Clark County Press, Neillsville,

December 7, 2005, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

December 1895


The O’Neill House has a nice lamp pot with a lamp upon it, at the street corner, supplied by John Paulus, proprietor.  The post will come very handy to lean against for the belated “North Sider” who celebrates the vineyards down town.


McMahan & Stewart, of Greenwood, have rented the Mosher building for a drug store.  Most of the drugs have arrived, and it will soon be in running order.


Mr. D. H. Rice has recently moved to this city from Heathville, where he ran a grocery store.  He will soon start a restaurant, with a confectionery, and fruit stand combined, on the North Side, between Furlong & Johnson’s store and Mrs. Lydia Mason’s.  They will have oysters available at any time, and will serve the public in a neat and acceptable manner.  They will be ready for business by the time this news reaches the public eye.


The Baptist Church in Thorp is now finished and was dedicated last Sunday evening.  Rev. Abbott was ordained.


Married at the residence of Mr. B. Clouse, were Mr. Fred Arndt, of Loyal, to Miss Poole, of Maple Works.  Everyone wishes them all the bright spots to be found in their new journey through life together.


The old and well-known firm of John Graves & Son, of Loyal, dissolved partnership.  Mr. S. D. Graves, having moved to Spencer, with his brother are now in the company with his father there, still doing business under the firm name of G. Graves & Son.


There are two reasons why some men have poor credit: one, because they are not known, and the other because they are known.


A bunch of mistletoe was received from Florida, Friday.  We, having spent a Merry Christmas among the lads and lasses of England, realize the sweet significance of these boughs.


James Finnigan’s new blacksmith shop, on Second Street opposite the O’Neill House barn, is fitted up with every convenience for doing the best work.  Patrons may feel sure that work left at this shop will be done in a thoroughly workmanlike manner and at very reasonable charges.


Sled coasting is the regular hilarity for the young folks.  The hill on Fourth Street, at M. C. Ring’s, is the principal rendezvous.


Tom Hommel was never known to quake in the face of an emergency.  He had to get the rink floor smoothed for the Miller Sisters exhibition in short order.  He hitched an unshod pony to a large circular grindstone, with a sprinkling of sand and a boy on board as driver, started the caravan across the sand.  It did a very good job of “finish-grinding.”  The floor is as smooth as it could ever be.


The Miller Sisters’ exhibition of roller-skating at the rink Tuesday and Wednesday evenings was one of the most graceful and charming entertainments to (be) recorded.  Their ages are respectively seven and 11 years.  They glided through their evolutions and changes without a single mistake or awkward motion.  They were greeted with an almost constant fire of applause from the bewitched audience.


Mr. A. K. Pryor, of the Town of Sherman, has for the past three months seemed to endure life rather than enjoy it.  But the last time we saw him, he looked more like a newly married man than any person we have seen for months.  We dared to ask him what brought about such a change.  An inquiry revealed the reason for his joy was the birth of a 9 lb. son.  Mother and boy both are doing well.  He had good reason to smile.


The boot of a local candy store man landed a 16-year old apple thief into the middle of the sidewalk, Monday.  A boot is a great second to the law against filching.


The Greenwood expedition was made by a large delegation on Christmas night.  Those who went were so pleased that they can do nothing now but talk about it.  There was great ado to secure stable room for teams, one young man having to drive a mile into the country and turn a cow out of the barn to get room for his nag. But all who went had a nice time.  The dance was in a barn, and there is always poetry in a barn dance.  We came very near trying the dance ourselves, and got near enough to realize the fun there is in it.  Then, when the boys got out their rigs again for the return, there were several ludicrous cases of getting wrong teams.  But, they all got home the next morning, in time for breakfast.  There was a large turn out of people at Greenwood and many from other points around.


December 1945


Major General Clarence Sturdevant, a son of Neillsville, is back for (from) service in the Philippines, with health impaired.  He was brought to the United States by plane; spent a little time on the Coast and then went to Washington.  There, he is a patient in the Walter Reed Hospital.


