Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

April 21, 2010, Page 17

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

April 1880


W. T. Price was in town last week looking after his lumbering interests. The Senator has no man in his employ working more or harder hours than he during the log-driving season.           


Ben Tragsdorf took the initiatory step in the log driving business last Sunday, he stepped into the water between the logs, and if had it not been for the timely assistance of some boys who happened to be near him, he would have went under the logs and Ben’s chances for getting out would have been very slim indeed.


Elmer Jackson, nephew of Mrs. Levi Withee, was drowned while assisting in breaking a logjam in the Popple River, below the Colby Bridge, last Wednesday morning.  Diligent search has been made for the body, but it has not been found.


The following is the amount of taxes voted at the town meeting last Tuesday for the Town of Pine Valley: for roads, $500; incidental expenses, $600; for clerk’s salary $150.                            


The following is the result of the election held in the Town of Loyal last Tuesday:


For Chairman, B. M. Fullmer 78, Wm. Welsh 20; For Town Clerk, M. P. Hartford 69, H. Draper 29; For Treasurer, J. C. Gwin 79, Wm. Hills 20


In the jubilation after the above vote was declared, one of the boys, Mr. Joseph Mack, was considerably burned by the premature explosion of powder, causing the loss of mustache, eyebrows, lashes and some skin on his face; fortunately no damage was to his eyes. Though his sufferings occasioned by the burn were severe, he yet rejoiced that his side won.


(A form of celebration was to set off an explosion over a happy event. D.Z.)


Camps are being put up fast all along the line for the construction of the Wisconsin & Minnesota Railroad, which will run across Clark County from Abbotsford Junction on the Wisconsin Central Railroad, to Chippewa Falls, a distance of 54 miles.  This railroad is just what is needed there and is welcomed and appreciated in that locality.  Land has been donated to the Wisconsin & Minnesota Railroad Company by Messrs. E. A. and J. S. Boardman, for the depot building, which will undoubtedly be put up at North Fork when the railroad is completed.


The Eau Claire Lumbering Company will no doubt help build up the town by erecting a large warehouse or two, which they will not be able to get along very well without.


Mr. William Dalzell, of Milwaukee, will put up a saw mill at that point as soon as he can get his machinery up.


Mr. Herling, of St. Cloud, Fond du Lac County has bought six town lots there and will build a cabinet shop some time next fall.


Dr. J. F. Corbett, also of Fond du Lac, is thinking of locating there too.


The two new schoolhouses there, which cost from thirteen to seventeen hundred dollars each, are the finest found in any part of Clark County, other than Neillsville’s.


(The location ‘North Fork’ is believed to have been later named Eidsvold, which is located along the North Branch of the Eau Claire River, three miles west of Thorp. D. Z.)


The nine new chandeliers for the courthouse, ordered by Myers’ Bros. have arrived. Three of them are six-light, three four -light and three three-light.  They are of the latest pattern of extension chandeliers and are very ornamental.


Lowe Bros. will commence putting up a two-story building on the site where the express office stands as soon as the weather will permit. They have not decided as to the dimensions, but it will be 20 feet wide and somewhere from 40 to 60 feet long.  (Building was in 500 block, S. Hewett St. D. Z.)


The contract for hauling mail on the new route between Greenwood and Longwood, from the first of May until October, has been awarded to John Mahar.


Work has commenced on the telephone line between Blakeslee’s store, here, and N. H. Withee’s mill at Hemlock Dam. W. S. Payne has taken the contract for setting the poles and the work will be completed in a few days.


Thursday, the 27th of May, is the time fixed for the Sherman Guards’ Grand Reunion Ball.  It will be held at the O’Neill House hall with music furnished by the Neillsville Quintet Band.  One dollar per couple for supper tickets.  The proceeds will be used to purchase a flag for the company.  During the afternoon the company will parade the streets, headed by the Sherman Guards’ Band.


Ladies go to Henry Klopf’s, in Meyers Brothers drug store and examine his new stock of goods, comprising the very latest patterns of Ladies’ Sets, Necklaces, Gold Watches, Chains, and more as the stock is larger than ever.


