Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

August 22, 2012, Page 17

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

August 1892


In West Weston, over back of A. J. Bullard’s place, Gus Grap has bought a new farm and built a new house, as August Dudei, only his house is not yet quite finished, a brother of Mr. Dudei is also building. They, together, bought seven forties and will make three nice farms of that.  (The farms were located south of Globe. DZ)


Oens and Randall, builders, have the contract to build the editor L. B. Ring’s residence at Ross Eddy.


They are also rebuilding the old Barton house, opposite the Eilert Brewery, which is now nearly finished.


An excavation is being made in the rear of the Dickinson store to make room for a warehouse.  The dirt is being hauled to Alex Holverson’s yard, which is being graded up and made into a very handsome lot instead of a wet, low one.  Others should follow Alex’s example. All the vast amount of surplus dirt on the old French homestead lot, opposite this office, should be energetically gobbled up and placed on lots in the hollow south of it.  (The French homestead was located on the northeast corner of 4th and Hewett Street intersection, now site of the Neillsville Public Library. DZ)


The City Council and Town Board met Tuesday and let the contract for the Black River Bridge at the west end of Fifth Street to the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Co. of Milwaukee for $4,650.  The council also let the contract to the same company for the Hewett Street Bridge over O’Neill Creek, the latter job, being $3,000. Both will be of iron, the former to be completed by Dec. 10 and the latter by Dec. 1st.                         


The red cooper shop building on Seventh Street and near Clay Street, is having a second story added, being transformed for residence purposes.                                                                             


The new Unitarian Church is being roofed in and begins to show a very graceful outline.  Contractor Stevens is putting on some fine jog shingle work along the sub-cornice of the building.   


Marsh Bros. basement is receiving the finishing touches from a paintbrush artistically wielded by Lute Marsh.  The basement is as light, clean and sweet as any store in town.                  


James O’Neill has built a five-stall stable with hayshed attached, sulky shed, and such, on the fairgrounds, east of the old stables, where he will keep his fast racing stock while in training.  It will be a great convenience. The track guards are completed also.  Now, clear the track and let the flyers fly!           


A crowd of congenial Neillsville people met Saturday night at the residence of C. S. Stockwell and arranged to camp out for a week or so, and selected the beautiful spot on the west bank of Black River on Ed Bruley’s farm opposite the mouth of Cawley Creek, near three noble springs.  They moved up Tuesday afternoon and are now having a royal time. Among the married folks are Mrs. F. E. Darling, Mrs. Leason, J. W. and Mrs. Tolford, Mrs. Dan Kennedy and others.  The young folks include too many to mention. Visitors will be welcome but will have to bring along their own supplies, as the campers are out purely for comfort and fun and do not wish to abide at the cook stove or dishpan more than compelled to. There have been not less than sixty in camp at one time as a maximum, and the number of civilized who went out to gaze at the tent dwellers was large.                                                               


Although attending to business of the store, Benny Tragsdorf is not yet recovered from his recent fall.  He is doing wrong not to take a lay-off until “All is well along the Potomac.”             


C. A. Youmans has rented and will soon occupy the Wills Covill house on State Street. This is to be near the city school, for his children.                                                                                      


Ground for the new Congregational Church was broken Friday and the work goeth on.


This week says The Marshfield Times; graders will begin on the Unity railway for the Upham Manufacturing
Company.  The line will be about five miles in length and is being built to reach the timber the company purchased of the Huntzicker estate.                                                                                    


A land company with $2,000,000 capital stock was organized the other day with J. L. Gates at the head of it.


August Snyder’s driving horse and buggy stood at the Sixth Street side of the Neillsville Bank yesterday forenoon, hitched with a strap and ring. The ring broke and the horse, finding he was loose, ran around to Marshall & Kerns’ store, August’s place of business, where he was caught.  The buggy top was torn off, but otherwise little injury was done.


A new German newspaper is being started at Stevens Point by Carl Rabenstein of this city, proprietor of the Deutsch-Amerikaner.  It will be printed on a new power press, by steam, with new type and Carl will edit both papers.


