Clark County Press, Neillsville,

May 11, 2005, Page 14

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

May 1895


Chas. C. Sniteman has decided to build, this season.  He will put up one of the handsomest and most substantial buildings in the city, where the drug store now stands.  Good for Charley!


J. G. Taylor has been given the contract to build the new drug store block, which will entirely fill the space between Gates block and the Clark County Bank, extending back 96 feet.  It will be two stories high, massive and stylish.  Its completion will end building operations on that side of Hewett Street between Fourth and Fifth Streets.  The plan to be pursued in construction is a novelty.  The present building is to be left where it is, and business will continue here as usual, the new building rising around and over it.



This interior view of C. C. Sniteman Pharmacy was taken circa 1920.  Built in 1895, the uniqueness of the building process was that of constructing the new facility around the old drug store building, with business as usual during that time.  After the new 2-story structure was up, the old building was dismantled, piece-by-piece, and removed from the premises.  The gentlemen in the photo, at the left: Dave Perry and C. C. Sniteman with George Sontag, on the far right.  Perry and Sontag worked as pharmacists with Sniteman.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ Collection)


We would mildly suggest, to the new city council, to pull the lock-up off the alley.  If some drunken prisoner sets that slab-pile afire some night, and the fire should spread to the south of the alley, the city will have every cent of damage to pay for. (A small, rough log building, used as a jail at that time, was located behind the Neillsville City Hall. D.Z.)


Talk about a newspaper having sand!  The Neillsville Times recently made the Methodist Church a present of 44 loads of sand, this week, and did likewise for the Norwegian Lutheran Church.


The Neillsville Creamery started up yesterday and G. A. Austin was the first farmer to get his milk there.  The Grant station, below Kurth’s place, starts business Monday.


On May 11 and 12, this past weekend, ice was found on water pails and puddles.  The change of temperature from the almost tropical Friday, to the cold of the days following, was like the fall of Lucifer, a holy terror.


On a motion at the city council meeting, a 4-inch water main will be laid from 2nd Street to 5th Street, along Clay Street, and a 6-inch water main will be laid from Hewett Street to Prospect Street, along 14th Street.  Also a plank gutter has been ordered, to be laid in front of lot 62 of the Hewett addition out-lots.


Mrs. A. Campbell, of Pleasant Ridge, has material on her place for a fine new barn.  It is wonderful how many of the Ridge folks have noble big hip-roofed barns, with stone basements and everything right up to date.  Those people are prosperous.


The monument erected at Viroqua, to the memory of Gen. J. M. Rusk, will be dedicated Memorial Day.  Ex-Senator John C. Spooner will deliver the principal address and ex-President Benjamin Harrison is expected to deliver a short eulogy of his favorite cabinet officer.  Many Grand Army posts will participate. Gen. Rusk died Nov. 21, 1893.  The shaft of the monument is 26 feet and with the base is a total 33 feet.  The surviving members of the Harrison cabinet are expected to be present.


A shipment of 130,000 feet of lumber was made from Milwaukee on the schooner J. W. Wescott this week.  The lumber consisted of red oak exclusively, and it was forwarded to an establishment at Holland, Mich., designated for the manufacture of office furniture.  It came from the northern part of Wisconsin and was put on the vessel from Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul railway cars.  Capt. J. V. Tuttle, who planned the charter of the Wescott, states that 2,000,000 feet of hardwood lumber will be shipped by lake from Milwaukee, this present season.  Holland is to receive 400,000 feet of lumber and the remainder will be to Muskegon and other points in Michigan.  The lumber will consist chiefly of red oak and red birch, both of which have become favorites for office furniture and fixtures.  There will also be some curly and birds-eye maple in the lumber orders.


The lumber orders are being handled by a firm of dealers in Indiana whose attention has been directed to Wisconsin as a source of supply.  A visit to Northern Wisconsin filled them with surprise at the extent of the hardwood lumber, other than pine.  They also asserted that people are only beginning to wake up to the fact that hardwoods possess value for other purposes than use in stoves and that thousands will in the near future regret the wanton destruction of the timber on their lands.  As a result of their visit, they closed a deal with Gov. Upham for 500,000 feet of hardwood lumber from his mills, at Marshfield.  All of this lumber will be forwarded to Milwaukee by rail and thence to its final destination, as far as possible, by water.


