Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

February 13, 2013 Page 10

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


Memories of Clark County Pioneers

(Compiled from 1918 History of Clark County)


John Rollins, who is engaged in operating a good farm in Section 9, Fremont Township, is a native of Wisconsin, having been born in Adams County, Jan. 25, 1869, son of John and Josephine (Pishon) Rollins.  His father, John, Sr., was a son of Anthony and Abigail (Herd) Rollins. Anthony was a native of Vermont, and his wife of Scotland.  John Rollins, father of the subject of this sketch, was born in Barton, Vt. Aug. 25, 1813.  His youth days were spent mostly in Burlington, Vt., where he attended school.


In those days the forests in New England had not been greatly utilized and the lumber industry was becoming important.  John Rollins, Sr., became connected with this work and subsequently followed lumbering into Maine, where he was foreman of a crew in the woods.  While resident in Maine, he was married, April 28, 1845, to Josephine Pishon, a daughter of Isaiah H. and Abigail (Knowlton) Pishon. The original form of her family name was De Pishon, or De Pichon.  Isaiah Pishon, who was a lumberman by occupation, moved from his native state to Michigan, where he followed lumbering for a number of years and where his death occurred.  His wife died in Adams County, Wis.  Their children were Angeline, Charlotte, Mary, Sarah, Isaac, Jefferson and Josephine.  After his marriage, John Rollins, Sr. and his wife continued to reside in Maine for ten years or more.


In 1870, the Rollins family moved to Clark County.  Their first winter in this county was spent on the north bank of Yellow River.  In the following April, Mr. Rollins located on a tract of eighty acres in Section 9, Fremont Township, the lumber company giving him a life lease of the land for his services.  Here he had to begin under pioneer conditions, as the land was wild, there were no roads and Indians were numerous in the vicinity.  The nearest neighbors were about nine miles away, and their market was first at Necedah, then later at Nasonville. The first summer they got an ox team and a cow, so had two of the most important requisites of a pioneer. The distance to Necedah was about 100 miles by going along the river road, and that long distance they had to drive with the ox team and a jumper, which was a rude sled used by the pioneers in place of a wagon, that few, if any, of the early settlers had; nor, indeed, would it have been easy, if possible, to drive a wagon through the woods.  It used to take them a month or six weeks to make the trip.


In the winter Mr. Rollins worked in the woods and in the summer was engaged in clearing his land.  His first residence was a bark shanty; afterwards he built a good-sized log house, 16 by 40 feet in size. Still later, he hewed pine for a log house, 20 by 30 feet.  The first year he and his family ground wheat in their coffee mill, using the coarse flour thus obtained to make bread.  He and his family lived on very friendly terms with the Indians, his sons going hunting with them, and they would often spend the night in his cabin, sleeping on the floor. When any of the family members were sick the red men would cheerfully volunteer their services to help in any way possible.  John Rollins, Sr., resided there until his death in 1881, at the age of 67 years.  He was one of the most prominent settlers in that part of the county and being able to make land surveys, was employed to run the lines for the roads of Fremont Township.  He and his family attended the Methodist Church. Their children were as follows: Amanda, Oscar, William, Charles, Edgar, Jasper, Mildred, Guy, Maud and the youngest John, Jr., who was born in Wisconsin, Jan. 25, 1869.  He acquired his education in a log schoolhouse and remained at home with his parents, working on the farm, except when he was employed in the woods during the winters.


After his father’s death he bought the old home place, which he farmed for some years until he finally sold it.  He then bought his present farm of eighty acres in Section 9, Fremont Township, which at the time had a small clearing on it.  Since then he has cleared about twenty-five acres and has built a barn, 48 by 56 feet in size, and a silo, 12 by 28 feet.  Mr. Rollins raises shorthorn cattle and Belgian horses, being a successful stock-raiser.  He is also a shareholder in the Chili Cooperative Elevator Company, in the Independent Implement Company, of Plano, Ill., and the Wausau Packing Plant.  He now serves as treasurer of District No. 9.  Mr. Rollins was first married to Blanche Austin, daughter of John Austin, by which union there were no children.  H married secondly, Clara L. Schultz.  They had two children: Vera and Robert.


