Clark County Press, Neillsville,

September 29, 2004, Page 18

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

September 1929


The Cassville Bloomington Record, shown to the Press by H. H. Brooks, has been publishing from an old diary of Wm. Pollock, for the year 1952.  In it is mentioned the cholera epidemic in which many people died. Cassville is on the Mississippi River and that winter mail was carried from St. Paul by teams of horses and sleds traveling on the ice. There was steamboat service in the summer.  In the diary, prices on some grocery items are published: coffee, 4 cents per pound; sugar 6 ½ cents per pound; salt $1.80 per sack.


Sherman Gress is hustling to get his building moving business cleaned up before cold weather sets in.  Last week, he moved several silos near Chili, which is a job requiring considerable care.  He now has the contract to move the Presbyterian Church, known as Rutga’s chapel, on the 26 Road, to the farm of A. F. Manning.  Manning will remodel it for a residence.  He also has a building to move on Mr. Hook’s farm, which is rented by Alfred Oldham.  There are also other jobs in sight to be done.


W. J. Marsh has installed a new steam furnace and oil burner in his store, tearing out the old brick hot air furnace, which as been doing duty in the store for nearly 40 years.  The old furnace was built by O. P. Wells with only wood was being burned in it.  For many years, Mr. Marsh said he bought four-foot length wood at $3.75 a cord and ten cords were sufficient to keep the store in fuel through the winter season.


James Shummel, one of the old residents of Neillsville, passed away at his home on North Grand Avenue, Sunday, September 15.

James T. Shummel was born in Buffalo, N. Y., April 6, 1869 and was therefore 60 years, 5 months and 9 days old at his death.  He was the son of George Shummel, Sr. and Lottie Buss Shummel, now deceased.  He came to Neillsville when 5 years old and has lived in this locality ever since.  He worked in the lumber camps, sawmills and on log drives, as a young man and later became a most efficient farm manager.  For 10 or 12 years, he was manager of the Ring Stock Farm.  He had also been manager on the Austin farm.  He is said to have been the first man in this locality to operate a grain binder.  For the past 12 years, before his health failed, he worked at the Condensery.

Mr. Shummel was married in Neillsville, April 25, 1899, to Miss Lizzie Wegner, who survives him.  He leaves no children.

His mother died when some of the children were young and they were adopted into other families.  Dan Rausch, of Granton, is a brother of the deceased; Emma Hendren, who was adopted by Rev. and Mrs. W. T. Hendren, was a sister, she died some years ago. Another sister, Mrs. Esther Hutchinson is still living; a brother, George Shummel, Jr. died a few years ago.

The funeral was held at the Congregational Church, Rev. G. W. Longenecker, officiating.


An interesting surfacing experiment is going to be tried out by Street Commissioner Wm. Farning on one block of East Fifth Street, from Hewett Street toward the courthouse.  This street is quite steep and shale or gravel has a tendency to wash or be pushed down the hill.

Even on a level street, it is difficult to keep a thin coat of shale in place on the top of an old hard surface. The new idea is to cover the old surface with a thin coat of liquid asphalt and then spread a thin coat of shale on this before it hardens.  The shale settles into the asphalt and makes a firm surface.

If proved desirable, other streets will be treated in the same manner.  It is claimed that La Crosse and some other cities have tried it out with success.  If the asphalt is purchased in large quantities so it can be transported in tanks, it will reduce the price about one-half.


Last week, O. W. Lewerenz closed a deal by which he secured the Goodman-Dittner Garage at Loyal, together with the building, which had been owned by Percy Voight.  Hubert Carter, who worked here for Mr. Lewerenz for four years, in charge of repair work, will take charge of the repair shop at Loyal.

Mr. Lewerenz plans to put a salesman in the garage at Loyal in the near future.  The same line of cars will be sold there as he sells in Neillsville.  Mr. Lewerenz has had six years of successful experience in the automobile business in Neillsville.


