Clark County Press, Neillsville,

January 10, 2007, Page 14

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled and contributed by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

January 1897


It was not so much a January thaw that we had Saturday and Sunday, as it was a rainstorm, to be followed by a snowstorm Monday.  Saturday night and Sunday morning, pedestrians took a tumble to themselves on account of the extreme slippery conditions on the ice covered sidewalks.


The water in Black River rose to an enormous height, Tuesday night and yesterday morning, flooding the entire furniture factory grounds and the low lands all along its banks. It is said the water is still rising.  There are no apprehensions of serious danger, other than to hay and logs on the low lands, which maybe washed away when the flood goes down.


There is reported a large ice gorge in the Black River, at Ross’ Eddy.  The ice is piled up all along the river’s shore.


Go to John Hein’s store for your choice stock of New York winter apples, which he is selling for $1.50 a barrel.


Lazy people should take Rocky Mountain Tea.  It gets them out in the morning.  Try it. It is sold by C. C. Sniteman Co.


Charles Cornelius, the new register of deeds, has just received two warranty deeds to record; one of $90,000 and another deed of $125,000, making the sum total of $215,000 for timberland in Clark County.  It was all from the Mississippi River Logging Company, to the N. C. Foster Lumber Company of Fairchild.  The land is all situated in Clark County, and is one of the largest deals ever recorded at one time in the register of deeds office.


The Board of Health and council of Neillsville have condemned the ice in the O’Neill Creek for summer use, on account of its impurities.  Unless the icemen secure their crops of ice from the Black River, the citizens of Neillsville are likely to experience a warm summer or lack of the cooling crystallized water.


The new banking house of Victor E. Huntzicker opened its doors, to the public for business, yesterday morning.  It has a capital of $20,000 on hand.


The bank features are all new and of latest designs, which gives this banking house a clean and bright appearance. The safes are of the latest improved patterns of Mosler and Co.  The outer fireproof safe sufficiently large and commodious to contain the books of the bank.  The Mosler screw door burglar proof safe is warranted to withstand expert burglars for a number of hours.


Victor E. Huntzicker, the proprietor of the new bank, is so well known to the people of this city and the surrounding country, that he needs no introduction from The Press.  For several years he attended college at Ripon and had studied law at Stanford University, under the personal instruction of ex-President Benjamin Harrison, having a fairly good insight into the law business.


Mr. I. M. Dakin, who has been engaged in the banking business for years and who is well versed in that business, will assist Mr. Huntzicker.


Fisk Lee, of Granton, came down to the county seat yesterday, and was a welcome caller at The Press office.  Mr. Lee is one of the enterprising farmers of dairying.  He patronizes the Granton creamery, in the summer, and is anxious to have the time come when the factory will run the year around.  He received, from the creamery last year, for milk from eight cows in seven months, $196.27, which is an average of $24.53 per cow. The butter netted him from nine to fifteen cents per pound. This is low, but he returns are quite satisfactory.  He keeps his cows warm in the winter and makes butter in the cold weather as well as in the summer.  His herd is increasing and he will succeed.


One by one, the old settlers are passing away.  On Friday, last January 1st, Henry Vincent Jerard, a resident of the Town of Thorp, since 1879, died at his home south of Eidsvold.  Mr. Jerard was born in New York, (seems to be missing words) July in the late war, in Co. G. Ninth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, participating in the battle of Murfreesborough where he was captured and taken to Winchester, Tenn., and later paroled.


Two carloads of horses arrived here Tuesday, from Rock Island for the Standard Lumber Co.  They were taken to Jack Parrett’s logging camp on the East Fork.  There were thirty-four spans, all very heavy horses, the largest of which weighed 2,200 lbs.


The John Hein stave and heading factory, located here, has shipped a total of 150 cars of barrel stock from the railroad station, since March 1st, 1896.


January 1947


Old Man 1946 has bid Clark County and Central Wisconsin a frigid adieu, early this week, as temperatures skidded to new lows in the first real sub-zero cold snap of the current season.


The official government thermometer, on the Indian School farm, hit a cold 27 below zero, during the early hours of Tuesday morning.


