Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

September 21, 2005, page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.


Compiled and Contributed by Dee Zimmerman


Index of "Good Old Days" Articles 





Clark County News, September 1895


W. H. Lowery, town of Levis, had pipes laid underground to a reservoir 12 ft. deep, draining a living spring.  The spring water is drawn into the house, by a windmill.


Work on the Geo. Weisner’s cellar is going rapidly and will soon be done.  The front of Peter Johnson’s building is finished, the cornice is on and the tin roof is in place.  This is a substantial and handsome addition to Hewett Street.  The Sniteman building crew has finished working on the second story, pushing along with progress.


The transformation of the main floor in the Sniteman building is now going on, with a temporary partition dividing the front and rear portions of the drug store.  There is not to be a particle of plaster used in the building, which is being sheeted and steel finished throughout.


John Carter says he’ll go ahead and build his new house and barn on Oak Street, no matter about the lumber being destroyed at the Free Planing Mill fire.


The Columbia Mill closed down this week, due to not having logs in the yard to saw.  A dam will be put in this week to run logs from the north.  When the dam is completed they will be in good shape for handling a large quantity of logs.


A new carpet was laid at the Congregational Church.  A well on the church premises has been fixed up for use.  H. Yankee has supplied a pump to be used on the well.


The Congregationalists will dedicate their beautiful edifice Tuesday, Sept. 17th, in the evening.  Eminent men from abroad will be there to take part.  Everybody is invited to attend.  Refreshments will be served at the close of the service.


The city of Neillsville has bought a piece of ground up on the north edge of town for a pumping station.  A $5,000 experiment will be tried to obtain city water there.  Alderman Korman labored hard with the Teutonic owner of the soil purchased and screwed the price down to $250, getting an option on it at that price.  There’s a whole 40 acres within a stone’s throw of the place that can be bought for not much more than that.  Alderman Cornelius thought the city might as well not be too soft a dough-head and went at the matter himself.  He got an option on the same piece of property the first while for $150, saving the city $100.  The city took the deed, or will take.


Al Sternitzky’s barns, grain stacks, hay, and machinery were destroyed by fire the other day.  Also, lost was the grain separator of O. Lautenbach’s steam threshing machine outfit and three of his horses.  The machine and crew were at work threshing, when the fire started in the barn.  The threshing crew was powerless to stop it.  Mr. Lautenbach has ordered a new separator through Phil Berg and will soon be busy again.


Jack Free decided, late last week, that he would immediately rebuild the planing mill, recently destroyed by fire.  He will be ready in two or three weeks to make shingles and will rush the new mill to a finish.  The new mill will stand a little further west than the old site.  The city has come to an understanding with Mr. Free and Mr. Withee to open a continuation of Ninth Street, west from the mill to the creek near the furniture factory.


Mr. Free has made arrangements with his creditors that will enable him to put in the new mill.  He is away this week, getting the machines necessary to start up with.  The new machinery will enable him to do better work than ever before, when he gets the mill running.


Manager Brameld, with some Stock Farm shire horses, returned Monday from a two-week trip to the Minnesota State Fair.  They took 11 firsts, three diplomas and sweepstakes for the best shire stallions of any age.  Their shire Samson also took 2nd place in the grand stallion sweepstakes for stallions, of any age, with four of his colts also winning against eight other entries.  At the Milwaukee Fair, the same horses took ten firsts and sweepstakes in the stallions division.


The C. S. Graves Land Co. sold 1,000 acres of farmlands near Columbia last week, at prices ranging from $7.50 to $10.00 per acre.  The southern part of Clark County bids fair to become the most populous agricultural neighborhood south of Neillsville.


September 1945


The first refugees of World War II have arrived in Neillsville, Mrs. Elizabeth Margaret Richardson and her son, George Percy.  They are living in the home of Drs. Milton and Sarah Rosekrans where Mrs. Richardson has resumed her old post as housekeeper.  They arrived Sunday, August 26, and were met at Merrillan.


