Clark County Press, Neillsville,

August 25, 2004, Page 13

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

August 1869


We could not resist the temptations the other day to join a party on a huckleberry excursion through the prairie of the western part of Clark County.  Our party consisted of four couples and we returned home on the fourth day, having experienced a most pleasant and jolly time.


Leaving Black River Road, about a mile beyond Visnow’s, we passed by Wright’s mills and then went over the ridge, where we entered upon the prairie, soon reaching Alma Center.  Stopping there for a few minutes, we went on to Houghtonburg and then to the site of the new town on the railroad where we pitched tent for dinner.


As it was our fist visit to Alma Center and Houghtonburg, we were very much surprised at finding so rich and beautiful of a farming country.  On either side of the road, for nearly the whole distance between these two towns, stand large, waving fields of grain, promising abundant yields to the husbandmen.


We noticed particularly the nice schoolhouses, comfortable dwellings, good barns and fine herds of cattle, an unmistakable evidence of prosperous people.  Small grains looked very promising and nearly ready for the reaper.


Houghtonburg is a small place, pleasantly situated just within the limits of our own county.  It has two stores and a hotel called the Mentor House.  The landlord, Capt. C. P. Sloggy, keeps the house in the best style. Everything is in neat and perfect order and it is an excellent place at which to stop.


One mile and a-half above this place is the depot on the West Wisconsin railroad and the new town recently laid out, named Rocky Mound.  It has this name on account of a high, rocky bluff on the north side of the town.  While our party was encamped in this neighborhood, Mr. G. W. King suddenly strolled past us.  Business had called him to Rocky Mound.  For a little diversion, he started for the clear running brook located close by, to investigate there for a few speckled trout that inhabit the stream. So he explained to us, but from the dimensions of the pole he carried, a small tamarack tree, we were about to inquire in astonishment if sturgeon were caught in that neighborhood.  It was accounted for, however, in King’s great muscular endowments; the tree was not much of a load for him!


Seeing us, he threw down his fishing tackle, raised his arms in delight and declared with startling emphasis that we must visit the embryo city.


After that, we were invited to spend the night at “Kingston.”


We found men busy at work grading the track, upon which the rails will be laid in two or three weeks.  Part of the land upon which the town is nicely located is owned by the railroad company, the rest by private individuals.  The principal street is 70 feet in width and named King, in honor of our townsman, G. W.   A depot, 24 x 60 feet, will soon be erected.  M. Bump and J. V. Wells, of Black River Falls, are each putting up warehouses, a fine hotel for Horace Stiles is going up, a brewery has been started and many other buildings will soon be underway.


The distance from there to Kingston, is four and a-half miles. We spent one pleasant night there, dancing until midnight.  King is driving a heavy business.  His steam saw mill is kept constantly running, with lumber orders continually rushing in.  He has a yard containing between 1,200,000 and 1,500,000 feet of lumber of every kind and variety.


Messrs. Hewett & Woods’ new saw mill on Wedge’s Creek, seven miles west of here has just been completed.  Yesterday, a trial was made and everything worked satisfactorily.  Hewett and Woods’ saw mill was built by Mr. M. Mason, a very competent millwright with long practical experience.  He first commenced work upon it, the 4th day of last February, with a small crew of men.


The mill has a six-foot water wheel, the American Turbine, manufactured by Stout & Co., Dayton, Ohio.  It is furnished with double rotary 46-ionch saws, capable of cutting 40,000 feet in 24 hours.  The carriage is fitted so as to cut timber 48 feet in length.  The cost of this mill is probably $5,000 or $6,000.  It has abundant and first-class water power, exactly what is needed for its operation.  We predict a profitable success for Hewett and Woods in this investment and venture.


The action of the Town Board, in changing the location of the cemetery, will receive commendation.  The grounds of the new cemetery are situated 80 rods east of the road between our village and Staffordville, north of here.  The lot comprises 10 acres, which belonged to James O’Neill.  He very generously donated two acres and sold the rest for the small sum of $5 per acre.  The land is beautifully situated and reflects credit upon the Town Board for its selection.


