Clark County Press, Neillsville,

July 11, 2007, Page 24

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled and contributed by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

July 1907


The city of Neillsville will pay $3.00 per cord for cobblestones to be used for street gutter.  The stones can be weighed at the mill scales, 13,000 lbs. to constitute a cord.  Stones to be delivered as directed by J.W. Hommel, street commissioner.


The 4th of July was quiet in Chili.  No doubt a good many people attended the picnic held in Louis Lindow’s woods, located one mile southwest of the village. The M.W.A. hall was open for a dance that evening.


The heavy rain, of July 4th, made Goose Creek into a raging torrent.  The stone wall, opposite Mr. Reig’s house, was washed down and the bank crumbled away nearly to the cellar wall.


Mr. and Mrs. John H. Russell have had a Golden Anniversary.


In Waupun village on Thursday, April 2, 1857, John Harman Russell and Mary A. Reifsnider were united in marriage by Rev. Mr. Williams, Baptist minister.


Both were born in America, their grandfathers served through the War for Independence.  After the groom’s grandfather died on board his own whale ship, his parents left New York City and some years later settled in Wisconsin.  The bride’s father, a Pennsylvania blacksmith who lived in New York State, moved his family to Wisconsin territory in 1846 when Mary was ten years old. They settled in the village of Waupun, Fond du Lac and Dodge counties, which were divided by the line road.


Mrs. Russell treasures the large family bible, which contains the family record of her grandmother Vanderbilt, and well remembers her mother telling the children about her Uncle Cornelius Vanderbilt’s farm with the many servants.  They also highly prize the handsome ivory tooth of a great whale secured by the sea captain, Grandsire Rozell, after assisting in the whale’s capture.


After living some years in Madison and Milwaukee, the Russells moved to Clark County to live in the grand old woods of the Town of Fremont, late in the year 1876.


Seven of their eight children are living; six are married; all have left the old home.  Of their twenty-three grandchildren, one is married.  The septuagenarians moved near Neillsville, last year, having lived in Clark County over thirty years.  Of their wedding party, one dear sister of Mrs. Russell is the only living witness, Mrs. N. W. Gordon of Marion City, Kansas.


They referred to a quote from the Old Man’s Blessing:


“Poor we’ve been, but not forsaken,

Grief we’ve known, but never shame,

Father, for Thine endless mercies,

Still we Bless Thy Holy Name.”


Between five and six o’clock, Wednesday afternoon, July 3, a cyclone passed across this portion of the county, traveling from northwest to southeast, bearing death and destruction in its path.  Its approach all along the line was witnessed by many spectators, most who had never seen anything like it and did not fully understand its destructive force.  The rotating funnel-shaped cloud reached from high up into the sky, down to the earth.  As it progressed, the whirling vortex sucked up into its awful mass, everything movable.  As far as can be ascertained, the cyclone formed near Tioga.


The storm cut a path of ruin from Tioga to the Grant Cemetery.  Lyman Charles was killed in the storm, not being able to reach shelter in the cellar on his farmhouse. 


People along the line of the storm turned out at once to help those who had farm damages; rebuilding fences, replacing the damaged roofs of buildings and other repair.


There will be a dance Friday night, July 26, in the Willis Enhelder’s new granary, in the Town of Weston.  Proceeds from the benefit will be given to the August Beyer family, whose property was destroyed and family members hurt in the cyclone.


Jesse Lowe has constructed an immense watering tank, for livestock at his farm in the city limits.  It is built of cement blocks, and is a good piece of work.  He found nineteen small boys swimming in the tank one day.


A house is for rent in the city of Neillsville for six dollars a month.  It also has a fine garden.  Inquire at the newspaper office.


There will be an ice cream social held on the Courthouse lawn, August 14, to be given by the young ladies of the Methodist Church.


A petition has been signed and will be laid before the city council, to have a cross street opened, from State Street, south to the area known as Ketel Hollow. The intersection will be 2 blocks east of Hewett Street.


It has been rumored that many have absented themselves from church services during the last few weeks, fearing that storms would preclude the services.  Hereafter as heretofore, services will be held in the Congregational Church – both morning and evening, rain or shine, unless announced to the contrary.