Clark County is still on the western frontier where the homesteaders gather free farms from Uncle Sam, unless it should be that Bill Stockwell has picked the last homestead in the county.  On September 7, Herbert Hoover, President of the United States, issued a deed or “patent” of Lot 1, Section 23 Town of Pine Valley to Arthur Raymond Stockwell, which is Bill’s real name.  Bill is the name by which he does his everyday work, but Arthur Raymond is the way he is now recorded in the archives of the United States land office and in that name he holds title to his new possession.

Lot 1 is a rocky point of land on Black River, opposite Ross’ Eddy and contains an acre, more or less.  It adjoins Bill’s other farm and is a somewhat necessary adjunct to it, as it makes a convenient landing place when he crosses the river either by boat in summer or on the ice in winter.  For years, this little Lot 1 was supposed to be a part of the Ross farm and has been passed on by deed many times when that farm was sold.  Some years ago, it was discovered that the lot was still government land and the only way to get title to it was under the homestead law.  It was of no apparent value to Bill or Mrs. Evans and she did not think its value warranted the expense and trouble of entry, thus Bill comes into possession.  By a little extra fencing, he can include the lot in his pasture and so in a measure, get some returns on his investment.

If it could be reforested and trimmed up picturesquely, it would not be a bad place for a summer cottage. The music of the ripples above the Eddy would make a sweet lullaby and then one might cast a line from the front porch across the eddy and catch fish for breakfast.  Who knows what the years may bring forth?


Col. and Mrs. W. L. Smith arrived Saturday from Madison and the colonel has tried out his golfing eye while here.  He returned to his desk as secretary to Governor Kohler Monday.  Mrs. Smith plans remaining in Neillsville a week or two.


Indians, of this area, gathered on the Hemlock where they entertained visiting Indians from around the county and from other parts of the state, over the weekend.  Tribal and religious rites were practiced with the usual prevalent “big feeds” of meat and seasonable vegetables.  It is understood that a steer and three hogs were consumed in the three days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Visiting Indians were present from Black River Falls, Tomah, Neillsville, the Dells and other southern and southeastern points.  It is estimated that there were at least 125 who attended the Pow wow.

September 1954

When pupils enter the new Neillsville High School, September 8, some of them may look for the old home base, but they won’t be able to find it.  The old home base was the pupil’s desk, with a seat, which went up and down, a sloping top upon which to work, complete with a groove from which pen and pencil did not roll to the floor, complete also with personally owned under side upon which gum might be securely parked and with a back which furnished the skeleton of similar home base for the pupil just behind.  (Transcriber was one of the sophomore pupils entering this new school building.)

This old home base was personal property, sort of.  It was where the pupil belonged and it belonged to him. When the last bell rang, he was supposed to be there, at his desk, in the assembly room, ready for the day’s work and ready to be counted.

But Neillsville’s new high school is fresh without this old home base.  You may hunt from one end to the other of this large building, something like a quarter of a mile, more or less, and you won’t find a single desk like the home base described above. When Superintendent Peters and his helpers moved equipment from the old building to the new, they paid no attention to the old desks.  These desks are in the old assembly room right now, lonely and forlorn.  A few of them may find a place in the rooms of the upper grades, but mostly they will be left to the old memories, of generations of Neillsville’s boys and girls, now men and women, to whom they were home bases in the old days.

During the present open season, the new athletic field and the approaches to it have been gradually acquiring a cover of grass.  The seeding has been designed to provide a good sod and to hold the soil in place. Because of the steep grades, there has been difficulty in holding the soil still long enough to let the grass get hold, but this difficulty has been minimized as the open season has progressed.


A check of $100, payable 100 years from now to the one, who opens the box, is one of the contents of the copper container placed in the cornerstone of the new Memorial Hospital. The check is signed by Bruno and Josephine Woodzick.

Upon the back of this check is typed the following: “We have had a very interesting life and our life span is about another 30 years. We are in the late forties now and people live to be approximately seventy to eighty years old. We are Catholics in religion and believe in God, heaven and hell.  What will you be like? Tall, short, fat or thin? Your transportation through the air, where most of us have only cars that travel on the ground?”