 Adolph A. F. Voigt, proprietor of the Star Cheese Factory in Section 20, Lynn Township, was born in Calumet County, Wis., Nov. 24, 1885, son of Herman and Sophie (Schauchel) Voigt. Both parents were German, the father being a native of Pommern and the mother, of Mecklenburg. Each came to the United States by sailing vessel, being many weeks on the voyage.


They were married in Calumet County, Wis., where Herman Voigt, his father, located on a farm in the timber. Herman’s first residence there was a log cabin, which he built.  After clearing that place he sold it and moved to Wood County, where he resided fourteen years, engaged in farming.  He and his wife had ten children, of whom Adolph Augustus Frederick was the youngest. Adolph acquired his education in the district school and in a German school, later taking up farming on a tract of fifty-three acres in Rock Township, Wood County.  In 1909, he married Hildergat Fischer, daughter of Leonard Fischer, a pioneer of Wood County.  Adolph and his wife began housekeeping on the farm.  There he remained for three years, raising good livestock.

After three years of farming, Adolph took up the trade of cheesemaker.  For the first six months he worked with his brother, C. A. Voigt, of Chili. After that he worked for his other brother, Gust, who was operating a butter-making factory at Spokeville, where he stayed for four months learning that trade.  He then went to Hewitt to become manager of the Mill Creek Cooperative Cheese and Butter Factory.  At the end of one year, Adolph purchased his present cheese factory in Section 20, Lynn Township, where he has greatly improved the business.  When he took over the business, there were only eighteen patrons, which number he has increased to fifty-one.  He has increased the value of the factory by at least $2,000, and in 1915 paid out $15,000 to its patrons, evidence of his thorough knowledge of the business and careful management, together with honest dealing.  He and his wife are parents of three children: Arthur, Adeline and Benita.  The family is members of the Lutheran Church.


(Section 20 is two miles south of Lynn, bordered by County Road W on the east side. DZ)


February 1948


Clark County homemakers attending the Farm and Home week at Madison this week include Mrs. Norman McVean of Loyal, president of the Clark County homemakers’ federation; Mrs. Arthur Kuechenmeister and Mrs. Maurice Meredith, Neillsville; Mrs. Owen Melin and Mrs. L. Wisniewski, Withee; and Mrs. E. H. Peterson, Owen.


A request for an emergency shipment of 10,000 gallons of diesel fuel to keep heavy county snow removal equipment in operation in the event of a snow storm was made Tuesday to Anthony E. Madler, state fuel coordinator.


The highway department reported the last of its diesel fuel exhausted and pointed out that a storm might find them unable to use the heavy equipment that is essential in maintaining open state and county highways.


Word of the plight was taken to Madison Tuesday by A. E. Stadler, county fuel administrator.


A capacity crowd of about 200 persons is expected to hear Gov. Oscar Rennebohm when he comes to Neillsville Monday night, February 24.  The governor will speak at a banquet meeting in the Masonic Temple under the joint sponsorship of the Neillsville Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.                                                


Beaver trappers, now plying their trap lines in Clark County until the 10-day season closing, February 19, will take about 200 blankets in Clark County, in the estimation of Game Warden Alva A. Clumpner.  The last beaver season in Clark County was in the spring of 1946.  In the years prior to that, population was pretty badly depleted here and has not returned to any great extent during the last two years.                                           


A series of 17 hearings on reorganization of school districts in Clark County was announced this week by Russell R. Drake, county school superintendent, acting as secretary to the newly-formed, powerful county school committee.


More hearings affecting other districts will be held on dates to be announced later, the notice stated.


Affected at these hearings will be 51 school districts out of more than 120 rural and other school districts in Clark County.


Plans to move the bar to the basement of the Neillsville Country club building and to convert the present bar room into a lounge were laid at the annual meeting of the stockholders Monday night.


This is expected to be one of the major improvements for the club this year. Women of the club will furnish the lounge. The move is expected to make the club house more attractive to those who do not wish to mix lounging and liquor. The stockholders, re-elected all directors; George Zimmerman, R. P. Munger, Harry Wasserberger, Hugh G. Haight and William F. Whaley.                                                                                  


A Girl Scout board was organized at a meeting of leaders, assistant leaders and troop committee members February 10.