April 1940


Some sale prices at the recent John L. Doberstein auction, in the Town of Hoard, Taylor County: a team of black horses brought $350 and a gray mare went for $160.  The top cow brought $78, while the average cow went for $58.


Since the Works Project Administration (WPA) was created in July 1935 more than 348 miles of highways, streets and roads in Clark County have been constructed or improved through projects employing WPA labor, according to a county physical accomplishment report compiled by G. E. Wiseman, district manager.


The inventory is the most comprehensive survey of WPA achievements ever conducted during the four and a half years of the program’s existence.  The report does not include accomplishments of the WERA or CWA programs or projects operated through other federal agencies, which are financed from WPA funds.


The report is designed primarily to inform citizens of results obtained in Clark County with labor made available through WPA.  It may be regarded in the nature of an accounting of the extent to which city and county officials took advantage of opportunities to employ WPA workers.  Permanent benefit projects are generally the result of careful thinking and planning on the part of county and city officials and they are entitled to a major portion of the credit for the many accomplishments.


There is a longing, bewildered look in the eyes of older residents of Trondhjem, Clark County these days.


For more than a score of years several residents of that small farming community, a stone’s throw north and east of Greenwood have followed peaceful pursuits.  Thrifty, as is the nature of the Scandinavian, they have worked long and hard, saving for the day they could return to visit the snow-capped mountains and deep, peaceful fjords they knew as children.


Now all thoughts of that are past.  Blood colors the deep, blue fjords.  The roar of cannon, the crack of rifle-fire and the drone of war birds break the serenity that the mountains knew for nearly a century.


Residents of Trondhjem, Clark County, have been torn from their dreams by a world of stark realism, as the armies’ battle and blood flows thick in the Trondhjem area, where they once lived.


Trondhjem as the Norwegians spell it; but news reports inflict an ironic German touch with the spelling, “Trondheim.”  It all means the same. “Hjem” is “home” to the Norwegian as much as “heim” is home in German.  Trond was the name of the Norwegian after whom the area was named: so it means, literally, “The home of the Trond.”


Little Mrs. Ed Engebretson, who lives across the road from the Norwegian Lutheran Church her husband helped build nearly 30 years ago, was brewing a large pot of coffee, the good Norwegian kind, and visiting with her neighbors, Mrs. Iver Hembre and two of her sons, as she told The Press reporter about the tie between the two Trondhjems.


But she was bewildered by the strange happenings in the land of her birth.  She spent the early part of her 76 years in Gudbrandsdalen, near Trondhjem; and therefore is a good Trondhjemer.


“I can’t understand it,” she commented.  A look of bewilderment came into her blue eyes.  “Norway and Germany were always good friends.”


“Ya, ha!” joined in Mrs. Hembre.  “Treason! Tch, tch!”


“Germany must have run out of iron and metals,” Mrs. Engebretson surmised.  “You know, Norway is rich in that.”


But how about her?  Did she ever want to go back, now that her homeland has become a battlefield?


“No, no! Not now,” Mrs. Engebretson exclaimed.


“But you always dreamed of returning,” ventured Mrs. Hembre.


“Ya, but not anymore.  I don’t want to go there now.”


Mrs. Engebretson has a few relatives in Norway now; but she has heard nothing from them. There are two sisters, Mrs. Johanna Amund and Miss Marie Engebretson. They both live in the Trondhjem area.


Down the road a piece lives Muns Krogness, a kindly man whose skin is weathered tough from 84 years of outdoor work.


In his youth, Mr. Krogness plied the jagged Norway coast in a fishing smack out of a small port near Bergen.  In his six years at fishing, Mr. Krogness went as far north as Narvik, the northern iron ore port where the heaviest single naval engagement of the war took place recently.


(A fishing smack was a sailing ship used chiefly in coasting and fishing. D. Z.)


