Clark County Press, Neillsville,

November 22, 2006, Page 11

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled and contributed by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

November 1906


This week, the Clark County Board met, and organized, and adjourned until next Wednesday morning, to enable the various committees to meet and prepare their reports.


Probably one of the most interesting features of the meeting was County Superintendent Rhea’s report, which was submitted to the board Tuesday afternoon.  The report showed that great strides are being taken in Clark County schools and the educational advantages being greatly improved.  According to Supt. Rhea, $133,000 was spent last year in carrying on the schoolwork.  For the building of new schools and repairing of existing buildings, $27,215 was spent.


New buildings were erected in Districts No. 4 and 5 in the Town of York, two in Hixon, new graded schools at Granton and Hixon, as well as new high schools at Neillsville and Colby.  In addition, the graded schools at Dorchester and Abbotsford were organized as high schools.


Wm. J. Dux died last Saturday after an illness of four weeks, and was buried Monday afternoon, services being held at the Lutheran Church, Rev. H. Brandt officiating.  Mr. Dux was born in 1868 in Germany, and adopted horticulture as a trade, becoming an expert gardener and florist.  He was married in 1893, and shortly after came with his wife to America, locating at Neillsville.  He was a hardworking industrious man, and in addition to his work on his greenhouse, he was employed at the furniture factory.  Seven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Dux, and remain to comfort their mother in her hour of affliction.  Two brothers, Fred and Carl, and three sisters, also survive Mr. Dux.


Mrs. Dux and children are left in poor circumstances but the friends and neighbors, especially the employees at the furniture factory, have lent her much kindly assistance.


The employees of the furniture factory, with the cooperation of the superintendent, Mr. Karner, have organized a mutual sickness and accident association.  Frank Glass was elected president; John Minta, vice-president; and Fred Karner, treasurer.  The association starts out with 40 members. The members will be subject to a monthly assessment of 2 ½ cents on the dollar at the outset, until the financial condition of the association can be fully determined.  This is a wise move on the part of the boys, and the furniture company is lending them all the assistance they can.


The arc lights on the streets of Owen were supplied with current for the first time Monday evening and have been operating nicely ever since. There are seven such lamps in the village at the present time.


Plumbers, painters, electricians and decorators are putting the finishing touches to Hotel Woodland and it is believed that the hotel may be ready for opening on or about January 1, 1907.  Barber Brown will have an elegantly furnished tonsorial establishment in the basement and the building now occupied by him will be used as a temporary quarters for a bank.


It is said that the Withee Farm, located south of the village of Withee, was sold this week to a man from Illinois for the consideration of $40,000.  The sale was made through the agency of Lester Tilton.  The farm embraces 1,100 acres.


Misses Elva Gates and Katherine Mick and Ernest Dixon spent a week ago Sunday, at Merrillan.  They started out in an auto, but the blasted machine got the balking fever a short distance from Merrillan.  Members of the traveling party had to be hauled to Merrillan by a kindly farmer.  The later part of the incident wasn’t for publishing.


November 1941


Mrs. Phoebe Hutchinson of Humboldt, Ia., a former resident of this locality, celebrated her 90th birthday October 16.


Mrs. Hutchinson was born in Buffalo, N.Y., coming here as a young lady with her father, six sisters and a brother.  Soon after her arrival here, she was married to Arthur Hutchinson.


Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson kept the Pleasant Ridge post office located on the farm now owned by Mr. and Mrs. James Hughes.  Many older people around here remember stopping, as children, at the post office to get the mail, on their way home from school.


About 60 years ago, they moved into Neillsville to live for a short time, and later went to Bradgate, Ia.  Shortly after her husband’s death, Mrs. Hutchinson and her family moved to Humboldt.


Mrs. Hutchinson has many relatives and friends here.


Stories of the hunt are an integral part of the deer season. They live long after the deer meat has been consumed or thrown out, and every season some of the good ones of the years before are dragged out and polished off.  New ones are added.


These stories are flying thick and fast again. One of this year’s hunting season stories has been told my Dr. M.C. Rosekrans.


It seems that the good doctor had his sights leveled at a gallant big buck.  It was practically in the bag.  As he was about to squeeze the trigger, he caught sight of a sign through the corner of his eye.


It read: “Game Preserve, No Hunting!”


So the doctor didn’t get his buck.


One such story is told about Harry Wasserberger, and is alleged to have happened a couple of years ago.


It seems that a big buck came so close that Harry could have killed him by merely throwing his gun. But for some strange reason, Harry never made a move.


A member of the hunting party asked Harry why he hadn’t shot.


Harry said, “I looked at it and then wondered what I would do with all that meat.”


The Hewett game refuge, comprising an area of approximately 3,520 acres of land in the towns of Hewett and Mentor, has been established by order of the state conservation commission, effective November 22.  It will remain a game refuge for a period of five years.


As a game refuge, it will be unlawful for any person to set traps or have in possession under control any gun or rifle unless it is unloaded and knocked down or unloaded and enclosed within a carrying case.


The Neillsville garage, largest recent vacancy in the business district, has been rented to Seif & Svetlik. The building will be used for storage, and for limited service. It represents an addition to the firm’s capacity, but does not imply change in the location or method of present business.  The main business of the concern will be conducted in the old location.


The arrangement for the Neillsville garage building grew out of shortage of storage space. The firm, with inadequate capacity in its main place of business, had rented storage space in the old brewery building, recently taken over for bowling alleys.  The installation of bowling alleys crowded Seif & Svetlik out, and occasioned temporary use of space at the fair grounds, which was inconvenient.  The new arrangement provides adequate storage in a convenient location. 


