Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin
July 17, 2013, Page 12
Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"
Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.
of "Oldies" Articles
Compiled by Dee Zimmerman
Clark County News
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
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
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,
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
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!
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
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
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
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.
story of Clark County is that of when a church donation drive turned into a
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).
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.
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.
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.
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)
net results were figured up, there was raised at the donation party $165 in
money, four barrels of flour and groceries in great quantities.
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.
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
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
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
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
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”
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
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.)