Lawrence Drescher is Neillsville’s new chief of police; Herman J. Olson, several-term sheriff of Clark County, will be the new night policeman, taking over after his term expires Monday, January 6.


These appointments were made at the postponed session of the city council, last Thursday, by Mayor Victor J. Anderson.


Mr. Drescher, who has held the night policeman assignment for a little more than a year, succeeded Ray Kutsche to the chief’s job.  Mr. Kutsche resigned December 28 and became Clark County Sheriff, January 6.


At this session, the council also voted to purchase a “leak detector,” for $295, which will be used by the water utility to spot leaks in the underground pipes.  The detector is expected to save considerable “blind” digging in search of water leaks.


Dan Cupid has been one of the busiest little men in the county during the last year, for marriage licenses issued have reached an all-time high.


As a matter of fact, the previous records have not been merely cracked or broken, they have been shattered.


The return of men from the world’s battlefields to home pastures, and the high prosperity of the present time, has combined to make Little Mr. Cupid’s marksmanship unusually effective.


Just before Pearl Harbor, in 1942, the marriage license business here took a slight spurt. When the United States entered the shooting foray, the marriage business suffered a slump as the civilians turned soldier.


In 1944, the last war year, “business” dropped to 147 licenses.  The end of the war was accompanied by a spurt, which sent the total to 216 for 1945.  Then came the record-shattering marriage boom of 1946.


But in spite of the record, the record-watchers in the county clerk’s office were a little disappointed. They wanted to see the volume reach 365, one for every day in the year.


The ashes of Nettie French Youmans will be interred in the Neillsville cemetery on or about January 14.  The ashes will be brought here by Mrs. Youman’s daughter, Mrs. Clarence L. Sturdevant.  Interment will be in the family lot, where also rests her husband, Clarion A. Youmans, prominent lawyer, farmer and stockman of an earlier day.


Mrs. Youmans died at her home in Los Angeles, Calif., Monday, December 23.  She was 88 years of age and had been in poor health for nine years past, being practically helpless in her bed for the past two years.


Mrs. Youmans’ personality was a link with the very early pioneering days. Born in 1858, she was the first child of B. F. (Doc) French, a strong and picturesque pioneer, who was lawyer, doctor and farmer.  She was born on the family farm in the Town of Levis, and presently moved to Neillsville with her parents and family.  She attended school in Neillsville, and here became the bride of Clarion A. Youmans on January 10, 1877.


For some time, the home of Clarion A. and Mrs. Youmans was the large house on Pleasant Ridge, now occupied by the C. A. Paulson family.  That was a country mansion in the early days, having been built by John Door, a county superintendent of schools. There, the Youmans family resided in the relative affluence of the successful lumberman, stock farmer, and lawyer.  There, Mrs. Youmans lived in an atmosphere of a farm, whose ambitious head brought into Clark County from New York, one of the first herds of registered Holstein cattle and subsequently imported one of the first registered English stallions every owned in this vicinity; who promoted and organized the first creamery in Clark County.


True daughter of a brillian sire, Mrs. Youmans made her contribution to the family success, which included lumbering and law practice, with residence in Neillsville. She bore Mr. Youmans three children.  Of these the eldest is Guy C., who is blind and resides in Jefferson City, Mo.  The second is Viola F., who is the home-keeper in Los Angeles of a household, which included Mrs. Youmans; and Beth, wife of Major General Clarence L. Sturdevant, retired, of Washington D. C.


The Youmans family resided in Neillsville for seven years before the death of Mr. Youmans, in 1906.  In writing to The Press, about the death of her sister, Dr. Viola French Delane states that Mrs. Youmans continued to reside in Neillsville until 1930.  She then went to Los Angeles, to join her brothers and sisters, who had made a place for the family there.  The immediate household there long consisted of herself, her daughter Viola, her sister Viola French Delane and her sister Dimple French Oakley, who died January 26, 1946.  Of these, Viola French Delane had retired from her practice of medicine, a profession, which she followed some years in Neillsville and thereafter in Los Angeles.


