June 5, 2013, Page 10, Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI, July 17, 2013, Page 12


Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

July 17, 2013, Page 12

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

July 1873


Monday next is the day fixed by law for the meeting of the Town Boards of Equalization. Those who have found any irregularities in the assessment of their property will do well to bear it in mind, and apply to their respective Town Boards for their correction.


By reference to a notice of the Town Board it will be seen that saloons will have to close at 11 o’clock p.m. during the summer months and at 10 o’clock p.m. during the winter.  This is eminently sound, for a man that cannot get drunk by ten or eleven o’clock ought to give up the habit entirely as being too expensive. The law in relation to allowing minors to play billiards will also be enforced.                                                          


Mr. E. P. Hill has had a street sprinkler constructed and has entered into a contract with the businessmen to keep the business streets sprinkled during the summer.  He was to have commenced work last Monday, but a kind Providence got ahead of him and gave the streets such a sprinkling that up to today, Friday, he has had no occasion to use his machine.


The Germans will celebrate the Fourth at the beer gardens and propose to have a good jolly time of it, doing justice to their country and to themselves as well. Their program is as follows:


Start from Hubbard House at 10 a.m., March to the gardens where the celebration will be held.  Dinner at the Grove 1 p.m.; Return at 6 p.m. Dance at La Mouch’s Hall in the evening. Tickets including supper at Hubbard House, $1.50                                                                            


The Neillsville village’s Fourth celebration will begin with a Ragamuffin parade at 8:30 a.m. Grand civic parade from Main Street to Sturdevant’s Grove at 9 a.m.  There will be orations, music by the Brass Band, Glee Club and Sabbath School at 10 a. m.  Dinner at O’Neill House at 1 p.m. Grand display of Fireworks in the evening!


A man residing along Yellow River, in our neighboring County of Wood, last Sunday started a mosquito smudge. He got rid of the mosquitoes, also a barn and a valuable yoke of oxen.  No way will he have mosquitoes about him.


A week ago Monday, Mr. E. L. Brockway and his son Melvin, of Black River Falls, were assaulted and severely injured by a party of men engaged in driving logs on Levis Creek.  Mr. Brockway has just erected a saw mill and dam on that creek for other parties, and the men who made the assault had a few logs on that stream, which they wished to drive two or three miles below.  In order to do this they considered it necessary to tear out the dam. To this proceeding, Mr. Brockway objected and a quarrel and fight was the result.  Mr. Brockway was knocked down by a blow on the head with an ironed pike pole, which left him insensible for a time.  While down he was severely kicked by the men. The six men have been arrested and held to bail at $300 each to appear at circuit court.         


We understand that several young gentlemen from here were led into the mysteries of three-card-monte, at the circus at Humbird the other day.  It takes time to get wisdom, and so these young men learned.  They came home minus their watches, in fact, without either money or tick. Dr. French is respectfully requested to show the boys that table in his back office.                                                                                                  


The whortleberry business is very lively at Humbird at present; hundreds of bushels are being bought and shipped weekly.  Buyers are paying $1.25 per bushel. (Referred to back then as whortleberries, that type of berry is now known as the blueberries DZ)                                                                                     


James Delaine has just completed a new wagon and blacksmith shop on the north side of the creek, and is ready for all the work that may be brought to him.  He has made among other things, some of the finest buggies now in use here.


Garden vegetables are very scarce, will bring almost any price asked.  Berries 20¢ per qt. but scarce!


July 1953


The celebration of the Centennial of Clark County is underway.  There were religious services Sunday evening, the style show and Queen’s Ball, were held Tuesday evening and the Pet Parade Wednesday morning. These and all other events of the celebration mark the passing of a century since the legislature of Wisconsin created the county of Clark.


Wednesday evening at 7:30 the coronation of the Queen was to take place.  This is to be followed at 8:15 by the first presentation of the “Clark County Centurama,” the great pageant based upon the history of Clark County.  Each presentation of the Centurama will be followed by a fireworks finale. Wednesday has been set down in the schedule as “Young America’s Day.”


