South Pacific for two and one-half years.  Mr. and Mrs. Paulus also had two foster children, one of whom, Miss Gertrude Farning, now lives in Chicago.  The other foster son, James F. Farning, died in 1929.  There is also a foster granddaughter, Miss Jean Middleton of Chicago.


One sister survives Mr. Paulus, Mrs. Barbara Jones of Los Angeles, Calif.  Another sister, Mrs. George (Luella) Milton died in 1913.


Roy Durst, of the Town of Foster, is recovering from serious injuries suffered last Saturday while stacking hay.  The poles with which he was stacking fell, striking him in the shoulder and side.  His shoulder and several ribs were fractured and his lung is reported bruised.  He was taken for medical attention in Black River Falls.  Mrs. Durst, who went with him, returned Sunday.


Donald Schutte has been visiting his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Durst, the past week, helping with the work. (See note below)


Neighbors pitched in and helped when Fred Marg suffered a fractured ankle late last week while he was haying.


Mr. Marg suffered the fracture when he jumped from a hay wagon, in an attempt to stop his team of horses from running away.  The team had become frightened when the reigns became twisted.


Four loads of hay were down when the accident happened.  While Mrs. Marg, Art Wegner and Frank Laken took Mr. Marg to Neillsville for medical attention, other neighbors put in the hay that remained on the field.  Those who did the work were Lawrence Celar and son, Frank, Paul Kuenkel, Lyman Heidemann, George Laken and Mr. Luedtke.


The wheels of the hay loader broke off during the runaway, so Mr. Heidemann took the wheels from his hay loader; put them on Mr. Marg’s loader and the hay was put up in short order.


Immanuel Lutheran Church at Longwood has observed the 50th anniversary of its organization.  A history of the congregation was read by Carl W. Sorenson, which gave the following facts:


The activities preceding formal organization began 10 years ago, giving the congregation a total history of 60 years. 


The organization took place in a log cabin, about 28’ by 30’, built by Julius Sorenson on what is known as the Peterson farm, near Longwood.


Four members of the original worship, conducted June 15, 1884, by Rev. Staale Berntzon of Colfax, still live in the Long-wood community. They include Nels Sorenson, Mrs. Hannah Sorenson, Carl W. Sorenson, and Mrs. Cecelia Jackson.  Of the group of men who organized the congregation, C. M. Anderson and Tom Bredesen still reside near Longwood.


The first pastor came from Colfax and conducted services about every four weeks. The acre of land on which the church stands was purchased in 1896; but building was not commenced until 1910.  In the meantime, the two adjoining acres, which had a house on it, were purchased in 1900. After the partitions were removed, the building was used as a place of worship.


The various pastors and the years they served, include: Rev. Staale Berntzon, 1884 to 1895; Rev. Bolstad and the late Granskou, 1896 to 1898; Rev. C. M. Larson, 1898 to 1901; Rev. J.C. Hougum, 1901 to 1916; Rev. Mr. Erdal, in 1916; Rev. Theodore Kleppe, 1916 to 1918; Rev. M. K. Asberg, 1918 to 1935; and Rev. William L. Anderson, 1935 to 1937.  The present pastor, Rev. A. E. Norson, has been there since 1937.




Col. John W. Hommel and his second wife, Ida, at Camp Douglas for summer encampment.  At that time, the wives could accompany their husbands or would visit them on Governor’s Day.  Hommel, affectionately called “Tom,” wore many hats in Neillsville.  He was a long-time member of the Wisconsin National Guard.  Hommel served as Neillsville City Marshal and Public Works Director, initiating the installation of the first water and sewer mains in the city.  He worked with building the opera house and was actively involved in construction of the Armory that was located on East Fourth Street.  His wife, Ida, had been previously married to a member of the Carnegie family.  When the city of Neillsville was in need of a new library facility, Ida applied for monies on the project through the Carnegie Foundation and was successful in the city’s receiving the grant.  A new building was constructed on the corner of Hewett and East Fourth Street, first named “Carnegie Library” and later changed to “Neillsville Public Library.”  (Photo courtesy of Hommel/Covell family collection and Charlotte Drescher)




"I was visiting my grandpa and grandma Durst the summer Roy Durst's accident happened.  My mother was Ethel (Durst) Schutte and Alvin Schutte of Neillsville, WI were there helping with the haying.  This was a special rig to stack hay.  Two long poles about 25-30 foot long were positioned, one on each side of the hay stack and leaned together and tied together on top.  A cable anchored the poles on one end and a team of horses hooked to the opposite way.  The fork was set in the hay on the wagon when the anchored end was lowered.  Then, the team of horses pulled the other way and lifted the load of hay up across the stack and was tripped in just the right place on the stack.  This time the anchor end became untied and the poles kept coming down toward the team of horses and hit grandpa on the shoulder.  I think he got a broken collar bone.  I can remember when he was taken to the Black River Falls Hospital.  He got better.  This could have been a fatal accident."  Don Schutte




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