(The land being referred to is that of the present Neillsville Cemetery, along East 15th Street. D.Z.)


August 1954


A speed raid was under way, Wednesday, in southern Clark County.  Four state police, together with the officers of Clark County, were out on patrol, working with the radar device.


The law enforcement agencies were gaited for the usual epidemic of arrests and fines, similar to those of the previous raid, which took place a few weeks ago.


These efforts are in line with the purpose of the State Administration to reduce the toll of highway accidents.  Frequent local checks are intended to keep drivers on notice that care must be held within legal limits.


This present raid will involve relatively heavy fines, as required by the latest legislation.


An emergency drive for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis will be proceeding in Clark County, beginning August 16.  The purpose is to raise funds to care for a prospective deficit.  The expenditures from the National Treasury are exceeding the income, due in large part, as understood here, to heavy demands for experimental vaccination of large numbers of children.


The chairman for the county is John Bergemann of Neillsville.  He is sending out 9,000 cards to residents, with envelopes for remittance.  He is also placing the usual receptacles in public places, with opportunity for persons to insert any amount they wish.  The campaign will not go beyond this; there will be no house-to-house or individual canvass.


Extensive improvements, aggregating close to $60,000 in cost, are being made in the property of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Neillsville.  The improvements consist in the construction of a new sisters’ convent, the decorating and lighting of the church building and the remodeling of a portion of the present school building.


The contracts for the construction of the sisters’ convent were assigned last weekend.  The general contract went to the Lakeview Construction Co. of Wisconsin Rapids.  The electric, heating and plumbing contract went to Warlum-Robinson, Inc., Neillsville.  The architects are A. F. Billmeyer & Son, Wisconsin Rapids.


The convent will be a brick veneer structure of two stories and a pitched roof, size 56’x34’.  The convent has been designed to harmonize with the church building and the school.  It will stand 17 feet north of the school. The building will make comfortable provision for the sisters, with a chapel, a large basement, a community room, a music room, reception room, dining room, kitchen and back porch.  There will be six bedrooms upstairs.  This structure will cost about $43,000.  Ground breaking for the structure will be at once.


There has been some moving around in Greenwood.  Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bartelt have moved from the Behrens house into the Buker residence, vacated by Mr. and Mrs. Cy Buker, who moved into the former Burch residence which, they recently purchased.  The Behrens’ house is now occupied by Mrs. Frank Clouse and family who formerly lived in the George Flagg house.


Mr. and Mrs. Vern Smith, of Loyal purchased the home of Mrs. Ella Steiger in the south Greenwood city limits.  The Kenneth Steiger family, who resided there, moved into the Knutsen building.


The Rock Dam Rod and Gun Club decided to have their annual Sportsmen’s Jamboree Sunday, August 22.  There was a large attendance at their meeting at the Keiner resort hall at Rock Dam.  The club had a picnic at (on) Sunday at the County Park at Rock Dam for members and their families.


A community clean-up painting bee will be held at the Fairview School beginning August 24.  It was unanimously decided at the recent school meeting to do the necessary repairs at the community gathering and save the taxpayers a sizable sum of money.  Therefore it is only fair that all members of this school district be on hand to help in this project.  The interior of the school must be painted; also the black boards.  It is also necessary to build a new boys’ outdoor toilet.  Come in old clothes, bring along buckets, cleanser, mops, rags, paintbrushes, hammer, saw and any usable piece of lumber.  A bountiful picnic dinner will be provided by the ladies, for those attending the bee.


Children’s Day, Friday, at the Clark County Fair will feature all rides for 10 cents each until 6 p.m.