The Neillsville garage building was constructed twenty or more years ago at a cost of upwards of $30,000.  It was taken over by the sale valuation of less than one-fourth the original cost, and has for some time been virtually vacant and little used.


Anecdotes of pioneer Neillsville men who helped to build the city and county, and who started Masonry on its way here 75 years ago, highlighted the Golden Jubilee celebration of the Neillsville Masonic Chapter here, last Friday evening.


The man who told the stories was C. R. Sturdevant, oldest living past master of the chapter, who knew as a youth, many of the prominent early men of the territory.  With sparkling wit and keen memory of the past, Mr. Sturdevant turned the dry subject of “The History of Masonry in Neillsville” into a vital, living thing and kept 100 members and guests who gathered for the banquet, rocking in their seats with his stories about Dr. B. F. French, the first worshipful master of the Neillsville Lodge.  Dr. French was an uncle of Mr. Sturdevant, and he was a self-made man.  He was prominent in the affairs of Clark County at a time when it was composed of one township, Pine Valley, and included all of Taylor County in its area.  The good doctor did what most people nowadays would like to do; he shaped his life as he pleased.


First of all, Dr. French set great store by books, and through prolific reading, making himself almost whatever he wanted to be.  When he wanted to become a doctor, he read all the books on doctoring that he could get hold of, and then hung out his shingle.  He was a successful physician, and the first in Neillsville.


But after a few years of doctoring, it became boring to Dr. French, and he decided to become a lawyer.  So he read all the books he could find on law. Before he had been admitted to the bar, Dr. French was elected district attorney of Clark County.  When he appeared before the circuit court for admission to the bar, Mr. Sturdevant recalled, the judge remarked that as long as the people of Clark County had enough confidence in him to elect him district attorney, he, the judge, ought not to stand in his way.  Thus Dr. French became the first resident lawyer residing in Neillsville.


It was with such sidelights that Mr. Sturdevant punctuated the more drab factual history of Masonry in Neillsville.  Dr. French, upon whom Mr. Sturdevant dwelt at length, was one of the charter members of the Neillsville Lodge. The others were: George M. King, E. H. McIntosh, E. H. Bacon, A. J. Manley, James Furlong and J. P. Thompson.  At first, the lodge operated under a special dispensation, granted by M. L. Young, Grand master of Wisconsin, and W. T. Palmer, Grand Secretary.  The special dispensation was granted August 3, 1866, and the charter was granted in October 1866.


From the seven charter members, the lodge has grown until now it includes a membership of 153, with some members scattered from Norway to San Francisco, and from the Canadian Border to the Panama Canal Zone.


Neillsville Bakery Specials this week are:


Tuesday Special; Cream Puffs, each 5c or one dozen 60c; Thursday Special; Chocolate Éclairs, 3 for 10c; Brownee Bread, white, whole wheat or rye, 1 ½ lb. loaves, 13c each. All 1 lb. loaves are 10c each.



Loyal man reliving sweet memories


By Dee Zimmerman


In 1910, Grambsch’s Candy Kitchen became an established business, in Loyal, its owner, Ben Grambsch, operated the business for about 50 years.


The kitchen’s height of activity occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the time of the year when candy canes and chocolates were in season.


After the passing of Ben, the candy kitchen equipment came into the possession of Ben’s son, Clyde, who kept those memories of the family’s business.


In about 1981, some representatives of the Train Station Lake Superior Railroad Museum, of Duluth, Minnesota, took a trip to Loyal, on a search of antiques, that they had heard maybe available there.


The enclosed railroad museum includes some of the old depot, along with tracks and some train engines that hauled iron ore from the taconite open pit mines of Northeastern Minnesota during its boom of business.  The ore was then placed on ships to be transported across the Great Lakes to the Eastern foundries.  Included in the museum, is a replica village of the past, with a doctor’s office and other little stores commonly found in the early 1900s.


In the representatives’ inquiries, they learned about the former Grambsch Candy Kitchen and the possibility that Clyde Grambsch, who still was living in the area, may have some items from that business operation.


They contacted and met with Clyde.  He told them that he did have equipment such as the hand tools, candy-hooks and marble slabs that the candy was placed on in the candy-making process.  In negotiating a deal to purchase the equipment, it was Clyde’s request that the Grambsch’s Candy Kitchen name be displayed on the proposed business replica that was to be within the museum.


In the fall of 1982, a member of the main museum committee called Clyde, to invite him to come to Duluth, on the weekend after Thanksgiving, for the purpose of making some candy canes in the candy kitchen.  Clyde accepted the invitation.


On the Friday before, on his way to Duluth, he said to his wife, “What have I gotten myself into?  The last time I helped my parents make candy was during the Depression of the 1930s, when as a teenager, my sister and I had to help.  Maybe I won’t remember what to do.”


The next morning, as he entered the museum, there he saw “Grambsch’s Candy Kitchen,” on the front of a small shop building.  Inside was the familiar candy making tools.  Clyde put the measurements of ingredients into the cooking kettle, remembering that the candy thermometer must be placed in the kettle and watched closely, as when the temperature reached 300 degrees, the kettle must be immediately removed from the heat.  His memory was recalling the necessary steps in making candy, just as “Pa” had done.


By the end of the day, many candy canes had been placed on the candy hooks, in readiness to be given to the children who would be attending the annual Family Day, with their parents, the following weekend.


Now, 25 years later, Clyde again plans to be at the train museum on Saturday, Nov. 25, making another batch of candy canes, just like those that were made in the candy kitchen of Loyal, many years ago.



Deer hunting is a longtime tradition in Clark County. 

The above photo was taken of the Vine and Hubing hunting group who lived along Pleasant Ridge during the 1930-40 era. 

(Photo courtesy of Charlotte Hubing Jacob)





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