Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

January 21, 2009, Page 20

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

January 1929


Tuesday evening, January 1st, the new Masonic Temple was formally dedicated and the various Masonic orders of Neillsville are now settled in their new home.  The building was thronged all afternoon and evening by local members and Masons from surrounding cities.  The reception committee was kept busy ushering guests about this most modern and complete Masonic edifice.  The Masons are proud of their new temple and happy in the completion of a project, which has been their aim and dream for many years.


Following the dedication ceremonies, a threatre (theatre) party was given to all the guests through the courtesy of W. E. Tragsdorf.  At six o’clock a fine banquet was served in the dining room by the Eastern Star of which about 300 partook.  An hour of entertainment such as music, cards, bowling, and billiards was enjoyed followed by dancing in the dining room.  Music for the event was supplied by the courtesy of Mr. Frear of Eau Claire and the Northern States Power Co.  Mr. Frear brought his amplified phonograph and set it up with the machine furnishing excellent music for the event.


Last winter the association felt that it was justified in taking the final steps in the consummation of the dreams of many years and the work was started this past summer on the lot formerly occupied by the M. C. Ring home and which had been acquired for this purpose by the lodge.


 A deal which has been in process for some time was near being finalized Tuesday by which the plan of the Bruley Elevator in Neillsville was sold to S. H. Van Gorden.  The grandfather, three sons and three grandsons carry on a chain of elevators and feed stores and have been very successful in this line of business, having plants at Black River Falls, Taylor, Hixton and Alma Center.  Archie Van Gorden, a grandson, will manage the plant in Neillsville.  He is a young married man with three children and will make his home in Neillsville.


Fred Bruley, who has been the active manager of the Bruley Elevator Co., began working some 30 years ago for A. B. Marsh in the elevator.  He continued as manager of the Farmers Elevator Co., which bought out Mr. Marsh in 1914.  In 1917 Mr. Bruley went into business for himself, building the present plant.  Later the business was incorporated.  The Company now has a large plant and stock in Eau Claire and also a branch at Chippewa Falls, as well as one at Menomonie, which will be carried on as before.


Wisconsin is once more taking its place among the foremost fur trading centers of the country.


There are 1,191 licensed fur farms registered at the offices of the state conservation commission.  Of these farms, 500 raise raccoons, 300 raise muskrats and 25 raise beaver.  The remaining farms are divided between raising skunk, mink, otter, fisher and marten.  Fox farms, of which there are, many, require no license.  Each time that there is an application for a license of a fur farm, the state conservation commission sends out an inspector to devise the prospective farmer.  If conditions are favorable, the license is granted. 


A ten-cent bag of the old-fashioned horehound drops will help to stop that tickling in the throat, and can be bought at Kearns’ Drug Store.


Real talking and singing pictures will be shown at Trags Theatre on Sunday, February 3rd.  As it is impossible at this time to have them for more than one day, there will be a matinee at 2 o’clock Sunday afternoon in order to take care of the crowds, which will or should avail themselves of this opportunity to see and hear the present day marvel of the age.


What is said to be the largest single shipment of silver fox pelts is headed for New York.


The shipment was made Thursday from Hamburg, Wis., and represents the take of five fox farms of the Fromme Bros.-Niemann & Co., in Wisconsin.


The shipment consists of two parcels, totaling more than 8,000 skins, and valued according to local sources at $1,400,000.  One parcel, consisting of 6,665 skins is slated for the special silver fox sale of the New York Auction Co., beginning Jan. 28; the other parcel of 499 skins, is to be shipped to the London offices for disposal at auction there.


The shipment is being transported in a special railcar under armed guard.


Last week the New Dells Lumber Co. started hauling logs from its skid-ways in the Town of Levis and on the O’Brien farm in South Pine Valley.  Five teams of horses are hauling from the skidways back of the R. B. French farm in Levis and four teams from the farms in the neighborhood.  The teams get onto Black River at the mouth of French’s Creek, go up the river to the Yndogliato farm and from there a road is made, cutting across to the turnpike near Silver Crest School, thence north to Sydney where the logs are landed.