May 1950


Last Tuesday night, 350 pounds of fresh smelt were cleaned, washed and iced at the Neillsville American Legion Memorial hall, in preparation for the organization’s annual smelt fry on Friday night.


Last year, in the second annual smelt fry of the Legion, 350 pounds of smelt were done away with; and officers of the Legion post believe that appetites will be exactly as good this year.


Fritz Schoenherr, an area farmer, winding up an evening in town and heading north to his home, took a left turn on an Omaha siding at the old Weidenhoff plant and headed west on the railroad.  With his truck, he negotiated the various switches and took the railroad ties as they came until he arrived at the east end of the railroad bridge over Black River.  At that point the truck dug in and refused to travel further.  So Fritz turned off the engine, left the lights on, left the key in the ignition and started for help.  By that time, Monday night had become Tuesday morning.


He traveled westward on foot, and first negotiated the bridge.  This journey, he had to make on the railway ties, and to miss the yawning gapes between them.  The rain was beating down on him and the river yawned for him, but he made it across. The passage, it was maintained later by the officers, would have been a credit to a man who could tell the difference between a paved street and a railroad.


Fritz had at least a partial understanding of the urgency of the situation.  He tried two or three homes on the way back into town, including the Indian School.  Then presently, he arrived at the door of Alex Gall.  Mr. Gall assisted the damp Fritz and presently Sheriff Kutsche was rallying assistance.


It was around 1 a.m. when the sheriff was called and his quick thought was about the train due from the east.  So he called Marvin Westphal, the section foreman, who hurried a call into Marshfield.  There, the happy word was that the westbound train was more than an hour late; having not yet reached Marshfield.  So there was ample time to prevent serious damage.


Then Sheriff Kutsche and Frank Dobes, the under-sheriff, and the section crew gathered to clear the right of way.  Sheriff Kutsche approached the scene from the west, which necessitated that he cross the railroad bridge.  As he stepped gingerly from tie to tie, with uneven distances between the ties, and as he could feel the river way down below reaching for him, Sheriff Kutsche felt a growing admiration for Fritz, who had made the same difficult journey under discouraging conditions.


When the group had closed in on the truck, Mr. Westphal got in to do the navigating, while the others gave a big heave. Thus the truck started on the journey back toward the place from which it had come.  Of course, there was no way to turn the truck around and there was no way to smooth the road out.  So the truck bumped its way back, hitting first one tie and then another, with one set of wheels outside the steel rails and the other set inside.  Occasionally, the truck veered from a straight line and Westphal then pulled it back in. There were five men around to guide him and to chart the route back. So his admiration grew for the driver; who, all by himself in the darkness and with the rain flooding its windshield, had been able to drive that truck over the same course for the better part of half a mile.


The truck was sagely navigated back to a street and was driven to the city hall. 


Sheriff Kutsche took Fritz home in his comfortable car while Frank Dobes drove the truck back to Fritz’s farm.  Fritz made it home before 4 a.m., in time for morning milking.


A Silver Anniversary celebration is planned for Owen, May 27 through May 30.  The event will mark a quarter of a century of Owen as a city. There will be a parade, street shows, barn dances, jamborees, picnics and ball games, with a wrestling match between Adolph Haavisto and some brave wrestler yet to make his appearance.


The Bethany Lutheran Church of Owen will celebrate its 35th anniversary, May 18 to 21.  Guest speaker will be the Rev. Carl Tamminan of Calumet, Mich., once pastor in Owen.  There will be services in Finnish Thursday and Friday evenings.  The youths’ service will be in English, Saturday evening.


Ole Botnen has retired to his quiet 15-acre farm just east of Neillsville, drawing to a close 40 years of active plumbing work, which took him into virtually every house and business building in and near Neillsville.


