Clark County Press, Neillsville,

June 20 2007, Page 16

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled and contributed by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

April 1897


Neillsville probably has the oldest married couple in Northern Wisconsin, if not in the state, namely Mr. and Mrs. L. Weeks.


Mr. Weeks was born in Windham Co., Connecticut, on April 10, 1822.  He came with his parents to Cooperstown, N.Y., when ten years old and grew to manhood in Cooperstown.  He was married there, Aug. 1, 1825, to Emeline Clark.  She was born in Westford, Otsego County, N.Y. on May 29, 1829.


They came to Wisconsin in 1854, and with their family, resided at Beaver Dam for six years.  From there they went to Jackson County.  At the breaking out of the Civil War, Mr. Weeks enlisted in the 79th Pennsylvania regiment, while on a visit in the East, and served until the close of the war.


They came to Neillsville in 1879, where Mr. Weeks went into the furniture business, which he followed for many years.


If they live until August 1st they will celebrate the 57th anniversary of their marriage, thus outranking, by four years, a couple whose pictures were recently published in the Milwaukee Sentinel as the oldest married couple in Northern Wisconsin.


Mr. Weeks was the neighbor of a novelist, J. Fennimore Cooper, while living in Cooperstown, N.Y. and drove the hearse at the author’s funeral.


Marriage Licenses; J. Lippert and Clara Eisentraut, both of Neillsville; Ronald Lamont of Colby and Maybelle Varney, Town of Warner; William R. Kurth and Bertha V. Wilding, both of Town of Grant; Daniel M. Jones and Cora J. Gallagher, both of Colby; Maurice Huls, Stanley and Minnie Verwyst, Thorp.


Through the efforts of the W. F. Land Co., the cheese factory at Columbia has been established and opened up for business, last Tuesday morning.  For fully a week, preparations have been going on and fine new equipment has been placed in it.  Everything looks splendid and business-like.


The Land Co. will buy the milk and sell the cheese.  All the farmer has to do is take his milk there every morning.


Rev. C. Sullivan has been in Columbia the past week, clad in overalls, working with a force of men, who came to assist him, in the good work of making a chapel of the large vacant building donated for that purpose.  The building is remodeled in good taste and will be an attraction in itself.


Mr. Kuester, of Greenwood, broke his leg while helping raise Mr. Fravert’s barn.  Dr. Barber set the broken limb and Mr. Kuester is now on the mend.


The Lutheran Church, in West Pine Valley, was dedicated last Sunday.  Afterwards, the members enjoyed a picnic.


A large number of people, of Neillsville, went to the dance in A. Barton’s new barn, located in Weston.  Over 300 were in attendance and a good time was reported.


Iron for building the new Grand Avenue Bridge has arrived, and work will soon begin on getting it built.


C. W. Chubb, of Lynn, is studying up on the gasoline engine question.  He expects to put in a six-horsepower engine, to pump water, run a feed cutter, grind grain and do other jobs on his farm.


Dwyer Brothers Store has homemade bologna, with or without garlic and homemade pressed corned beef.


Mrs. Letta Nason is chaperoning a large party of Neillsville’s young people, who are camping down by the Black River.


Two new Neillsville rural routes have been laid out, one running south through Levis and returning on the west side of the Black River, which will be known as route 2.  The other route runs north to Christie, crossing the Black River and coming down the North Road, to be known as route 3.


Anton Kubat has sold 13 acres of his farm, south of the city, to Frank Fuchs and Carl Haberland.  Mr. Haberland is preparing to build a house and barn on the acreage he bought.  Mr. Fuchs plans to use his land for pasture.


The month of June, has been very gloomy but try to forget it by going to A. Schlender’s store in Columbia, where you can buy a crate of blueberries to treat yourself and your family.



