Clark County Press, Neillsville,

April 6, 2005, Page 14

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

April 1885


Root beer is the finest tonic and blood purifier in the world and is endorsed by the entire material medica.  It may be purchased from Dole’s shop.


The root formula is: Sarsaparilla, Yellow Dock, Catisaya Bark and Wild Cherry.


The city authorities will receive, the last of this week or the first of next week, two fire alarm bells, one weighing 500 pounds and the other 200 pounds. The larger bell will be placed in a tower over the City Hall.  The smaller bell will be in a tower located north of O’Neill Creek, in the first ward, mainly for the purpose of signaling the central station.  The bells come from Cincinnati with the cost of, delivered to Neillsville, $175.  The price includes the alarm apparatus that goes with the bells.  The larger bell is considerable larger than that of the Presbyterian Church bell. We believe the weight difference, between the two bells, is some 200 pounds.


A large number of buildings are going to be constructed in Neillsville during the season of 1885.  The appearance of the central part of the city is to be much improved. We should like to see pavement be put in the square space between the four crossings at the corner of Third and Main streets.  Let us have permanent improvements.


Ira Fike, as Purchasing Agent for the Clark County poor farm, submitted the following statement for the month ending February 28, 1885:


J. H. Thayer & Co.: 10 lbs. rice, $1 and crackers, 78c; 18 lbs. butter, $3.24; yeast cakes, $1; 1 pair shoes, $1.75; 13 spools thread, $1.35; 5 lbs. plug tobacco, $2.25; 3 packs smoking tobacco, $1.15; 20 yards, Print material, $1.35; 5 yards cloth for boys’ clothes, 90c; 2 pairs child’s stockings, 50c.  H. J. Youmans, medications, $112.50; W. S. Colburn: grinding 25 bushels wheat, $2.50; 50 lbs. corn meal, $1; 1 sack flour, $1. L. M. Davidson: 1 bale of graveyard fence, $2.25.  N. J. Wiggins, shoeing horses and repairing sleds, $10.  Pay for hired girl, Tena Neinas, $12 and for hired man, Jos. Shutt, $22.16.  Sniteman’s 5 gallons Elaine oil, $1.50 and 1 bottle caster oil, 25c.  John Dwyer, 31 lbs. butter, $5.58.  Dr. W. B. Morley, 5 visits, $15.


The Select Knights have leased the second story of the city building for a term of three years with the privilege of holding for a term of three years, with the privilege of holding it for five years if they so desire.  The rental is $100 per year. They take possession the first of June, at which time the Sherman Guards’ lease expires.


There will be a Town of Pine Valley caucus held at Bradshaw’s lumber office, in the city of Neillsville, Saturday, April 4th, at 2 p.m.  It will be held for the purpose of nominating town officers and transacting such other business as may come before the meeting date.  Per order of the town committee


Charles F. Grow now lives in his new house on the Bacon Ridge.  Sheriff Tolford lives in the official residence at the courthouse and all is quiet on the hill.


The young man arrested for breaking into M. C. Ring’s horse stable, under suspicious circumstances, was tried before Justice Geo. L. Jacques and acquitted.  He will, doubtless, all the same, pay better attention to property rights hereafter.


Mr. William Deumling, clerk in B. Dangers’ store, drove out west of town a few days ago, having in his pocketbook $215 cash and notes amounting to over $1,000.  On his way home, he lost his pocketbook, not missing it until he reached home.  It was a bad piece of ill luck.  Search was fruitless and he was terribly exercised about it, as it was all hard-earned value.  But Sunday, an honest boy found the money out on the road and brought it, every cent, to Mr. Deumling.  The boy’s name was Adolph Hemp and the name of the very happy youth man is Willie Deumling.


April 1950


Upon the expiration of his three-year lease on the West Side Food Market, John Swenson is giving up that business.  Stock and fixtures, owned by Swenson, are being sold to Leo Korth of the Spencer community, who owns the building.  Mr. Swenson’s lease was from John Pietenpol, who later sold subject to the lease.  Mr. Korth intends to proceed with the business and to occupy the residence at the rear of the store building.


