Clark County Press, Neillsville,

July 19, 2006

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

 July 1876

Oh, for a thousand stones to throw, and boys to throw them, at the dogs that make the nights hideous with their barking in the streets.

* * *

On Tuesday, July 4th, at four o’clock p.m., the Clark County Driving Association gave a series of running and trotting races on the fair grounds, which were witnessed by many interested spectators.


The trotting match between Al Brown’s horse, “Don,” and Joe Gibson’s, “Buckskin,” was hotly contested.  It resulted in “Don” taking the first heat and “Buckskin” won by taking the next two heats.  The time made by the two horses on the last heat was so nearly the same that there was no certainty, which would win, until they passed under the wire.

* * *

The running race was not so even.  Christie’s mare, “Gray Green,” kept ahead of Charles’ horse, easily, in two straight heats.  The horses all did exceedingly well, and everyone present was satisfied with the races.

Geo A. Austin has taken the contract to build the bridge across O’Neill creek, on Main Street. The timber is being put on the ground and work on the bridge will soon be commenced.

* * *

The special deputies appointed by Sheriff Rossman, to aid in preserving order on the Fourth, were quite numerous, but were not called upon to use their authority.  A more peaceable and orderly crowd never assembled than that which was called to this village, last Tuesday, to join in the celebration.

* * *

At the celebration at the Windfall, on the Fourth, Mr. L. Lee was badly burned by the explosion of a pitcher of powder with which he was helping to make a big noise with an anvil.  Aside from being badly burned, Mr. Lee was not seriously injured, though the pitcher was blown into fragments, one piece of which passed through his hat, barely missing his head.

* * *

The Methodist Church, at Loyal, is nearly completed and will be dedicated at the time of holding the quarterly meeting, in August.

* * *

Of late, we have heard considerable complaint against horses being allowed to run at large on the streets.  It is claimed that they are continually breaking into gardens and dooryards, causing considerable damage.  Aside from the damage done in that way, the number of horses turned into the street, in this village, makes it unsafe to hitch a team within its limits.  Persons having horses, for which they have no immediate use, should either keep them tied up or turn them into an enclosure where they cannot become a public annoyance, as they do when turned into the streets.

* * *

As it is not an unusual thing now days to see parties starting out with fish poles on their backs, neither is it unusual to see them return without any fish.


July 1936


A large part of what is known as “Site Two” of the Resettlement project in Central Wisconsin lies in Clark County with about 200 men from this county now being employed in either Clark County, or in Jackson County.
* * *
A summary of these activities is contained in an interview being given to the Press by Silas Knudson, project manager, with headquarters at Black River Falls.


Restoration of a vast 160,000-acre sub-marginal land region in Juneau, Clark, Wood, Monroe and Jackson counties, once a lumberman’s paradise, has been in progress.  In recent years, after the area had been denuded of its profitable timber resources, it is honeycombed with drainage ditches to Nature’s original intention, a conservation wild life area.  It is rapidly progressing under supervision of the Resettlement Administration, a Federal Government Agency.


It is under the direct supervision of a project manager with the various divisions for the different phases of work such as forestry, engineering, fish and game, land acquisition, and resettlement.


In probably another three or four years, if present outlined programs for development are carried on with adequate funds supplied under congressional direction through various federal relief and sub-marginal land purchasing agencies, Wisconsin may be able to boast of one of the most varied game bird, fur-bearing animal and timber producing areas in the nation.


Now, it is a dream of far-sighted conservationists that is beginning to come true. They tramped the area for years in quest of upland game birds and animals, often visioning the marsh and prairie stretches as they were originally.

Attempted agricultural pursuits and it might be said that in some instances they were fairly profitable to those farmers fortunate enough to settle on the more fertile soil, did not help conservation.  These farmers came largely from densely populated areas of the country, thrilled probably at the vivid pictures of the “promised land” painted by speculators.


Most of them came, attempted to farm and were conquered by the undefeatable forces of nature. The areas drained by the network of ditches reverted to shrubs, grasses and other wild growth, and the prosperous appearance of the buildings erected by most of the settlers became dilapidated through want of repair.

But, if the area did not prove successful agriculturally, it has in other phases aside from conservation. It boasts of one of the nation’s largest moss regions, a product harvested by many and sold through various agencies to florists of the United States for the packing of flowers and plants for shipment.

Then too, there is the cranberry industry.  Large areas have been flooded for the raising of a crop sent to distant places to grace tables during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday period.  The blueberry industry, too, has been developed in the territory, and is profitable.

These industries the Resettlement Administration plans to protect and foster.  They have been made a vital part of the program planned for the 160,000-acre region now commonly known as the “Central Wisconsin Game Project.”


The government’s program tends toward a balance of general conservation work.  Eventually, probably within a few years, the administrative phase will be supported entirely from the resources developed in the area.


It took months for the program to get under way, and little fieldwork was undertaken until last December, when the government moved game, forestry and engineering forces into the area.


Optioned lands were accepted by the Resettlement Administration and many of the farmers since have received their checks “in full payment.”

Sentiment, at least in most parts of the vast project area, seems to have changed with the institution of the visual development program. There is more cooperative spirit. In fact, many of the former farmers are now working several projects in the area.

Perhaps the Resettlement Administration got off on the wrong foot when it took over the area, which eventually will have full title vested in the name of the United States and the future administration by the Wisconsin Conservation Commission.


