Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

November 6, 2013, Page 14

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

October 1938


The first commercial cranberry crop ever harvested in Clark County was taken from the new marshes of Attorney F. D. Calway of Neillsville, located about 12 miles west of the city in Mentor Township.


A harvest of 38 barrels was taken from the 10-acre field, and while unusually light because of the poor cranberry growing conditions of the last season and the youngness of the vines, the berries were of unusually good quality and of good size.


Hay Creek Dam in Foster Township, one of three dams planned in Clark County to add recreational facilities and make the county one of the vacation spots of Wisconsin, is nearing completion.


The dam, located 14 miles west of Greenwood, will form a 125-acre lake. The bottom has been cleared of stumps, brush and other snags. The lake will be stocked with fish.                          


Formal dedication of the new high school building at Loyal will be made in exercises in the school auditorium at 8 p.m. Friday. The dedicatory address will be given by John Callahan, State superintendent of public instruction and a full program in which many persons prominent in the affairs of the school, past and present will be introduced.


Construction on the new building was started December 5, 1937, and completed, for all practical purposes, on Sept. 2, 1938.  Three days later 230 children of the village’s grade and high schools opened their classes there.


The building houses nine classrooms, a large study room and a large combination gymnasium an auditorium.  It was built at a cost of approximately $85,000, of which 45 percent was furnished by the PWA. A part of the cost was paid by the school’s building fund and the remainder was secured through a loan by the state land office. At present, the building is 60-percent paid for, in spite of the fact that taxes were reduced in the district last summer.


Clark County farmers are harvesting their largest corn crop in many years, but some of them are grumbling, just the same.  No, they’re not unhappy about the crop. With all this prefect weather after things looked so rain-beaten and gloom just a few weeks ago, they shouldn’t be.


The real reason for the grumble is that there are no red ears.  Red ears turn an ordinary good-time-for-all husking bee into a lot of fun. And it seems that red ears just forgot to grow t his year.


There is a case of a bee last week at Mrs. Blanche Hewett’s.  They husked and husked and husked 300 bushels of husking to be exact, and nary a red ear.


More husking bees are being held in the county this year than in any other recent year.  Some farmers explain it by the fact that the crop has been so good this year.  In other years, they declare, the crop wasn’t large enough on most farms to warrant holding a husking bee.


Among the places where bees have been held thus far this season are Mrs. Hewett’s, Elmer Garbisch’s, Otto Dux’s, Mrs. Anne Zank’s, E. C. Short’s, A. Magnuson’s, Vern Howard’s, George Vine’s, Ray Nickel’s, Frank Dobes’, J. E. Hughes’, Raymond Sternitzky’s, Ludwig Perushek’s, Joe Tolaney’s, Fred Sternitzky’s and Erick Lueck’s.


More than 1,000 Clark County farm homes now are being supplied with electric power and lights as a result of the million-dollar REA project in the county.


The passing of the thousand-mark recently was announced by County Agent Wallace J. Landry, secretary-treasurer of Clark County Electric Cooperative, who has been one of the forceful factors behind the rural electrification project in the county.


Also the passing of the thousand-mark in homes now served with electricity through the project means that approximately half of the members already are hooked up to the 702 miles of power lines, which weave a network of wire over the county.  Mr. Landry anticipates that within a period of a few years, every farm home in the county will be wire for electricity as a result of the project.                                                                           


There was a train wreck at Sydney, west of Neillsville on August 23. A washout caused the engine to topple over on the side of the track.  The coaches remained on the railroad ties, with no one seriously injured, but the Engineer Joe Burkhardt of Altoona and two passengers suffered minor injuries.


October 1965


Paul Harr, who has operated a plumbing and heating business in Neillsville for several years, announced this week that he has sold the business to Melvin Spencer of Marshfield.  Mr. Harr plans to leave Friday morning for Lexington, Ky., where he expects to be employed.  He probably will be accompanied by Billy and Douglas, who came here earlier for the funeral of their grandmother, Mrs. Agnes Trudeau of Marshfield.


