June 5, 2013, Page 10, Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI, May 22, 2013 Page 20


Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

June 5, 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

May 1868


Hewett, Woods & Company, of here, recently sold all the logs bearing their mark in Black River and its tributaries, excepting O’Neill Creek, to firm in Davenport, Iowa.  It will include nearly twelve million feet, which is a safe estimate.


A Winnebago camp of six lodges, and sixty-two individuals living three miles above Atchison, Kansas, was visited by the local news reporter on Aril 15.  Thirteen years ago they went to live at Crow Creek, on the Missouri River, in Dakota. About the time of the Sioux massacres, four or five years ago, they started down the Missouri River and for the past three years have been living with Iowa Indians near White Cloud.  They are now on the way to their old homes in Wisconsin, on the Mississippi River, above Prairie du Chien. They have a fleet of sixteen canoes and are going down to the mouth of the Missouri River and then will paddle their way up the Mississippi to their destination of old hunting grounds.


Butter has been very scarce in this region for some time and commands most any price that may be asked for it.


The old frame building, which stood opposite the Hewett, Woods & Co. store, was successfully removed to another part of the village by Mr. M. Mason, last week.  The manner in which buildings have heretofore been moved here, by putting the structure on rollers and hauling it along by several yoke of oxen was discarded in this instance. Mr. Mason sensibly employed the use of capstan, and safely placed the building on the place it now occupies.


A place is now being prepared in this village for the manufacture of brick by the enterprising firm of Hewett, Woods & Co.  Mr. Edward King will have charge of the yard.  Heretofore brick makers have declared the clay did not contain enough sand; but Mr. King, who has had considerable experience in the business, says there is plenty of sand, though the clay is not of the best quality.                                                                            


Mr. S. C. Boardman will commence this week to set out thirteen acres of hops in the Town of Grant, four miles east of Town. There are other persons in the county who contemplate starting in the business this spring.


The other day two boys, about ten or twelve years of age, entered O. P. Wells’ hardware store in this village, with a few pounds of iron, which they sold.  It was afterwards discovered that the hardware merchant had purchased the same iron before it came into the possession of the youngsters they having taken it from a pile of old iron near the store belong to Mr. Wells. While we may laugh at the joke on the merchant we see a deploring instance of juvenile depravity.  We understand that this is not the first time one of them has been guilty of so bad an act. We hope they may be brought to a realization of their situation in time to be saved from a downward course toward infamy and destruction.


One of Bill Price’s two-horse livery rigs from Black River Falls came into town a short time ago in charge of a gentlemanly appearing fellow, who circulated about here for a few days, then suddenly disappeared from sight.  The fragments of a buggy upon a wagon bound for the Falls last Friday morning excited curiosity and upon inquiry it was learned that these fragments, together with two lame horses and a man with a sore head was all that remained of the fancy rig, which came to this melancholy state of affairs by the man going it a little too fast.  One word, however, will give a concise, yet clear and comprehensive answer to all inquiries as the original cause of this small disaster, “whiskey.”


Mr. Eyerly is building a small house just south of Dr. French’s. Louis Sontag is excavating the earth for a cellar under the building soon to be put up on the corner west of C. C. Blakeslee’s large barn.


With woods on fire, considerable damage has been done owing to the exceedingly dry weather this spring. Fires emanating from burning brush piles on newly cleared land have spread through the woods with great rapidity, destroying a large amount of standing pine timber, fences, blackberry brush and such.  It has been two weeks, since May 11 that any rain has fallen here. The timber is suffering principally upon Wedge’s creek, northeast of here and also to some extent on the Cunningham south and southeast of here.  In the northern part of the county, where the great bulk of our pine timber exists, the fire has done less damage.


On Wedge’s Creek - a camp belonging to Mr. E. H. McIntosh was burned to the ground, but, fortunately there were but a few logging implements left there after the winter’s work so the loss was small.  Mr. Calvin Allen’s camp is thought to be in great danger, if not already burned.  If destroyed, Mr. Allen’s loss will be considerable as many logging tools were stored there.  In some places logs on the bank of the creek and even those in the stream, those thrown above the water line in huge piles by jams, have caught and added their strength to the flames. They bear various private logging marks.


