Clark County Press, Neillsville,

August 15, 2007, Page 19

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 



Compiled and contributed by Dee Zimmerman



Clark County News

August 1897


For over a year, Hiram Nelson Withee had been ailing with a disease supposed to be jaundice.  A couple of weeks ago, he went to Minneapolis, accompanied by his good and faithful wife to the Asbury hospital, where he was to be treated.  Tuesday of last week, Rev. Foster received letters from Mr. Withee and his wife to the effect that the doctors had decided to perform an operation on the old gentleman, Thursday evening.  Sunday, word was received, in this city that Mr. Withee had died Saturday evening from the effects of the operation.  Monday afternoon, his remains were brought to this city for internment.


Funeral ceremonies were held Tuesday afternoon in the opera house under the auspices of the Masonic order, assisted by the Odd Fellows, in each of which order he was an active and honored member.  Rev. Foster, of the Methodist Church of this city, conducted the services, assisted by Rev. McKenzie of Merrillan, and Rev. Brothers, of Wonewoc.


Hiram Nelson Withee was born in Norridgewock, Somerset County, Maine, December 3, 1824, making him about 73 years of age.  He was married to Sarah M. Nutting, August 1853, and they then came to Jackson County, Wisconsin, in 1877.  Mr. Withee served as Clark County Treasurer 14 years, beginning in 1880, and would no doubt have been elected again for the office, two years ago, had he been in good health.


Never has there been a man who thought so much of, to our knowledge, as was Hiram N. Withee, which fact was plainly demonstrated at his funeral where men were seen, who had come from every part of the county to pay their last tribute of love to the honored departed friend.


While transacting the duties of the office of county treasurer, he was always extremely accommodating and genial and in that way gained friends by the score.


Mr. Withee leaves a wife and large family and a number of relatives to mourn his departure.  Members of his family are children: John F. of Stillwater, Minn.; Charles B., Henry W. and Levi, of Minneapolis; Lyman F., of Dubuque, Iowa; Alvin Z. of Sault Sainte Marie, Mich., Mrs. Lovisa Wright, of Marshfield; brother Levi who lives in La Crosse; and a sister, Mrs. Hiram Varney of Greenwood, all of whom were in attendance at the funeral.


Hiram N. Withee was one of Neillsville’s early residents, serving as Clark County Treasurer for 14 years.  He owned 40 acres of farmland, which was bordered on the south by O’Neill Creek with the Black River bordering on the west side of his land.  The family home was built on the east side of the property, along what is now Grand Avenue.  The house presently remains on the site.



Charles Smithers, Sr., Town of York, had his cancerous left ear amputated, last Monday by Drs. Lacey and Conroy.  The old gentleman showed remarkable nerve in having this operation performed with out anesthetics.


Emery Bruley has lately invented a new style of wagon spoke, which he recently received letters of patent on. The spoke is taken from any grade of timber, a hole is bored into the entire length and a steel rod is inserted, which makes a “C” grade stronger than the best grade of timber.  Emery has found a gold mine of his own and he won’t have to go to the Klondike, where he would suffer hardships.


Mrs. Tibbits of Everett, Wash., arrived in this city Saturday, and will visit with friends and relatives, both here and at Greenwood.  Mrs. Tibbits is well known here, having been one of the early settlers.  At one time she ran a restaurant in the old building that stood where the Geo. Dewhurst building now stands.


A letter was received from George Huntzicker, written just before he sailed, stating that they expected to reach Dyea, Alaska about the 25th of September.  They intend to go up Steward (Seward) River, in an attempt to get ahead (of) the crowd of people, in the gold rush.  He said that if any one else is intending to go there, they should not start out with less than $590, and more if possible.


His group will write from Dyea, which will be the last that can be heard from them until next summer.  By the time they reach their destination, it will be impossible to get mail out as everything will be frozen and travel will be stopped until the next season.


(I once read a book written by Sue Henry, which I don’t recall the name of; which mentions a Huntzicker from Neillsville being in Alaska during the Gold Rush era. Dmk)


You boys should remember that we have sold you baseballs; bats, gloves, catcher’s mitts and all kinds of sporting goods the past 18 years at very reasonable prices, less than such goods are usually sold for elsewhere.  Remember, C. C. Sniteman Co., are friends of the boys.


Mrs. Anna Mahr is a Lady Doctor and Midwife.  Her residence is next to the August Schoengarth home, on Forest Street.  She is an experienced midwife and her charges are reasonable.


Don’t eat field corn when you can buy sweet corn for 10 cents per dozen at Gerber’s.



August 1942


The Treasury Department’s blue and white Minute Man flag was floating in Neillsville’s business district for the first time Monday, among the American flags, which have been placed out daily since shortly after Pearl Harbor.


The Minute Man flag was put out in front of the Northern States Power company office, signifying that at least 90 percent of the company’s employees are participating in the payroll check-off of 10 percent of their wages going for war bonds and stamps. The flag pictures a Minute Man with his rifle, and stars in white against a blue background.


The company’s employees also are signed up 100 percent for Civilian Defense Volunteer work.


Sugar purchase certificates totaling 261,520 pounds, or nearly 131 tons in weight value, were issued in Clark County, in July for home canning.


This information was revealed by Leo W. Foster, head of the Clark County Rationing Board, in a report to the state office.  The total weight value was distributed among 6,513 applicants.


During the remainder of August, the traveling clerk of the ration board will deal with adjustments and those who were prevented by causes beyond their control from registering for home canning sugar needs.


He will have scheduled dates in the various towns with Clark County.


An assessor’s pencil has saved the Blackberry School.


It happened this way:


For the last two months, the future of that school district, joint one Seif and Hendren, has been a bone of contention for residents of the area, the Town of Seif board, and the State Department of Public Instruction.


