Clark County Press, Neillsville,

June 15, 2005, Page 15

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

June 1875


The foundation of the Presbyterian Church is well under way and will soon be completed.  Work on the building is also being pushed ahead with unusual energy.  It will not be long before the framing will be done.  The building, when finished, will be one of the finest in town.  Rev. W. T. Hendren, through his untiring energy, has been principally instrumental in bringing about the result and is deserving of great credit.



The Presbyterian Church was built in 1875, with a parsonage nearby.  W. T. Hendren, a well-known pioneering minister of Clark County, was instrumental in the church’s development. The church was located at 146 East Fifth Street, Neillsville and was destroyed by fire in the early 1930s.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ family collection)


Capt. J. W. Tolford, Chief of the Fire Department and his assistants has ascertained the height of the principal buildings in town. They are having a set of ladders manufactured for the use of the Hook and Ladder Company.  Under the management of our Chief, the department will be fully equipped in a short time.


The opening dance at the O’Neill House, last Friday evening put on by Mr. and Mrs. Jas. H. Reddan, was one of the best parties ever given at that house.  About fifty couples were in attendance and a general good time was the result.  The music and supper was all that could be asked for and the dancing was kept up until after daylight the next morning.


The sleep of the innocent was broken, last Wednesday morning, by a prolonged blast of the whistle at the Austin & Company’s mills.  Breakfast was served before 8 o’clock that morning, as a consequence.


Notwithstanding the unfavorable weather of the past few weeks, King and Vine have succeeded in molding over two hundred thousand brick.  Most of that number will be placed in the kiln the first of the week, at which time they expect to commence burning.  The brick for the new courthouse will be ready by the time the foundation is completed.


Last Monday, the building committee let the contract for building the courthouse to Mr. C. B. Bradshaw of this village.  We have not been able to learn the amount to be paid for the work but it is said to bring the cost of the building within the appropriation made at the last meeting of the county board.  Work on the building is to commence immediately and is to be completed by July 4, 1876.


Mr. Bradshaw is a competent workman and there is little doubt but what the building will be all that the contract calls for.  Judging from the draft of the building, it will be as well as comfortable and convenient, very attractive in appearance.  It will be an ornament to Neillsville and a credit to the county, but it is to be regretted that the manner in which the appropriation was carried gave rise to sectional discord.  Our present county buildings would have answered all purposes, with but little repairing, until a prefect agreement upon the issue could have been had.


Will Waterman, an ex-Confederate soldier residing in Clark County who had the misfortune of losing an arm in the bad cause, recently took a contract in building seventy rods of road.  The road is through a district heavily timbered and is to be cut out four rods wide.  He commenced work on the site a little over a week ago.  Without assistance, he has already finished about twenty rods of cutting. For a single-handed chopper, we think Waterman excels and if he manifested the same pluck in the army that he has since he came to this county, he must have done good service as a soldier.  His efforts to make an honorable living, entitle him the respect of any community. 


During the past week, the track belonging to the Clark County Agricultural Society has been leased to a company called the Neillsville Trotting Association, composed of some of the leading citizens of the county.  The object of the society is to develop speed in horseflesh and for that purpose they will put the fairground track in the most perfect order.


Last Tuesday, the jail and outbuildings were removed from the Court House grounds to make room for the new building.  The construction has already been commenced.


Messrs. Wheeler, Sturdevant and Ring have been called upon to orate on July 4th.  Wheeler will tell the people of York what our heroic ancestors endured; Sturdevant will recount the terrible incidents of Revolutionary times to those in Levis and Ring will astonish the natives at the Huntley Settlement with the early history of Grant’s domain.


June 1945


Calvin Mills will take over on June 15, his work as superintendent of the Clark County Hospital at Owen.  His resignation as county clerk will be submitted to the county board on June 12.


