Clark County Press, Neillsville,

April 27, 2005, Page 14

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

April 1875


The Black River and most of its tributaries have been free from ice for the past week and it is at a good log-driving state.  The amount of logs run out, on this first rise of water, will be greater than at any one drive for many years.  Many streams will be almost cleared.  It is reported that a full 90% of the logs in the Cunningham Creek have been run into the Black River and will probably reach that river’s mouth on the present high-water.  The same is true for other streams that empty into the Black River, so the prospects for lumbermen getting their logs to market early this season are quite flattering.  We wish the prices for the commodity were equally so, this year.


The Italian Hop, at the O’Neill House, last Tuesday night, was not largely attended.  It was greatly enjoyed by those who did attend.  There were from 20 to 25 couples in the hall and the dance kept up until the wee hours of the morning.


The sidewalk to the Methodist Church is now completed. So mud cannot be used as an excuse for not attending divine services.


During the past week, we have noticed many farmers in town.  They are either purchasing new farming implements or having their old implements repaired.  The prospects are now that it won’t be long before they will have use of this equipment.


The new bridge, over the Popple River, floated off from its abutments during the spring rise of water. But someone who saw it, in time, was able to anchor the bridge near where it belonged.  That prevented the bridge from being carried away with the flood.


P. S. Dudley is selling a new variety of dent corn, to be used for seed, which has been cultivated successfully in other parts of the state, in recent years.  This corn was raised in Clark County and has been found to mature earlier with a yield more than double the amount per acre as the other common kinds.


Fires in the woods are becoming quite general and unless we have rain, soon, great damage to timber, and possibly to other property, will be occasioned thereby.  Too much care cannot be taken to prevent fires of that nature at a time like this.  It is but a few years ago when a portion in our state, everything that fire could destroy was swept out of existence by one of these conflagrations.  The fire was probably set by some thoughtless person, who didn’t stop to consider the damage that could happen.


A dispatch has been received, by Robert King, stating that three-fourths of the city of Oshkosh was destroyed by fire last Thursday.  The fire engines were burned up while fighting the fire.


The man, who called the late March snowstorm a “sap snow,” is a sap-head of the lowest order and should be compelled to spend his life in a sugar-bush.  It was an old fashioned down-easter, the severest that has visited this state during this winter.  This snowstorm exerted a more restraining influence on railroads than any previous storm, to our knowledge, for many years.  The trains on the West Wisconsin railroad were nearly three days behind time.  From Monday until Thursday, we received no mail from abroad.


H. M. Weston is prepared to furnish flour and feed in large or small quantities at the lowest market prices.  He keeps on hand the choicest brands of flour manufactured at the Osseo Summer Mills and warrants every pound is as good as can be found in any market.  He will contract from 1 to 500 barrels of flour, delivered at West & Schofield’s warehouse, one and one-half miles north of Neillsville.


April 1955


The new building of the Neillsville High School was dedicated on Sunday afternoon, March 27.


The program prepared for the dedication made a record of those associated with the construction and with the current management of the high school.  They are as follows: board of education; Kenneth Olson, president; Don Dundas, clerk; Mrs. Kenneth Manz, treasurer.  Building committee: James A. Musil, chairman: Mrs. J. W. Kearns, Dr. Kenneth Manz, Frank Svetlik, Hubert Quicker, Superintendent Donald E. Peters, and Principal Ivan W. Lauscher.


By an increasing coincidence, the dedication of the new high school comes exactly half a century after the completion of the old high school.  That building was constructed during the open season of 1905.  While the building is of the monumental type, stretching up into the air, it is still a solid structure, physically fit, even though not in the present day style.


Prior to the construction of that building, the high school was held in what became the South Side grade building.  This old structure was regarded as inadequate, and persons of the community set out to secure better accommodations.  The preliminary discussions led to the appointment of an investigating committee and this committee reported at an annual meeting, held July 25, 1904.  That committee consisted of Charles F. Grow, M. C. Ring, G. W. Trogner, A. B. Marsh and J. D. McMillan.


The report of the committee indicated that a new high school building could be constructed for about $25,000.  There was a division of judgment about location.  The idea of adding the new building to the old was quickly discarded, chiefly because of lighting.  A vote was taken whether to build to the east or to the west of the present South Side grade building.  The vote was 64 to 31 in favor of the west location.  Had room been purchased to the east the price was to have been $300 per acre.


The test vote on constructing the new building came upon the financing of it.  The investigating committee recommended borrowing $22,500 from the state fund at interest of 3 ½ percent.  Upon this question, the vote was 74 to 6 in favor of borrowing the money.


A building committee was constituted, consisting of the members of the school board, together with Joseph Morley and C. S. Stockwell.  The board members were H. W. Balch, G. E. Crothers and S. M. Marsh.


When it came to actually receiving bids, it was found that the preliminary report had erred on the side of optimism.  Contracts were let, amounting to just under $30,000.  The general contact went to J. J. Olsen & Son of Muskegon, Mich., at $22,937.  The heating contract went to W. H. Hobbs of Eau Claire; the plumbing contract to J. W. Hommel of Neillsville.  The architect was A. E. Parkinson.


Evidently the school electors of half-a-century ago had the same attitude as most taxpayers have nowadays about unexpected costs, for they almost stopped proceedings a little later.  After the bids were in, it was obvious that more money would be needed and so it was proposed that an additional $5,000 should be borrowed from the state fund.  That proposal carried by exactly one vote.  The vote was 52 for the loan and 51 against it.