Board members are: commissioner, Mrs. Harriet Hoesly; secretary, Mrs. Theodora Kintzele; finance chairman and deputy commissioner, Mrs. Frances Sollberger; program chairman, Mrs. Nora Ylvisaker; camp chairman, Mrs. Iris Randall; and public relations and membership chairman, Mrs. Hazel Schultz.


The purpose of the organization is to care for the Girl Scouts, a rapidly growing group. At present, there are 135 Scouts and Brownies.                                                                                             


Mr. and Mrs. Theodore (Ted) Gall and the Egbert Gerhardt family have moved to Milwaukee. They left Saturday by auto, taking their household goods by truck. Mr. and Mrs. Gerhardt have been employed in Milwaukee for several years and recently purchased a home there for the two families. They came up last Friday accompanied by their son, Theodore (Buddie) to look after the moving.  The Gerhardt children are: Buddie, Elaine, Billy and Bert, Jr.


Mr. and Mrs. Gall have been lifelong residents of Neillsville and vicinity, and are keeping their home on West 10th Street; which will be occupied by the Wayne Bush family, who moved in Saturday from the Charles Hubing house on South Hewett.                                                                                                       


Mr. and Mrs. Edward Murphy and Mrs. W. L. Murphy have sold their property in the Town of Dewhurst to Steve Jaje of Stratford. The property includes the Murphy farm as well as the tavern and lake frontage property.


(Murphy’s tavern, which also served food, was located along Lake Arbutus. DZ)


Dr. Sarah Rosekrans and Henry Michels of the Neillsville Public School faculty will be guest soloists with the high school band in a concert to be presented March 9 at the Armory.


Proceeds from the concert will be used to buy a school flag for the band and to help defray expenses of the bands at the annual music festival in Eau Claire this spring.


The high school band is composed of 60 pieces and is under the direction of Walter Keohane.


Darlene Degenhardt ruled as queen over the ice carnival held Saturday at Loyal. Her king was Richard Catlin.  Her attendants were Wilma Deuermeyer and Grace Fenner, runners-up in the queen contest.  The King’s attendants were Jerome Theisen and Harvey Degenhardt.  The king and queen were crowed by the Rev. Lee Holmes as a climax to the day’s events, which included races and figure skating.


Best time in the races was turned in by Harvey Degenhardt in the boy’s free-for-all race. First place winners in other races were: John Hills, Rose Hammond, Geraldine Degenhardt, Jerome Shupe, Darlene Degenhardt, Russel Cook, Elizabeth Gordon, and William Theisen.                                                                


Gold footballs were awarded to 16 members of Neillsville High School’s 1947 Cloverbelt conference championship team last week as 49 awards were presented at the school.


A highlight of the assembly at which the awards were made was the formal presentation to the school of the trophy emblematic of the Cloverbelt football championship of 1947.


Gold football awards were presented to: Leo Chapman, Robert Eggiman, Wendell Elmhorst, Calvin Gerhardt, Bradley Larsen, Glenn Lazotte, William Minette, Danny Patey, Bill Puttkamer, Frederick Seelow, Charles Swenson, Frank Sydorowicz, Richard Tibbett, Donald Trewartha, Ellis Wall and Eugene Wegner.


Wegner also received the football captain’s star.


Other awards given included the “N” awards and the 1949 and 1950 numerals.


Letters in achievement in agriculture were presented to George Crothers and Charles Jonkel, for grain judging; Louis Kessler, Wallace Krause and Byron Trachte, livestock judging. 


Letter awards in football were presented to John Hagie, Roland Jenni, Calvin Gerhardt and Dan Patey.


Letter awards for both football and basketball were won by: Leo Chapman, Bradley Larsen, Glenn Lazotte, William Minette, Bill Puttkamer, Charles Swenson and Ellis Wall.


Letter awards went to Robert Gress and Robert Scott, as football managers.


Four students won 1949 numerals: Leonard DeMert, Irvin Marg, Frederick Seelow and Harris Schoengarth.



The Neillsville Armory, built in 1892, served as the headquarters for the local National Guard unit for many years.  Its large auditorium was used by the Neillsville schools for graduation exercises, class plays, basketball games, and local organizations also held various events there, which required an auditorium facility.




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