Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

May 4, 2011, Page 9

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

April 1881


L. A. Doolittle can procure a few more loans on improved farms at 7 and 8 percent interest.  For the particulars inquire at his office in the Court House, Neillsville.                                           


R. C. Evans, superintendent of the county farm, went to Sauk County, last Monday to gather in another pauper belonging to this county.                                                                                      


Benjamin Tragsdorf, salesman at C. Blakeslee’s was married to Miss Bertha Wagner, last Sunday.


At the meeting of the Clark County Farmers’ Club, at Maple Works, last Thursday evening, it was decided to buy the necessary machinery for manufacturing the Amber Sugar Cane into syrup. The members of the club and others will, the coming season, plant that variety of cane in sufficient quantities to thoroughly test this branch of agricultural industry in Clark County.


The machinery is to be portable, so it can be moved from one neighborhood or town to another.


An unpleasantness at a dance in that portion of our village styled the “New Jerusalem,” last Saturday night, led to the arrest of several parties on Monday.                                                                   


J. H. Reddan was kicked in the face by a mule he was inspecting last Tuesday, receiving a slight injury.  He narrowly escaped the loss of the greater portion of his head.  Jim is no longer an admirer of that long-eared tribe.


Eleven hundred million feet is the estimate of timber tributary to Black River, yet standing, two million feet of which is in Taylor County.  At the rate timber was slaughtered last winter, five years more will end lumbering on the Black River.


At a special school meeting held at Greenwood, last Monday night, the enterprising citizens of that place, voted to build a new schoolhouse, with a view of grading in their school. The schoolhouse is to be built by next September.


The ice is now out of the flood-dams and the first logs from the upper river passed this point last Tuesday morning running at a brisk rate for about five hours.  There is hardly enough water for a good driving state, but with the assistance of the flood-dams all the logs that can be gotten into the main river will reach the boom at the mouth, regardless of that fact.


The drive on Wedge’s creek also promises success.  Hewett Brothers had succeeded in breaking up about half of their landings above Hewettville, on Tuesday, and by the assistance of said flood-dam these logs were brought to the Hewettville dam, where they were held by ice, which had not yet broken up.


It was pretty thoroughly demonstrated on this river last week that it takes water as well as dams to make log-driving a success.


The scarcity of water has rendered the drive, so far, a comparative failure and without rain but a small percentage of logs can be gotten out.                                                                                     


“Elijah the Prophet” put in another appearance at this place last Saturday.  He still predicts that the “day of Judgment” is near at hand and warns sinners to turn from the error of their way.  An attempt to obtain from him the exact date at which the world is to be destroyed, by parties pretending to be interested in a business way in knowing the time, led him to like one of our citizens to the devil, after which he took his departure.           


Since the frost commenced to leave the ground, many of the fences in this place have manifested a disposition to leave with it, and some of them now present a crazy appearance, being entirely too far above ground for beauty or use.


The voters of the Town of Weston have voted to bond that town for $3,500 for the erection of a bridge across the Black River, near Robert Christie’s.  The bridge, which has long been needed, will be built during the coming summer.


The bell for the Presbyterian Church at this place has been ordered and will soon arrive. Its weight is to be about six hundred pounds and it comes from one of the best foundries in the world, that of Clinton H. Meneley, of East Troy, N. Y.


The work of re-platting the village of Neillsville has prove to be more of a job than expected, but will soon be accomplished.  The monuments to be used as landmarks in establishing the survey are to be made of one and one-fourth inch gas pipe.                                                                                          


The front of George Lloyd’s hardware store was given a fresh dose of paint, last week, entirely changing its complexion.


April 1936


Bob Kurth spends his spare time at the filling station raising rare plants.  His latest success in that line is an “Allum-cepa” the botanical name for the Italian Orchid.  The plant is very delicate and difficult to grow, but Bob feels well rewarded for his efforts because he says, “the plant is like a woman, you can’t tell what it will do next:” and the allum-cepa springs these surprises in the way of a variety of blossoms, as to shapes and colors.


Mr. Kurth never tires of showing the plant to interested gardeners and flower lovers and cordially invites them to stop in at any time.                                                                                                


Preston Turner, son of Horace (Husky) Turner, well known in the Lumbering circles here, died at Rockford, Ill., Sunday afternoon.  The funeral will be held Friday afternoon at two o’clock from the Schiller Funeral Home, interment to be in the Neillsville Cemetery.                                                                                                    


Work on the new addition and remodeling of the Keller “Fireplace” west of Neillsville commenced Monday. According to the plans a new 16 x 50 foot addition of stone and stucco will be built on the north side of the present “fireplace” and the entire interior will be remodeled.


An indirect lighting system will be installed throughout the remodeled building with an illuminated all-glass bar.  The interior will be of marble, glass and Spanish type plaster.


Sever new tourist cottages will be built in the park adjoining the “Fireplace” and the entire building and remodeling will cost in the neighborhood of $10,000.


When completed, it will be the finest equipped country dining place and tavern in central and northern Wisconsin.  In addition to the regular tavern service, American and Chinese dishes will be served, prepared by a Chinese chef. Weekly floorshows will be held each weekend throughout the year.  It is planned to have the remodeled building ready for the opening about May 15.



The “Fireplace Supper Club” built an addition to the north side of their building in 1936, which included a glass front bar and additional space for musical groups.  The Fireplace at that time was known as the only “fine dining” establishment in West Central Wisconsin with customers traveling from miles around to enjoy the great food and entertainment.


Sidney W. Gordon, Antigo, Ecologist of the Conservation Department, called on James Fradette, county treasurer, Tuesday morning to talk over the work that will be done under the supervision of Supt. E. Marlow, of Camp Globe, on Hay Creek, Wedges Creek, lower Cameron, lower Scott, lower Dickenson and on the lower waters of the Five Mile Creek.