The John Swensons will return to their old home on Fifth Street.  The Kenneth Olson’s, who have been living in the Swenson house, are moving to the Charles Seif place on Grand Avenue.  Seif’s are moving to the Landgraf house, which they recently purchased.


Final plans have been made for pushing the construction of the Mead Dam.  The engineers, Mead & Hunt, have completed revision of the plans and the contractors, Ernest and Ben Gottschalk of Edgar, have promised to get upon the job as soon as the ground can be worked.


The plans are considerably different from those originally made.  It was at first planned to have a 250-foot spillway.  But the actual excavations revealed the unexpected of running into solid granite, as borings had promised the contractors encountered shale and disintegrated granite.  The removal of this would have been expensive and, for every cubic yard removed, there would have been a corresponding cubic yard of concrete, paid for under the contract at so much per cubic yard.  To proceed in the manner would have run the cost up far beyond the $60,000 appropriated.


Accordingly, a second site was tried a little farther downstream.  This site revealed about the same conditions as the first.  Then a third was tried, without any great variation.  The decision was made, therefore, to proceed in the third location and to alter the manner of construction to meet the actual conditions and to keep close to the $60,000.


By the change of plan, part of the dam will rest upon the disintegrated granite and the shale, both the structure will be held in place and supported by concrete placed in trenches running down to granite.  The trenches will be about 16 inches wide and they will contain a foundation wall, which will, in part, support and protect the concrete dam.  This wall will protect both the front and back of the dam and will prevent the water from pushing underneath. The dam itself will rest, in part, upon the granite on the river bottom, in part on the concrete walls and in part upon the shale and disintegrated granite.  The solidity of the structure, being put up, is backed by the engineers.


By the revised plan, the spillway of the dam will have a width of about 100 feet instead of the original 250 feet.  Upon the top of the spillway will be flashboards 23 inches high.  The flashboards will be removed, or will go out in time of considerable flood.


Gottschalk’s have promised that the concrete work will be completed within 60 days of the start of work this spring.  This means, if there is no trouble, that the work will be completed in time to catch the fall rains and to fill the lake.  The lake will be more than 300 acres in size, equivalent of half a section, or the equivalent of an area a mile long and half-a mile wide.  It will be nearly three times the size of the lake at Rock Dam.


The tight housing situation, which still obtains in residential property in the urban sections of Clark County, is illustrated by a deal recently made in Neillsville.  This transaction was the transfer of the old James Redmond property at the corner of Sixth and Ayers streets.  This property lies east of the Hewett farm and 400 to 500 feet north of U. S. Highway 10.  The plot is 104 feet on Ayers and 202 feet on Sixth Street.  The house is one-story, four rooms and bath, with full basement.  It is modern.


This property was the home of the Pat Kirby family and the Kirby’s sold it to Edgar Rach for a consideration understood to have been $6,000.


The houses of moderate size, from four to six rooms, are in great demand and the price for them is three or four times what they would have (been) bought 10 years or so ago.  For larger properties there has been a decline from the top.


There are known to be buyers in the Neillsville market, who are looking for homes better than average, but their attitude, is that the prices, heretofore current, are out of line with the long range prospects.  No sizable properties, eight to ten rooms, have moved recently in Neillsville.


During the past week, 17 transactions of property have been recorded by Henry Rahn at the Register of Deeds office.


Mr. and Mrs. Fred Maeder have bought the Ghent property in Block 2, Furlong’s First Addition to Neillsville.  The consideration, as shown by revenue stamps was between $3,000 and $3,500.


Mr. and Mrs. Henry Rottjer, as joint tenants, have bought part of Lot 7, Block 2 of the City of Loyal.  The consideration was $750.


Mr. and Mrs. Louis Kaczor, as joint tenants, have purchased a residential plot in East Thorp, being the west 75 feet of Lots 1, 2 and 3, Block 15, of E. A. Boardman’s Addition.  The consideration was $800.


Mr. and Mrs. Anton Debevec, of Greenwood community, hve bought an eighty in Section 21 of the Town of Mead. The purchase was made from Mr. and Mrs. Julius Klapatauskas.