The annual dance of the Neillsville Sportsman’s Club has been scheduled for September 25, according to Eugene Christie.  It will be held at the Silver Dome Ballroom.  Last year, the organization gave an Ithaca repeating rifle in connection with the event.  The music will be furnished by Howie Sturtz and his orchestra.


A different kind of dairying has been introduced in Clark County.  The Bilvic Dairy, at Withee, is to be managed as a “milk factory.”


That is the phrase used for the operation conducted at Withee by William E. Krause and Victor Nielsen, an operation known as Bilvic Dairy.


The revolutionary feature of this operation is that an indefinite number of cows will be carried on 40 acres of land and these cows will never have the run of green pasture.  They will always have dry feed, plus plenty of water.


The essentials of the operation are cafeteria feeding, with lots of roughage, a loafing shed open to the south, an ample open area for air and exercise with a modern milking parlor, where cows will part with their milk. 


Not a single young man of Clark County has been drafted thus far in the year 1954.  Fifty-six men have gone into the armed services, but every one of them has volunteered.


With six lettermen returning to form a nucleus, 34 men reported for the first week’s drills of the Neillsville High School football team, this week.


Under the watchful eyes of Coach Richard Berndt and his assistant, Henry Lukes, the squad was drilling on basic fundamentals of blocking and tackling.  Lukes, former Neillsville coach returns this year after two years’ absence from the teaching field.


It is expected, by the coaches, that the squad will later be enlarged.


“Any boys who wish to come out for football,” Coach Berndt said, “are urged to do so. There is a need for more freshman and sophomore boys ‘B’ team games have been planned with Loyal and Black River Falls and more under-classmen are needed to fill out our ‘B’ squad.”


The six retuning lettermen are: Capt. Merlin Gerber, Ronnie Davis, John Nozar, Bob Gutenberger, Marvin Aumann and Alan Harder.


The annual picnic dinner will be held at St. Mary’s Church in Neillsville, Sunday, August 29.  Chicken and Ham will be served, dinner at 11:30 a.m. and supper at 4:30 p.m.  Games and refreshments will be offered during the afternoon.


A new zoning ordinance is in the making for Neillsville.  A draft of the ordinance is now being prepared by A. L. Devos, the city attorney.  This will presently reach the city council officially and will be up for consideration and passage.


About three-fourths of the counties of Wisconsin and most of the larger cities have adopted land use zoning ordinances.  In the counties such laws are effective only if the town boards within the counties ratify them.  At last count, about a third of the 1,300 town boards in the state had adopted such controls over the use of public and private land in the public interest.


Clement Jaeckel, 28, of Cudahy, Wis., took a vacation trip in Clark County, which was not on his schedule.  This consisted of a drop of 15 or 20 feet from a bridge to the rocks below.  The drop was taken last Saturday from the railroad bridge over Black River, a little west of Withee and a little north of the highway 29 bridge.


Mr. Jaeckel was with is brother-in-law, Eugene Pawlak.  They walked out on the bridge, with the idea of looking down into the water to see the fish.  Not far away, a stone crusher was making plenty of racket.


Unable to hear, a Soo freight loomed up so close that the men did not have time to run off the bridge.  Mr. Pawlak stepped out on the side of the bridge, at a pint where the ties were wider than standard.  But Mr. Jaeckel was caught with no such convenient resource and without experience in such a situation.  So he tried to get out of the way by dropping between the ties and by hanging to one of them.  He hung for a time, but couldn’t stick it out.  So his hold failed and he dropped on the rocks below.


Mr. Jaeckel was taken to the hospital at Stanley.  He had sustained a broken rib and a cut on his left elbow, as well as a back injury.


Mr. Jaeckel was in the county on his vacation.  He was a guest in the Pawlak home; his wife is a member of the Pawlak family.



The first trains to travel within the Clark County area were small models similar to the one in the above photo.  The West Wisconsin Railroad laid track for a railroad line that ran through the southwest corner of the county in 1869.  The Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad built a line from Merrillan Junction to Neillsville, in 1881.



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