Clark County Press, Neillsville,

July 6, 2005, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

July 1885


Considerable turnpiking is being done this season in Weston Township and not all is done yet.  Three different parties were at work on their jobs, Saturday, on the cross road that connects West Weston with East Weston.


Our Neillsville baseball club played a match game at Marshfield, Saturday, beating the Marshfielders, by a score of 18 to 14.  The boys came home Sunday.  Through some slight error, our boys were allowed to pay their own bills, but when the Marshfield club found it out, they promptly forwarded a check covering all expenses. They have acted like gentlemen in every particular.


The salary attached to 38 Wisconsin post offices will be reduced $100 to $200 commencing with July 1st.  At the Black River Falls office, the salary is reduced from $1,600 to $1,400.  Neillsville meets with a reduction of from $1,500 to $1,400.  The postmaster has to furnish building, boxes, lights and fuel and such expenses; as well as any needed clerk hire.  The post office here can hardly be regarded as a “fat” position.


A wind, rain and hail storm, Sunday night at Greenwood, tore the superstructure of braces from the big iron bridge at that point (the old Dells Bridge).  It then lifted the main body of the bridge, from the piers and dropped it into the river, right side up.  This will cause a heavy loss to the towns of Eaton and Warner. The storm loosened the roof of the Greenwood church and greatly injured crops.  The cornfields present a badly stripped and stalky appearance.


The company, which gathered at the residence of J. L. Gates last Friday evening, was one of the largest and most joyful that has been put together in this city.  The spacious front lawn was illuminated with Chinese lanterns and as the stream of guests poured through the gate, the brass band gave a number of difficult and most delightful selections.  The house was packed full with chairs, floors and lawn scarcely sufficient to accommodate the throng of guests.  A lunch was served at the proper season with music, conversation and cigars for the gentlemen.  It was a most pleasant and long-to-be-remembered evening.



J. L. Gates was an early operator in the logging industry of Clark County, making his wealth here.  He owned a large amount of real estate in the county along with property in the city of Neillsville, which included a business block of brick structures and several tenement houses.  The residence, show above, still occupies an attractive lot on 18 Hewett Street.  Built in the late 1800s, by J. L. Gates, it was his family’s home during the time they resided in Neillsville.  (Photo from Clark County Illustrated Publication of 1890s)


Now is the season of strawberries, made glorious by the summer sun.  Every housewife with a lot of forethought doth can, can and can, while she can.  She puts them up for winter eating, you know.


The street commissioner has been at work grading one of the new streets leading up to Bacon Ridge.  Residents up that way had better get their sidewalks built before the sloppy season sets in, so that their soles may be kept dry, their carpets clean and their other souls serene.


Monday, while Rossman’s free lunch for the fellows was progressing, the W.C.T.U. ladies, in their clubroom opposite Rossmans, hoisted the windows and sang temperance songs.


Capt. Tolford and James O’Neill, of Neillsville, were in Merrillan August 6, on their way to inspect E. D. Carter’s herd of Holstein cattle.


Mr. Carter has a herd of thoroughbred Holstein cattle, consisting of ten heifers and one bull, which were imported from Holland last year by an Eastern firm and bought of them by Mr. Carter at a very great expense.  The bull alone cost over $600.  Mr. Carter certainly deserves well the thanks of the public for improving the stock of the county.


July 1935


Francis Joseph Baer, 56, pioneer newspaperman of Clark County, took his own life here Monday evening.  His body was discovered hanging in the garage at his home by his wife at about 11:25 Monday evening, when she returned from a card party.


His death was attributed to poor health, worry over the illness of his only daughter and financial reverses.  Coroner P. C. Ludovic, called to the scene, stated that no inquest would be held.


Mr. Baer, or Joe, as he was known, was born in Bavaria, Germany, on November 3, 1879.  He came to the United States in 1891, making his residence at Dubuque, Iowa, for a number of years.


In 1893, he started working at the printer’s trade.  After being employed in that trade in various cities in Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin, he came to Neillsville in 1900.  In 1904, he established the Granton News and within a few years had one of the finest equipped newspaper plants in the state, bringing the first linotype machine into Clark County.


