Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

October 18, 2006, Page 13

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Compiled and Contributed by Dee Zimmerman


Index of "Good Old Days" Articles 


The Good Old Days  

Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


October 1906


The O’Neill House bus’s team of horses escaped to the barn Tuesday, leaving the driver up the street.  They piloted the bus through crowded streets and did no injury.


For trade, an oil route in Milwaukee.  It has horses, tank wagons, and cans on hand; will invoice at $18,000 to trade for a farm at $15,000.  Business established since 1885.  Farm must be worth the money.


Mr. A. H. Delane and Miss Viola French were married Saturday evening at the home of her sister, Mrs. C. A. Youmans.  The ceremony was performed by Rev. D. H. Rohrabraugh, in the presence of a small circle of relatives.  The groom, a photographer, is a fine artist.  The bride is well and favorably known, being a practicing physician.


The newly wedded couple has gone to housekeeping in a splendidly furnished cottage in the north portion of the city.


Dr. Viola M. French has been one of Neillsville’s active physicians and surgeons, having grown up from childhood in the city, where she was born and where she is greatly respected personally as well as professionally.


The daughter of B. F. French, one of the revered pioneers of the city, who was for many years about the only lawyer, as well as physician in the place, she entered the profession of that grand old man.  She seems to have inherited many of his traits, being especially in demand where careful nursing is required, and her supervision of such work being in high order.


Dr. French previously made her home with Senator and Mrs. C. A. Youmans, and her office is over the Commercial State Bank.  She is the only woman in the medical profession in the city and county, and enjoys a large practice.


Between Wood’s Corners and the store at Globe are 200 piles of field rock, not counting those in the field corners.  This means thousands of cords of paving material.  Nothing is wanted but the start to macadamize that road the entire distance.  Let Pine Valley and Seif buy a rock-crusher, and the city of Neillsville can rent them their steamroller, free.


The cranberry harvest was brought to a close, this week, and while the worms caused a considerable loss on the marshes in this neighborhood, the crop, on the whole, is a very satisfactory one.  The indications are that the growers will receive a good price for their crop this season.  No berries have been sold yet.


The Omaha Railroad Company has a construction trailer with boarding cars and 80 men at work here, replacing the old rails with newer, heavier ones.


The Luethe Warehouse Company does a general commission business buying and selling poultry, eggs, grain and farm produce generally as well as handling standard makes of farm machinery.


The firm was founded by B. E. Luethe, now deceased.  The business is now ably managed by Oscar Weinberger and F. T. Luethe.


Decatur Dickinson is the dean of the merchants of Neillsville, and is one of the old guard who knew the city when it was but little more than a logging headquarters.  He came here directly after the war of 1861-1865 and began working for his uncle, Chauncey Blakeslee, who at that time was the leading logger on the Black River and had a store on the corner now occupied by the Neillsville Bank.


“Dick” or “Decate,” as his intimates called him, was a good clerk, and put new life into the business.  He added consider-able to the gaiety of nations in a social way, as handsome young men were scarce, and he was a dandy. 


After a while, he decided to go into business for himself, and taking Mr. Robert J. MacBride, as a partner, opened a store on the corner now occupied by Hemp & Wiedenhoeft.  Later, he bought out his partner, and moved to the building now the city hall, where he continued a prosperous general store for many years.  Later, he moved to Hewett (then Main) Street, and later to the Dewhurst building, which he now occupies.


He was married here and raised a delightful family, and is one of Neillsville’s honored citizens.  He has served in many positions of trust, especially for many years as treasurer of the school district.  In business, he is the soul of geniality, and never fails to do a good turn for a friend when he sees an opportunity.  Long may he live to cheer his friends and give everybody a fair deal.  Mr. Dickinson is a veteran of the Civil War, having served with a Pennsylvania Regiment.


October 1936


This interesting comparison of the cost of building roads today and 55 years ago, was gleaned this week from an old settler in whose memory we have great faith.  The road between the old brick church on the Ridge to Kurth’s corner, one mile in length, was turnpiked by the late Jake Gotchling, in 1881, for 10 cents a rod.


