Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

May 30, 2012, Page 11

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


1918 History of Clark County

By Franklin Curtiss Wedge


LOYAL, Wisconsin


Loyal Village is admirably situated in the east central part of the county on the Marshfield-Greenwood line of the “Soo Line”, and is surrounded by rolling stretches of good farming land, well improved. The people have developed a strong sense of community enthusiasm.


John Graves was the founder of the village.  In the spring of 1866 he left Iron Ridge in Dodge County, this state, with two horse teams, his goods, and two cows, the members of his family joining him at Tomah, which they reached by rail. Camping along the road wherever night overtook them, and making their way as best they could, the members of the party reached this county at noon on a warm May day. They turned off the Stevens Point-Neillsville route, northward into the wilds.  Difficulties were at once encountered, owing to the muddy roads. Those riding on the loaded wagon dismounted and went ahead, leading the cows. The teams of horses were doubled, one load drawn a short distance and then a return trip was made for the other load, this process being repeated over and over until the whole afternoon was consumed in making a mile and three-quarters. A camp was made in the woods for the night and early in the morning the trip was resumed.  In the middle of the forenoon, the wagons broke down and were abandoned for the remainder of the day, the party spending the night at the home of William Hallock. The next morning, help was secured; ox teams hauled the wagons from the mud and before night, the family reached its destination.  Until the house was completed, a camp was made in the woods, but as the weather was warm, the only discomfort came from the mosquitoes and gnats.


One of the first ventures, after the completion of his home, was putting up a saw mill. Transporting the machinery for a saw mill into this country at that time was a difficult proposition. None but the most sanguine, hopeful and persevering would have believed it possible.  But, successful in his first mill, he also erected a flouring mill, operated by the sawmill engine. About this time the eldest son, S. D. Graves, brought a bride here, built a house, and opened a hotel and a store, becoming the first merchant and postmaster in Loyal. His store furniture consisted of a few boards nailed across one end of a room for shelves and a counter.  Not long after S. D. Graves started his store, A. H. Booth arrived and the two formed a partnership in the mercantile business.  Later Booth with Gwin & Le Claire engaged in the same business.  William Hallock had the first blacksmith’s shop.  T. B. Philpott the next.  In 1869 George W. Barker, later widely known as a grocer, tavern-keeper and police justice, started a turning mill, placing his machinery in the lower part of Graves’ mill. After making over 4,000 splint-bottom chairs, he sold out to Oliver Hill. S. D. Graves, in 1873, put up a building in which he made sash, doors and blinds. Local trade being light and the facilities for transportation limited, the enterprise was abandoned.


The village was platted in 1870, and for some thirty-five years enjoyed a gradual growth. When it was incorporated in 1893 it had a population of 344.  In 1895, the population was 418; in 1900, it was 645; in 1905, it was 815.  In 1910 it dropped to 677.


The incorporation was accomplished in 1893.  In preparation for this event, a survey was made of the proposed limits by C. M. Breed, and on Jan. 28, 1893, a census taken by Henry S. Mulvey showed a population of 344 persons. A petition signed by G. W. Allen, A. A. Graves, C. L. Redmond, A. K. Church, B. Christman, P. G. Gwin and A. R. Miles, was presented to the court on March 8, 1893, but owing to the form, the census had to be taken with a new enumeration being made March 14 and 15. The petition was granted March 16, 1893, with an election held at the town hall in charge of E. W. Romaine, A. K. Church and George W. Barker, resulting in a favorable vote of fifty-eight to seven. The first village president was G. W. Allen; the first clerk was Henry Mulvey. The officers elected in 1917 were: President, Dr. C. H. Brown; trustees, A. A. Graves, John Geiger, Max Haslet, J. H. Etta, M. J. Christenson, William Wilson; clerk, James R. Colby; treasurer, E. J. Etta; supervisor, Fred W. Draper.


The public improvements consist of waterworks, a fire department, an electric light system, macadamized street, a high school and a village hall. The light plant was constructed at an expense of $20,000.  The fire department has a steam fire engine, a hook and ladder truck, and two hose carts. The village hall is of brick, the lower floor being used to house the fire apparatus and the upper floor being used for council meetings.