In 1921, he consolidated the Granton News with the Neillsville Times and Republican and Press.  With Levi William-son and George Crothers as his associates, the new combined edition operated as the Neillsville Press.  In 1931, he disposed of his interests to Wallace Farrand and retired from the newspaper business.


After traveling through the west for a number of months, Mr. Baer returned to Neillsville and constructed the Hawthorne Hills golf club near the east city limits.  In the fall of 1935, the lure of newspaper work again called and with others, he became affiliated with the new Clark County Journal, serving as associate editor and mechanical superintendent until his tragic death.


Mr. Baer was married to Charlotte I. Stockwell, on October 1903, who, with a daughter, Mrs. Robert E. (Helene) Zinn, of Flossmoor, Ill., survives him.


Funeral services were held July 2, from the Masonic Temple, with the Rev. G. W. Longenecker, officiating and with Masonic rites.  Interment took place in the Neillsville Cemetery.


Mr. and Mrs. Walter Trimberger and sons Wayne and Eugene, Mr. and Mrs. Hugo Trimberger and daughter Elaine, also Mrs. Emma Trimberger and son Victor, all of Mapleworks, attended the wedding of Evelyn Stange and Alvin Fravert, which took place at Loyal last Wednesday.  A reception was held at the home of the bride’s parents, where about 125 guests were entertained.


Work on the new Neillsville City Hall and Firehouse on West Fifth Street is progressing rapidly. The basement walls and the floor are completed except for the part where the truck is stored.


Work on the walls has been held up temporarily while waiting for the window frames to arrive.


There is a crew of approximately six bricklayers and six assistants on the job.


Carl Gassen, local welder and repairman, now occupies his new $3,500 tile and concrete building on the corner of Grand and Seventh streets.


The building was erected after the disastrous fire last winter, which destroyed his former place of business.


Mr. Gassen has also added a new drill press to his efficient equipment.


Exclusive official pictures of the greatest fight of all time, the Max Schmelling and Joe Louis battle, will be shown at the Adler Theater, Friday and Saturday in addition to Richard Dix in “The Devil’s Squadron.”  The fight film shows every round, every blow and the knockout of Louis in slow motion.  Schmelling blasts Louis’ title in 46 minutes of terrific battle.  See Louis pounded into insensibility by the one-hand, one-eyed bombardment of a man whom the whole world pitied and who was rated a has-been.


Mr. Vinton, a county ranger, and Mr. Cosgrove, an area forester of Douglas County, spent a day here last week in the office of the Clark County Forester at the suggestion of the Wisconsin Department of Conservation.


The state department has found that the Clark County arrangement, as figured out and installed by Al Covell, local forester, is the best that has been found in the state and it is their intention to use it as a model for others.


The two men studied the method of control of expenditures, supervision off work, bookkeeping, planting methods and emergency fire protection of the Clark County set-up.


Attention: Water rent is due for the July Quarter, pay at the Neillsville City Office over Coast-to-Coast Store.  H. L. Albright, City Treasurer.


To give some of the people an idea of what the Clark County Forestry Department and the local camps of the CCC and the WPA workers are doing, we are printing a story of a trip we took through a part of the county forests and the Camp Globe CCC district.  Editor Note.


Leaving Neillsville at about 9 a.m., we drove west on U.S. Highway 10 several miles to the swamp where the fire started, north of the road.  Driving in on a fire lane to within three-quarters of a mile of the scene of the fire, we were shown where the “jumping off” place was.


The fire was located by the fire watchman at the Tioga Mound tower at about noon, Wednesday, which was reported by special conservation department telephone lines.  About 75 men, from the Camp Globe CCC responded and more from Lake Arbutus and Fairchild, bringing the total number of men to approximately 100.  The boys had to carry water in milk cans and packs, on their backs, through that swamp with no trail for three-quarters of a mile.