Another incident shows that even eight years ago, the cost of road building was not great.  A stretch of road from Highway 10, in the Town of Seif in about 1928, was cleared by Frank Dormady, who was a resident of the Town of Hewett.  The road was built through wild land, included the work of brushing and blasting stumps.  His bed on the entire job was $25, along with keeping the wood. 


A number of P. W. A. workers are now brushing the sides of this road to a width of about 75 feet on either side of the highway, at a cost of approximately $400.  Turnpiking of this road, after it was cleared, cost only about $150, according to Frank Wood, chairman of the Town of Seif.


Mrs. Ida Hommel is building a new house on the lot south of her residence.  The building will be 28 by 40 feet, story and a-half or two stories, with six rooms, modern in every way.  D. A. Peterson of the Fullerton Lumber Co. has charge of the building.


The Frank Lepkie building, one of the last frame buildings on Hewett Street, and no doubt one of the oldest in Neillsville, is being repainted this week.  This old landmark was built by the late O. P. Wells, in 1865, several years after he came to Neillsville and was used by him as a hardware store.  He and his family lived in the flat.


Loyal’s big three-day homecoming celebration starts Friday and from advance notices is going to be an affair worth attending.  In addition to celebrating the opening of the new paving between Loyal and Spencer, Loyal is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of Loyal; the 43rd anniversary of the incorporation of Loyal as a village and the Centenary of the Founding of Wisconsin.


On Saturday, at 12:15 p.m. a dinner will be served at St. Anthony’s auditorium. 


Members of the homecoming celebration are Fred Lakosky, chairman; J. M. Philpott, secretary, Hugh F. Gwin, Fred Babbe, Hal Voight and Lawrence Cowles.


E. W. Alden, last week, purchased a building and barber shop from Jahr Bros., at Granton.  Mr. Alden takes possession at once and he and Mrs. Alden are moving their household goods, this week, to rooms above the variety store.  Kearney Davis, who has been operating the shop, will work for Mr. Alden.


Business Men’s Special Dinners, 35’; Hot Plate Lunches 25’.  Serving Boston Fried Chicken and Boneless Pike at the Palm Garden Cafι


Chapman’s Grill will be opening Saturday Night.  They will serve Frog Legs, Chow Mein, Fresh Shrimp, Roast Goose, Roast Chicken and French Fries.


Opening of the New Hainz Nite Club will be Wednesday, October 28; to be open every Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  Entertainment and good food!  Located 5 miles east of Neillsville on Highway 10.  Let’s all go to the big blowout!


Neillsville Hospital has recently installed new equipment, such as: Modern Stethoscope, Baumanometer, for measuring Blood Pressure; Kaufman Arsphenamine Outfit, for Intravenous and Blood Pressure.


Room Rates: 4-Ward Room, per day $2.00; 2 or 3-Room Ward, per day $2.50; Private Room, per day $3.00.


Five black raccoons were turned loose in the woods of Clark County, Saturday, by Allan Covell, county forester.  These animals, which were obtained from the State Game Farm, at Poynette, are splendid specimens and are expected to cross with the common species in this locality, to provide a breed whose fur will be of greater value.  These animals, three males and two females, are tame, according to Mr. Covell, who says they are likely to show up at farm homes.  Mr. Covell asks any farmer seeing these animals about his place, to get a switch and switch them just hard enough to drive them away and discourage them from being friendly with people.  There is a closed season on all raccoon in Clark County and should any-one kill one of these animals, they will be severely punished, it was stated.


Clarence Peacock, manager of the Inderrieden Canning Company, borrowed a $22.50 rifle from William O’Brien and went squirrel hunting, Sunday, in the Town of Butler.