Loyal has an excellent school, in charge of a principal and eight teachers, four in the high school department and four in the grades.  Full courses are given in Agriculture and Domestic Science.  The building is well furnished and is equipped with electric lights and running water.  A feature of the school life is the weekly entertainment of moving pictures furnished by the State University Extension Bureau. A. K. Church is school director, R. M. Jenks clerk and Fred W. Draper treasurer.


The Loyal post office was established in the late sixties or early seventies. Before this, mail was brought from Neillsville by anyone who chanced to be making the journey and in case the traveler was not coming as far as the present village, the mail was left in a pine box fastened to a pine stump, two and a half miles southeast of the village.  From the pine stump box, mail was brought to the village by any passerby and left at some central point for distribution. Whenever an article of mail arrived the word was soon spread and the reading of letters and newspapers from the outside world became the business of the hour.  J. Duane Graves seems to have been the first regular postmaster and performed his duties as such at the Allen Hotel, the site of which is now occupied by the Allen Block.  John C. Gwin, who succeeded Mr. Graves, attended to post office business at the Gwin store, which is now the site of the Woodmen Hall. After him came Henry Mulvey, who kept the office in the Mulvey drug store, now the William W. Fauss hardware store.  By George Green, Mr. Mulvey’s successor, it was removed to Mill Street and by D. V. Richardson the next incumbent, to Main Street, present site of the Ideal restaurant, as well as many other changes later.  Loyal was a postal savings office from April 12, 1912 to July 1915.  In 1902 the first rural route was established, Elmer Hutchins being carrier from that time until 1907 when George L. Jarvis became mail carrier on that route.  Rural route No. 2 was established in 1905 and has been served continuously by Fred E. Church.  Harvey E. Voight is substitute carried on both routes. The establishment of these two rural routes caused the post offices of Spokeville and Veefkind to be discontinued.  The Loyal post office receives and dispatches two mails daily, one by the Star Route from Loyal to Greenwood and one by the “Soo Line” Railroad.


The principal business industries are the shingle and planing mill, two heading mills, sawmill and a dairy company.


The Jenks Dairy Company of Loyal Village; early in the 1890’s a stock company was organized and a creamery started.  It was operated a few years and then went out of business. The stock company’s interest was taken over by Jenks Brothers in 1898 and by them passed on to the Dodge Creamery Company in 1902.  In 1910 the Jenks Dairy Company took control, reconstructed the building and made needed additions. They manufactured only butter until 1915, when they commenced making cheese. In 1917 the proprietors, A. H. and George Jenks, began the manufacture of ice cream in addition to cheese and butter, which part of their business is not yet fully developed.  They have some forty patrons, with about 450 cows.  They receive from 4,000 to 6,000 pounds of milk a day in summer and make about 2,500 pounds of cheese and 1,000 pounds of butter a week. The yearly amount paid to patrons is about $25,000, while their receipts amount to $28,000 a year.


The Loyal Tribune was founded in 1894 by D. V. Richardson and B. M. Fullmer, the first issue being dated Feb. 16, 1894.  The paper was formerly the Spencer Tribune, founded in 1880 in the village of Spencer by Elder Stevens and owned at the time of sale by G. E. Vandercook.  In 1895 D. V. Richardson became the sole owner and editor of the Loyal Tribune, which he continued until June 1903 when he sold to J. E. Noyes.  Owners from October 1905 until February 1914 were: H. V. Ross, Mrs. D. V. (Hattie) Richardson and Roessler Bros.  In February 1914, the Tribune was sold to Wm. F. Neuenfeldt, owner until June 1, 1916, when Mrs. Richardson again became owner and editor. The Tribune newspaper is independent in politics.


An early 1900’s view of the Loyal, Wis., stockyards, which was located at the east end of Mill Street, near a creek and the Soo Line Railroad track; At that point in time every small town, which had a railroad going past, would have a stockyard for the local buyers to keep the animals that were to be sent to the slaughtering plants located in the bigger cities such as the Twin Cities or Chicago.


