Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

July 30 2008, Page 28

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled and contributed by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

July 1883


A few days ago a gentleman put up over night with landlord Carhart, of the O’Neill House and as he registered asked that worthy host to keep a small common looking pasteboard box, oblong, such as cutlery is shipped in.  Carhart laid it aside on the counter near the register, thinking it of little or no value.  The next morning after breakfast the guest settled up and asked for his box in an unconcerned way.  Imagine Carhart’s surprise when the box was opened and he saw before him $3,000 in gold double eagles, packed in a box that had lain all night on the counter, in a position to be taken by any of the dozens of persons who had transacted business at the counter while it was there.  Carhart was dumbfounded by the coolness of his guest’s manner and hasn’t yet entirely recovered.   


Frank James, who has worked for James Hewett for the past two or three years, stole a horse from that gentleman two or three weeks ago, then sold him at Black River Falls, for $60, although worth $200.  He was captured in the northern part of this county; then brought here to be lodged in jail Tuesday forenoon for examination.


On Wednesday morning, the examination was waived by James and he was bound over under bonds of $600 for trial at the September term of the circuit court.  He will probably not get bail.


After a very lively and considerable hunt the horse stolen by Frank James was found a little way up the Omaha railroad line by O. G. Tripp’s place.  Once more the horse is home.


Mr. Graef is owner of a set of boxing gloves and the boys entice one another occasionally into putting the gloves on.  It is an awe-inspiring and instructive sight when the rugged Saupe and the mild Miller get to shaking those pillowy gloves in each other’s face.  The rosy hue of early morn may now be seen indelibly punched upon the fierce snout of those who have boxed and gotten boxed.  To see a peeper closed shut after a solemn promise not to hit hard, this you may see.  The boxing glove is a fearful thing to him who dotes upon a mere broken cuticle.


Everett Bacon’s new residence on Fourth Street is rapidly taking shape, the frame is all up and work is far enough advanced to enable us to see that the house, when done, is going to be very graceful and commodious.


An ordinance has been recently passed by the Neillsville city council providing that all dogs running in the streets shall be muzzled or led, otherwise they are to be dealt with by the police in such manner as to effectually protect citizens from all possibility of danger, which is to say, that they are liable to be shot.  Citizens owning dogs upon which they set any value will therefore oblige the city authorities by complying with the ordinance.


During the past week, the street commissioner has had men at work cutting yellow dock, burdock and thistles in the streets, but upon inquiry of that official notice, we learn that little good can result from this work in the streets unless supplemented by destruction of these noxious weeds by citizens in the lots throughout the city.  To be effective the movement must be general and we hope every citizen will do his part with a will.


News was received yesterday of the death Tuesday night of Chas. Kurth, who was innkeeper of Kurth Corner’s hotel and saloon.


Fred Klopf has received one of the much-talked-of road carts, with two wheels and it attracted considerable attention from those who take an interest in such matters.  Messrs. M. C. Ring and C. A. Youmans each have a road cart, of a different make, on the way from Aurora, Ill.  As yet they are an experiment here, but it is thought they will be found very serviceable.


The shingle mill in Nevins is turning out a large number of shingles daily.


Nevins has a baseball team.  The boys are practicing and as soon as the oats are off the fields, they intend to challenge Shortville to a game for the championship.


Sol. Jaseph will have when his residence is finished, and the painting is finished, no further need of a rainbow.  He will have all the colors right at home.


July 1953


Clark County celebrates the Centennial of its birth the first week of this month.


Already in celebrating history were the religious service on Sunday evening, the style show of Tuesday evening, the Queen’s ball of Tuesday evening and the Pet Parade of Wednesday morning.  These and all other events of the celebration mark the passing of a century since the Legislature of Wisconsin created the County of Clark.


On Wednesday afternoon was to occur the contest of amateur acts for the kiddies.  At 7:30 in the evening the coronation of the Queen was to take place before the grand stand at the fairgrounds.  This was to be followed at 8:15 by the first presentation of the “Clark County Centurama,” the great pageant based upon the history of Clark Count, with each presentation of the Centurama to be followed by a fireworks finale.  Wednesday was set down in the schedule as “Young America’s Day.”


Thursday was designated as Ladies Day.  There will be a capsule ceremony at the courthouse grounds.  This will consist in the filling of a capsule with various relics and records of the present celebration.  The expectation is that this capsule will be opened in 2053, when it may be anticipated the bi-centennial will be celebrated.


On Thursday evening at 7:30 the preliminary at the fair grounds will be the presentation of the winners of the Old Fashioned Style Show, together with the judging of the costumes of the Sisters of the Swish.  This will be followed by the second performance of the “Clark County Centurama.”


Friday will be “Clark County Day.”  The downtown feature will be the Huge Historical Centennial Parade, which will get underway at 3 p.m.


Saturday, July 4th, is “Pioneer Day.”  The pioneers will register at Centennial headquarters by 10 a.m.  The preliminary will be 7:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds, which will consist of the judging of the “Brothers of the Brush.”  This will bring to a climax one of the most spectacular features of the Centennial period, the growing of beards to equal or beat those worn by the pioneers.


The following was taken from the McBride history of Clark County:


At the session of the Legislature in 1868 an act was passed that proved of very great service in making the initial start in building good roads and highways in this county.  In1868 the roads in the county were all bad.  Attempts had been made from time to time by the few towns to make turnpike roads, here and there, mostly by the residents working out their highway taxes.


The result was that after a good rainfall the so called turnpike, or improved road, was worse than the original virgin soil.


