Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

June 3, 2009, Page 17

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


June 1929


Friday noon a considerable area of pavement suddenly sunk several feet into the ground at the crossing between the Merchants Hotel and H. J. Brooks confectionery store. An automobile had just passed over the place, but was not caught in the cave-in.  Herman Henning of Marshfield, who was here on business, saw the pavement fall in and quickly put up a temporary barricade in the street and came to the Press office to telephone Street Commissioner Wm. Farning, who soon had a force of men on the scene.


It was discovered that a leak had opened in the water pipe opposite P. M. Warlum’s plumbing shop. The water softened the lower earth and flowing down the hill, had cut out a cave of considerable size, leaving the pavement unsupported.  The leak was mended and the hole filled.


Before the pavement is replaced, new service pipes will be put into the business places along the line where this break took place.


On Tuesday the last train was run out on the Fairchild and Northeastern Railroad extending from Fairchild to Greenwood, the company having secured permission from the Railroad Commission to discontinue service on May 1.  Unless the road should be sold to the Omaha Company the track will probably be taken up.


Free Dance! Hear the Blue Moon Troubadours 8-piece Orchestra, Saturday, May 4 at Clover Lawn Garden, located across the road from the Clark County Fair Grounds.  Everyone Welcome! Henry Markwardt, proprietor  - Dancing Every Saturday Night, hereafter.


(Marquardt held dances in a barn on his farm, with the home still located on the site, first house east of the Neillsville Country Club’s Clubhouse.  The former farm acreage, which also included a fruit orchard on the highest elevation of the land, is now the site of the 9-hole golf course. D.Z.)


James F. Farning passed away Wednesday afternoon, May 2, at the home of his cousins, Mr. and Mrs. James Paulus, at the age of 32 years.  He was taken sick in Chicago on the last day in February.  With hopes that a change from a large city to a smaller town might be beneficial, Mrs. Paulus went to Chicago, and James, with his wife and baby returned here with her.  Since that time he has received, at the Paulus house, all that kind and loving relatives and friends could do to nurse him back to health; but notwithstanding all that was done, his strength gradually grew less until the end came.


James Franklin Farning was born on a farm in the Town of Grant, March 14, 1897, his parents being Mr. and Mrs. Frank Farning.  When he was about three years old his family moved to Neillsville, his farther dying about two years later.  When James was 12 years old his mother also died.  Then he and his sister, Gertrude went to make their home with his cousins, Mr. and Mrs. James Paulus, who ever since have been to them as parents.


On December 15, 1927, he was married to Miss Charlotte Clevinger in Chicago, who with their baby daughter, Jean five months old, survives him.


James Farning was one of the Neillsville boys of whom everyone here was proud.  His industry, keen intelligence and friendliness of manner won friends for him wherever he went.


Besides his wife and child he leaves his sister, Miss Gertrude Farning, who was with him in Chicago and came here to assist in caring for him in his illness; there are also living here his uncle, W. Farning, Sr.; his cousins, Mrs. Paulus and Wm. Farning, Jr., besides many other cousins residing elsewhere.


A deal was closed last week by which Mrs. Ida Hommel becomes the owner of the Thomas Lowe home on Grand Avenue, across the street from Mrs. Hommel’s residence.  The Lowe home was bequeathed to Miss Belle Mason of Sparta by her aunt, Mrs. Thomas Lowe and has been owned by Miss Mason since then.  For some time Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Listeman have rented and lived in the house.


News from three weeks later:


Mrs. Ida Hommel, who recently bought the Thomas Lowe home on South Grand Avenue, has sold the place to Mrs. Kurt Listeman.  Mr. and Mrs. Listeman will make this beautiful home their permanent residence.


(The former Thomas Lowe home is located at 222 Grand Ave., now North Grand Avenue, rather than South Grand Ave. D.Z.)


A spark caught on the roof of the Paul Haugen farm home Saturday night and the fire department was called out to extinguish the fire.  This house, just north of Neillsville on Highway 73, is part of the historic Stafford home and was the center of the old village of Staffordville.