Mr. Daughhette, of Granton, held a meeting at the Cannonville schoolhouse Saturday night, with about thirty of the area farmers being present.  The purpose of the meeting was the matter of building a cheese factory in the vicinity.  It was settled, with everyone being in favor of having a cheese factory.  Mr. Daughhette will obtain a plot of land on the south-west corner of Dave Taylor’s farm, to build the factory on. The building will be started in the near future, and will be in running order as soon as possible.



July 1947


Five Granton boys have returned from an 11-day trip into Canada accompanied by Carl Eisenmann, Jr., principal of the Granton School. The party of six; Duane Anding, Merle Bartsch, Ray Gluck, Paul Rosandich and John Wegner, along with Mr. Eisenmann, went to Ely, Minn.  There they rented canoes from where they paddled and portaged 50 miles into Canada to Kawnipi Lake.  After the first two days, they did not see another human being until five days later on the return trip.


The boys found wonderful fishing.  Within 10 minutes, they caught eight Northern pike, including one 42 inches long and another 45 inches.  They secured close-up pictures of a bull moose and a cow moose, several bear; also loons and other wilderness birds.


The boys experienced the workings of the customs and visited a Mesabi iron pit.


The desire for the trip came to the boys after a school discussion of Canadian relations with the United States, in which the Quetico park region was cited as an example of the relative freedom of travel between the two countries.  It was this region, which the boys penetrated on the trip of 130 miles from Ely and back.


Dance at the Country Ballroom, near Marshfield, Sunday, July 13.  Music by the Volovsek 8-piece Family Orchestra.  Admission: 50c plus 10c tax


The Grandview baseball team won its opener in the newly organized Southern Clark County Baseball league, Sunday, by taking a loosely played game from the “Swamp Bucks,” 13 – 12.


The second game scheduled for the new four-team league, between Granton and Sherwood, was postponed. The team managers are: Granton, Clarence Pannier; Sherwood, Donald Freedlund; Swamp Bucks, Louie Paun; Grand View, August Klann.


The cost of operating Clark County’s entire school system 68 years ago was just about one-half the $55,000 budge the joint Pine Valley-Neillsville district voters were asked to approve at the annual meeting, Monday night.


The cost, and other school statistics of 1879 in Clark County, came to light a few days ago when Russell Drake, county superintendent, uncovered the annual report for that year, made by John S. Dore, then county superintendent.


And, of course, there is a vast difference between the county system of 1879 and the present day set up.  Those were the first schools of Clark County, organized into a county system shortly after the county, itself, was organized.


At that time, there were 63 school districts, as compared with a total of 14 today. A total of 2,286 pupils attended school at some time or other during the year, as compared with a total of 6,934 in 1945-46, the last year of which statistics are now available. Schools then operated generally five months during the year.  Now they operate nine months.


Equipment was meager, as compared with the present day schools, and subjects were confined pretty strictly to the “Three R’s.”


Cash value of all school sites was set down at $2,629, and all school buildings in Clark County had an aggregate value of $48,388.50.  The equipment was valued at a total of $3,614.30, making a grand total valuation of Clark County’s entire school system of $54,631.80.


Loyal and Greenwood each built a gymnasium-auditorium in the days just preceding World War II, before the days of bloated building costs, which exceeded that amount.


The cost of hiring teachers, in 1879 as now, made up the largest single item in the county’s school budget.  Sixty-eight years ago, a total of $15,752.31 was paid in teachers’ salaries.  “Female teachers,” as the report listed them, took a total of $11,364.31 in salaries; the remaining $4,388 went to “Male teachers.”


Teachers in those days drew fairly good wages.  The average monthly salary for a male teacher, in Clark County schools, was just a penny short of $35; for female teachers, $26.32.  Pine Valley paid the top wage for male teachers: $54.56.  The lowest average monthly wage for males was $26, paid by the Town of Beaver.


Females were somewhat less fortunate in the paycheck item.  The top average monthly was$38.62, paid by the Town of Eaton; the lowest, $21.66, paid by the town of Unity.


