Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI, May 9, 2012, Page 13


Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

May 9, 2012, Page 13

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

May 1882


The initial election to Neillsville under the city charter was held Tuesday, the first Tuesday in May, and passed off with gratifying placidity and fairness.  The candidates in the field for the various elective city and ward officers were numerous, although none of them appeared to be working with much heat for the acquirement of honors or emoluments.


A complete list of all the votes cast for the various officers, the vote received by each candidate and the majority of each with a list of officers as selected by the people.


The whole number of votes cast for Mayor was 249, which was the highest number case for any office. Of these James Hewett received 139 and B. F. French 110.  Hewett’s majority was 29.


City Treasurer is John B. Jones; City Clerk is D. B. Brown; Assessor will be R. F. Kountz;


City Aldermen: First Ward; Chauncey Blakeslee; For Supervisor W. S. Colburn; Second Ward: Alderman, F. D. Lindsay; For Supervisor, Henry Myers; Third Ward: Supervisor, S. F. Chubb


This week Messrs. Millard Parker, Wm. Garvin and Emery Garvin start for Dakota, with a carload of horses, and other belongings.  We are acquainted with Mr. Parker and are prepared to state that in his going we lose one of the finest young men of Clark County.  His companions are well-known, worthy young men and will leave a big vacancy here. The young gentlemen will disembark at a point in Grand Forks County, Dakota.  They will look that county over and remain if they like it.  It is to be hoped that they will get rich soon and return.  Mr. Parker has from the start been an earnest friend of the Neillsville Library and his visits to it will be much missed.             


Housecleaning is one of the symptoms of spring and the housewife who knows her cue is to be seen, knocking about from pillar to post with her hair “done-up” in a piece of unquestionable gingham.


Brooks & Beares, of Tomah, who have lately purchased a large tract of timberland east of Hatfield, are getting ready to do a rushing business in cutting logs to be sawed into pile and tie line.  They are building camps, tram-road and other means in readiness with plans to employ about fifty men and then or twelve teams during the summer.


Let someone take the first step in the legitimate aesthetic direction and plant two or three acres of sunflowers.  This will keep the market supplied during the season.  The yellow variety is urged as the most orthodox. The pale variety of red and white is not true to nature.  Someone should go into the sunflower culture whose aesthetic appetite does not crave garden vegetables.                                                                                                


Workmen began Tuesday morning to move the old brown building lately occupied by Wolff Bros. and Krauss, to a position on the brick yard lot, in the hollow on Main Street, where it is to be used by Mr. King, owner of the brick yard, as a residence. Gradually the gaps about town are being filled up and by fall the city will be a model metropolis.


On the site vacant by the removal of the old Wolff Bros. and Krauss building, Jacob Rossman, who has bought the lot, will build a two-story brick veneered building, 43 ft front by 60 ft in length, for a store on the first floor and a residence on the second. He intends to have iron cornices and iron roof.                      


Men and teams are not busy hauling stone for the foundation of the new Episcopal Church building, which is to exceed your expectations of as to beauty.                                                          


It is the almost uniform remark of travelers and others who pay Neillsville occasional visits, that it is a place notable for its energy, evidences of which are everywhere to be seen. Carved from a solid forest, Neillsville has spread out into fair proportions and what were but a few years ago small clearings dotted with stumps, are now clear and broad fields, spreading from the outskirts of town in almost unbroken lines to the utmost limits of the county.  The public buildings are solid and durable and it is a pleasant circumstance that the more prominent sites within the city limits are crowned with the most attractive buildings and the slums are where nature intended they should be, below and out of sight.


The height on the north side of “O’Neill Creek, which divides the town, topographically and in no sense socially, is soon to be crowned by a fine hotel of the first class, which will be the most prominent building in that vicinity.  The fine dwellings to be built this season on the elevated lots west of the site of the hotel, will make a fine appearance and the traveler who enters the city from the west on the railroad cars, as they roll over the Black River and across Hewett farmland, by the new stave mill and up the creek bank to the depot near Colburn’s flouring mill, on the south of O’Neill Creek, may well hesitate whether to turn to the right or the left, for the business center of town.