On Monday teams started hauling from the northern camps in Pine Valley and Weston.  When this gets into full swing, 25 sleighs will be used, each with a four-horse team. This will make quite an imposing procession as they travel on the sleighing road going down Black River from some distance above Neillsville to where the logs are landed here at the special side-track west of the train depot.  The first three loads were landed Monday afternoon.  The big snowstorm Tuesday slowed up work some, but it is planned that the roads will be kept open under all circumstances.


News one week later:


Myron Osgood walked over from Sydney Friday to take the train to his home at Granton.  He is working at the log landing for the New Dells Lumber Co. at Sydney.  The big storm Thursday night blockaded the roads so that hauling was stopped.  The camps in Levis and South Pine Valley ran out of hay for their horses Friday and two four-horse teams came through the snowdrifts to Sydney, each taking back a few bales of hay.


The old stone creamery at Sydney has been fitted up to lodge both the men and teams that are working at the landing, loading logs there for the New Dells Lumber Co.  Stoves and bunks have been put in and the place has been made very comfortable.  One end of the building is fitted up to stable the horses.


The remaining directors of the old Farmers Elevator Co. met at the First National Bank, Saturday afternoon to take steps to wind up the business of the company.  Only five of the old directors were present: Geo. A. Ure, H. O. Huckstead, Wm. Dux, W. C. Thoma and Geo. E. Crothers; Mert Palmer is deceased, Arlo Huckstead is in Madison as Member of Assembly and Will Waterman is in Abbotsford.


The Farmers Elevator did a very large business for a number of years, owning what is now the Kleckner Elevator at the depot site, also the lumber yard, both of which were all paid for.  It paid well for years and when sold, all stockholders got better than par for their stock.


January 1959


Hewettville is a name which is occasionally upon the tongues of the present day residents of Clark County.  The location of the place and the nature of it have been lost for most persons in the dimness of the olden days.  There has been no Hewettville since Aug. 8, 1886, 72 years ago.  It is a ghost town more completely, perhaps, than any other old site in Clark County.


Wishing definitely to locate the site, the editor sought the help of Fred Lenz, old time citizen of the Town of Hewett.  Mr. Lenz went with the editor to the site and pointed out the location of the buildings.


The main building, housing the chief enterprise of the little community, was the saw mill.  This was a business of the old Hewett family.  It was located on the east bank of Wedges Creek, close to the water, a little west of the residence now located on the east side of the creek.


All of the rest of Hewettville was in the immediate vicinity.  There was not much of it, perhaps five or six buildings of various sizes, mostly constructed roughly, for temporary use.  The main building was the hotel or boarding house, which was a little northeast of the saw mill and on the north side of the present pavement of US Hwy 10 and Snyder Park entrance road.  There were three or four other buildings connected with the Hewett enterprise and none of them of a permanent nature.  All buildings rested on temporary foundations, such as wooden blocks.


In addition to the saw mill and the buildings, Hewettville had a dam on Wedges Creek and a canal, which led from the dam to the saw mill.  The dam was in the location of the present dam, but was higher and thus impounded more water.  The canal ran from approximately the east end of the dam and across what is now US Hwy 10.  The end of Hewettville came August 8, 1886.  That date is definitely fixed in the history of the Pollnow family of the Town of Hewett.  Just four days prior to August 8, a little lady arrived in the Pollnow family; she would later become Mrs. P. M. Warlum.  At the age of four days she and her family beat a hasty retreat from a rushing forest fire.  At that time she was a passive factor in the events, but with the help of her parents she got out of danger.