The date of June 15 is set to permit Mr. Mills to get as quickly as possible into the many problems with which he must deal in the new position.  Not the least of those problems is the management of the hospital farm, which consists of more than 1,100 acres with about 800 acres under the plow.  Upon this farm, work is delayed, just as all other farm work has been set back by the cold weather.


The work of matron, at the hospital, will be taken over by Mrs. Mills. She will succeed Mrs. Duncan, who has won the high regard of the hospital trustees for her work in this position.


The Duncan’s will continue their connection with the hospital until June 30.


The Veterans of Foreign Wars took over in downtown Neillsville Sunday afternoon.  With visitors here from the district, they put on an impressive parade in the early afternoon, with the colors and the Neillsville High School band in the lead.


Thirty-five members were initiated in a ceremony at the Moose Hall.  The initiation was in charge of “Pop” Reynolds and was put on by a team from Chippewa Falls.


A banquet was served to 85 at Wagner’s clubroom, with Hans Brandt presiding as toastmaster.


Solos were sung by Miss Marguerite Brown, of Neillsville and Mr. Floyd Smith, of Abbotsford.  Mrs. Al Covell was the accompanist.


Clark County is about to have its first experience in the employment of prisoners of war.  A prison camp will be established at Loyal and prisoners from it will be working in the harvesting and canning of peas for the Loyal Canning Company and the Owen Canning Corporation.


The men, thus employed will be German prisoners of war.  They will be selected for the work by means of careful examination, conducted by the U. S. Army.  Only Germans will be brought on who are considered likely to be acceptable.  Their camp will be established on a vacant lot in Loyal, which will be in a location where recreational facilities can be made available.  They will be under army guard day and night.  In the canneries, they will be segregated from civilian employees.  When not working, they will be confined to their camp.


The Loyal community is naturally interested in this wartime experience.  Caution has been given, by the federal authorities, that local persons ought have nothing to do with the prisoners; that they ought to keep their distance from the prison camp and that they ought under no circumstances fraternize with the prisoners.


These Germans will be used in place of the Barbadians, who came on last summer.  The Barbadians conducted them-selves properly and were acceptable in the Loyal community.  Since they were free, they went about on the Loyal streets, with no disagreeable incidents.


The Loyal and Owen canneries will pay the going wage for these prisoners.  The payment will be made to the government.  Of what is paid, each prisoner will receive 80 cents per day, which he may expend in his own way.  The balance of the payment goes into the federal treasury.  The government feeds the prisoners, houses them and guards them.


The time of arrival of the German prisoners will be contingent upon the ripening of the pea crop.  The number of prisoners used in the county will depend upon the help shortage.  The canneries will conduct a campaign for local help and will give preference to civilians.  The remainder of the need will be supplied from the prison camp.


Before a large assemblage of guests, at a candlelight ceremony performed at the Methodist Church in Loyal, Sunday, June 10, 8 p.m., S/Sgt. Robert K. Prior, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Prior of Loyal, claimed as his bride Miss Dorothy L. Kronberger, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Kronberger, Neillsville, Rt. 4.


The wedding vows were read by Rev. R. G. Fleming, of Viroqua.  The church was decorated by ferns and baskets of flowers.  Mrs. Calvin Prior sang “I Love You Truly” and “Always” accompanied by Mrs. A. D. Wicklund at the piano.


The bride, dressed in a gown of white satin, was preceded down the aisle by her attendants, her sister, Betty Kronberger as maid of honor and Miss Nancy Thurber.


George White and Pvt. Ivan Kronberger were the groom’s attendants.  Usherettes were Gwen Tucker, LaVonne Smith, Gladys Fenner, Marie Anderegg and Betty Mathews.


A reception was held for 50 guests at the groom’s home after the ceremony.


Both were graduates of Loyal High School, the groom with the class of 1942 and the bride of the class of 1943.  The bride has been employed the past year and a half at the Citizens State Bank at Loyal.  The groom has just returned from 2 ½ years of military service in Africa, Sicily, Italy and England.