On O’Neill Creek - there have been no camps consumed, but a great deal of green timber is forever destroyed.


On Cunningham Creek - the timber on that creek has had considerably less damage.


Farmers have been compelled to keep up a strict watch over fences, but despite their utmost exertions their fences have been swept away.


The weather is still very warm and dry.  If this drought continues much longer, none will escape the damaging effects, which will surely follow.


May 1953



A late 1954 photo taken of the new Neillsville High School facility located at the end of East Fourth Street, as it appeared near the completed construction. 


Heavy bidding is indicated for the new high school building of Neillsville.  Fourteen contractors are known to be figuring the general contract; 18 the plumbing and heating; 12 the electrical work. There may be even more bids than this.


The architect and the school authorities have a line on the bidding, for the reason that bidders must have copies of the plans and these are loaned out upon a deposit. The copies have been exhausted and some use is being made of plans held in the office at Neillsville and in the office of the architect.                       


Neillsville’s A & W Stand is now open for business; our Root Beer System has been remodeled, and we hope to give you colder & better Root Beer; Frozen Custard, by the cone, pints or quarts; Hot Dogs, Bar-B-Q; Hamburgers


National Home Demonstration week is being observed by Clark County Homemaker clubs this week, May 3 to 9.


Chairman of the Loyal Center is Mrs. Philip Schecklman; secretary, Mrs. George Zuehlke.  The Loyal Center comprises 10 clubs: Pelsdorf, Beaver homemakers, West Loyal, Veefkind, Beaver Center Homemakers, Coles Corners, Heintown, Up and Coming, Welcome Neighbors, and Spokeville.  These 10 clubs have a total of 131 members. Two of these clubs have been organized for 25 years; the youngest club, Welcome neighbors, will be a year old in October.


The membership of the Loyal Center clubs ranges from 10 to 19 members.


The Withee Center homemakers have a total of 160 members within its 11 clubs.


Garden Club and Withee Homemakers are both 25 year clubs this year.


John Schmidts have purchased the Sherman Nelson farm in North York Township.


Eighteen new members were received into the Christie Methodist Church May 17 at the church services. This is the largest group taken into the church within the last ten years.  Those joining were: Edward Anderegg, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Buchholz, Mrs. Everett Buettner, James Buettner, Mr and Mrs. N. Arnold Johnson, Mr. and Mrs. Helmuth Levandowski, LeRoy Levandowski, William Lavrence, Mr. and Mrs. James Meade, Mr. and Mrs. James Nozar, Everett Schaefer and Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Vandeberg.                                                                      


The violent tail of a twister came down and gouged at the heart of the Harold Hohenstein farm, 12 miles southeast of Neillsville on Wednesday, May 20.  It shattered the barn and scattered pieces of it over a forty-acre area.  I moved the cement stave silo four inches off its base.  It tore and twisted off big, healthy pine trees around the house, leaving stark, barren stumps standing from eight to 20 feet above the earth.


It drove two splintered planks from the barn through the flat roof of the house and into the ceiling of the second floor.  It pitched a 2 by 8 plank through an upstairs window and buried its end into the chimney.  It lifted off the chimney above the roof and ripped up the roof of the house on the west side only.


Hohenstein’s is the only place in Clark County where this twister struck. From the “V” shape in which it broke off the pine trees, it appears that the tail had come down just at the Hohenstein place, and then had arisen again.


Sally Lila, infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Chubb, was christened at Grace Lutheran Church at Nasonville Sunday.  Sponsors were Jerry Schmidt and Lila Sternitzky, who were also dinner and supper guests at the Chubb home on Sunday.


The passing of George Frantz this week cuts ties with Clark County’s early days’ history.


