Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

August 31, 2011, Page 16

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

August 1911


A number of boys of the Columbia area went picking blackberries Sunday.  It was quite late when they got started, but they had good luck, picking two milk cans full of berries.  But that was the only patch they found as there were a good many pickers in the woods and this was a patch that had not been picked.


The F. & N. E. ran an excursion train from Fairchild to Willard Sunday with berry pickers, there were two coaches and both were full with people who on the return trip wee not berry heavily loaded with berries.



Engine #7 was often used by F. & N. E. Railroad of Fairchild when they provided an excursion train, which took its passengers to athletic events in neighboring town, blackberry picking and the county fairs, a common means of transportation before good roads and durable cars.



Sunday night during the storm, lightning struck the dome of the courthouse and the German Lutheran Church spire. The courthouse dome was set on fire, but its timely discovery and the quick and efficient work of the fire company saved the building from destruction. This is the third time the courthouse dome has been struck and it is probable that the rods and ground wires will be put on the building at once.


The Lutheran Church spire was badly shattered but the building did not take fire. The body of the church was not injured.  Damage in both cases is fully covered by insurance.                        


Otto Hoeser and Joe Goetz, of the Town of York, have returned from Dakota where they went to work in the harvest fields.  They report wages to be very low as there were many more men than employment.


Several of the North Grant farmers are now busy delivering cucumbers at the pickle factory in Granton.


E. A. Stockton and R.F. Rabenstein who cleaned up a tidy sum from the Santa Anna lease this spring, have secured a one year lease on the Dean & Jones mine, situated about 78 miles north of the Panamint side of Death Valley. The Dean and Jones, one of the pioneer discoveries of that region, has a high production to its credit, but has not been in operation during the past year.  The mine is equipped with a gasoline hoist, compressor and five-stamp mill.  A 12-inch vein carrying an average of $220 of gold has been discovered, and a crew of five men is employed in the drifting east and west on the vein.


About three o’clock Monday morning, Grover Huntley and Walter Schultz who sleep in a tent at the Huntley residence got a rude awakening from their slumbers.  Sheriff Bradford’s dog has of late taken a notion to claim special guardianship over Grover, following him to his work during the day and sleeping in the tent near their cots at night.  On the morning mentioned, the dog suddenly gave a fierce growl and bark; and made a rush for the front at the same time a man who had entered the tent bounded out striking the pole in the center, giving the tent a lively jar.  The prowler ran out into the street and down the sidewalk, the dog following him out of the yard and then returning. It is supposed that it was some sneak thief who was bent on “lifting” the contents of the boys’ pockets.      


R. Whittkamp, of Sherwood, has just closed a deal with the Portage Land Co. for 80 acres of land, consideration $1,200.


H. A. Bright, while running into the city Saturday evening in his auto collided with J. Vandeberg’s buggy, smashing up buggy quite badly and throwing out its occupants. Mrs. Vandeberg’s arm was badly injured.


On Friday, Aug, 25, 1911, the active, energetic life of James L. Gates closed at his home in Milwaukee.


The deceased came to Neillsville with his parents when a small boy, grew to manhood here, became one of this community and after his removal to Milwaukee, continued to exercise increased influence on the destines of Clark County and all of Northern Wisconsin. 


By sheer force of individual capacity and aggressive consistency of purpose, Mr. James L. Gates of Milwaukee has placed his name in that roll of honor which comprises the self-made men of this country.  His career proves that opportunities for advancement are open to anyone who has the sagacity and the industry to avail him of them. 


Starting in life as a poor boy, with schooling limited to a period of but three months, Mr. Gates is today credited with being the largest individual holder of pinelands in the United States, his interests lying in the states of Wisconsin and Florida.  He was born in the pine forests of the Adirondack Mountains, N. Y. December 22, 1850.


His father was a timber inspector and as a child he followed him through the pinewoods thus instinctively acquiring knowledge of the giant trees, bases of his subsequent prosperity.


Daniel Gates, his father died in 1885; his mother, formerly Miss Jane Hewett is still living.  In 1856 when James was six years of age, his parents removed to Neillsville, Wis., where the father continued to work as a lumberman and the son followed in his father’s footsteps.  Naturally pushing and ambitious, he possessed the happy faculty of acquiring the very information, which he needed at that time. When, only sixteen years of age he had advanced to the position of foreman in a logging camp on the Black River.  Although it was unusual that one so young should be a “boss”, he not only remained the foreman, but proved himself among the most competent ones in that region.  He believed that a railroad from Merrillan to Neillsville would be of great advantage, and when told that the route was impracticable, he surveyed the line himself, being also instrumental in the construction work.  He was virtually unacquainted with banking, but in 1879 he founded the Neillsville Bank, now a most flourishing institution, and operated it successfully for three years. Whenever he took hold of anything it seemed to move right along to success.


For many years, Mr. Gates was the chief promoter of the material prosperity of Neillsville.  He founded the firm of Gates, Stannard & Co., which operated the largest mercantile business in that city.  He erected a number of most substantial buildings, including two of its finest brick blocks, and introduced the telegraph and telephone, and caused the U. S. Signal Service to be installed.  The rich natural resources and broad possibilities of the Lake Superior regions early claimed his attention, and he made a large investment in its timber and mineral lands.  He was one of the main movers in the enterprise, which secured the franchise and built the Sault Ste. Marie railroad, being a director in the company organized for that purpose.


He has carried on an extensive logging business.  His logging operations have represented an amount exceeded by but few operators in the Northwest, being accomplished by six-hundred men, under his immediate direction, without the assistance of either clerk or bookkeeper.  He now owns in the neighborhood of 800,000 acres of pine lands in Wisconsin and Florida.


In 1886, Mr. Gates removed with his family to Milwaukee and has since resided there, being one of its leading and prosperous citizens. Another claim of distinction, which he has acquired since becoming a Milwaukee citizen, is that he had gradually increased the insurance upon his life until he has now been the greatest risk of any man in Wisconsin.


Self-made and self-educated, Mr. Gates is, Nevertheless, a finished and force able writer.  He is positive in word, as in action, and yet is popular because of his evident honest.  On the question of free coinage of silver and against the appreciation of gold, on the varied phases of the tariff question, he has written much and instructively.  Mr. Gates is a Congregationalist and since living in Milwaukee has been a member of the Plymouth Church.  He thoroughly believes in both practical and theoretical Christianity and especially in the policy of helping others to help themselves, placing manhood and womanhood at the highest possible premium. Although not an active Mason, he has long affiliated with the order.


Mr. Gates has been twice married.  His first wife was Miss Lydia Eyerly of Neillsville, by whom he had two children, Robert and Edith.  In July 1885, he was married to Miss Katherine Meade of New Hampshire.  They have two children, Harrison Meade and Helen, the son being born on the day Benjamin Harrison was nominated to the presidency.


At his death Mr. Gates left his wife and the four children mentioned, the two sons being connected with the James L. Gates Land Co., and both daughters married; one being Mrs. (Dr.) H. A. Peterson of Soldiers Grove and the other, Mrs. R. B. MacDonald of Ladysmith.  He leaves also his aged mother, two brothers, Ed H. and Charles, and one sister, Mrs. R. J. MacBride, all of Neillsville.


Funeral services were held Sunday at the Manuel Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee, the pastor Rev. Dr. Jenkins officiating. The remains were brought to Neillsville for burial, brief services being held Monday afternoon at the MacBride home, conducted by Rev. W. T. Hendren of Greenwood.


(James Gates was a dynamic man, very active in developing the City of Neillsville with buildings and businesses in addition to his logging interests throughout Northern Wisconsin. D. Z.)


August 1946


J. E. Ferguson of Spokane, Wash., stopped in Neillsville recently to visit the city of his birth for the first time since he left 60 years ago.  Mr. Ferguson’s father, J. W. Ferguson, was an early post master of Neillsville, serving under Ulysses Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes, and also was an organizer of the city’s first National Guard unit, the old Company A.