On his pint-sized farm, with machinery he has accumulated in recent years, Ole plans to work the land, still having plenty of time for fishing and just plain puttering around.  In other years, neighbor John Epding did much of the spring and fall farming work for Ole while Ole plied his trade.


Ole Botnen was a familiar figure to all in the area who have, at one time or another, called for help with pipes, valves, traps and gadgets.  He began in the plumbing trade back in 1910, when he started working in Neillsville’s only plumbing shop, operated by Tom Hommel.  The shop then was located in the basement of the old Opera House, better known to present-day Neillsville-ites as the Armory.


Then years later, in 1920, Ole started working for P. M. Warlum and for the last 30 years he has been associated with this organization and its successor, Warlum-Robinson, Inc.  At that time, the Warlum shop was located in what now is the annex of the Adler Theater, which houses the Neillsville Beauty Salon on Sixth Street.  After a year or two, the property was purchased by the late William Tragsdorf, who established the theater.  The Warlum shop and Ole Botnen with it, moved into the basement of the building, which is now the Model Laundry.  At that time, it housed the Badger Theater.  The stay there was not long and the Warlum concern transferred its base of operations to the building now occupied by the Moldenhauer Jewelry store.


In 1926, one more move was made, to the present Warlum-Robinson, Inc., location on South Hewett Street. 


At the time of Mr. Warlum’s death, in 1945, Ole Botnen had completed a quarter century of service with him.  When the plumbers’ licensing law was placed in effect, Ole received a journeyman’s license.  That was 1932.  He passed the state tests and received his Master plumber license in 1946.


During his 40 years of plumbing, Ole has worked on federal, state and local government plumbing jobs.  Some of the larger undertakings included the Eau Claire County Asylum; the Indian School in Neillsville; the Neillsville post office and the Clark County courthouse.


The grand opening of Quicker’s Dairy Bar, a part of the Neillsville Dairy, will be held here Saturday.


H. H. Quicker, owner, is celebrating the event by offering free coffee throughout the day and evening for the adults; and free ice cream bars and cups for children up to 14 years of age between the hours of 4 and 5 in the afternoon.


The staff of the new dairy bar, in addition to Mr. Quicker, includes; Mervin Voigt, plant superintendent; and June Haines and Shirley Dickey, waitresses.


A thoroughly modern plant, the Quicker Dairy Bar is equipped throughout with the latest in stainless steel fountain and grill equipment.  The grill, for instance, is a new type, which does away with the necessity of a big smoke canopy above the grill.


A malted milk mixer with five heads, which will mix malteds at high speeds, will be another feature.


The opening marks the conclusion of extensive remodeling operations, which have been carried on throughout the Neillsville Dairy plant since its purchase by Mr. Quicker in January of this year.  A new Dairy Bar feature is the unique front and horseshoe bar.


A big celebration will be held next Saturday for Dr. Foley of Dorchester. 


Five babies, in one day of 24 hours, is the record for Dr. F. P. Foley, to be honored on “Dr. Foley Day.”  On that busiest day, Dr. Foley began with the delivery of twins near Stetsonville; then attended another birth near Dorchester; then another near Abbotsford; then, late in the evening, one near Curtiss.  This record was made in the early years, when the roads were poor.


Edgar Paulson, local garage operator, who often was a driver for the doctor, is authority for another story, of three births in one night, a night in the dead of winter, with the thermometer at 20 below, with a strong wind driving the snow.  The Doctor started with a delivery in the Town of Holton, east of Dorchester; then another case in the Town of Mayville, then a third in the Town of Holway several miles to the northwest of Dorchester.


In his active years, Dr. Foley was always open to call, no matter what the difficulties or the conditions.  Before snow plowing was common, he frequently traveled by snowmobile, a car equipped with runners.


The strenuous practice has ended for the Doctor.  He confines his work to his office in Dorchester.  With a little more leisure time available, he thinks back not only to his professional activities, but to his service as president of the village, when the water and sewer systems were installed.


Quote 50 Years Ago—If cigarettes keep going up in price, I’m going to quit smoking.  A quarter a pack is ridiculous.” D. Z.




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