May 1927


Albert Degner as (has) bought a part of the lot now occupied by some of the sheds at Harry Roehrborn’s store and has begun work in putting up a building for a new hardware store. It will be 24 x 40 feet in size, a tile building with brick front, and will be a substantial addition to the business places of Seventh Street.


Mr. Degner has had a good many years of mercantile experience at Chili and has a wide acquaintance in that locality as well as in this vicinity.                                                                           


John Carter and Art Kunze have formed a partnership in the carpenter and contracting business. Both are well known carpenters and have had much experience in this work and are now in a position to handle all work in their line. They will operate their shop at the old Trogner shop and solicit the business of those who have work in their line.


Thursday, as Frosty Kurth and Ervie Schultz were drawing out a barrel of gasoline down at the Standard Oil Co., Ervie, who was close to the barrel, absent-mindedly struck a match to light a cigarette. The gas, which was in the air ignited and the flame followed into the barrel. The fire department was called out and after some trouble the fire was extinguished.


There will be a dance at Schaefer’s barn, Friday, 30th, located two miles east of  Shortville Store on 73, or 10 miles southeast of Neillsville.  Music by “Jazz Babies”


Dance at Columbia, Friday, May 13th. Music by “Dux Bros”


Dance at Christie Hall Saturday, May 14.  Music by “Rug’s Vagabonds”


Big Dance at Pischer’s barn, Tuesday, may 17.  Music by “May Kings” Tickets 75¢


Temporary marking on changes in numbering highways is going on all over the state.  These changes are made necessary by adoption of certain state highways as United States Highways.


The following are the changes made in this locality: Old 16, except that it starts at Kewaunee instead of Manitowoc, becomes 29 and is extended west from Chippewa Falls to Prescott; old 18 from Humbird to Prescott becomes 34; old State Highway 53 from Fountain City to Neillsville, is new state Highway 95; United States Highway 10, runs across the state from Manitowoc to Hudson through Stevens Point and Neillsville on old 18, and follows old 12 from Humbird to Hudson; U. S. 12 is old State Highway 12 overlapping U,. S. 10 from Humbird to Hudson.


Did you know that in the spring of 1919 the poppies bloomed in abundance in battlefields of France where so many of our men had fallen in battle and that because of this the poppy has become the Memorial flower of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary?                                                           


Mr. and Mrs. Fred Dankemyer, received word from their son Howard, who is employed in Milwaukee in a phonograph factory, that he won a Nash Sedan, valued at $1,500. Tickets were sold on this car and Mr. Dankemyer purchased one, the ticket costing him 25¢.                                                                         


Speeding on Wisconsin highways at the rate of 40 miles per hour is approved in a bill passed by the assembly and messaged immediately to the senate for its consideration.               


In cooperation with the sate conservation department, Vernon F. Bailey, Washington, chief field naturalist of the United States biological survey, is trapping beavers alive in Iron County an shipping them to other sections to establish beaver colonies.


In the Drainage District west of Neillsville and also in the open lands south there are many beaver colonies, which are increasing rapidly.  It is possible that many of these animals might be used to establish beaver farms, now authorized by law.                                                                                                      


The people of Sherwood gave Mr. and Mrs. Jenni a reception in the town hall Saturday night. The evening was spent with music and dancing, after which a delightful lunch was served at 12 o’clock by the ladies of the neighborhood. We are very happy to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Jenni to Sherwood.  Mr. Jenni recently purchased the Sherwood cheese factory.  He is a cheesemaker of long experience, and we hope he will be successful in his new undertaking.


The Suckow boys on Pleasant Ridge are shipping out many crates of live frogs by express these days and it is reported that large shipments are going out from Lindsey, Pittsville, Babcock and other places.  This industry is bringing in quite good revenue to enterprising lads in frog regions.                                     


A small gas war is being held in the village of Merrillan, the price being down as low as 15¢ per gallon.


Howard Canfield drove over from Romadka Monday and picked up 84 baby chicks he had hatched at Neillsville Accredited Hatchery.




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