Mr. Woodzick was asked, by The Press where the idea of the check came from and he admitted that he had thought it up himself.  It will doubtless turn out to be a rubber check, which will bounce, but the recipient would have difficulty to do much about it.  If a warrant was sworn out for them, who would serve it, and where?  This question was gently asked of Mr. Woodzick, but he just chuckled.

The Woodzick check was the oddest of the items placed in the copper box.  Other items were:

A souvenir booklet presented to visitors at the opening of Memorial Hospital, printed and contributed to the hospital by The Clark County Press, with folding and gathering by the hospital auxiliary and student of Neillsville High School.

A copy to the New Year edition of The Clark County Press, dated January 1, 1954, was enclosed.  This showed upon the first page, a picture of the hospital building as it was at the start of the year.

A copy of the Bible, as translated into the Winnebago tongue, by the Rev. Jacob Stucki; A copy of “The Winnebago Finds a Friend,” being the story of the Winnebago Indian School; A program of the 75th anniversary celebration of the Indian Mission and school was included; Letterheads of the Mission School, the City of Neillsville and the Neillsville Public Library.

A ticket to the Marquette-Wisconsin football game, 1954 and a history of the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Neillsville were enclosed also.

There were items concerning the soil conservation service; a film entitled “Keeping Wisconsin Soil at Home,” and an air picture of the city of Neillsville, with arrows pointing to the location of the new Memorial Hospital and of the office of the Soil Conservation Service; a list of the personnel of the soil service and the eleventh annual report of that service.

The business card, of J. D. Moore, representative of L. G. Arnold, contractor for the hospital.

An advertising pencil of the First National Bank and folders of Frank Brown, describing current styles of table silver available at is jewelry store.


Milk haulers of the city will stage a “Milk Haulers’ Hop,” in the American Legion Memorial hall tonight, September 30, as a part of the three-day Dairy Festival, which opens today in Neillsville.

The “hop,” or dance, will be free to all persons. The expense of the shindig will be shouldered by the milk-haulers, who have engaged Freddie Maeder and Der Schweitzers, to provide the music.

At ending the hop, in a role of honor, will be the 1954 Dairy Festival Queen, who will be crowned that afternoon by Governor Walter Kohler at a big kick-off program in the new high school auditorium.


Members of the class of 1954, of Wood County Normal School, had a reunion at Rib Hill, Wausau, on Sunday. The reunion was in celebration of their first paychecks as teachers.  Miss Luella Henninger accompanied Miss Lila Sternitzky and Miss Lorraine Bender, of Granton, to the reunion.


State highway discussions and planning have taken an abrupt turn. The state’s historic free roads policy will be continued after all.  The state toll road commission has found that prospective income from a suggested trans-Wisconsin toll road connecting the southern and northwestern state boundaries won’t be economically feasible, at least for the present.

The report was a blow to those many enthusiasts who had backed the idea of a super-highway financed through user tolls, according to the models developed in many other sections of the country and notable in the heavily populated East. About three years of study preceded the finding adverse to such a facility in Wisconsin.  The report was made by a commission of “blue-ribbon” members, captained by W. A. Roberts, Milwaukee industrialist.

The conclusive repot means that the state is required to plan a state program of highway improvements out of general highway taxes, as in the past.  U. S. Highway 12, intended to be supplanted by the toll road, is one of the most important, one of the longest and one of the most expensive in the state.


Albert Mabie drove through the village of Granton, in 1920, prepared for the day’s work of delivering mail on rural route one when this photo was taken.  During the winter, the means of transportation was a horse-drawn cutter, which carried Mabie and whatever mail had to be delivered on that given day.  In the background, along the street, is the H. L. Grassman blacksmith shop.  At that time, every village had at least one blacksmith shop.  (Photo courtesy of Albert Hales whose father, Loren Hales served as a substitute mail carrier for Albert Mabie’s rural route.)  (Read the story of Albert Mabie’s life as a mail carrier in last week’s issue of The Good Old Days.)



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel