Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

May 28, 2008, Page 24

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled and contributed by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

May 1883


A tremendous stream of immigrants from Ireland is pouring into Boston, Mass., flowing westward.


Both stave mills, here in our city, are running steadily and mountains of staves are growing into chains of mountains.


A destructive fire occurred at Marshfield on Sunday night.  The Spencer Tribune issued an extra Monday, giving the following particulars:


“A fire broke out at Marshfield about 10:45 last night.  The fire originated in the second story of Disbrow’s saloon and quickly communicated to LeMere’s and Mr. Lambert’s Pilon’s saloon on the east side, Culture’s store, two dwellings on the north and in three hours the whole block was in ashes, excepting the boarding house of Chas. Bullman, which was saved by the most superhuman efforts of the citizens.


The Central House was the key to the whole city and when it was assured that the whole block was doomed, attention was turned to saving it.  Several times the building was on fire, but the citizens knowing the danger, stood their ground and fought desperately, many receiving severe burns.  The hose from the water works were run-out, to be used, but amounted to nothing.  The hose from the mill was also run, but power was lacking to work it effectively.  Nine dwellings and two barns were burned and nine families were made homeless.  The loss is estimated at about $15,000, partly insured, but to what amount cannot now be ascertained.”


Pham’s big saw mill and a large quantity of valuable lumber were destroyed by fire last week, Tuesday.


The city council of Black River Falls has ordained that no painted windows or screens be put in front of saloons.  This will give the deserted wife a chance to look in.


Orin Hanks stumped nearly 25 acres of land with is oxen for L. Archer, last week, in the South Pine Valley area.


A new barn has been put up on the brickyard, a few feet south of M. C. Ring’s barnyard.  It belongs to the Messrs. Gates.


The plans of a new block to be erected on the corner of Main and Second Street by J. L. Gates are to be seen at the shop of architect Bradshaw.  The building will consist of three main sections, two for stores and one, on the corner, for Dewhurst’s bank.  The second story will be reached by a stairway running up from the north or Second Street side, the hall leading through from the stairway to the south side of the building.  This story will be cut up into six large rooms, to be rented for offices, etc.  The basement, the excavation for which is now going on, will be partly devoted to regular cellar uses, along with arrangements being made for the Gates butcher shop.  Judging from the draft of the front elevation, the building will present a very solid and attractive appearance. The main door to the Second Street section, or bank, faces the corner.


A Colby correspondent of the Milwaukee Sentinel writes under date of May 28th as follows:


“The village of Colby is composed of two sections, East Colby and West Colby.  East Colby is located in Marathon County and West Colby is in Clark County.  The village proper is in Clark County and is embraced within the territory of the Eighth Congressional District, represented by Wm. T. Price, while that part known as the East Side is in the Ninth District and is looked after by Isaac Stephenson.


For several years, there has been considerable strife between the two sections of the village as to which side should preponderate and in the matter of post offices, for instance, has assumed the character of a farce.  When the post office was first located there, it was placed on the West Side, in a convenient place, about 1873, when Mr. Graves was postmaster.  Sometime after, it was moved to the East Side and before its second removal, back to the West Side, G. J. Walbridge, the present postmaster was appointed deputy.  For about two years previous to his appointment as postmaster, he had almost entire control of the business.  He was appointed to the office, which, he now holds, in the fall of 1878 and in changing his place of business from the East to the West Side, moved the post office at the same time, for which he had first obtained the permission of the Postal Department, allowing him to move it 1,000 feet.


After this removal took place, some of the East Side people made various objections and finally through the assistance of their representative in Congress, had it argued in a lively manner before the Post Office Department at Washington, but the West Side location was sustained.


Anticipating the election of a congressman in their district, the Ninth, the people put their heads together and resolved that whoever should pledge himself to do all in his power to have another office established in the little village of Colby to be on the East Side, would receive not only their votes in body, but all the influence they could possibly bring to bear upon his election.  Isaac Stephenson seems to have pledged himself to do that, for immediately after the beginning of his term as a member of Congress, he made an appeal to the Postal Department for the much desired, but superfluous office, which was granted through the mistaken idea that it was an actual necessity for the convenience of the people.


So this little village of scarcely 500 inhabitants is blessed with two post offices in its precincts, also with a post office at Abbotsford, two and one-half miles north, one at Unity, four miles south, and one at Green Grove, six miles west.”


December 1937


Chili baseball fans will be looking at a lot of familiar faces in Neillsville Athletics’ uniforms when they open the Cloverbelt Baseball League season at Chili.  Sunday afternoon game time is 2 p.m.


The Neillsville lineup includes several residents of that area, most of whom have worn the Chili uniform in past years.  They include: Merlin Lindow, who pitched for Marshfield in the Cloverbelt league last year; Warren Kleinschmidt, third baseman and power hitter; DuWayne Rollins, second baseman, and Bob Barth, catcher for Chili last year.


Manager Glen Lezotte of the Athletics believes that the Athletics this season will be infinitely stronger with the bat this year.  The addition of several dangerous hitters, he believes, will give the locals more offensive punch.  In addition, the prospect is that the pitching will be of better quality and the roster of hurlers is deeper.


Manager Lezotte has three, and possible four, pitchers this year.  He plans to use all of them in Sunday’s game.  They include, besides Lindow, Walter Hribar, veteran Greenwood mound ace and Arne Buchholz, mainstay of the Athletics’ 1952 mound staff.


Others who are likely to see service Sunday afternoon are: Kleinsmith (Kleinschmidt), third base; Rollins and Miles, second base; Bob Urban, first base; Merlin Bartsch, catcher; Bob Barth, catcher and outfielder; Dick Buchholz, center field; and Miles or Lindow, right field.


Featuring a Neillsville Citizen of the Week:


Raymond G. Paulson, a native of Granton, was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ross Paulson of Neillsville, and conducted an implement business in Neillsville for several years.  In addition, he was a licensed real estate salesman.


When he was a young man, he helped his father during summer vacations in the contracting business.  Mr. Paulson was a road contractor and one of Raymond’s most vivid memories is that of putting through the Highway 10 “cut-off” from the Stables night club to Highway 12 near Fairchild.  That roadway was cut through brush and laid over swamps.  It was a tough piece of roadway to build; but it has cut off miles of travel since its completion, for previously motorists had to drive over what is now County Trunk B, to Humbird, on their way to Eau Claire and the Twin Cities.


Mr. Paulson attended grade and high school in Granton and had a year in at the Eau Claire Business College.  Following this, he joined his father in the livestock business and 14 years ago he branched off in the farm machinery business.


He was married 18 years ago to Miss Velda Keller.  They are the parents of two daughters, Judy, a Neillsville High School Junior, and Susan, who is in the fourth grade at the North Side School.


Interested in public affairs, Mr. Paulson has served as a member of the Clark County Board of Supervisors, representing the city’s first ward.  His hobbies include hunting and fishing.


The following Clark County registrants left by bus for Minneapolis on May 5 and were inducted into the armed services:


LaVern F. Smith, Chili; Norbert R. Martens, Colby; Eugene D. Cattanach, Granton; La Vern E. Schier, Granton; Charles A. Krapf, Greenwood; Wilbert G. Swieso, Greenwood; Dale H. Vollrath, Greenwood; Robert R. Bertz, Loyal; LaVerne C. Emling, Loyal; Richard G. Schellinger, Loyal; Albert L. Miller, Neillsville; Ely R. Klessig, Owen; Richard J. Langiewicz, Thorp; Frank R. Soborowicz, Thorp; Levi R. Mews, Unity; Junior J. Gilbert, Thorp, volunteered for service and was also inducted this month.


The quota for the month of June is eight registrants for induction and 11 for physical examination; date of reporting June 3.


At the last FFA meeting of the school year the Granton chapter elected officers as follows: president, Robert Holt; vice president, Alvin Dahl; secretary; Fred Winkler; treasurer, Ronald Schlinsog; reporter, Roland Helm, sentinel, Ronald Garbisch.


Bill Nickel and Jerry Schmitz were presented gold charms and certificates for having won the coveted degree of “Wisconsin Farmer.”  Only one Granton boy ever won this degree before.


Ronald Garbisch received a check of $50 for outstanding dairy herd improvement.  He is one of 20 boys in Wisconsin to receive this award in 1953.  Ronald also gets a free trip to see Guernsey herds.


The Granton chapter received a chapter award for the fourth consecutive year.


The FFA boys will have a four-day outing at Spooner June 8-11.  On one of these days, they will go to Minneapolis to see the stockyards and farm machinery plants.


Merlin E. Hull is dead.  His end came at a La Crosse hospital early Sunday morning.  Death was due to pulmonary complications, following a major operation.


Mr. Hull, at 82 years of age, was the nation’s oldest congressman and had the longest public service of any present official of Wisconsin.


Mr. Hull was publisher of the Banner Journal of Black River Falls and had served 10 consecutive terms from the congressional district of which Clark County is part.  He went to Congress as a Republican, became a Progressive and concluded his service as a Republican.


Surviving are his wife, Jessie M.; a son, Perry M., of Stockton, Calif.; a daughter, Mrs. Marion Lamb of Milwaukee; a sister, Miss Effie Hull of Washington, D.C., and two grandchildren.


Hull was born December 18, 1879, at Warsaw, Ind., the son of a flour miller and farmer.  The family moved when he was less than a year old to Sechlerville, Jackson, County, Wis., where he attended grade school, got a job in a sorghum mill at age 10 and later worked as a farm hand and country schoolteacher to earn funds with which to continue his education.


While attending Gale College in Galesville, young Hull learned the printing trade in the office of the Wisconsin Independent at Black River Falls and the Galesville Independent.  He received his law degree from De Paul University, Greencastle, Ind. and did graduate work at Columbian University, now a part of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.


Hull was a practicing attorney at Black River Falls when he married Miss Jessie Matchette Robins in 1896.  In 1904 he bought the Jackson County Journal, a weekly published in Black River Falls.  In 1926 he bought the Badger State Banner, also a weekly and consolidated the two as the Black River Falls Banner Journal, which he owned and published at the time of his death.


Hull went to Milwaukee when he was 17 to work on the old Evening Wisconsin.  From there he went to the Milwaukee Sentinel as a hand compositor and was there when the Sentinel’s first typesetting machine was introduced.


His hobby, other than smoking a pipe, was writing.  In 1940, about 110 newspapers in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa were using his weekly column, commenting on the state of the nation.  He wrote it from Washington when Congress was in session and from the Banner Journal office when it was not.


Hull started his career in public office by serving as Circuit Court Clerk in Black River Falls.  Then he was elected Jackson County district attorney as a Republican legislator from 1909-1915 and was elected Assembly speaker in 1913.


He was elected Secretary of State as a Republican in 1916 and served two terms, until 1921.  In 1924, he withdrew from the governor race as a Republican.


When Legislature redistricted the state in 1934, Hull made a Congressional comeback from the new 9th district. He has been re-elected every two years since then.




It was in 1879 that Neillsville Bank was started by J. L. Gates and his brother, Daniel Gates, as a private banking institution.  In 1883, they sold the bank to a group of men headed by Judge Dewhurst, who received a state charter in September of that year enabling the business to operate as a state bank, on the corner of what was later named Hewett and Sixth Streets.  In the above photo, Neillsville Bank is on the right.  The Commercial Bank building is on the left, which was in existence for a time, starting in 1898.  Frank Brown’s Jewelry store was located in the building, starting in 1932, selling the business to Gary Corey in 1955, who was owner at the time this 1961 photo was taken.  (Contributed photo)





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