In a country noted for the immensity of its forests, Neillsville, although a young town, has learned to detest the presence of stumps, and the streets and roads leading out into the country are entirely free of stumps. The vast spread of deep, rich soil on the east, north, west and south, is being rapidly cleared for agricultural and diary purposes characteristic of the West.


The future of Neillsville looks bright. For a city of the size, our manufacturing establishments are numerous and large.  At this time only the barest mention of them can be made.


First, in extent, is the stable mill of Hein & Meyer, now being built and to be started up in a few weeks. Close behind it comes the older and better known stable mill of Gustavus Sterns, whose mill contains machinery for cutting and sawing staves and heading of all kinds, with capacity to steam 18 cords of bolts per day. Around these stave mills are acres of ground covered with bolts, corded and ready to be worked up and for these bolts, mostly of hardwood, farmers and landowners are receiving a handsome price.


(Stave mill bolts were a short round section of log or a block of timbre to be sawed or cut. Staves were narrow strips of wood used for lining a vessel such as kegs and barrels. DZ)


The foundry and machine shop of Korman & Taplin was established here last year and possess a capacity to turn out machinery of almost any kind.  It is prosperous and active and although not a pretentious firm, the proprietors are doing work that Milwaukee or Chicago shops could not improve on. They are at present engaged upon a large machine for the manufacture of cheese-box Timber, to be used in the eastern part of the state.


The flouring and grist mill of W. S. Colburn is an old and prosperous establishment and is of so large capacity it demands more wheat than the county supplies and the material has sometimes to be shipped in from outside markets. Extensive additions are in immediate contemplation.


In the southern part of the city is an extensive brickyard, owned and worked by Mr. King, who, in view of the heavy demand for his fine brick, is moving residence to the yard, where he will reside and board a force of men, with whom active operations will be prosecuted.


Leason & Son’s pump factory is one of the liveliest concerns in Neillsville and is constantly corded with work. The proprietors are practical pump-makers of large experience and turn out pumps that are preferred by many to the iron force pumps.


Two cigar factories are in full swing, that of Louis J. Rossman employing six cigar-makers regularly and two boys.  The other factory, W. J. Krauss, proprietor, is less in capacity, but never-the-less turns out large quantities of cigars each year.  Neillsville cigars are used throughout central Wisconsin.


Gallaher’s saw and planing mill is a large and complete establishment, filled with improved machinery, run with an engine of great power.  Molding machines, lathes, planers and such products are displayed around the building making an imposing appearance and doing fine work.


There are two harness shops, those of Geo. A. Ludington and P. S. Dudley, who manufacture harnesses of all grades.


Other establishments where manufacturing is done are the tin-shops, carpenters’ shops, Foster’s brewery, blacksmith and wagon-shops, of which there are several.


No mention thus has been made of the great lumbering enterprises carried on by our citizens each year. Those alone involve millions of dollars and the employment of thousands of men, which are properly mentioned here as coming under the head of manufacturing interests.


There is no doubt that the railroad tract will be extended, constructed across the river to the vicinity of the Colburn mill and all we can say now is, speed the day.


(The summary of Neillsville and its businesses was written in recognition of having become chartered as a city in 1882 DZ)



History of Clark County

Compiled in 1918 by Franklin Curtiss-Wedge




Abbotsford for years was famous chiefly as a junction where the Chippewa Falls and Wisconsin Central railways met, now both part of the Soo Line. It is three miles north of Colby and since the cut-off was built from Spencer to Owen and the subsequent removal of railroad activities from the former junction, the advancement of Abbotsford was not rapid for a few years, but recently it has found a new mission in supplying a local market for a rich farming country and is steadily progressing. The village is on the county line and draws much of its trade from Marathon County.