George was born in the old log cabin, which had been built by his father, George Frantz, Sr., as a home for his bride, Barbara Sontag. Before marrying her in Jefferson County, the elder George had made his start in Clark County.  Coming here as a bachelor in 1948, he had made a little stake by making shingles by hand, and had built a log cabin on the land, which became known as the Frantz farm in Section 23, Pine Valley, a place owned in recent by the Borde family.


After the wedding George started north with his bride in a covered wagon.  As he approached his forest home, he learned that the Indians had burned the cabin down.  So the couple went to a lumbering camp, he to cut timber and she to cook.  They thus retrieved their slender fortunes, until finally they were able to go to his 100 acres and put up a second cabin.  It was there that the Frantz children came, nine of them.  In these last years, Neillsville has intimately known three of them, the brothers Rudolph, 84, George, 88, and Conrad, 96.


George began his working yrs as a roustabout, a logging man.  Like Conrad and Rudy, he did farming with steam engines.  He ran the engine for the old Neillsville drying plant, forerunner of modern-day dehydration.  He did carpenter work on about 15 houses in the city; worked in the canning factory for a time. He retired to live in a pleasant little home on Court Street, with his wife, fished and played cards with his brothers.


A story of the three brothers was written up by Keith Bennett in 1950, a local writer of The Clark County Press.  From that article, excerpts are printed below:


“George often discussed the Indian movements along the course of the Black River in the early days.  Occasionally a hundred of them seemed to be passing the Frantz farm, he said, and often they would come inside to examine the home and its contents. 


“George recalled suffering from a skin ailment one year. An elderly Indian lady announced that she could cure the trouble and George agreed. She gathered some cranberries, mashed them and bound the paste around George’s arm in an old pillowcase, and lo, he recovered.


“The settlers themselves found a considerable amount of their medicines growing wild in the woods. Each fall they collected wild herbs, boneset, catnip, lobelia, Bloodroot, peppermint, and wild mustard. And each spring, the kids got their doses of sulphur and molasses.


“Those were the years, in George’s boyhood, when Father Frantz would often build a fire by firing cotton batting from his shotgun and use the blazing was for a match. And they’d sometimes load that faithful blunderbuss with gravel and shoot ducks on the farm pond.


“When George was 10, he went to his first circus at Neillsville.  It wasn’t big, but it was a circus, with bareback riders, fine horses and acrobats. There was even a menagerie consisting of one tired, old buffalo.


“The traveling packmen were another trademark of those times. They came through in the spring, the summer and into the fall, dispensing needles, ribbons, cloth and other oddments for the ladies.


“James Hewett was building big bateaux in the logging times, capable of handling 14 to 16 loggers as they went up and down the river on their various jobs. And in the spring the good townsmen would gather along Neillsville’s main street to watch the logging horses being brought back from their winter’s work in the camps to the north.


“Getting back to his logging experience, George recalled the big Hatfield dam. There were four million board feet of lumber caught in the narrows where the Hatfield Dam now stands. Dynamite and peavey poles wouldn’t break the locked timbers, though George and a host of lumberjacks fought to clear the towering jam.


“The old Dells Dam, now gone and the Hemlock Dam were opened and the flood lifted the mass, ripped through it and carried the tons of timber southward toward the Mississippi.


“George had more tales of merrymaking in the old days; the masquerades at the armory. George went as Uncle Sam several times, and again as a lumberjack, but never took a prize in the packed hall that was shaking with the tread of perspiring schotischers, waltzers and square dancers.


“George purchased his first car in 1915, a model of 1912 Ford.  His wife said he could buy a car if he could also swing the purchase of a house, and George managed both.


“And there was the old fire horse George remembered, the horse was normally the motive power for the city dray; it hauled freight from the depot, etc.  But let the fire bell ring and the animal saw her duty and she did it. Dray and all, she would go tearing off for the firehouse to be hitched up to the city fire pump. The firehouse was known as “Firemen’s Hall” then, and was on the site of the armory.


Born April 28, 1865, George was a lifelong resident of Clark County, except two years spent in the state of Washington, where he worked in logging camps and saw mills.  





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