Clark County Press, Neillsville,

February 16, 2005, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

February 1895


Senator Youmans has introduced a bill to authorize the Commissioners of Public Lands to loan $8,000 of the trust funds to the Sherman Guards, of Neillsville, for the purpose of constructing an armory.  The loan will enable Guards Co. A. becoming sole proprietor of the opera house, then the new armory.


Senator Youmans recently introduced bills: Providing that common councils of cities, incorporated under special charters, may change boundaries of wards by ordinance; to reduce the price of lands held by the state in Monroe and Clark counties to 25 cents per acre; to simplify the method of giving relief to paupers.


A telephone franchise has been requested by Carl Rabenstein and Doc Esch.  Monopolies need careful scrutiny; but in this case, we believe the right asked for is one that might never become burdensome.


A new school district is being organized in the Norman-Gaylord neighborhood, east of Merrillan, just over the line in Clark County.  They have already received their state aid to assist in erecting a schoolhouse, which will be located on George Gaylord’s farm. They expect to build in the spring. The new schoolhouse will be only about three miles from Merrillan.


Anyone finding two sacks of rye and an almost new halter, between Marth Corners and Neillsville, will be rewarded upon leaving them at Wm. Marth’s place for the Globe stage driver. The party who has them is known and will do well to give them up.


When we consider that logs are now being hauled from this area, a distance of 100 miles by rail, it would seem that transportation by water has become a thing of the past.  The saw mills of Sawyer & Austin and the Nicholas at La Crosse are now receiving each day, three train loads of logs from here.


For some time past, the question of street paving has more or less racked the heads of the Marshfield city fathers to such an extent, at least, as to have finally culminated into a stern reality and it has at last been definitely settled that Central Avenue, at least, must be paved.  At the last session of the council, it was so decided and work on that will commence without delay.


It was decided to pave with crushed rock and as soon as sufficient grounds can be procured, rock will be purchased of the farmers in the immediate vicinity of the city and be delivered.  Nearly every farmer, in clearing up his farm, has piled up cords of the rock found on the surface of the ground, known as hardheads and as the sleighing is now immense, they can be easily brought to town.  A rock crusher will be purchased and as soon as the weather permits in the spring, paving will begin and prosecuted with vigor until Central Avenue is paved.


The winter lost its harshness about a week ago and since then a delightful mildness has prevailed. The snow has been rapidly sinking away and the logging people don’t like it.  The melting has resulted in a supply of water in O’Neill Pond and on Monday the water standpipe was filled with the new vintage as the water was turned on for the customers.


A cook in one of John Paul’s logging camps, in Clark County, by the name of Olson from Black River Falls, along with a friend by the name of Wasserberger, left their camp last Friday evening and went to Marshfield to have some fun with the boys. They were looking for a scrap and Olson found it.  They went to the Fashion Saloon and kicked up a row with Henry Kreish, who was struck over the head with a chair.  Henry then polished off Olson in not a very artistic manner.  He was pretty badly done up, so much so that the attending surgeon was obliged to remove portions of pop bottles and small pieces of bone from his head. The boys returned to camp the next morning.


The Neillsville Library Association opened its library to the public last Saturday afternoon.  There was an eager and lively crowd in attendance.  Now “Trilby” and all the other famous new books are being read.  The library is open every Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m.


February 1940


Pouring of footings for the center and south piers of the new $35,000 bridge over O’Neill Creek, on Hewett Street was expected to be started today, or Friday according to Engineer Clifford Nelson.


At the same time, excavating work in preparation for the footings on the north side of the bridge site, were to be started this week.


Although specifications for the bridge stated that it might be necessary to remove and replace at least a portion of the dam, which backs up water into the pond, Mr. Nelson expressed belief that this move would not be necessary.


His statement, relieved to some degree, the minds of many local sportsmen who had feared that the thousands of crappies and pan fish planted in the pond, last summer, might be lost.  Mr. Nelson expressed his desire to cooperate in saving the fish and to preserve the pond for recreational purposes, insofar as is possible.


Approval of a WPA project for rough fish removal at Lake Arbutus is expected within the next few days, according to a letter received here Tuesday, by officials of the Black River-Lake Arbutus Conservation Club.  The organization has been active in attempting to secure the project.  Work is expected to start immediately after final approval is given, which will be before mid-February, the letter stated.


Twenty Clark County youths were among CCC enrollees recently inducted into the company at Camp Perkinstown, in Taylor County. The camp exists at present of 208 enrollees, of which 200 are from Clark and Taylor counties.


Those inducted into the company to replace those lost by discharge are:


Lawrence A. Copeland of Dorchester, Joseph P. Elpert of Withee, William J. Englebretson of Greenwood, Kenneth A. Frank and Louis J. Frank of Curtiss, Albert L. Grade of Granton, Orville H. Griep of Willard, Matthew Johnson of Greenwood, Orin C. Johnson of Curtiss, John T. Leach of Greenwood, Everett S. Lindow of Chili, Byrl W. Montgomery of Granton, Joe S. Piwoni of Thorp, Reuben P. Pueschner of Dorchester, Adam Skrowonski of Thorp, Earl E. Stafford of Greenwood, William H. Wilson of Thorp and Donald L. Winn and Myron Zielke of Granton.


Tuesday, January 30, marked the 40th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Sniteman.  Looking down Main Street, from their home on South Hewett Street Tuesday, Mr. and Mrs. Sniteman realized even more vividly the great change brought about during the intervening years.  It was 40 degrees below zero on their wedding day.  The hack in which they were driven to the home of Rev. Cresswell was the only vehicle out.  All windows in the business section were solidly frozen over.  They left on the evening train for St. Paul but hardly left the hotel during their stay of several days because of the extremely cold weather.