Mrs. Harr and smaller members of the family probably will remain here for the present.  In Lexington, Mr. Harr will be about 40 miles from his childhood home.                                    


Mr. and Mrs. Merlin Lindow have sold the pink Pony, a retail beer bar on West Seventh Street, to Charles Jones and Robert McCoy of Rt. 1 Merrillan, it was revealed this week by Gerald Anderson, local real estate agent.  Finalization of the sale awaits council action on the application of the purchasers for a retail beer license, expected next Tuesday night.


Plans of the Lindows for the future have not been finalized. At present Mr. Lindow is working on the gas pipelines.


Four Neillsville men were expected back this weekend from their hunting and fishing trip into Ontario, Canada.  Floyd Short, Donald Lipscy, Dr. T. N. Thompson and Elliot Warlum left last Friday morning, going to Ely, Minn., from which they made a 30 minute airplane flight to their destination.  They hoped to bag a moose or two and get in some good fishing.


The central kitchen and dining room of the Neillsville School District, which serves over 2,000 meals a month on a one-a-day basis, was moved this week into its new and modern quarters.


The move, fittingly though not by design, came during the start of National Lunch week. And just as fittingly, the event took place in the school, presided over by the president of the Wisconsin School Food Service Association, Supt. Ivan W. Lauscher of Neillsville.


The new school lunch kitchen and the new dining area for students of the Neillsville district are spic-and-span areas, specially designed for these uses and equipped for efficiency.


And it must be, for the central kitchen, alone, in September prepared 17,657 meals, of which 16,786 were served in the old facilities of the high school. This means that the staff was serving about 1,000 meals a day during the month as compared with an average of 650 meals daily during the busiest month of the last school year.


All is being done without addition to the kitchen staff, which includes besides Mrs. Reineck: Mrs. June Wendt, Mrs. Catherine Marty, Mrs. Hazel Naedler, Mrs. Charlene Sagen and Miss Sylvia Sagen.


The district school system also maintains hot lunch kitchens at the Washburn and Pineview schools.  At Washburn, Mrs. Joseph Havlicek served 1,068 meals in September, and Mrs. Martha Lautenbach served 1,289 meals at Pineview.  Others of the district hot lunch staff include Mrs. Jim Vincent who dishes food and cleans up afterward at the Globe area school, Mrs. Lucille Matousek at Pineview and Mrs. Mary Kyle at Washburn.


The school lunch program has become big business in the years since World War II, all over the nation.  The hot lunch program started in Neillsville, 11 years ago, one of the first in Clark County, and has been growing in acceptance and use since.                                                                                                            


The grand opening of the new Holiday Station Store in Neillsville is being held today through Sunday. The modern discount store is located on the south side of East Division Street, on Highway 10.  Candy and balloons will be passed out free to those visiting the new gasoline station and store, and a number of special merchandise items are being offered in celebration of the grand opening.


The Holiday Station Store represents a new type of merchandising in this area.  The nearest similar stores are in Eau Claire, Medford, and La Crosse. In addition to retail gasoline sales, the station store contains approximately 1,250 discount merchandise items.


In addition to the retail operation on the location, the Holiday Station Store will provide gasoline and fuel oil bulk service to homes and farms of the area.  The station store will be open 24 hours every day, according to Douglas Bergstrom, an officer of the Black River Oil Co., Inc., which owns the new enterprise.


Coincidental with the grand opening, Holiday credit cards are being mailed to many area residents about the time of the grand opening.  They will be honored at this station store for all merchandise, gasoline and other purchases. Billing will be made once a month.


The Holiday Station Store will have five full-time employees.  In addition to Bergstrom, the full-time men will include: Terry Becker, manager; Alex Poziombke, Donald Herbel and Corrin Baker. Steve Gress and Laverne Ehlers will be employed part time.                                                                              


The “old” Clark County Courthouse, second in history, is being pounded into rubble this week to make way for a parking lot for its new and handsome successor.  Many are the residents of the county who feel a tinge of regret and nostalgia at the realization that the building of  the red “Schoengarth” brick and white trim has become an item of history, for under its protective cover much history of Clark county was produced.