The salary of the county school superintendent, that year, was $600.  He also had $150 for expenses in connection with the functioning of his office for the whole year.


One hundred seventeen teachers’ certificates were granted that year.  Six of them went to wise old heads of 16 summers, about to don the cloak of straight-laced school marms.  Many others were 17 years old. But a few, such as George W. Carley, age 43 and Mrs. Olivia F. Forman, 39, were older. 


It is interesting to check through the list of “graduates” to the teaching profession in 1879, for there appear many family names familiar to Clark County.


Miss Gusti I. Marshall, Mrs. Agnes Neff, Byron D. Lynch, A. A. Hartson, John D. Allen, L. Sturdevant, Miss Mary Maxwell, E. A. Beeckler, Miss Isabell Ackerman, Charles Brooks, Miss Mary A. Eastman, Miss Angie Charles, Miss Lizzie Huckstead, Miss Susie Pierce, Miss Mary Washburn, Mrs. Joseph Marsh, Miss Alida Lyons, Miss Mattie Marsh, Miss Kate E. Pickett, Miss Eva Hartson and Miss Angie Neff.


Urban’s wrecker did a little wrecking all on its own, Monday afternoon.


The vehicle was parked beside the garage, on West Street, when the brakes somehow gave away.  It rolled backward, down the incline and veered diagonally across Seventh Street and crashed into the front of Helwig’s tavern.  It narrowly missed a coach parked in front of Shock’s barbershop.  The west side of the tavern front was damaged.


The Cloverbelt All Star game has been postponed again, this time to July 30, when it will be the central attraction in the dedication of a new $15,000 recreation field at Stanley.  The game will start at 8:30 p.m., and will be played under lights on the new Chapman field.


A most sensitive newcomer at the Neillsville hospital is an electrocardiograph machine, one of several new pieces of equipment installed in the hospital in recent months.


This machine is used extensively in determining heart conditions of all types, and is reputedly as good as any similar machine in the state.


But is sensitive: so sensitive that even such a thing as a plug in an electrical wall outlet anywhere in the hospital will throw its recording needle into hysterics. Electric refrigerators and fluorescent lights give it tantrums.


Because of its acute sensitiveness Herbert Brown, hospital administrator, has learned the necessity for a thorough check of the hospital before use is made of the machine.


Leon Kapfer, local milk hauler, suffered the fracture of his left elbow, last Monday morning when he fell from the box on his truck.


Kapfer was standing on top of a row of milk cans while “double decking” the load.  He lost his balance and fell to the ground.


Alfred Speigel, Jr., finished the route for Mr. Kapfer Monday, and Edgar Spiegel has bee hauling milk on the route since.


Murphy’s Tavern, located on Neillsville’s south side, serves Potato Pancakes every Monday Night. Saturday and Sunday nights’ Special is Southern Fried Chicken.  Steaks are served every night.


They also rent out cottages by the day, week or month!


Six acres of standing oats will be auctioned off on the William Baumgartner Farm, one and one-half miles north of Neillsville on Grand Avenue, Tuesday, July 29, 10 a.m.  W. H. Krause, Auctioneer


Gust Holtz retired last Monday, with a service of 30 years and two months credited to him by the American Stores Dairy Co.  He now goes on pension, the first local employee of this organization to benefit by a pension plan, which applies to the entire field of the company’s employment.


In something of a ceremony, at the Condensery, Mr. Holtz was presented with his first retirement check. He and his wife were also honored guests at a dinner given by Mr. and Mrs. L. B. Barton.




Tornados have occasionally passed over the Clark County area in the past. The above photo was taken as a funnel cloud approached the area northwest of Neillsville, near the Mound, in 1942.  (Photo courtesy of Jerry Quicker’s family collection)




(It was sometime in 1942, that south Pine Valley was hit by a Tornado, as I recall my mother saying there was damage at the Winter farm across the road from us and the Eastman farm north of Silver Crest School.  My brother Harvey was a baby and Mom had taken us three kids down to a lower area away from the house and actually had gone closer to where the tornado came thru.  Dmk)



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