Many of the natural fish hideouts and holes have been destroyed since the timber has been cut from the creek banks and the high waters have straightened the banks that were formerly protected by the roots and fallen timber.  May 10 will start the work on the creation of riffles and other means of making conditions favorable to fish protection and multiplication.


Two committees of three members each will be selected; a Lake and Stream committee, and a Wild Life committee; to consult with Mr. Gordon as the work progresses.                                  


The Town of Weston had a big turnout of voters at the election.  The people of the community were interested enough to brave the farm-to-market roads this time of the year to vote for whom they want.


Claude Mills very generously donated land on which to build a new town hall.


Roehrborn’s Store Special – California Oranges, 25 for 25¢             


Spring cleaning has Officially Begun – Two brooms were taken from their rack in front of Prochazka’s store last Monday noon.  That makes us feel sure that if people have the cleaning fever that bad, it is a sure sign of spring, even though old man winter doesn’t want to let go.                                                             


Art Humke, of the Town of Warner, purchased a new Master Six Chevrolet Sedan from Howard Corey at the Midway Garage in Greenwood, last Tuesday.                                                    


Halle Horswill has purchased a bungalow on North Hewett Street from Nick Gangler. Mr. Gangler recently purchased the North Side Store property from the Neillsville Bank.                             


George W. Longenecker, present pastor of the Congregational Church of Neillsville, was born of Swiss parents in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, October 30, 1861. When he was seven years old, his parents moved to Ohio, and later to Kalamazoo County, Michigan, settling on a farm site.


George helped on the farm, doing farm work and cutting timber until he was 21 years of age, when he joined a group of other boys of the neighborhood and entered high school in a nearby town. Following two winters in high school, he took a teacher’s examination and received a teaching certificate to teach in a school for which he had signed a contract. The following summer he rented, on shares, the farm of the man with whom he boarded while teaching and followed that with two years of clerking.


Brought up in a German Reformed Church, his association with a young Congregational minister influenced him to enter Oberlin College, Ohio, becoming a Congregationalist. Finishing college, he was married to Rose Ernst, a friend from high school days.  He then entered Oberlin Seminary, where after a year of study, Mr. Longenecker accepted an appointment under the Wisconsin Home Missionary Society and went to Bayfield County, Wisconsin.


Being the only minister between Ashland and Spooner, Mr. Longenecker went up and down the old Wisconsin Central railroad line preaching services and holding Sunday schools in the lumbering towns and every other Monday, walked six milers from Mason to a settlement called Maple Ridge to preach to a family group of homesteaders. Following a year of that Mission work, Mr. and Mrs. Longenecker returned to Oberlin, leaving the grave of their first daughter in the north woods.


Following two more years of theological study at Oberlin Seminary, during which time he preached twice every Sunday at West Andover, Ohio, he graduated and accepted a call to West Andover Church and moved with his family to the parsonage, remaining there for two years until 1897, when he received an invitation to become pastor of the Congregational Church at Neillsville.


Rev. Longenecker held the pastorate at Neillsville for eight years, during which time he attended Sunday school and preached Sunday mornings, as well as held Sunday school and preached at Hewettville Sunday afternoon, returning to Neillsville for Christian Endeavor and preaching services Sunday evening.  Mondays, he went one week to the Town of Seif, holding services in a schoolhouse and every other Monday to Cannonville, Town of Washburn, to preach at night.   Tuesdays he drove to Sherwood where preaching services were held in the town hall. During part of this time, he published a magazine called “Salt.”


Following his arrival here in 1897, the church was comparatively new and unfinished, chairs being used instead of pews. Seeing that it was impossible for the congregation to finish the church and pay the pastor at the same time, Rev. Longenecker spent six months doing advance work for a company of Jubilee singers, traveling through several states.  Offered a $5,000 per salary and expense contract with the concert company, Rev. Longenecker declined, stating that, “he had not considered money when he chose his profession.”


In April 1905, Rev. and Mrs. Longenecker with their four children left Neillsville for North Dakota where he had filed claim on a homestead, located 24 miles from Berthold, during which time he preached two or three timers each week at Berthold or Plaza, making horse and buggy or sleigh drives of thirty miles to hold services.  He also held services in a tent on his homestead on a week day evening, the only religious services of the whole prairie area.


In 1908 the family moved to Minot, where Rev. Longenecker preached at the Minot and Drake churches for two years, accepting a call in 1910 to become pastor of the church at Provo, Utah, where two years were spent among the mountains and the Mormons.


Wisconsin again called in 1912, and the family, with a mountain wagon and tent, two horses, a gray mule and a pony, spent the summer camping in the mountains enroute to Wisconsin, arriving here in September 1912.  When they arrived a pastorate at Viola was awaiting them, where three and a half years were spent preaching at Viola and surrounding towns in the Kickapoo Valley.


Returning here in 1916, Rev. Longenecker rented a farm and two years later, purchased his present home, which he named Sunset Point.  The last twenty years of Rev. Longenecker’s family life is well known to the people of Neillsville and vicinity, for in addition to carrying on his preaching duties, he has officiated at 1,412 weddings and 477 funerals.


Still an ardent horseman, Rev. Longenecker and his wife can be seen daily traversing our city streets in his favorite mode of transportation, a horse and buggy.


The four children of the Longenecker’s are: Gladys, now Mrs. E. E. Edwards, a teacher in a Milwaukee Vocational School; Ernst, a consulting engineer at a Milwaukee milling firm; William, a teacher of Landscape Architecture at the Univ. of Madison; and Lois who now is the wife of Rev. Ray Orr, pastor of the First Methodist Church of Rock Ford, Colorado.





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