June 1952


Leo Rueth has acquired the site of the old Dodgeville School, which once occupied the southwest corner of Section 12, Town of Loyal; the location being on Highway 98, a little north and two miles east of Loyal.  For a consideration of $100 Mr. Rueth has received a deed from School District No. 3.


The site of the old school came off the old Rueth farm, title having been given to the district in 1916, for a consideration of $200.  The deed was signed by Joseph Rueth, Sr., and his wife, Mary.  It specified that the school district should build a legal fence around the site, and that the land should be used only for school purposes.


The building of the old Dodgeville School vanished some time ago. A frame structure, it was torn down after the district joined the modern trend to consolidation.  What remains now is chiefly a hole in the ground, the basement of the old school building.


With the school gone, the Rueth family had increased appreciation of the wisdom with which the old deed was drawn.  By the terms of that deed, the property had practically no value, except as it was being re-attached to the Rueth farm, from which it was taken.


The deed of 1916 evidently created no new situation.  Rather, it must have confirmed an arrangement previously made for the location of the school.  Even prior to the date of the deed to the district, Joseph Rueth, Sr., had deeded to two sons the Rueth farm, the instrument specifically excepting the school site.  Thus the legal title to the school site seems actually to have rested with Joseph Rueth, Sr., and his wife until 1916.


If there was some lack of formality in connection with the original transfer of this school site, the Dodgeville School was one of many such in Clark County.  In these days of consolidation, transactions similar to this are rather common in the county, the usual procedure being that the site again becomes part of the farm from which it was taken.  In re-adjusting such a situation, the parties in some instances are running into technical difficulties, due to the fact that the title did not legally pass and that the school was simply put up there, and remained there by common consent.


The Dodgeville transaction points to an incidental result of school consolidation, which has perhaps not been previously brought to public attention.  That result is that various farm tracts, long broken by the subtraction of corner sites for schools, are now being restored to their early integrity.  The one-room rural school, once important on its corner site, is vanishing and farms, once broken for public advantage, are regaining their old unbroken boundaries.


The Rueth farm was deeded to the sons, John and Leo on May 18, 1914, the deed having been signed by Joseph Rueth, Sr., and his wife, Mary.  The consideration was $7,000. Ten years later, Leo bought the interest of his brother, John.  Joseph Rueth died Feb. 13, 1937, before school consolidation has well begun. To him, the old Dodgeville School was a fixture upon a corner of his land.


Neillsville Barbershops will be open Week Days; 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Friday evenings.


The following schedule of prices will be effective Monday, June 9: Adult Haircuts $1.00; Children’s Haircuts 75c; Shampoo 75c; Shave 50c.


The barbershops owners are: Ed Francis, Milo R. Mabie, Don Schwantes and Al Schock.


Attend the Clark County Dairy Picnic at Greenwood Park on Thursday, June 12, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Dr. R. K. Froker, dean of the Wisconsin College of Agriculture, will speak on “What’s Happening to Our Butter Fat Market and What Can Be Done About It.”


Plant Beans for the Marshfield Canning Company:


You may get a contract and seed for planting beans from the following area businesses: Ray’s South Side Food Market, Neillsville; Spry’s Elevator, Granton, or Farmers Co-op of Spencer.


Work applications are being taken for help in pitching peas in fields and viners. To obtain applications write to: Marshfield Canning Company, Marshfield, Wisconsin.


A bag of strawberries was paid to William A. Campman as a lawyer’s fee in the early days.  The berries were mushy, and the juice ran out of the bottom of the bag.  Once, he was paid a pumpkin, and once some old horseradish root.


This kind of payment sounds odd in contrast with the cash of today, but half a century ago payments of that sort were common.  Not many years ago, even editors were expected to take wood and maple syrup as payments.


Recollections of the early days have been brought to the memory of Mr. Campman by his turn of half a century as a lawyer.  It was 50 years ago that he was graduated from the law school of the University and launched upon his career.  Last weekend, he was honored by membership in the Half Century club of the University.  He and his classmates were given Golden Jubilee certificates.