When arriving at the scene of the fire it was found to be on the edge of a peat swamp.  The method of handling a fire, of this nature, is to start at the base of the fire and work along the sides, gradually bringing it to a point and finally extinguishing it.  In this case, it took 100 men from 1 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. to bring the fire under control with the use of caterpillar tractors, special plows and ditch diggers operated by the Conservation Commission. Besides this, about 25 men had to stay 48 hours longer to be sure that the fire did not break out again.  A series of wells were dug to replenish the supply of water carried in at the start.


A rough estimate of the cost of this fire, which was held to an area of ten acres, is placed at $500 for men and equipment, which doesn’t cover the damage to the timberland.


Then we drove out on a fire lane built by Camp Globe boys, arriving at the camp. Camp Superintendent Ed Marlow invited us to have dinner with him in the camp’s mess hall.


From there, we drove out over some of the new fire lanes that the CCC boys are building and looked over a new bridge that the boys had built over the Eau Claire River.  All the abutment work and steel work was done with the labor from the camp with no casualties except a fingertip that was inadvertently nipped off in a gear on a concrete mixer.


Leaving the camp, we went on to where the WPA is building a dam near the Eau Claire River Bridge on Highway 27, a few miles north of Augusta.  This dam will be completed sometime in September forming a lake about four and one-half miles long, two miles wide and on an average of from 12 to 14 feet deep; CCC camp labor if being used to clear the land for the lake and WPA labor for the actual building of the dam.  All the property adjoining the lake is public property and it is proposed to keep it that way for public use.  (The lake being referred to is known as Eau Claire Lake. D. Z.)


A trip like this, covering approximately 90 miles, gives one an excellent idea of the importance of not being careless when smoking or lighting fires in the woods.


(The benefits of many CCC and WPA recreational projects, which were completed during the 1930s, such as in our area are being enjoyed by all generations.  Similar conservation projects, such as dams, parks, public campgrounds, and others can be found throughout our state and the Midwest.  Hats off to the CCC and WPA programs for what was accomplished. D.Z.)***See comments below.


Irvine Feirn, local resident, is erecting a modern gasoline station and garage just a block east of where U. S. Highway 10 turns on North Hewett Street, at an approximate cost of $6,000.


He is planning on operating a business that will be one of the most complete outside of the downtown area.  Garage equipment will be new and of the latest type, while the service facilities will be most modern.


John Moen has the general contract while Pete Warlum is doing the plumbing work.  Wadhams products will be sold, exclusively, at the new super-service station.


Neillsville’s new drug store, to be known as the Hoppen’s Walgreen System Drugs, will have its formal opening on Saturday, August 1.


The store is independently owned by C. W. Hoppen, but operates under the supervision of Walgreen Company of Chicago, who advertises themselves as the world’s largest retailers of drugs and drug sundries.  The Walgreen Company operates over 500 of their own stores and over 1,500 Walgreen System stores in every state of the Union and in the Hawaiian Islands.


W. L. Mickelson, district supervisor from the Chicago office of Walgreen Company, is supervising the preparation for the opening and will remain until after the opening.


Come to the new Silver Dome Night Club where you can dine and dance.  There is a complete change of show with Harriet Gray, an acrobatic dancer along with Peggy Hall, who is a comedienne, dancer and the Master of Ceremony.  The new orchestra is “The Melodiers.”  The first show is at 10:30 p.m.  There are three Floor Shows and an Orchestra every night with no cover charge.


The “Y” tavern, located at the intersection of Highway 10 and County Trunk B, west of the city, was held up early Friday morning by two armed robbers, who secured $240 in cash and a small amount of liquor as loot.


John Frank, one of the proprietors and another employee, were the only ones present when the robbers entered.  The unmasked robbers appeared to know where the money was kept, as one of them went directly to the hiding place.


100 Years Ago

The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 miles per hour. D.Z.




We lived very close to where this fire was. We had mounds to the north and west and the fire was on our side of the Tioga Mound. Men and boys crossed our property with canteens strapped to their backs; to fight the fire. We were all packed up and ready to leave, should the wind change directions. I remember I wanted to take my doll and my mother said, "Oh, forget your doll." and I was so worried that the fire would come and destroy my doll. I remember the red glow in the sky at night and one could actually feel the heat from the fire.  Elaine Wood Greene/Jenson.




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