With an assessed valuation of $97,500 in 1941 the district was scheduled to be attached to some other adjoining school district, at the time 22 other County school districts were combined into eight enlarged districts.


But there were several ideas on how the division should be made, and these delayed the issuing of the final order splitting up the district.


Monday, at long last, an order from the State Department concerning the Blackberry School district arrived in the office of County School Supt. Louis E. Slock.  Effective August 28, the order said, a few half-sections on the western edge of the district were to be incorporated in the enlarged Foster School District.  The remainder was to be incorporated in the Worchel School District, joint number three, Seif, Hendren and Weston.


And this is where the assessor’s pencil came in to save the district.


Tuesday morning, Mr. Slock received a communication from the State Department of Public Instruction rescinding its order of the previous day.  The explanation was that the assessed valuation of the district, for 1942, had been completed with the result that the district no longer was subject to the provisions of the “small schools law.”  The assessed valuation for 1942 totaled $107,400, exactly $7,400 above the $100,000 minimum set by law.


Two other orders concerning Clark County rural school districts were received Monday from the State Department of Public Instruction.  One order incorporated the Bruce Mound School District, Town of Dewhurst, in a Jackson county district, joint in the towns of Adams, Alma and Albion.  The second incorporated the North Mound School District, towns of Mead and Hendren, with the Willard district, North Willard School District.  North Willard School also was earlier combined with the Willard district.  (The Bruce Mound students then attended the Hatfield School. Dmk)


Both orders are effective August 28.


The Soil Conservation Service opened an office, Monday, on the second floor of the Neillsville Bank building.  A federal agency, the service is cooperating with the recently established Clark County Soil Conservation District in the control of erosion on farms of the county.  All farmers interested in soil conservation are invited to call at the district office at any time for information and help.


The city workers started Tuesday, to build a sidewalk on both sides of Grand Avenue, between the railroad tracks and Eighth Street.


Approximately 800 pounds of “platters,” which once furnished relaxation and entertainment for people of Neillsville, Granton, and Southern Clark County, soon will be bringing entertainment of America’s men in the armed services.


The records were collected through the American Legion and a letter of acknowledgement was sent by D.V. Erickson, records chairman of the Wisconsin Department of the American Legion.  The letter was received by Harry Roehrborn who is Commander of the Otto J. Haugen Post No. 73, of Neillsville.


The records were donated by people who live in this area.  They are to be recast, re-cut and shipped to army and navy centers as a part of the American Legion’s nationwide campaign.


“It may be of interest to you,” Mr. Erickson wrote, “that during the convention and since, we have shipped something like 60,000 records. This should make a lot of entertainment for the boys.”


Similar record collection drives have been carried on by other American Legion posts within the state.


New courses relating to pre-flight aeronautics and aviation, termed revolutionary by educators, will be offered to Neillsville High School students during the approaching school year, according to an announcement made this week by D. E. Peters, city schools superintendent.


The aeronautics courses are being added the curriculum of many high schools throughout the United States.  While they are designed to prepare the youth of today for the new air age that will certainly follow the war, the studies also are designed to meet the critical instructional problem precipitated by national war needs in aviation.


One full foundation course that of the science of pre-flight aeronautics will be offered to juniors and seniors.  This will be supplemented with the study of elements of pre-flight aeronautics.  These courses include the study of airplane structures, human flight factors, aerodynamics, engines, meteorology, communications and navigation.


Other studies of the series will be enacted into standard high school courses, Mr. Peters said.  For instance, the airplane has changed the picture of the world; has changed the arctic from frozen wastes to a vital link in future air routes.  The realistic treatment of concepts of geography, as revolutionized by the airplane, will be made in the high school geography class taught to seniors.


Social studies for the air age will be injected into the studies of the economics class, while the algebra class will have injected into it practical application of mathematics to aviation problems.


In addition to studies associated with aeronautics, Mr. Peters announced that a third-year home economics course is being planned, in which work useful to girls in wartime will be taught.  Also, courses in advanced mathematics will be introduced.  These include solid geometry and advanced algebra.  However, at least 10 students must be enrolled for the advanced mathematics courses. He said.


Freshman registration will be conducted September 2, from 2 until 3 p.m.  All other high school students will register September 8 at 9 a.m.  Grade schools and junior high school will open September 8.


A supply of V-mail letters has been received at the Neillsville post office and will be passed out among those who call for them, as long as the supply lasts.


This method is being taken by the post office department to familiarize local people with the new type of army-navy mail service.  The V-mail stationary consists of a single sheet of paper, which serves as writing space and envelope.  For overseas mailing, a photo-static copy of the letter is made and sent in place of the letter.  In this way, a tremendous saving in cargo space and weight is made.


Jess W. Scott, assistant postmaster, explained that directions for using the V-mail stationery should be followed fully, if the letter is to reach its designation.


The landing of the Japanese forces in the Aleutian Islands has brought a halt to passage of all but essential civilians between the United States and Alaska; and even for these essential ones, the job of securing passage is a difficult one.


This is the effect of a letter received by Mrs. Myron E. Wilding, written by her son, Ira Williamson.  Mr. Williamson who now is a short wave radio operator being sent into Alaska by the government, resided in Wausau and visited in Neillsville on occasion, before he entered government service.


“If anyone ever tells you it’s easy to get into Alaska,” he wrote “you tell them for me, they are crazy.”


“I’ve spent all day being photographed by the F.B.I.  I have a whole pocket of documents, and I have only started.  I still have a whole day’s work in Seattle before I can get into Alaska.”


“The Army has taken over that country and is making sure no one gets in there unless he has official business.”


Although the radio service has priority for space in planes over all excepting the army and navy, Mr. Williamson wrote, “Even then we are not sure of going on any certain day.  The planes are full for every trip.”




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