The Richardson’s had arrived in New York on August 20 after spending 10 years in Germany.  They lived in Germany during the rise of Hitler and spent their last months there in internment camps.


While living in Germany, Mrs. Richardson made her home in a suburb of Dresden.  She was employed by the Hamburg-American Lines.  Her work was to plan trips for travelers and to make hotel reservations.  Later, when vacation trips were a thing of the past, she was then employed by a coal company and later by a paper company.  While Mrs. Richardson was working there, her son attended school at Dresden.


In Germany, Mrs. Richardson saw the rise of Adolph Hitler and observed the methods used by him to gain the confidence of the people.  “I saw how he improved living conditions for the poor and middle classes,” said Mrs. Richardson to The Clark County Press.  “He stopped unemployment.  He assisted financially those children who were otherwise unable to attend high school.  Trips were arranged to the mountains for children of poor families, where the children were well supervised and card for.  I noted that young people were less hesitant about marriage, because, as an incentive, they were given loans.  For every child born in the family a certain portion of the loan was canceled.  After the birth of the fourth child, the entire loan was canceled.”


But this happy period of popularity purchased out of the public treasury passed.  Presently came the war, with high taxes, and suffering.  They were bitter days, but now one dared to speak a word against the regime lest he be shot.  Instead, as Mrs. Richardson puts it, “we all found it discreet to greet each other with “Heil, Hitler,’ and I, in common with the rest, learned to close letters with ‘Heil Hitler.’  That was the necessity if one were to escape the secret police.”


“I was personally not interfered with in any way, except that, like all others, I could not listen to foreign radio programs.  I could listen to any German radio program, and there was one program to which we all listened, and that was the program put on by Herr Hitler himself.  Whenever he talked, it was required that offices be closed, and that all workers listen to the broadcast.  The offices where I worked closed with the rest, and I listened, as did the others, to the excited speech of the Fuehrer.”


The Richardson’s shared the common necessity of rationing.  Like German nationals, she and her son each had the stated ration of one-fourth pound of butter per week, skimmed milk, one-half pound of meat per week and four to six pound of bread per week.  Potatoes were rationed, but they were plentiful.


Because her son was in his teens and growing, Mrs. Richardson feared that his development might suffer from the inadequate nourishment.  So she gave him her weekly ration of butter and meat.   The result was that, upon their separation, the son’s health was not been impaired, but she was suffering from malnutrition and was very weak.


Concerning the experiences of her son and herself in German prison and interment camps, Mrs. Richardson says, “George was attending high school in Dresden in November, 1944, he was given an examination for military service in the German army.  Being accepted, he was given a choice of joining the German army and losing his American citizenship, or retaining his right to be an American and becoming a prisoner of war.  George chose the latter course and in February, 1945, was interned to Camp Spittal, for 12 days, after which he was taken to Camp Laufen.  In the interim, he had to report to the police daily. 


“While at Laufen, my son obtained through the commissaire a permit by which I could enter an internment camp and thereby be in line for exchange for a German citizen interned in the United States.”


“Thereafter, I was taken to Liebenau near Lake of Constance.  There I was given considerate treatment.  Since I was ill from malnutrition, I was placed under a doctor’s care.”


“Until my liberation, German newspapers, library books of all languages and the German radio were available.  However, I did not receive any letters from any relatives or my son.”


“I was liberated April 29 by the French troops, and my son was liberated May 4 by the American troops.”


“After being liberated, George left Camp Laufen to serve as an interpreter for the U. S. Army.  Later, he returned to the camp and remained there until July 10, when he and the boys from Laufen were taken by airplane to Paris where they remained for two weeks.  George went directly from Paris to Camp Home Run at Le Havre.”


“I remained at Camp Liebenau from the time of my liberation until August 3, when I was taken to Mengen airport.  From there, I went to Le Havre and to Camp Home Run where I joined my son.  We left together on the ship Thomas H. Barry, bound for the U. S.”