Gus Deutsch, a young man in those days, recalls vaguely that there was trouble about the construction.  He seems to recall that the general contractor fell down on the job and that the school board found other ways to complete the building.  That there was some sort of trouble was evidenced by the school board records.  The board held a special meeting on June 26, 1905.  At the meeting, they heard a statement that the men employed by the contractor were going to quit unless they were paid.  So the board voted $214.45 to cover payment to the men and turned that money over to August Schoengarth for delivery to the men, also allotting $500 to be paid directly to the Olsen firm.


The old records cite interesting facts not directly connected with the construction of the building.  About that time, the board employed A. A. Kienholz as principal at $1,300 per year.  Beatrice McMillan taught first grade for $45 per month and Blanche Dickey taught second grade for $50.


Miss Dickey at $50 a month was a bargain, as is attested by some of the old-timers hereabouts, who studied under her.  But her service to the community did not end with her retirement.  She held, for years, the land upon which the Dickey home had been built.  She wanted that land to be used as the site for a new high school.  So in 1945, she sold it to the school district for $1,500, a price, which represented no small fraction as an outright gift.  The area is about 15 acres.


The record also shows that B. J. Satterlee was employed as janitor at $780 per year, but with the understanding that he should take care of mechanical troubles and really work at the job.


By the time of the annual meeting of 1906, the high school had used up the $22,500 originally borrowed from the state, plus $2,500 levied as a current tax, plus $5,000 as a second borrowing from the state fund.  But a third loan of $1,500 was needed.


Even though, the gymnasium had only the dirt floor provided by nature.  The question was raised in the annual meeting about putting in a floor, but nobody seemed to care to sponsor anything further at the time.  So the gym was without a floor a little longer.


From 150 to 200 people are expected to attend the first annual Athletic banquet in the Neillsville High School, Saturday night, April 30, at 7 p.m.


They will hear talks from “Breezy” Reid, Green Bay Packer halfback and one of the outstanding ground-gainers of the National Professional Football league; from the coach of Stevens Point State College and possibly from Dick Cable, one of the University of Wisconsin’s all-time cage greats.


Also to be announced will be the name of the first winner of the Chamber of Commerce Athletic award.  The selection has been made, it is understood, but no announcement will be made before the banquet.  The award is open to senior athletes.


The Thorp Male Chorus presents their first annual spring concert Sunday, May 1st, at 2:30 p.m. in the Thorp High School auditorium.  They will be featuring a guest choir, the celebrated Male Choir of Fort William, Ontario, Canada, as well as the Municipal Band of Medford.  Admission for the event will be adults, 75c and children 25c.


The bottom went out of the roads last week and that did things to the economy of Clark County.


The big problem is how to get the milk to market.  With milk trucks, on many of the town roads threatening to drop through to China, nearly 5,000 farmers have had to figure a way to cooperate with about 200 milk haulers.  Tractors were pressed into service; also the few horses that were left.  For the first say or so there was lack of complete under-standing in what to do in solving the problems, which are now largely solved.


While in a few instances, the milk did not get to market on the appointed day, nevertheless there has been virtually no loss.  The plants have been delayed some, especially the first few days of the mud, delays being within an hour or so.


The mud has given occasion for persons in the dairy section to figure what it means to them to have a ready access to market.  The daily production of milk, in Clark County, is now running at about 1,400,000 pounds per day.  The value of this milk is about $42,000 per day.  It is the main revenue of nearly 5,000 farmers.  The hauling of the milk is a job for nearly 300 haulers, with their trucks, who normally cover about 6,000 miles per day.


The labors involved in overcoming the mud are many.  It has been a great chore for farmers to get their milk to market and it still is a chore.  Allen Gutenberger, who lives on a side road between Neillsville and Christie, tells of a milk truck requiring five tractors to pull it through the mud.  Another milk truck had four tractors pulling at it, but in vain.


The break-up this spring has been among the worst in Clark County history.  The reason appears to lie in the heavy rains of last fall and the wide temperature range when spring came.  This is the analysis of Deputy County Highway Commissioner Marvin Hemp.  He cited the fact that on one day there was a range from 10 below to 65 above zero.


A program for the proposed Withee-Owen school merger has been worked out.  In accordance therewith, the county school committee has designated the evening of May 12 for the formal hearing, which will be held at the Owen High School. Leading up to the formal hearing, there will be two preparatory meetings, at which information will be given.  At each of these meetings, Henry Olson will represent the State Department of Public Instruction.


The first meeting of information will be held at the Withee High School on the evening of April 25; the second at the Owen High School on the evening of April 28.


After the meeting on May 12, the county school committee is required to pass within 30 days on the question of the merger, and to enter a formal order therefore, if the merger meets approval by the committee.


The Silver Dome Ballroom schedule is as follows: Saturday, April 16, wedding dance of Lorraine Jordan, Willard and Joe Cadillac, St. Paul.  Music will be by Uncle Otto & his Polkateers.  Saturday, April 23, wedding dance of Clifford Winter (Pine Valley) & Beatrice Bailke, Greenwood; Music will be Don Adams & his orchestra.  Saturday, April 30, dance to the music of Howie Sturtz & his Orchestra.  The Silver Dome Fireplace Supper Club features Family Night every Friday Night with their Walleyed Pike Fish Special, 50c.


Back 50 Years Ago: “Have you seen the prices on the new cars coming out next year?  It won’t be long before $2,000 will only buy a used car.”


“When I first stared driving, who would have thought some day gas would cost 29 cents a gallon?” D.Z.




The city of Neillsville invested in a reconstructed water plant, which was built in 1953.  A new structure was put up and new equipment for water treatment was installed.  The above photo includes the men who worked on the building project, left to right:  Emil Tresemer, Charles Oldham, Don Lipsy, Bill Hagen and Bill Wilsmann.  (Photo courtesy of Bob Wilsmann, Sr)



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