Abbotsford originally stood in the midst of dense forest.  The Wisconsin Central was built north through the town in 1873 and a few settlers came in, when the Chippewa Falls branch of the road was built in 1880 coming from the west and Abbotsford became an important railroad junction.


These exceptional railroad facilities started the new town off with a rush and within one year the village had a depot, with an eating-house seating 136 people, along with 21 sleeping-rooms. There were about twenty other buildings in the village also. William Livingston had a good hotel nearly opposite the depot, S. A. Cook conducted a general store, John Johnson kept the railroad hotel called the Abbot Hotel, Charles Partridge was postmaster, and there was a restaurant and three saloons. With this beginning, the village has progressed to its present importance.


Application for the corporation of the village of Abbotsford was made June 13, 1894, the signers of the petition being: R. C. Tennant, N. E. Denny, John A. Olson, W. W. Denny, John Greve, Paul Woock, Isaac Nelson, Edward Grenem, Gullick Olson, August J. Meyers, Hugh Traverse and John P. Olson. The April 23, 1894 census, showed a population of 362. The charter election was held at Paul Woock’s Hall, July 7, 1894 with sixty votes being cast, with only one negative.




The Village of Chili was started when the Omaha Road was built in 1890.  Before that time the principle settlers at that site were Ira and Sydney Fike who came from Michigan a generation or so before and were logging for a Necedah firm. Whiston Davis was also one of the early settlers.  P. N. Christenson operated a saw mill there for many years. Since the village plat was laid out, it has had a steady and sure growth.  It is now a thriving settlement with a bank, a farmers’ cooperative produce company, two general stores, a hardware store, cheese factory, garage, harness shop, meat market and potato warehouse. A few years ago Chili occupied a front page position in the newspapers on account of a bold robbery in mid-day when a stranger dropping off the afternoon train, entered the bank, held a gun to the cashier and made away with several thousand dollars with not a trace of him to be found, although the alarm was sounded and hundreds of men searched every nook and corner for miles around for several days. 




George Ure and Gottlieb Sternitzky were the founders of the Town of Lynn and the little village of the same name. Two pioneers came from Chicago in 1856, Mr. Rue paying $300 for an eighty, which he had never seen, but which turned out to be a first class piece of land, now worth thirty or forty times the cost price.  They drove through from Sparta with a team. Bartemus Brooks and sons, Alonzo, Dan and Erwin, were also among the first comers with Archibald Yorkston arriving shortly after, also Frederick Yankee with his sons, August, William, Herman and Henry, all of whom became well known Clark County residents.


In the old days it was the custom for all the settlers to club together and go to Sparta for flour once a year. One year Mr. Hoover was so sick that he could no accompany the caravan and when they returned they found him without flour in his house.  He dickered with a neighbor for a barrel of flour in exchange for forty acres of land, which later produced over a million feet of pine timber, which was cut off by W. T. Price.


Lynn is a station on the branch line of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad coming up from Babcock where it connects with the main line. This line crosses the Omaha railroad a half-mile from Lynn.  The two construction crews met at the junction.  The Omaha was pushing through from Neillsville to Marshfield and the St. Paul had dreams of a through line to the Superior country. The St. Paul crew got to the crossing first and chained an engine to the tracks with a carload of armed men guarding the right of way and for several days, excitement ran high although it subsided without any physical violence.  The Wisconsin Central pushed through a line to Ashland about the same time and the St. Paul never completed its line, but the prompt work of the contractors in those early days gave it the right of way at the junction although it runs only three or four trains a week, while the Omaha has several through trains daily.


(Town Histories to be continued. D Z)



The above building was purchased by John Breseman in 1917.  It was remodeled, later providing ample space for Lynn Store’s business. The village of Lynn was one of the first towns in Clark County.  Its population in 1890 was 525, having electricity before 1917 and telephone service before 1910.






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