On August 8 Fred Lenz had gone blueberry picking at the Spaulding shanties, a logging camp some distance west of Hewettville.  With him were other children of about his age: Rosie, Frank, Ed Payne; John Lenz and perhaps one of the Dux children.  As they were picking berries they saw smoke rising in a column straight up.  The location was to the west, near King’s mill.  At first there was no rushing or roaring; there was little wind.  But soon the wind came up strong.  What had been a column of smoke became a roaring wall of fire, racing through the woods.  The children ran in fright. As they ran they came upon the Carl Schultz family.  A small tree had fallen across the trail.  The children helped to clear the Schultz rig.  Then all of them hurried in panic from the roaring, racing flames.


The fire made short, sharp work of Hewettville.  All of the buildings were of flimsy construction.  They were made to fuel flames.  The fire licked them up and hurried on to the east.  It stopped at about the Globe road, which was almost the front line of the farm country of that day.


Hewettville was named for James Hewett, who came to Clark County in 1856.  The Town of Hewett was named for him.  He was a logger, a farmer and a merchant.  He built the first brick store in Neillsville, on a corner of Fifth and Hewett streets, which is known as the Marsh block and the main floor that is occupied by the J. C. Penney Co.  It will be noted that the main business street of Neillsville is also named for him.  James Hewett died in 1907.


Following the marriage of Celia Reed to Julius Benedict, 80 years ago, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Reed on Pleasant Ridge, Town of Grant, the Rev. William Hendren, Presbyterian minister, stepped into the backyard and twisted together two small elm saplings, a symbol of marriage unity.


The saplings at that time were smaller than a pencil in diameter.  The wedlock has continued down to the present time.  The saplings are now one tree, more than 36 inches in diameter at the base.  They tower 75 feet into the sky.  Located about 40 feet from the northwest corner of the residence, it appears as one tree today.


Celia Reed, an aunt of Harold Huckstead who now resides on the Reed farm, was the oldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Reed, after whom the Reed School was named.  Mr. Reed donated the land for the school, which has always been known as the Reed School.


Mr. and Mrs. Benedict took up residence on a farm south of the school.  Five sons and a daughter were born to them: Russell, Arthur, and Norene, deceased; Murray, now head of the department of farm economics, University of California, Berkley; Harry, formerly with Frank Vanderlip, prominent New York banker and now located at Portuguese Bend, Calif.; and Marion, who married a Neillsville school teacher, Mildred Overton, lives in Wauwatosa and is sales manager of the American Lace Paper Company, Milwaukee.


Mr. and Mrs. Julius Benedict retired from their farm in the Town of Grant to a home on Oak Street, Neillsville, which is now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Karnitz.  The land is now occupied by the homes of Leo Fosters, Leslie Yorkstons and Frank E. Browns where once grew the garden and orchards of Mr. and Mrs. Benedict.


Paul Davel was elected executive vice president and cashier of the Loyal State Bank at the reorganization meeting of the board of directors Monday afternoon.  He succeeds J. R. Colby, who retired December 31.


In addition to re-electing O. W. Trindal, president and George V. Weyhmiller, vice president, the board named: George Zuehlke, assistant cashier; and Ewald Schlinsog of Granton, assistant cashier and manager of the Granton station.


In the stockholders’ meeting earlier, all members of the board were returned.  They include, in addition to Mr. Trindal and Mr. Weyhmiller, the following: Joseph Esselman, Mr. Colby and D. K. Schwarze.


W. J. Rush of Neillsville acted as chairman of the stockholders meeting and Vernon Loos as secretary.



Hotel-Stagecoach Stops of 1880


There were three rural hotel and stagecoach stops along the road from Neillsville to Greenwood in 1880, now State Hwy 73.  The first stop was two miles north of Neillsville, southeast corner with County Road C; second stop was one-fourth mile north of Christie on west side of the road; and third stop was one-third mile north of the 26 Road intersection, east side of road.



A circa 1950 view of the 5th Street and Grand Avenue Intersection, Neillsville; Stelloh’s Garage was on the northwest corner.  Paulson’s car dealership and repair shop was on the lower level of the northeast corner building, with the Moose Lodge Hall on the second level where many community events were held such as wedding receptions, club meetings, dances and various parties.  (And on the southwest corner was Wall’s Deep Rock Service Station.)





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