Gen. Sturdevant, upon arrival in the States, was met in San Francisco by his wife, the former Beth Youmans of Neillsville.  They came together to Los Angeles and spent a few days with Mrs. Sturdevant’s mother and sister, Mrs. Nettie Youmans and Miss Viola Youmans; then on to Washington for treatment.


Gen. Sturdevant is an officer of the Army Engineer Corps.; having had charge of the construction of the Alcan High-way; then went to the Pacific Theater.  His boyhood was spent in Neillsville, as was the girlhood of Mrs. Sturdevant.


The local V.F.W. post basketball team will meet the nationally known House of David “Bearded Aces” on the Armory floor at Neillsville, Sunday afternoon, December 9, the game starting at 2:15.


Playing their first game against the Loyal city team last Thursday night; the “vets” won by an over-whelming score of 66 to 5.  They will play the Unity Tigers at the windup of the Thorp-Neillsville High School game at the Armory, Friday night.


On the V.F.W. squad are: Vine, Bremer, Magnuson, Dux and Drescher, forwards: Wagner and Freeberg, centers; Schoenfeld, Graves, Worchel, Garner, Neperud and Green, guards.


The Neillsville American Legion Auxiliary is sending carpet rags to hospitalized veterans who make them into rugs.  This project is part of the rehabilitation program planned to help the men regain their normal health.  Anyone in Neillsville who would like to help in this work, please wind your sewed rags into balls and leave at the J. C. Penney store on, or before, December 11.


When the Thomas Garvins located near Neillsville in 1854, they could not get a cow.  They went through the first winter with little or no milk or butter, and there were three small children in the family.


In the spring, Mrs. Garvin heard of a family that was moving away from the vicinity of Kurth’s Corners.  So she walked there to try to buy the cow.  She wore a new shawl, which had been given her by her brother, Robert Ross, an early logger, who had bought the shawl in La Crosse.


When she arrived at the home of the departing family, covetous eyes fell upon that shawl.  The owners of the cow would not sell for money, but they would trade for the shawl.  Mrs. Garvin was reluctant to part with the shawl, a gift.  But then she remembered the long hard winter, without milk or butter for the three children, and she took off the shawl and handed it over.  Then she led the cow home to the west side of the Black River, not far from the later location of the old West Side railroad depot.


The Press is given this incident by Margaret Ross Scott of Two Rivers, Wis.  She had the story direct from Mrs. Garvin, who was her aunt.


The official assessment count gives Clark County more than 100,000 dairy cattle in 1945, and it is now difficult to realize that there was a time when a family with small children could not buy a cow.


(Walking to and from Kurth Corners and the Garvin home was a distance of 14 miles. D.Z.)


This will be the Merriest Christmas in five years for the families of Clark County’s servicemen, for more than 1,000 of them are expected to be home and out of the service by that time.


By Tuesday of this week, 863 Clark County Veterans of World War II had filed discharges in the Register of Deeds office. At the current rate, according to Henry E. Rahn, of the register office, approximately 1,000 discharges will have been filed there.


Veterans find very little delay in having their discharges recorded in Clark County.  The recordings are processed by a Photostat machine, which was recently installed.  This machine makes a photograph of the original document, and the photograph is filed in the office.


This eliminates the necessity of copying the discharge and proof reading.  The whole procedure of making the Photo-stat requires but a few minutes, while to make the record by typing and proof reading requires a considerable amount of time.


The result has been, according to Mr. Rahn that the office has kept abreast of the unusually heavy amount of recording required.  In some counties, Mr. Rahn said, the register of deeds offices are from four to six or more weeks behind, in spite of extra clerical help.


Neillsville’s “Veterans’ Village” will represent an investment of about $10,000 to the city when the 12 sectional houses are ready for occupancy.