Mr. Krogness is now the oldest settler of the Trondhjem, Clark County community.  He settled there 40 years ago and for many years plied his trade as carpenter.


His neat wooden farm buildings are specimens of his handiwork. The only help he had was in constructing the large concrete silo on his farm.


A few years ago Mr. Krogness went back to Norway for a visit.  He is the only one of the Trondhjem community for whom the dream came true.  At that time his brother was living and they spent some time together before Mr. Krogness returned.  Since, the brother has died and only two nieces remain in the old country.  One is a nurse in Bergen; the other a school teacher.


“I guess they are all right,” he said.  “No one would bother them. But I wonder how long it will last.”


There are others, too, who dreamed.  David Danielson is one.  P. C. Johnson, who died but recently, was another.


In their time of sorrow for the land of their birth, older residents of Trondhjem rally around their church and the Rev. M. K. Auburg watches over them as he has done for over 20 years.  The church has always symbolized a tie between the new country, which has adopted them and the Trondhjem across the waters.


The church was their first community enterprise.  It was named the Trondhjem Church and the community has since taken over the name.


Thirty years ago the Engebretsons, Danielsons, Johnsons, Hembres, and all the others went to church in the old Larson School, under the spiritual guidance of the Rev. J. C. Hougum, who now is in Stevens Point.  Finally, they decided to build their own church.  Members gave willingly of their savings and their energies.


Stone for the foundation was hauled from the Ed Engebretson farm, a short distance from the home in which Mrs. Engebretson now lives.  The lot, where the church was built, was donated by Simon Johnson, who has since died.  Dave Danielson was the carpenter, assisted by Emil Engebretson, who has also gone to his reward.  Iver Hembre, the father of I. O. Hembre, who is Barron County Agent and Christ Engebretson also were among those who helped build the church.


After the church was built, the old Larson School was moved a short distance north of the Trondhjem corner, onto the old Christopherson farm.  It is from this farm that the name of the present school was taken.


“The Missing Christians,” a dramatized play, which was presented at the Evangelical Church at Chili three weeks ago, will be repeated, by request, Sunday evening, April 28.  Everyone is cordially invited.  All seats are free.


Friday, April 26, marks the birthday anniversary of two of Granton’s oldest residents, for on that day, T. D. Wage and E. A. Beeckler will have attained the ages of 88 and 86 respectively.  Friday noon Mr. Wage will entertain many of his friends at dinner at the local restaurant and on Saturday Mr. Beeckler will be the host of a gathering at his home.  The celebration is somewhat saddened this year by the death of Carl Berg, who would have celebrated his 89th birthday Saturday, and who has, for the past several years, entertained in honor of his anniversary.


Two Iowa truck drivers were arraigned before Justice Victor Montag in Chili Monday on charges of driving overloaded trucks on the highway, the office of District Attorney Hugh F. Gwin reported.


Mr. and Mrs. H. F. Wilsmann, who conducted the Merchants Hotel in Neillsville, celebrated their 56th anniversary April 17th.  No special arrangements were made for the occasion except the congratulations of their friends and relatives.  “Quite different from the seventeenth of fifty-six years ago,” said Mr. Wilsmann, “When we had a big celebration at the farm of my folks at Mishicot, Wis. The Two Rivers brass band played from noon until nine o’clock the following day and the charge for their services was only twelve dollars.” Rev. Phillip Koehler, brother of the Rev. John Koehler of Neillsville, performed the ceremony, the latter being pastor of the Two Rivers and Mishicot churches at that time. Rev. Phillip Koehler was visiting his brother, both gentlemen being present at the wedding.




Harry F. Wilsmann owned and operated the Merchant’s Hotel starting circa 1920.  He was later assisted in the business by his son, William H.  At that time there was a coffee shop-restaurant in the hotel, which was also managed by the Wilsmann family.  In the photo, Harry F. is standing on the left, William H. is seated behind the hotel lobby desk and a traveling salesman is standing on the right.  (Photo courtesy of Robert Wilsmann, Sr., Grandson of Harry F. Wilsmann)




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