Residing close to his sisters, and helping to care for Mrs. Youmans in her last years, was a brother, Edwin F. French.  Also residing in Los Angeles and completing the family circle there, was Elva French Kemp, the fourth widowed sister.  The circle had long included Dr. John French, prominent physician and founder of Golden State Hospital, but he had died four years prior to Mrs. Youmans.


On Sunday afternoon, Max Feuerstein and his Beagle hound, “Shorty,” in company with a friend, Claude Ayers, went hunting in the area around Wild Cat Mound.  Late in the afternoon, when the hunters prepared to start for home, “Shorty” could not be found.  They called, whistled, searched and made inquiry of other hunters and people living in the area, but could not locate the dog.


Mr. Feuerstein did not give up.  He placed a blanket from his car on the snow near the spot where “Shorty” had disappeared, and on the blanket left one of his mittens.  Early Monday morning, when he returned to the spot, he found evidence that the dog had slept on the blanket.  He called, and the lost dog came bounding to him.


It is hard to say, which was happier, Max or the dog.  “Shorty” arrived home safe and sound, though very hungry, and now seems to be unharmed in spite of the fact that the night was cold and he is unused to sleeping in the open.


Masonic services were held Tuesday afternoon for William G. Klopf 88, pioneer resident of Neillsville, who died January 18 following an illness of several years. Burial was made in the family lot in the Neillsville cemetery.


A former mayor, Mr. Klopf was at the helm of the city government for six years in the 1880s, during which time the two bridges over Black River were erected, and the old iron bridge over O’Neill Creek at Hewett Street and the one on South Grand Avenue, were constructed.  He also served a number of years as alderman.


He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Klopf, and with his father was associated with several enterprises in Neillsville, in the late 1800s.  Born in Johnson, Sheboygan County, on September 5, 1858, Mr. Klopf came to Neillsville with his parents, when he was 13 years old.


His father had operated a feed mill and general store in Sheboygan County and resumed the general store business in Neillsville, in a building later operated by the Dangers.  This building later burned.  It was located at South Hewett and Seventh Streets, on the vacant corner lot now owned by Schultz Sales and Service.


Later, Mr. Klopf’s father organized the Clark County Bank. The bank built the building now occupied by Berger’s store and conducted business there, until its liquidation in 1898.  It was during this period also that the Klopfs were connected with the Neillsville Manufacturing Company, which was more familiarly known as the “furniture factory.”  Mr. Klopf, who served as cashier of the Clark County Bank, was treasurer of this enterprise.


Later, he became associated with R. W. Balch in the Neillsville Novelty Manufacturing Company, which produced washboards and other items in what later became known as “the old drying plant.”  This building, razed about seven years ago, was located on Seventh Street, opposite the Milk Products building.


The panic of 1898, which brought about the liquidation of the Clark County Bank, saw the financial fall of the Klopf family, which had become relatively well-to-do as a result of its enterprises in Neillsville.  Mr. Klopf’s father sacrificed the major proportion of his wealth to pay depositors of the bank, with the result that the depositors received 100 cents on the dollar.


At the time of his death, Mr. Klopf was the oldest member of the Neillsville Masonic organization, both in age and in years of membership. He joined the Masons in 1884, and was a member of the chapter and of the Commandery.


On October 28, 1882, Mr. Klopf was united in marriage to Mary Goldschmidt.  The wedding took place at Belvedere, Ill.  Two children were born to the union: Clarence, a salesman now living in Madison, and Mrs. Edna Swanson of Great Falls, Mont.  Mrs. Klopf died in 1911.




The Neillsville Manufacturing Company, more commonly known as the “Furniture Factory,” was established and financially supported by seven citizens of Neillsville: Charles C. Sniteman, George Huntzicker, Fred Klopf, James H. Reddan, John G. Klopf, B. Dangers and Mathew Kapellan.   All, with the exception of Sniteman and Dangers lost practically every dollar they had in the world, in the venture.  Fred Klopf’s financial losses were also, in part, due to his investment in the Clark County Bank, which was caught in the “panic of 1898” resulting in liquidation of the business.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ collection) 




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