Thursday was designated as ladies Day.  At 11 p.m. there will be the capsule ceremony at the courthouse grounds.  This will consist of filling a capsule with various relics and records of the present celebration. The expectation is that this capsule will be opened in 2053, when it may be anticipated, the bi-centennial will be celebrated.


Thursday evening, at 7:30 p.m. the preliminary at the fairgrounds will be the presentation of the winners of the Old Fashioned Style Show, with the judging of the costumes of the “Sisters of the Swish.”  This will be followed by the second performance of the “Clark County Centurama.”


Friday will be “Clark County Day.”  The downtown feature will be the Huge Historical Centennial Parade, which will get under way at 3 p.m.  The preliminary feature at the fairgrounds at 7:30 p.m. will be the mayor’s milking contest that will consist of various mayors competing.


Saturday, July 4, is “Pioneer Day.”  The Pioneers will register at Centennial headquarters by 10 a.m.  At 3 p.m. will be the second march of the Centennial Parade.  Judging of the beards of the “Brothers of the Brush” will be held 7:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds.


The Centurama is the top event of the celebration, its presentation requiring 90 minutes.


Clark County Centennial celebration was held in July 1953 with many events to commemorate it. Chap Paulson of Paulson’s Livery Stables entered an interesting attraction, an oxen-drawn Conestoga style covered wagon, which he made.  Covered wagons were the mode of transportation for many early settlers, who traveled westward in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 



An old story of Clark County is that of when a church donation drive turned into a dancing party.


Rev. James Mair held regular services for the Presbyterians in the old courthouse in the late 1800s, before the building of the Presbyterian Church, after which Rev. William T. Hendren, became pastor.  Mair was a Scotchman and had taken the degree of Master of Arts at one of the Scottish universities; he invariably added to his signature the letters, M. A. to indicate it, although in this country, those who affect such additions usually use the initials of the Latin equivalent and write it A. M. (Artium Magister). 


On one occasion in 1868 the members of the Methodist Church had a donation and raised quite a sum of money, some sixty odd dollars, besides quantities of flour, groceries, and other articles of that kind.


Inspired by their success, the Presbyterians resolved to have a donation for the Rev. Mr. Mair and they enlisted the services of half a dozen young men who were not members of any particular church and who assumed the charge and management of the whole affair.


It was just prior to the election of county officers and the committee in charge promptly assessed all the candidates on both tickets in sums of two to ten dollars each, which assessments were promptly paid.


The donation party was held at the O’Neill House, a large room or hall upstairs that was used for dances, concerts, and theatrical performances, and when not so used, it accommodated a dozen or more beds for sleeping purposes, being called the school section. Without the knowledge or sanction of the church members, the committee in charge sold dance tickets, and when the older people had gone home the donation party was turned into a dancing party.  Mrs. Jane O’Neill, the wife of our first settler, was landlady of the hotel.  She was very religious and was shocked to learn that dancing was going on. She appeared on the scene and forbid it, but the hall had been rented and paid for and her expostulations were without avail.  (At that time several church denominations forbid their members to participate in dancing. DZ)


When the net results were figured up, there was raised at the donation party $165 in money, four barrels of flour and groceries in great quantities.


Mr. Mair made a speech but did not participate in the dancing part of the program.  He afterwards studied law, was elected and served as justice of peace, finally moving to Minnesota where he lived out his life.


Rev. William T. Hendren was largely instrumental in securing the construction of the Presbyterian Church at Neillsville and for many years after its construction he was pastor of the church.  He moved to Greenwood in 1901 where he and his faithful wife continue to reside.  Mr. Hendren still has his armor on and occasionally conducts divine service at Greenwood and in the surrounding neighborhood.