Mr. Campman’s interest as a lawyer has been, and is, very largely in the title to real estate.  To most laymen, and too many lawyers, this is a deadly dull activity.  Nothing is less exciting to most persons than a description of a piece of realty.  But Mr. Campman sees in descriptions more than the mechanics of transfer.  He sees human nature at work, often carelessly and erroneously.  As a realty lawyer, he becomes a sort of detective of the records, finding in descriptions and lack of them, the evidence of human efficiency or the reverse of it.  He has spent much of his active life in straightening out the mix-ups, which have been due to human failure.


It has been interesting to Mr. Campman that although in early days many persons failed to have their land recorded, he could secure a certified copy of the government patent without any trouble.  In the 48 years of sending to Washington for government patents and he has sent for a thousand or more, only five times has he been unable to get certified copies without any trouble.


In the early days, land wasn’t recorded as diligently as now.   Sometimes, people wanted it only for the timber and didn’t care about the land.  One instance, he remembers, concerned forty acres, part of which is now the city of Owen, and for which he had trouble getting the patent.  His attorneys, and Mr. Grow; who was in the office with Mr. Campman at the time, had to go to Ohio and Kentucky to get releases from the persons originally entering the land.  The land had been transferred, but the government claimed the transfer had been forged, so it wouldn’t issue a patent until there was a release from the original estate.  This was obtained, but it cost about $2,000.


Mr. Campman planned to be a lawyer when he was very young and he didn’t let anything stop him.  He didn’t have a father’s help because his father died a month before his birth.  He came with his mother to Neillsville when he was very young.  He came as a child to Hatfield on the train and by stagecoach to Neillsville.  The stagecoach came along the river road, past the big spring and Dells Dam, which was a logging dam.  He remembers traveling this road on blue berry picking expeditions later, going with the team and wagon.  The Campmans came to Neillsville to be with his grandfather, Frank Plischke, who was working on the construction of buildings in Neillsville.  Among those buildings were the court house and the Penney’s store.


When he graduated from Neillsville High School, in 1896, he went to work for O’Neill and Marsh, attorneys who had their offices across the street from his present office.  After he had worked for a while, he entered the University of Wisconsin.  Shortly later, the Spanish American War began and he became a member of the Co. A, part of the Third Wisconsin regiment.  He went to Puerto Rico.


After the war was over, he went back to school, working to pay his way.  He was secretary to the two deans of the university law school and this paid his tuition and a little more.  He had saved some of his army pay, at $17 a month.


Mr. Campman graduated from the University in 1902.  He came back to Neillsville and worked as court reporter for James O’Neill who had become Judge O’Neill.  Two years later, he entered the firm of Charles F. Grow and J. F. Schuster who were in the title and abstract business and he has been in the same office ever since.


The one most important lesson, which has come to Mr. Campman in 50 years of realty practice, is the vital need of recording instruments.  Time after time, clients have been in trouble because of failure to record a deed.  Papers are burned or lost, and if they are not on record, the road is paved for expense in clearing title; sometimes even title and possession are at stake.  In the case of mortgages, there is the danger that a mortgage, not on record shall lose its priority, with resultant loss of money.  The only safe way, Mr. Campman emphasizes, is to place upon record instruments affecting property.  Then accidents to papers are of minor importance; then also, the public has notice, through the records of the status of the property and is warned against any transaction, which is not consistent with the property’s legal status.


The Thorp American Legion Post announces a three-day celebration, beginning with the Fourth of July.  Friday’s program includes races, a parade and a fire hose fight between Thorp and Stanley.  Saturday events are horse pulling, pet parade, greased pig contest and a dance.  A ball game will be held on Sunday.  A carnival will be there all three days.




A 1902 aerial view of Neillsville’s “North Side,” as in the city’s early years the portion that lies on the north side of O’Neill Creek, was referred to.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ collection)





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