After scouring the woods all afternoon without seeing any game, he started for home shortly before dark.  As he came down the road, a man in plain clothes stuck out his hand and ordered him to stop, saying he was a game warden and wanted to search his car for deer.  Mr. Peacock, who has never shot at a deer in his life, said “Go ahead and search.”  The game warden failed to find any deer, but he did see the rifle and looked into it.  A look of happiness came into his eyes as he discovered a cartridge in the gun.  Mr. Peacock had not heard of the law against carrying a loaded gun in an automobile, but he heard about it from the warden, who confiscated the weapon.  Mr. Peacock is now in the market for a $22.50 gun, which he will present to Mr. O’Brien with his best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


The women of Pleasant Ridge served their plum pudding supper, Wednesday evening, October 14 at the Methodist Church in that community.  And again, it was one of the finest meals served to the public, during the year.  This has been an annual event being put on for at least 50 years.  The younger generation is carrying on the custom of the mothers and grand-mothers, who originated the idea of serving their excellent plum pudding to the public during the Thanksgiving season.  Mrs. Arlo Huckstead, one of the charter members of the Ridge Ladies’ Aid, informs us that the suppers were first served in the homes and later, were moved to be served in the old brick church.  Today, the beautiful new structure houses a kitchen and dining room, where a modern generation serves an old time favorite to a large number of people who look forward to the time when they can satisfy their appetites for this delicacy.


Attorney Wm. A. Campman and a party of hunters from Marshfield returned home the first of last week, after spending several days hunting pheasants at Raymond, S.D.  Tuesday evening, Attorney and Mrs. Campman entertained a few friends at a pheasant dinner, at their home on South Clark Street.


Bob French, of Levis, called up the Press office, Monday, to inquire as to the open deer season.  He said he understood that it would be impossible to have an open season for deer, as in shooting one either standing up, or lying down the hunter would be likely to kill a WPA man.  Well Bob, as near as the Press can learn, the Conservation Commission seems to be decided on an open season for Clark County, and it is up to the WPA men to crawl into their holes during that time.


The village of Granton is full of baseball fans and each year, the citizens divide into two groups, respectively favoring the two leading teams in the World Series.  The losing fans give a supper to the backers of the winners.  This supper was served Tuesday night, at the Union Church and according to those who went over, from here it was one of the finest meals ever served in this community.


The following Neillsville men went over as guests: Dr. Rosekrans, D. A. Peterson, Frank Brown, Wallace Landry, Hubert Quicker, Lewis Bradbury, Herman Braatz, James Fradette, John Peterson, Dr. Thomas and Jess Scott.


The children of the Third and Fourth wards of Neillsville, or others, who wish, are welcome to play, or picnic in the park formerly known as the Cornelius or Temby Park, west of the Lowe Funeral Home.  Go in through the iron gate at the northeast corner of the hedge.  Geo. E. Crothers, owner


The iceman is ever popular with children, and during the summer months it is not uncommon to see groups of little folks asking for bits of ice wherever the ice wagon stops.  Recently, on a cold windy morning, the picture became humorous.  A small barefoot lad stopped at the wagon just outside the Press office and asked Mr. Tibbett for a piece of ice.  He had on an overcoat, both hands in his pockets and stood on the sides of his feet as though to protect them from the cold pavement.  As Jack handed the boy a generous chunk (of) ice, he remarked, “Next, they’ll want ice when it’s 40 below!”


An airplane, which appeared to be lost, passed over the city Wednesday at about 6 p.m.  After reading the sign, “Neillsville,” on top of the American Stores Dairy Co. Condensery, the pilot was able to get his bearings from the large arrow pointing north, proceeding in the direction of St. Paul.  The sign was painted on top of the Condensery this summer, as a PWA project.


A northward view of Hewett Street, circa 1900, from the Seventh Street intersection:  The Merchants Hotel is at the left, with the Neillsville Flour Mill in the background.  The flour mill ceased operation in August, 1901 due to competition from the larger flour mills that started supplying local stores with a cheaper product.  The building was then converted into a milk condensery business owned by the Oatman Company.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts Collection)



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