Moving the houses from Badger City, near Merrimac, to Neillsville was expected to be started this week by Schultz Bros., local contractors.  They submitted a low bid of $349 per house, a total of $4,188 for the 12, for taking down the houses at Badger City, transporting them to Neillsville, and erecting them on the new Hill Street site.


When the houses will be ready for occupancy is not definitely known at this time; nor is the amount of rental the city will charge for them.  However, city aldermen have estimated that the rental would range from $20 to $30 per month.


With a fairly accurate set of figures on the cost of the project available by then, the aldermen hope to be able to set monthly rental rate at their next meeting. 


This far it appears that the project cost will come close to $10,000.  Largest cost has been the laying of sewer and water mains and lead-ins.  This work has been slow and costly because of the cold weather, and City Street Commissioner Emil Mattson has estimated the cost on this work at about $5,000.  It may run higher.


The moving and erecting of the houses will raise the cost above $9,000.  Then the cost of the land on which the buildings are being placed was $800.  


Of minor nature is the rental of the houses from the government.  This amounts to $1 per unit per month, or a total of $144 per year.


Inasmuch as the project was undertaken as an emergency measure to provide housing facilities for veterans, the city has not looked upon the project with an eye to making money for the city.  If the city breaks even the project will be some-thing more of a successful venture than officials had hoped.


The houses are leased to the city for a two-year period by the federal government.  In order to get its investment back from rental alone, the city would have to charge in excess of $30 per month for each house; which is considered too high.  To charge less rental means that the lots, when they eventually are sold, will bring enough to cover the present prospective deficit on the project.


That the village will answer a real need for veterans here is indicated by the fact that there are 17 applications, and only the 12 houses will be available.


A decided trend toward farming larger units in Clark County, as well as in the rest of Wisconsin, is revealed by the 1945 farm census, recently completed.


The statistics have revealed that the number of farms in Clark County is 241 less today than in 1940; but at the same time, the size of he average farm has been increased by 9.2 acres.


Today, there are 4,933 farms in the county.  These farms comprise a total of 574,008 acres, or an average of 116.3 acres per farm.  At the time of the last farm census, in 1940, Clark County had 5,174 farms with a total acreage of 554,506 acres; an average of 107.1 acres per farm.

In a large measure these federal census figures show the physical result of the war on agriculture in the county.  For during the last five years many farmers have had to throw up their hands and quit.  They were not able to find the help they needed; and they were not able to continue without that help.


“It spread like fire through Christmas tinsel.”


That was the way Mrs. Leo M. Staffon described the blaze of Monday which gutted the old Fred Sears house on the South Hewett Street hill, adjoining the Mary D. Hemphill property on the north.


Buy Washburn-Crosby Gold Medal Flour at the Farmers’ Store in Fairchild.  Purchase 5 lbs. of flour for 31c, 25 lbs. at $1.28 or 50 lbs. at $2.54.


Also on the bag of flour, you will find the new Betty Crocker recipe for making apple crisp.


Bollom’s Cash Market has a Christmas Food Sale: Seedless Raisins, 2 lb. pkg. 25c; Yams, 3 lbs. 29c; Cranberries, lb. 33c; Apples, 2 lbs. 27c; Hershey’s Cocoa, lb. 19c


Werner Jenni announces the opening of his new restaurant on January 1, 1946, in connection with his Standard Service Station, located one block west of the Neillsville Bank.  They will serve regular meals as well as short orders.


Wisconsin Trivia

Q. Who is the most famous graduate of UW-Superior?

A. Arnold Schwarzenegger




Referred to as “The Big Store,” the J. G. Zimmerman & Sons Co. was a large department store located on the northwest corner of Fourth and Hewett Streets in Neillsville, circa 1920.  As the wording on the front awning indicated, “We sell everything to eat, wear or use,” which included groceries, meats, clothing, shoes and hard-ware items.  The brick building remains on the lot, providing office rental.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ family collection)



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