The late Rev. Harvey Palmer of the Town of Pine Valley, was a regularly ordained minister and preached occasionally in the early days, and the same may be said of the late John Graves of Loyal and no doubt of others in different sections of the county.                                                                                                         


In the early fall of 1866 Neillsville was a village of a few dozen buildings scattered around within a limited area. There was an old sawmill on the north side of O’Neill Creek near where the present electric plant stands.  The mill was an old fashioned one, with an up and saw run by water power, but at the time mentioned it was out of commission. It was a year after, either was rebuilt, or else repaired by Marville Mason, then of the Town of Pine Valley, a good man and a good millwright.


On the north side of O’Neill Creek is what is known as the first ward of the city of Neillsville, there was a blacksmith shop, and not to exceed three or four houses in all of that territory, one of them being the home of James Furlong, that stood on the same land, and near the site of the fine brick dwelling, built by Gus D. Hosely, a few years ago. The north side was nearly all woods.


On the south side of the creek and on the same location as the present Merchants Hotel was a dilapidated frame hotel called the Hubbard house, then kept by L. K. Hubbard, father of Richard Hubbard, now a prominent citizen of Hayward in Sawyer County.


Across the main street, or Hewett Street, as it is now called, and a little south of Carl Rabenstein’s block was a small two-story frame building, the upper story of which was occupied by a man known as Tim Roberts who made logging sleds, at least the wooden parts of the sleds.


Below, on the first floor, was the store of Hewett, Woods & Co.  The room was small and the store then had no clerks or window trimmers.


The front window was of the two-sash 8x10 glass variety and incapable of being decorated very elaborately. The books, such as they were, lay upon the top of a kerosene barrel that did duty as a desk, when such an article of furniture was required.  About November 1866, the store was vacated and the goods moved to a building that stood on the corner where the Neillsville Bank now stands. This building was a store and dwelling combined, occupied by Chauncey Blakeslee and his family, and it was only a very short time until a very large sock of goods was on the shelves.


Back of and to the north of the old Hewett & Woods original store, facing north and the creek, was the old frame dwelling of James O’Neill, then occupied by James Hewett and his family, consisting of a wife and one son, then about a year old, named Sherman F. Hewett.  The son later became county surveyor, more commonly known as “Frank” Hewett.


All of the land on the east side of Main Street, including the store building first mentioned, and the house occupied by James Hewett, were the property of Mr. O’Neill and there were no other buildings on the east side of the street from O’Neill Creek, later to be the site of the O’Neill House.


On that corner Mr. O’Neill had built a two-story frame building for a residence, which he then occupied and afterward built the O’Neill House and for a short time ran the hotel there.


On the west side of the street, across from the Hubbard House, was a drug store, the proprietor being George A. Adams.  He was a full-fledged Yankee from Nashua, N. H.   He generally wore a long pair of rubber boots and always wore a silk high hat.  He was a keen business man, but somewhat odd in his manner.  He generally walked in the middle of the road, peering from one side to the other.  One of his common expressions in conversation, was, “I want to know.”  He died at Waukegan, Ill., at an advanced age.


South of the drugstore was a general store kept by Charles E. Adams, son of George.  It occupied the site where the elder John G. Klopf for many years afterward resided and ran a saloon.  The building was later occupied by August Storm.


On the corner where the Neillsville Bank now stands was the dwelling house of Chauncey Blakeslee, the lower part being used as a store by Hewett, Woods & Co.  From that corner south, clear to the end of the block, to the site of W. J. Marsh’s dry goods store, were an apple orchard and a garden.


Across the street on the east side was a printing office and a post office, both one-story frame buildings, and to the south of these buildings was the wagon shop of W. K. Dickey.


Dr. B. F. French had a house on the corner of 4th and Hewett streets and south of that was the house of Lambert Miller. To the west there was a house on the old Ross place, and Samuel Ferguson and L. L. Ayers had their residences across the way.  On the extreme east was the house of W. K. Dickey.


The first sidewalk in Neillsville was built on a Sunday morning in the spring of 1867, constructed by B. F. French, James Hewett and two or three other men.  It extended from where the Neillsville Bank is located to the corner at Marsh’s dry goods store. The sidewalk was made of plank, laid lengthways and did good service for many years.


(The above article was taken from the McBride history of Clark County.)




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