Nolan Rogers and Miss Olive Vanburen, both of York, were united in marriage Monday, at Loyal, and returned to the bridegroom’s home that day.  On Tuesday, Mr. Rogers left for the wheat fields of Dakota to work in the harvest.


August 1957


This may sound like the good old days of 1940 B. I., or Before Inflation, but - You can get: Printed cotton skirts for $1.00; boy’s sport shirts for 88¢, or a woman’s sleeveless blouse for the same amount; or a sweater, men’s trousers or plain women’s skirts cleaned and pressed at a two-for-a-buck rate.


Or you can get four gallons of gasoline for only a dollar or a grease job for the same price.


For, on August 1, 2, and 3, this weekend, starting today in Neillsville, merchants are holding their annual summer Dollar Days.                                                                                                         


Rev. Reinold (Jerome) Theisen was ordained a priest in the Order of St. Benedict by Bishop Peter Bartholomew of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn., Sunday.  The ordination took place at St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minn., to which Father Reinold returned this summer after spending the last three years in San Anselmo College, Rome, Italy.


Father Reinold will celebrate his first solemn High Mass in St. Anthony’s Church, Loyal, at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, August 4. Friends a re invited to attend this service, as well as the reception following the benediction at 3 p.m.


Mr. and Mrs. William F. Theisen, the parents of the newly ordained priest, were present for the ordination in St. Cloud, as were seven of his nine brothers and sisters, and their families.           


For a good used car, see Thomas Wrecking, 3 miles east, 2 miles north of Loyal.  Phone 101F2; ’53 Plymouth $395; ’51 Olds ‘88’, 4-dr $395; ’51 Ford w/radio, $295; ’50 Ford, overdrive, radio, twin spots, $225; ’49 Olds Stat wagon $150; ’46 Pontiac $75; Dodge truck, 1-ton $250                                                 


Norbert Schlegelmilch has purchased Thomas Bros. Dairy Route in Neillsville & will start delivery today.  Phone Green 394 for Home or commercial Delivery of Thomas Bros. Grade ‘A’ Milk in sparkling glass bottles and other fine Dairy products.                                                                                                


Dance at Silver Dome Ballroom, Saturday, Aug. 3; Jerry Opelt Orchestra, Ladies Free Admission until 9:15 p.m.


Clark County put another peg in its title as “Cheese Capital of the World” last year.


It produced more than 41 million pounds of American cheese, or just over two-thirds of the total American cheese produced in the entire Ninth Congressional District, according to Congressman Lester R. Johnson. The total district production was 61 million pounds.


“Clark County produced more than the whole state of New York or the next five of the top “10” states manufacturing American cheese,” he stated.                                                               


The words “Neillsville High School,” in solid-cast aluminum letters, now appear on the front of the high school. The money for the purchase and installation was furnished by the classes of 1955, 1956 and 1957, and the class of 1925.  At the reunion of the class of 1925, two years ago, the donation was made by the assembled members. Donald E. Peters, Neillsville superintendent of schools, reports that the letters are of highly polished aluminum.


When he celebrates his 50th birthday anniversary Friday, Ed Marg also will celebrate 50 years of living on the same farm.  The son of Mr. and Mrs. August Marg, now deceased, Ed Marg was born on this Pine Valley farm, which his parents had cleared for farm use. The early buildings were of logs, but Mr. Marg was born in a wooden frame building on the home farm, located about three miles northwest of Neillsville.


Ed Marg has never lived or worked away from this farm.  In 1929, he was married to Lillian Hagedorn and to this union four children were born, Donald and Melvin as twins, Irvin and Caroline.  The farm consists of 52 acres under cultivation, 12 of woodlot and 56 acres in natural pasture. During the years, he has specialized in Brown Swiss cattle, now having a herd of 34 cows, and has built up the condition of the soil so that last week he harvested 82 bushels of oats to the acre.  His corn crop is also excellent each year.


For the birthday party Friday, Mr. and Mrs. Marg will have Ed’s brothers, Fred and Albert Marg, his sister and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bardeleben, and the Donald Marg, Melvin Marg and Irvin Marg families, for the celebration. 