“We were repatriated August 20 and immediately taken under the protection of the Red Cross.  The Red Cross arranged for our hotel rooms and referred us to the War Assistance Unit, Department of Welfare.  This agency provided us with necessary clothing and money enough to tide over until such time as the department could find employment for us.”


Mrs. Richardson originally came to this country about 20 years ago.  She became a citizen of the United States in November 1931.  She was housekeeper for Dr. Sarah Rosekrans in Neillsville for nearly a year.  Upon the death of her parents, her relatives in Germany wanted her to return there.  She obtained a two-year passport and left for Germany in 1935.  Later, her passport was renewed for five years longer.


The lotus bed of Hixton beckons to those with a love of the road and an inquiring mind.  This display of aquatic flowers is unique.  It is one of 10 or 12 such beds in the United States, and is said to be the only bed on a main highway.  It is filled with a cream-colored variety of the East Indian or Egyptian lotus.


The lotus is a relative of the white American lily.  It is much larger than the American water lily, and the flowers rise above the water a foot or more.  A striking characteristic is the formation of very large seedpods, which are left after the petals have fallen.  The leaves are very large and round, and are without a cleft, differing in that respect from the water lily.


The lotus bed is close to Highway 95, and the entire bed is visible from one’s automobile, as you pull up at the side of the road.  The bed is located just beyond the Chenoweth Lakeshore pavilion, upon property privately owned by Mr. Chenoweth, who also controls the water rights and flowage.


The milk trucks of Clark County will be released on November 1 from the route restrictions imposed by war.  They will revert to a peacetime status, and will be in position to resume their old competitive method of securing and serving patrons.


This word comes from the county office of AAA, and will presently close a chapter in war regimentation.


 The American Store Dairy plant serviced the surrounding Neillsville area as a buyer of fresh milk from dairy farms for many years and was a big employer of local people.  Much of the canned milk product, during World War II, was sent to provide food supply needs around the world.  It was during the days of milk-can pickup.  As the photo indicates, several milk cans were placed on a conveyor belt, in line to be emptied, with the empty cans exiting the other side of the building to be put back on the trucks waiting in line.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts family collection)


Sunday morning, Louis Meinholt, Eugene Wagner and John Gloff came home with a good catch.  Fishing with flies in Lake Arbutus, they brought back nine bass.  The largest weighed 3 ½ pounds.  The three men fished in the early morning from the shore.


Clark County will have a two-way police radio in the not distant future.  Police officers will carry, in their cars, radio devices which will enable them to communicate with the sheriff’s office and with one another.  The method of communication will be the same as was developed during the war.


The plant for this radio system will consist of a building in standpipe park, Neillsville, an antenna on top of the standpipe, wire connection underground from the building to the sheriff’s office.


Plans for this radio system are now being prepared, upon direction of a committee of the county board.  The buildings will be located along the west line of the park, close to the Tuft garage.


A radio system was authorized for the county before the war, but the coming of war made the equipment unavailable.  The lid is now off, and a contractor is ready to make the installation.


James Hauge, buck sergeant as he called himself, told Kiwanians Monday evening about Herman Goering sleeping on an army cot.  James has but recently returned from the job of guarding Goering and some of the other Nazi big shots, and he gave the Kiwanians quite a kick, as he told about the huge size of the obese Goering and the extremely limited size of an army cot.  James couldn’t figure out how Herman managed to stick on the cot.  Probably the answer is that he balances himself nicely, with about the same projections on each side of the cot.


Herman is really huge, James said.  Perhaps that is one reason he formerly had a valet to dress him.


Goering had with him a satchel full of money, prepared to procure what money could buy.


100 Years Ago


The five leading causes of death in the U. S. were:


1.  Pneumonia & Influenza       

2.  Tuberculosis

3.  Diarrhea

4.  Heart disease

5.  Stroke



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