The first chapter, in the case of missing bicycles, was written by Under Sheriff E. H. Snyder, this week, with a fishing trip on Black River.


While other fishermen were scrambling along the river after Muskies, Snyder was there on business; to fish from the river’s bottom, the parts of a bicycle, which had been tossed there by a 13-year old boy.


The youth was in the custody of the sheriff for the theft of bicycles belonging to Earl Wallace, Bennie Stucki and Edgar Ott, as well as thefts of $8.00 from the Zilk Villa service station, a cornet and several other items of more or less value.


Snyder’s fishing trip was a success; for with an old cane pole, a line and hook, he snagged the bicycle parts and brought them back.


The youth, whose parents were divorced several years ago, was to have a hearing before Judge O. W. Schoengarth, today.


From the Thirty-Second Infantry Division in Northern Luzon, P.I.: The folks back home are privileged only to read about the miracles of wartime surgery performed by army doctors at the front, but Pfc. James A . Frenette, son of John Frenette, Thorp, Wis., has been both eyewitness and participant.


Pfc. Frenette, who is returning home with the first demobilization group to leave Luzon, will (be) able to tell of many incidents of combat medical skill, which he has seen during his three years overseas with the Thirty-Second (Red Arrow) division.  “On Aitape, New Guinea, I helped take care of a soldier who had a hole in his thigh as big as your helmet,” relates Frenette.  “We saved his life.  And from what the doctors said, I don’t think he will be permanently disabled, either.”


Pfc. Frenette was listed as a medical supply clerk, but points out, “When an outfit is in combat, every body pitches in and does whatever needs to be done, whether it’s his job or not.”  Later, he was made a surgical assistant.  Frenette entered the army with no medical skill and learned to do, in a short time, work that many trained nurses do not attempt.


A former employee of Blue Moon Foods, Inc., Thorp; James Frenette went overseas with the original Thirty-Second division in April 1942.  With the 107th Med. Btln; he cared for battle casualties through four major campaigns; New Guinea, Papua, Leyte and Luzon.  He saw hospital tents pitched in ankle deep mud at Buna, Saidor and Aitape.  He treated patients on the treacherous Ormoc road in Leyte.  On Luzon, his division fought the Japanese among the mile high Caraballos Mountains along the Villa Verde trail.  Frenette helped treat wounded after a Jap air raid when bombs fell within 200 yards of the clearing station hospital.


He has followed the Red Arrow through more than 14,000 combat hours, almost half the total time since the beginning of World War II.  His service awards include: the American Defense Ribbon; the Good Conduct Medal; the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon and four Stars; the Philippine Liberation Ribbon and Star; and the Purple Heart, received for wounds incurred while evacuating patients under fire on Leyte.


Among the 185,000 men and women, in the Eighth Air Force congratulated by Lieut. Gen. James J. Doolittle, upon the victory of Europe, were Pfc. James S. Durst, Neillsville Rt. 2 and Pfc. William Reinart, Neillsville Rt. 4, both members of that organization.


Frank Svetlik has purchased the Seif interests in the garage and Ford Agency heretofore conducted under the name of Seif & Svetlik.  He will conduct the business under the name of the Svetlik Motor Co.


Neillsville business places will be open Friday nights, beginning June 8th and closed Saturday nights at 6 p.m.


A muskie, four feet in length was landed from the Black River Sunday morning by Merton (Bud) Runkel, A&P store manager.  The fish weighed a few ounces less than 22 pounds.


During the brief fight to land it, the muskie pulled one set of gangs out of the bait and was secured only by one hook on another set when it was brought ashore.  This hook was bent almost straight.


Back 60 Years Ago

(When I was in high school, there was only one fellow who owned and drove a car to school, a 1929 Ford Model A.  At noon hour, several friends would ride in and on the outside of the Model A to go downtown. The record number of riders for one trip was 21. D.Z.)




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