An eighty, in Section 18, Town of Weston, has been bought by Roy M. King and his wife Georgia, from Anna Lastofka.  The revenue stamps indicate a price of $3,500 to $4,000.


Frailty helps toward the goal of 100 years, in the experience of Mrs. Sena Petersen of Owen.  One of the very few of Clark County ever to attain this great age, Mrs. Petersen has always been a frail little woman, hardly more than five feet tall when she could stand straight and not much more than 100 pounds in weight.  She was sickly as a young woman; it was believed in the Old Danish community that she did not survive the passage to America.  It took an affirmative word from her to her relatives to convince the home folks that she had reached America alive and on foot.


Mrs. Petersen speaks from her vantage point of 100 years for an era and a viewpoint, which have passed.  She was perhaps the last woman of Clark County to use a spinning wheel.  She was a great Bible reader, representative of a generation, which read the Bible, in contrast with this generation, which does not read the Bible much.


Mrs. Petersen was a cook.  She cooked American dishes some, but her Danish dishes, particularly her Danish soup, were magnets, which drew boarders to her place in the early years.  It was her custom to take roomers and boarders into her home then.  Many of these were new arrivals from Denmark, who felt more at home with the Danish cooking and the Danish talk common in that household.


Mrs. Petersen’s time in Owen goes back to the old lumber days.  She and her husband came to the Owen neighborhood in about 1892.  They bought land from the John S. Owen Lumber Company, forty acres between what is now Withee and Owen.  The land then had many big trees on it and it was the arrangement that the Owen concern should take the timber.  This left the land for a farm, after Mr. Petersen succeeded in getting rid of the stumps.


With P. K. Petersen, the husband, farming was of secondary importance.  The brickyard, which he established on his place, came first.  From that yard went much of the brick for early chimneys and walls in northern Clark County.  Although Mrs. Petersen had come up in a tradition of hard work for women, she did not work outside while living in America.  She had plenty to do inside, what with her three children, her boarders, her spinning wheel, her fancy work and helping with church work and relief.  It was for Mr. Petersen to manage the outside affairs, and this he did with diligence and thrift until death claimant him in 1937.


Mrs. Petersen has resided in the United States for 68 years, yet she has remained to a surprising extent a Dane, old-style.  If she knows some English, as her daughter Sena says she does, she prefers not to pay attention to it. The language that she uses and likes is Danish.  Living in a community where there are so many Danes, she has had the more occasions to continue in her native tongue.  A further help and incentive has been the Danish Nazareth Lutheran Church, where she met her Old Danish friends all through the years and where the old language was the common means of worship and socializing.


That church has meant a lot to Mrs. Petersen.  She and her husband were among the pioneers that built it.  When the church was first talked about, the prospect was dim, for the pioneers had little money.  But Mr. Petersen and some others went to see Mr. Owen with their problem and he responded with land and money for the church.  So they were heartened and went ahead with their building plans.


In America, Mrs. Petersen had lived her life in a narrow range.  Her present home, just over the high bridge to the north, is less than a mile from the old pioneer home.  In that home, the son, Ben, carries on.  The two daughters, Sena and Clara, have a business in Owen.  Their lives have been almost wholly in the Owen-Withee community.  With the mother in need of constant attendance, Sena now remains with her and Clara carries on the business.


In Mrs. Petersen’s 100 years, she has woven the pattern of a family alive to the good in the Old Danish traditions.


Mr. and Mrs. Ed Butterfuss, Jr., escaped with only their lives recently when their home in Upper Squaw Creek was razed by fire.  The blaze originated from a grass fire, which got out of control.  The Butterfusses did not own the house, but owned the furniture, which contained many new pieces.


Back in the past:

A quote from 50 years ago: “If prices keep raising (rising) like they have been, soon $20 won’t buy a week’s supply of groceries.” D.Z.



The Mobil Gas & Service station, located on the southeast corner of Hewett and Fifth streets, was remodeled about 1960.  The station was owned and operated by Arden Hinklemann, at that time.  In the early 1950s, Hinklemann had operated a gas station north of the O’Neill Creek Bridge and the old Ghent building, along Hewett Street.  (Photo from the Hinklemann family collection)



© 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