(Obtained in 1886, by August Marg, the farm has remained in the family with Ed’s son, Donald now having lived there for all but 13 years of his life. DZ)                                                           


Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Miller have purchased the Happy Hollow schoolhouse and woodshed.  (The Happy Hollow School was located 2 miles east of State Hwy 73, on Cty Road C, before the first curve. DZ)


All schools of United School District No. 3, which comprise the villages of Humbird, Alma Center and Merrillan and the five rural schools of the area, which are under the direction of F. C. Janisch, superintendent and administrator, will open the fall term Wednesday, August 28.  The Lincoln High School at Alma Center, and the Alma Center grades, will start school at 8:45 a.m.  All other elementary schools of District 43 will start at 9 a.m.


The Neillsville Kiwanis club reports a profit exceeding $500 from its barbecued chicken stand at the 1957 Clark County Fair. The profit will be used for youth activities in Neillsville.            


Getting to know one of “Our Neighbors,” this week is Elmer W. Sterr of Loyal.


Elmer W. Sterr was born in Leroy on June 7, 1897, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sterr. Raised on a farm, he attended rural school for three years and when 10 years of age, he moved with his parents to Lomira, near Fond du Lac.


The family of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sterr had no daughters; but there were six sons, all who attended the grade school at Lomira.  Elmer was graduated from the eighth grade in 1912, and attended high school there for one and a half years.  During his brief stay in high school, he played trombone in the band.  He became interested in piano and took enough lessons to play for personal enjoyment.


In 1914, as a youth of 17, he became manager of a garage business in which he had worked after school, weekends and summer vacations for two years.


Four years later, when 21, Elmer and a brother, Melvin, purchased the garage and operated it as a partnership, selling it two years later. The young men then went to work in the Lomira Canning factory, which was operated by their father. 


Elmer started learning the canning business when he was 23, continuing 30 years canning of vegetables as a business and profession.


In the year of 1926 Mr. Sterr moved to Loyal and built the Loyal Canning factory, which was operated as a partnership for the first three years.  Then he became the sole owner and manager.


“Our first year of canning, the summer of 1926,” sates Mr. Sterr, “was of 450 acres of peas; but in later years, we added snap beans and corn. This year finds us canning 1,000 acres of peas, 1,000 acres of corn, and 400 acres of snap beans.


“With limited capital,” relates Mr. Sterr, “we built the factory and office building and changed a hay warehouse into storage for canned peas. Since that time there has been gradual growth and improvement, adding a warehouse in 1930, another in 1934, a Quonset storage building in 1945, and a commissary and bunk house in 1946 to accommodate migrant workers.”


During the Second World War, Mr. Sterr found it difficult to obtain sufficient labor during the canning season.  In 1944, he imported 45 men from Jamaica; in 1945, 45 came from Barbados; in 1946 he employed about 45 German war prisoners; and in 1946, 45 Mexican nationalists.


When asked which labor he found the most efficient and most capable, he replied: “There is no question about the relative caliber of the labor. The German prisoners were tops, with Mexicans considerably better than those from the West Indies.”


With the shortage of labor, much labor-saving equipment had to be added.  In 1957, seven modern viner combines replaced 14 conventional viners, which eliminated the need for 10 trucks and 30 people; but still there is a shortage of male labor at the Loyal factory.


Ten capable men and women are employed on an annual basis at the Loyal factory, and during the canning season about 90 additional men are needed, which, in normal times, are available from Loyal and the surrounding rural area.


Mr. Sterr married Dorothea Kletti in Lomira, and to this union three children were born Mrs. Jerome (Ethel) Will and Mrs. Willard (Janet) Lee, both of Loyal; and son, Richard, who lost his life in a motorcycle accident in July, 1954.  His son-in-law, Jerome Will, is associated with him in the canning factory.



August Snyder’s men’s clothing store was located at 533 Hewett Street starting about 1906.  Shown in the photo, left to right, Herb Brown, store clerk and August Snyder, owner of the business, standing near the store’s front window, which shows a display of men’s hats, vests, shoes and other apparel in styles of the times. (Photo courtesy of the Clark County Jail Museum collection)





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