(The former Haugen farm home site is now owned and occupied by Gary and Patty Steele. D.Z.)


“Billy” Allen aged 85, died at Wausau May 7.


William Neal Allen lived in and round Wausau for 60 years, coming there as a young man to work in lumber camps and on the river. He soon acquired a side reputation as a songwriter, under the nom de plume of “Shan T. Boy.”  His songs were first published in the Wausau Pilot.  One of these, “The Shanty Boy,” was very popular through the lumber camps and was carried all over this state and into other states by workers in the camps.  In those days, singing popular ballads was common among young people, most of these old songs being memorized and passed on by work of mouth to others.


A portable barn for sheltering teams used on highway construction work is being built at the County Highway grounds near the railroad depot.  An old four-wheel trailer is being utilized for the purpose.  The wide roof can be let down on each side, being hung on hinges, so that it can be easily moved from place to place.  It will shelter six teams.  Ted Gall and Robert Bruss are the architects.


Burley Grimes of Owen got his name in big headlines in the Chicago papers, Monday, because of his performance as pitcher for the Pittsburgh baseball team in its victory over the Chicago Cubs.


The Tri-County League got into full swing last Sunday and the Neillsville sluggers took their first League opponent into camp to the tune of 8 to 0.  Gerhardt and Zank worked unusually well at their first big game and if they continue the pace they set Sunday, there is no doubt as to the League’s winners.


The Neillsville battery was made up of: Carleton, 3rd b; A. Zank, cf; W. Zank, c; Olson, 1st b; Wasserburger, 2nd b; Busch lf; Garbush, s.s.; Allen, rf; Gerhardt, p; Schroeder, rf.


Loyal battery was Henninger, s.s.; Vandehey, p; Seidel, 3rd b; Helixon, rf; Verhalen cf; Mack, 2nd b; Schmidt, c; Noah, lf; Jerschle, 1st b.


Mr. and Mrs. John Zoller of Willard left Monday on a trip to Jugo Slavia, their native country.  They expect to be gone about two months.


June 1944


Corporal Clayton Turner has written several letters to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Abie Turner of York Center since he left Australia.  He is now on an island in the Pacific. Excerpts from some of his letters are as follows:


“I’ve found what hot weather really is.  Ol Sol shines straight down on us.”


“The tropics are everything they claim them to be; plenty of rain, mud and hot weather.  We are living in tents and the other morning when I woke up the water was running under my bunk six inches deep.  Some of the boys had to go to the end of the company street to get their shoes.”


“We are getting pretty well settled in our new camp.  We have a tent for a carpenter shop.  I built a workbench and set up the saw rig, so we will soon be open for business.”


“It is so hot here that we work only from 8 to 11 a.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. and have to take it easy, at that.  We are building quarters for the Colonel to live in. The natives made and put a thatched roof on it.  Most of the buildings here have that kind of roof.”


“If we ever get out of the tropics, I don’t want to see anything but snow and cold weather for a long, long time.”


Joyce Zimmerman of Humbird received slight cuts and bruises last week when she jumped from the horse-drawn school bus when the horses started to run away.  The school bus was being driven by Clim Frader, when the harness broke, and then the horses became frightened and ran away.  The school bus soon broke away from the team, which was a good thing or more of the children may have been injured.  The little girl was taken immediately to Black River Falls for examination.  She was not seriously hurt.


Abie Turner, York Center died early Tuesday morning, May 2.  Funeral services were held at the Methodist Church, York Center 2 p.m. the following Friday afternoon.


Abie Turner was an institution of York Center, having spent his entire life within a mile and a-half of the Center.  He was born Jan. 22, 1874 on what is now known as the Leo Schecklman farm.  He lived later on the nearby Lindsley farm, still closer to the Center.  Then finally he made his home right in the Center, adjoining the town hall.