James O’Neill, who was a member of the Assembly from the Clark and Jackson district in 1868, although at first opposed it, introduced a bill in the Legislature of that year entitled “a bill to authorize the supervisors of the County of Clark to levy a tax, for the purpose therein named.”  It became a law and is Chapter 483 of the Private and local laws of that year.


On the 28th of May, 1868, the county board authorized a levy on seven thousand dollars for that year, and appointed Benjamin F. French, James Hewett and Jones Tompkins, commissioners in accordance with the provisions of the act.


The commissioners at once began the performance of their duties and contracts were let from time to time to do the work.  In the year 1868 and the two succeeding years the entire amount authorized was expended.  Leonard R. Stafford had a number of sections of the road to make, as did Hewett & Woods, and others.


A few years later an act of he same character, but for the expenditure of a much smaller amount, was passed to aid in the construction of the road from Neillsville to Humbird.


The law referred to was passed in 1871.  It was at the session of the Legislature when Hon. Geo. W. King was a member of the Legislature from Clark County.  Mr. King then lived at Humbird and was interested in having a good road between his home and Neillsville.  At that time he had a saw mill on the highway from Humbird to Neillsville, a little over five miles east of Humbird, known throughout the county as “King’s mills.”


This law of 1871 only authorized the expenditure of $5,000.  The other provisions of the act were of similar character, as to appointing commissioners, public letting, and such, as was contained in the law regarding the main Black River Road.


A large amount of the money appropriated for the Humbird road was expended in building a “corduroy” road, the character of the land between Hewettville and Humbird necessitation that type of a highway.


The wisdom of the enactment of the act of the Legislature of 1868, authorizing the county to improve the main Black River Road, at the expense of the county, has been demonstrated by the existence today of the splendid highway, along Black River, from the bridge at Richard Lynch’s, in the Town of Levis, north through the county to the town of Hixon and beyond.


There are few counties in the state of Wisconsin today that can excel and still fewer that can compare, with the Clark County for its excellent country roads and highways.


Also from the McBride history:


In the early fall of 1866, Neillsville was a village of few dozen buildings scattered around within a limited area.  There was an old saw mill on the north side of the O’Neill Creek, near where the present electric light plant stands.  The mill was an old-fashioned one, with an up and down saw, run by waterpower, but at the time mentioned, it was out of commission.  It was a year after, either rebuilt, or else repaired by Marville Mason, of the Town of Pine Valley, a good man and a good millwright, who long since has gone to his reward.


On the north side of O’Neill Creek in what is known as the first ward of the city of Neillsville, there were a blacksmith shop and three or four houses in all of that area, one of them being the home of James Furlong that then stood on the same land and near the fine brick dwelling built by Gus. D. Hoesly a few years go.  The north side was nearly all woods.


On the south side of the creek and on the same location as the present Merchants Hotel, was a dilapidated frame hotel called the Hubbard House, then kept by L. K. Hubbard, father of Richard Hubbard, now a prominent citizen of Hayward in Sawyer County.


Across Hewett Street, as it is now called and a mile south of Carl Rabenstein’s frame building, the upper story of which was occupied by a man by the name of Tim Roberts who made logging sleds, at least made the wooden parts of sleds.


Below, on the first floor, was Hewett, Woods & Co.  The room was small and the store ten had no clerks, nor window trimmers.


The front window was of the two-sash 8x10 glass variety and incapable of being decorated very elaborately.  The books, such as they were, lay upon the top of an empty kerosene barrel, which did duty as a desk, when such an article of furniture was required.  About November 1866, the store was vacated and the goods moved to a building that stood on the corner where the Neillsville Bank was later located.  This building was a store and dwelling house combined, occupied by Chauncey Blakeslee and his family and it was only a short time until a very large stock of goods was on the shelves.


Back of and to the north of the original store of Hewett, Woods & Co. and facing the north end of the creek, was the old frame dwelling house of James O’Neill then occupied by James Hewett and his family, consisting of a wife and one son, then about a year old, named Sherman F. Hewett.  The son is the present county surveyor of the county, more familiarly known as “Frank” Hewett.


All of the land on the east side of main Street, including the store building first mentioned and the house occupied by James Hewett, were the property of James O’Neill and there were no other buildings on the east side of the street from O’Neill’s Creek to the site of the present O’Neill House.


On that corner Mr. O’Neill had built a two-story frame building for a residence, which he then occupied and afterward for a short time ran a hotel there.


On the west side of the street across from the Hubbard House was a drug store, the proprietor being George O. Adams.  He was a full-fledged Yankee from Nashua, N. H.   He generally wore a long pair of rubber boots and always wore a silk high hat.  He was a keen businessman, but somewhat off in his manner.  He generally walked in the middle of the road peering from one side to the other.  One of his common expressions was “I want to know.”  He died several years ago at a very advanced age.


South of the drug store, there was a general store kept by Charles E. Adams, son of the druggist.  It occupied the site where the elder John G. Klopf for many years afterwards resided and had a saloon.  It is the building now occupied by August Storm.


On the main street corner, from where the Neillsville Bank now stands, was the dwelling house of Chauncey Blakeslee, the lower part being used for Hewett, Woods & Co.  Between Blakeslee’s dwelling south to Marsh’s dry goods store on the southwest corner, were an apple orchard and a garden.




The Grist Mill was on the south side of O’Neill Creek and along Hewett Street in Neillsville’s early days.  James O’Neill’s saw mill was on the north side of the Creek, as is shown in the photo.






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