Clark County has gained complete possession of, and title to Wildcat Mound.  Taking deed to the forty upon which the northeastern portion of the mound rests the county now controls the four forties upon which practically all the mound is found.  It also controls unbroken areas east, west and south of the mound.  The northern boundary is marked by County Trunk B, which affords access to the mound.


With this title perfected, Clark County now owns its first complete mound and has thus the beginning of what is likely to become a public monument of a highly distinguished characteristic of this part of Wisconsin.  Many of the mounds, if not most of them, are in areas privately owned.  Clark County owns no other mounds of major importance.


The significance of the acquisition of Wildcat is the greater, too, because this is one of the most unique and distinctive of all the mounds in this part of the state. It has varied topography, a peculiarly ornamental rock, interesting spurs, remarkable overhangs, a great cliff along its southern side and a tremendous view from its top.  It is no wild prophecy to suppose, with the passing years, Wildcat will become the popular picnic spot of this region and a place famed for its beauty and for its commanding views.


The final step in acquiring the title was taken only recently by Clark County Treasurer J. H. Fradette, who has been watching the opportunity during recent years to consolidate the county’s position as to this and other forest areas. This forty, which is the northeasterly of the four and which lies along County Trunk B, was formerly in the name of Elizabeth Sherman and F. H. Hankerson, whose residence is given as La Crosse County.  But these parties did not pay taxes and the county acquired the land through a tax deed.


The forty, just west of this piece, has belonged to Clark County since December 20, 1938.  Prior to that, a tax deed to the property had been taken by F. Wheaton of Alma Center, who had previously acquired tax certificates.  But Mr. Wheaton did not pay the taxes so the county acted in its own interest.


The Wheaton forty is the area, which includes the front of the mound, the road entrance, the picnic ground with its improvements and the main front spurs.  Mr. Wheaton’s original purpose in taking a tax deed appears to have been to get rock, as he blasted away part of the end of one of the main spurs of the mound.  From this spur, he took some rock and it is understood that it was used for rock gardens.  But this rock, though very ornamental when it first breaks away, weathers gray quite quickly and was found not to be desirable, even for this limited use.  It was evidently on this account that the owner was not sufficiently interested in protecting his title.


But if privately owned, Wildcat Mound is of no particular value, it is of immense value to the people of Clark County, as is appreciated by its officials generally and especially by Mr. Fradette and County Forester Al Covell.


When the opportunity came to take the tax deed in 1938, Mr. Fradette and Mr. Covell were looking forward to the project of improvement.  It was subsequently put through by the WPA and consisted in building trails over and around the mound, together with an equipped picnic area, completed and made ready for public use last year.  Previously, the importance and extent of the project were not generally understood.  Funds were not immediately available for adequate signs to mark the trails and the entrance. But it is the purpose, as stated by Mr. Covell, to mark the trails plainly this year and to put such a sign up on County Trunk B so that it will be easy for motorists to find the entrance.


Wildcat Mound is much larger and more picturesque than can be appreciated from the road.  It has an extent of roughly 80 acres.  The ascent has been made easy by the new trails, which lead to all the picturesque parts of the mound.  The southern aspect of the mound is one huge cliff, with a precipitous drop of perhaps 300 feet.  To the north there are three spurs, each with its own characteristics. From the top, there is a remarkable view to the south and from the north-westerly spur there is a wonderful view north, west and east.


The formation of Wildcat Mound is soft sandstone.  Much of the rock is yellow, with peculiar red markings, which are reminiscent of the wildcat animal.  Presumably, this is the origin of the name, rather than the claim of a story that a large number of wildcats met their doom on this site, the blood of which formed the red streaks through the rock.


The possession of Wildcat Mound, by the county, offers the first opportunity for dedication and preservation, in public hands, of a distinctive feature of this county’s geology and topography.  While this portion of Wisconsin is notable for its mounds, which are the distinguishing characteristic of scenery, so far no other large mound is public property in this county.  Bruce Mound is privately owned and the same is true of the large mounds near Willard.  The only other mound owned by Clark County is what is known as Little Wildcat, which is northwest of Tioga, along Hay Creek.  This mound, however, is rather small and has been burned over.


(Presently, Bruce, Levis and Trow Mounds are also owned by Clark County. D. Z.)


It is not news that this winter has been a mild one for Clark County.


But it is news that this has been the mildest one in the last quarter of a century.


We can take the experienced word of Oluf Olson, Sr., for that.  For Mr. Olson has been the janitor at the Clark County courthouse for 22 of the last 25 years.  He judges with accuracy the comparative severity of the winters by the amount of wood the big, old boilers at the courthouse consume.


At present and barring any subsequent extended sub-zero weather, Mr. Olson looks for a winter at least “10 cords milder” than any in his long experience, more than 30 cords milder than the average.


“We’ll probably use about 120 cords of the three-foot body hardwood this year,” he estimated recently.  “On the average year, we will burn 150 cords or more; but back in 1918 and on one other occasion since I have been here, we burned only 130 cords.”


During the longest and hardest winters of the last quarter of a century from 175 to nearly 200 cords of wood have been required to keep the courthouse comfortable, he said.


Spring was here, last week anyway.


S. T. Bracken, substitute mail carrier on rural route three, during the illness of Albert Kuehling, saw a robin Tuesday, Feb. 14.  The next day, S. T. returned from the route carrying an armful of pussy willows, which were open.




The Neillsville Library Association established a public library in the late 1800s, with the library being housed a various sites through the years.  In 1914, with donated funds from the Carnegie Foundation, a permanent structure was built for the library’s needs, on the corner of Hewett and Fourth Streets. 



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