A year ago, the sentiment largely was against the wild life development programs, and residents of the area freely criticized the government. Perhaps the program might have been speeded if innumerable educational meetings had been held to fully acquaint those people with the purposes and aims of the government.


But, the government, despite these handicaps, proceeded with its original purposes, dividing the territory into two parts, the one covering Juneau, Wood and Monroe counties known as “site one” and the territory in Jackson and Clark County titled “site two.”


The towns of Manchester, Brockway and Knapp in Jackson county and Levis, Washburn and Sherwood in Clark County have been kept in the project area, but are not in the active purchase zone.  Development work only is done on land optioned and accepted by the government.


First payment checks to farmers selling their land in site one to the government were issued last November, while the checks in the Jackson County area began to arrive last March.  Checks still are being issued as gradually more and more of the optioned land titles are being cleared and put in line for payment.

At the present time, in site two, Zahert, Wymert, Glen, Robinson, Pigeon and Stanton creeks, all trout waters, have been improved.  Numerous small mismatched rock riffle dams of low structure have been built, the creeks narrowed by rock runs, homes created in curve or stream bends to provide fish cover, and the banks replanted with willows and alder, as well as other shrubs and trees to provide shade.


During the winter months in the Jackson County area, the government agency maintained 200 feeding stations for upland game birds.  There were 22 emergency feeding stations of log and brush construction about 32 feet long, 10 to 12 feet wide and four feet high for deer and prairie chicken.  Some 8,000 pounds of mixed feed was distributed in the area.


“The government is interested in making this area, a sportsman’s paradise and makes it self-supporting.  We expect after the first year to have returns from the sale of moss rights, wood pulp administrative costs,” as stated by Silas J. Knudsen, the Black River Falls project manager for the entire area.

* * *

The Public Works Administration announces it has allotted $18,000 to Withee for an addition to the school, the total cost of the project being $40,000.

* * *

A Pomeranian dog, belonging to Mr. and Mrs. William Essex of Loyal, “joined” the Atterbury Circus when it showed in Loyal June 22, and was recovered the next day in Neillsville when Chief of Police Fred Rossman went to the circus grounds and found the animal.  Mr. Essex surmised the dog was with the circus and visited the office of District Attorney John M. Peterson, where he swore out a complaint and then to A.E. Dudley, police justice, where he obtained a search 
warrant.  When Mr. Rossman arrived at the circus grounds, the manager said he believed such a dog was with the show, but denied anyone from his troupe had stolen it.  He said the animal followed the circus out of Loyal.  Mr. and Mrs. Essex were satisfied to get the dog back and dropped the case.

* * *

Is there any one of the Press readers who remember Anna Moran?

She is the daughter of the late Martin Moran, who in very early times, kept a small store where Skroch’s tavern now stands, next door to the Press office.  He carried mail, on foot, to and from Stevens Point.


The daughter, Anna writes that she was born here September 13, 1863 and wishes to get proof of her age.  At that time, no complete records of births were kept at the courthouse.  She is applying for old age assistance and needs some evidence that she is past 65.  Her home is at Mansfield, Washington.  Anyone remembering her as a little girl; please write the Press office or inform District Health Officer Dr. Leon Morse, at Neillsville.

* * *

The Neillsville City Council has approved a terrazzo floor for the new city hall, the difference in the cost of this material over other materials is reported to be only $300.  Terrazzo is a material composed of marble and concrete, which is permanent, fire proof, and easily cleaned.

* * *

Thursday afternoon, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Wiqrud of Milwaukee were callers in Neillsville, their errand being to look up the old farm home of Mrs. Wiqrud’s grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Merville Mason.  This farm lies two miles north of Neillsville on the Grand Avenue road and is now owned by Chas. Tews.  Mr. Mason was a schoolteacher as well as a farmer, and was also a skilled millwright.

Mrs. Wiqrud’s father is Walter Mason, one of the first class to graduate from Neillsville High School in 1875.  Later, he graduated from the law course of the state University and practiced his profession for two or three years at Thorp. There, he married Etta Bryden of Greenwood who was principal of Thorp Schools for a time.   Soon after their marriage they went to Redfield, South Dakota, where Mr. Mason continued his law practice and where he still lives.

* * *

Reports from the blueberry regions, west and south of  Neillsville, indicate that the crop is not so heavy as last year, but 
fair in size and quality.


It is understood that Rowlands’ canning plant will again be in the market for blueberries if they are offered in sufficient 
quantities to start canning them.


Last year, these berries added a considerable amount to the income of this locality.

(At that time, wild blue berry plants were found in the marshes, amongst the swampy bogs and haven of hungry mosquitoes.  It was the days before going to the berry farms, where the bush blueberries can now be picked in comfort. D.Z.)

* * *

Henry Markwardt, United States weather observer, reported the following temperatures: Sunday, 104; Monday, 106; and Tuesday, 106.


Cooling breezes arrived early Tuesday evening to bring temperatures down the first time in a week.


A number of farm horses throughout the county have succumbed to the heat the past few days.


Some farmers are working early in the morning and late in the evening, avoiding the mid-day heat, for themselves and their horses.



The Neillsville J. C. Penny (Penney) Store was located on the Northwest corner of 5th and Hewett Street in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ collection)





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