Abie Turner was known as a carpenter and a family man.  For 40 years he had done carpenter work in Clark County, mostly within a narrow range of his own home.  He married Harriet Lindsley Sept. 25, 1895 and they had 11 children.  Three are dead: Price, Berdene and Grant.  Eight are living: Mabel, Mrs. Emil Schoenfeld, York Center; George, Neillsville; Clayton, a corporal in the army, now in Australia; Myron, carpenter’s mate, first class, in the navy; Victor, Wisconsin Rapids; Harriet, Mrs. James Triska, Berwyn, Ill.; Orville, Chicago, Ill; Wilbur, Neillsville.  There are 11 grandchildren.


Abie’s parents were Abel and Arvilla Turner.  He was one of six children.  Two of these are living and are residents of Clark County: Ben and Warren, both of Loyal; two brothers are dead: William whose home was in York and Frank of Oregon.  His sister, Mary Garvin is also dead.


Word has been received from Myron that he will be unable to attend the funeral; but a grandson, Corp. Milton Schoenfeld, will come for the funeral from a camp in Louisiana.    


Dr. A. H. Kulig inserted the following notice in last week’s issue of the Thorp Courier:


“People around here have a tendency to borrow and forget to return things.  Among the items I have lost from my garage is a pair of crutches, something very handy for some of my patients.  Also a hammer, saw, draw knife, pair of rubber boots, a double barrel shotgun and all my fishing plugs and flies.


“Now if those borrowers would kindly return those articles, I would be much obliged, as I have neighbors who might want to borrow something.


An eye witness account of the Army Air Force’s first daring raid on the Ploesti oil fields of Rumania was given to the Shriners and their guests at the Neillsville Country Club last Friday by one of the few men who returned from that epic-making mission.


S/Sgt. Leigh Claflin, a cousin of Dr. M. L. Claflin, former Neillsville resident, told the story.  S/Sgt. Claflin wounded in the Ploesti action, is back in the United States after taking part in the war against Hitler from all fronts on which American airmen have been active.


Of 125 big American bombers, which took part in the Ploesti raid, only 46 returned.


The raid was a complete surprise to the enemy, Sgt. Claflin told the Shriners.  He recalled skimming barely 25 feet above ground on the last leg of the journey to the target.  Going up the Danube valley, he said, the countryside looked peaceful in the hot August sun. People coming from church services were surprised as the big American bombers roared by; and the airmen were flying so low they could see the look of astonishment across the people’s faces.


If all was uneventful on the approach to the Ploesti oil fields, the Americans did not find it so over the target.  In spite of the fact that the enemy defenses had been surprised, the air armada nevertheless ran into blazing inferno during its 60-second bombing run over their target.


Barrage balloons, which the Americans hoped would be caught on the ground, were riding above the field on their cables.  Long, thick steel cables swung from them like the menacing arms of a multitude of octopi.  How any pilot was able to take his plane through that maize of whipping cables, anti-aircraft fire and huge steel oil storage tanks is still a source of wonder to S/Sgt. Claflin.


It was in that minute’s time over the target that Sgt. Claflin received bleeding wounds; when another man in the plane was more seriously hit.


Being busy stopping my bleeding and taking care of the other man; the bombardier had seen that we had left an area a mile square in flames.


While over the target, one of the four motors of the plane was knocked out. Rather than attempt a return to their North African base, the crew voted to try to make Malta.  They skimmed mountain tops of Yugoslavia, passing over some crags by a matter of inches.


It was not until later, when Sgt. Claflin went to switch over to an auxiliary gasoline tank that the crew learned a gas line had been hit and they had lost considerable fuel.  Then there was a question whether they would be able to make Malta; the radio operator contacted Malta with word of their plight.  Between Malta and Sicily the plane was set down on the water.  Sgt. Claflin and two men were place in a life raft, while others in the crew hung onto the raft.  Two and one-half hours later, a boat from Malta picked them up.


S/Sgt. Claflins story was a feature of the Eau Claire Mehara Shriners club’s meeting, held here in honor of member George Zimmerman.




The intersection of East Sixth and Hewett Streets as it appeared about 1918.  A restaurant occupied the Kapellan building at that time. 

The northeast corner was then a vacant lot after the O’Neill House was razed by fire.  The Neillsville Post Office was built on that corner in 1937.




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