For the majority of the people, the demise will mean that they will no longer see the metal statue of “Justice,” as she stood high atop the courthouse as a beacon to those entering the city from the north.  Even though they may never have entered the big, heavy doors of the county building, and the majority of the people never did, they were familiar with the Lady jutting tall above the green foliage of the ancient trees surrounding the building.


Built in 1875 and 1876 at a cost of about $35,000, the old court house lived through 89 years of Clark County history, yes, more than merely lived that time; it was the focal center of government for the people of the county.


There are those who will recall Mr. Patterson of the Town of Fremont and Mr. Varney of Greenwood, both men of the “old school,” straight of back, clear-eyed and the personification of dignity.  Neither spoke often; but when they did speak their contemporaries listened with respect.  They were, in their way, quiet moral forces standing head and shoulders above the crowd in respect.  


Older members of the board will recall Earle Kidd of Owen.  Kidd had a reputation in those days similar to that held in Memphis, Tenn., during the same era, by old “Boss” Crump.  Mr. Kidd rarely sat still during a session of the county board.  Rather, he shuttled from member to member, always discussing, cajoling, imploring and reasoning with members for county legislation he thought important.


Memories of some, too, will revert to Judge Emery W. Crosby, whose judicial temperament sometimes was marked by a flare of temper.  Usually he showed his teeth when confronted by a tardy attorney, who, like as not could expect a substantial fine for contemp.  How many of these contempt citations were rescinded in the quiet of the judge’s chambers, however, probably never will be known.


Memories of some, too, will turn to Judge Oscar W. Schoengarth, who labored patiently, kindly and with great diligence in tricky matters of probate.  It was not unusual for Judge Schoengarth to pursue a probate problem for several years; until he finally was completely satisfied he had all the heirs, and all the answers.


Probably most imminent among the judges of Clark County is destined to the Justice Bruce F. Beilfuss, who served first as a budding attorney in Clark County, then a district attorney and then ascended to the circuit court bench on the death of Judge Crosby. Elected in the State Supreme Court, Judge Beilfuss last week was named by Gov. Warren P. Knowles to head a study committee on crime, opening an avenue of labor, which could add immeasurably to an already outstanding stature.


Or, who will forget Wallace Landry, long a forceful energetic county agent of Clark County.  Landry did much to get such things as herd testing and rural electrification started in Clark County.


And then there was Ben Frantz, who long served as clerk of the circuit court under the elder Judge Schoengarth.  Ben’s greatest pleasure was seeing people apply for citizenship and follow through.  In his day the clerk of court’s office handled as high as a half hundred applications for naturalization in a year.


One could recollect the excitement that ran high when the notorious murderers Winslow and Sennett were brought to the courthouse for arraignment after their capture at the George Pomputis farm in Longwood, a year or two after the end of World War II.


Many no doubt, too, will recall those days in 1935 when the heat of emotions was as much with us as the heat of the atmosphere in those days of the milk strike; and how Hugh G. Haight, then serving as district attorney, stopped a mob of marchers descending upon the courthouse and jail to free two of their number held there.  Nor will any intimate ever forget how, on a warm summer day with the courtroom windows open wide, Haight’s bull like voice could be heard loud and clear as he argued a case.


For Wm. A. Campman, dean of the attorneys of Clark County and a native of Neillsville, memories will go back much farther.  For, as a young attorney, he labored also as a court reporter in the early days of Judge Crosby’s tenure on the bench, and again for a year or two late in the old judge’s life.


Every person who has had anything to do with the old courthouse will have some favorite memory of the old building.  Each will prize his memory, now that this building atop the Courthouse hill is passing into the pages of history.


The second Clark County Courthouse, built in 1875 and 1876, for a cost of $35,000 was the focal point of Clark County government for 89 years. The building was razed in 1965, replaced by a new structure.



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