The following Real Estate Deals have been made in the past 2 weeks by Palmer Vinger Agency of Greenwood:


Caldwell farm, 5 miles east of Loyal consisting of 80 acres was sold to Hugo Kluth of Berlin, Wis.  Possession will be taken in about 4 weeks.


Fred Ziebel farm consisting of 60 acres with personal property located 3 ½ miles north of Loyal was sold to Archie Bradshaw of Osseo, Wis.


James Cornell farm consisting of 80 acres 10 miles west of Greenwood was sold to Harry Wallis of Greenwood.


Arthur Johnson 40-acre farm 2 miles southeast of Greenwood was sold to John Slefozek of Waukegan, Ill.


Albert Wehrman restaurant in Greenwood was sold to Peter Turco of Waukegan, Ill., on July 3.


Anna Galinski farm 5 miles south of Loyal was sold to Al Francein.  This included all personal property and possession will be taken immediately.


C. C. Hoehne 17-acre farm located ½ mile east of Greenwood was sold to Walter Zajda of Ladysmith, Wis.


Snakes!  We buy Live Snakes or all kinds that are in Good Condition: Garter Snakes, 10’ each; Pine Snakes, 50’ each; Water Snakes, 25’each. Call Red 309, the Reptile Collectors & Distributors, 112 East First St. at Neillsville, Wis.


The Lakosky farm located just east of Loyal village limits, on highway 98 has been bought by James and Hedwig Bartz. The price stated on the warranty deed is $15,500                                      


The Eidsvold Cheese factory and grocery store has been sold to The Wheeler Corp. by Charles A. and Alice Flunker. The purchase price as stated on the warranty deed was $14,500 for the real estate.  The store fixtures and stock were also purchased by the corporation.                                                              


Members and Prospective members of the Neillsville Bowling Association will meet at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 18, according to the announcement of E. J. Roberts, the secretary.  The meeting will be held at Neillsville Recreation.


Purpose of the meeting is to organize the teams and league for the coming season. Mr. Roberts emphasizes that the meeting is open to men intending to take up bowling, as well as the regulars.


Most of us remember what Neillsville was without bowling.  It certainly was not as interesting as it is today.


As summer sports begin to wane and as the fall brings a nip to the air, we take to the Neillsville Recreation and spend many hours in healthful and interesting sport.


And how we have taken to it!  So completely that Neillsville ranks as one of the first bowling cities of its size in the United States.


The popularity of bowling in Neillsville is due in no small part to the excellent management. The community owes thanks to Mr. Marsh for the thorough manner in which he provided housing for bowling, and to the Ted Schmidts for the fine equipment and splendid management.  The Schmidts have put intelligent and interested service behind bowling in Neillsville.                                                                                                       


The American Legion has purchased the Kleckner building on South Hewett Street.  This building will be reconstructed and improved and will become a home for all veteran’s organizations and their auxiliaries.


The Legion is also acquiring land to the east along O’Neill Creek, with the purpose of converting it into a park and picnic area. This area will be landscaped and trees will be planted.


Announcement of the purchase is made by Harry Roehrborn, commander, and Hans Brandt, adjutant. They were installed as officers at the last meeting.                                                               


Thorp’s Annual Bazaar will be held at St. Hedwig’s Parish, Sunday, Sept. 1, afternoon and evening, with a Chicken Dinner, also Spareribs & Sauerkraut with lots of Homemade Polish Sausage; serving ‘help yourself style”, which begins at 11 a.m.  Dance in the evening with Music by Ted Wirth & His Orchestra.  Rain or Shine.  In case of rain Bazaar will be held in the Church basement.                                                                        


Marriage Licenses:


Orville Jake, city of Neillsville, and Martha Raab, city of Neillsville


Leonard A. Struck, Town of Fremont, and Elaine R. Schwantes, City of Marshfield




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