Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

September 25, 2013 Page 11

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

September 1873


Allie Lee has opened communication with the outside world by extending a wire from the telegraph office to his room at Mrs. Stafford’s. This young man is determined to know what is going on in the world; if he has to lie awake nights to do it.


Hon. James O’Neill, who has watched over the growing town that bears his name until he thinks it is about large enough to take care of itself for a while, will soon leave on an extended visit to his old haunts in Ohio, New York and Canada. We do not know of anyone that has a better right to the enjoyment of such a tour and we wish him bon voyage and a safe return.                                                                                                            


Aleck Lynn has made arrangements for sending two stages per day over the line, each way, between here and Humbird. The time will be as follows:


No. 1 leaves Neillsville at 7 a.m.; No. 2 leaves Neillsville at 12:30 p.m.; No. 2 leaves Humbird at 7 a.m.; No. 1 leaves Humbird at 1 p.m.                                                                                        


There is still to be one stage line between here and Greenwood, Mr. Begley having bought Mr. Tolford’s line and mail contract.  Tolford now proposes to put an opposition line on the Humbird Road.


The officers of the Agriculture Society are vigorously pushing the work on the fairgrounds. Ten acres is being enclosed in a tight board fence, seven feet high, with stands, sheds and such being built.


We are directed to announce that next week will be devoted to finishing up the fairgrounds and volunteer assistance is solicited from all who feel an interest in the work.  All kind of work is needed and will be acceptable. Come with shovels, saws, hammers and teams. There are fences to build, buildings to put up and much other work still to be done.


Officers of the Agriculture Society finally came to terms, last Saturday, with Thos. Chadwick and Robert Christie.


Nine men in a neighborhood a few miles north of here, each on his own account, thought they would go out before breakfast to look for their respective cows last Sunday morning. Each one happened to think that he would take his gun along for self protection, knowing that the ferocious beasts of the forest are no respecters of the Sabbath. By a strange coincidence, each one of the nine failed to find his cow, but discovered a large buck breaking the Sabbath and drew bead on him. The buck did not run far after the first volley, falling down, to be skinned out. Then it should be decided whose buck he was.  It was then decided that the other end of the buck that wasn’t shot to pieces should constitute a free lunch, after which each man went home, submitting with Christian resignation to the dispensation of Providence that deprived them of milk for that day.                                                                                  


A very large kiln of brick is about ready to be burned at the brick yard, the bulk of which is intended for the new schoolhouse to be built here in the spring.                                                            


Mr. Furlong has been showing the world what he can do in the shape of desk making. He has some of the finest office desks and secretaries, ranging from $30 to $75 that we have ever seen for the money.


Trains on the West Wisconsin Railroad have ceased to stop at Humbird, on account of the smallpox there. The stages from here therefore run to Merrillan, making the same connections with the train.


Cranberries of the finest quality have begun selling in the past weeks at two dollars a bushel, which considering the havoc played by the frost, is very cheap. There were but few gathered in this vicinity as the frost destroyed most of the crop before the state law preventing their being picked had expired.      


Dr. J. C. Lacey has sold his interest in the drug store, formerly conducted by Lacey & Co., and will hereafter devote his whole time to the practice of his profession.  He will go wherever called upon in the county and render prompt and valuable services wherever they may be required.  His office may still be found over the drug store now owned by Rice & Sawyer.


September 1958


Clark County and her native Chili gave Barbara Haslow, 1959 Alice in Dairyland, a warm welcome last Friday on her first return since her selection.


Everything was favorable, except the weather, which was just a little askance of perfect.  It sprinkled during the scheduled time of her visit in Neillsville and the greeting here was forced indoors at the Armory. 


The friends, who have known the beautiful 19-year-old brunette since childhood, joined in the evening reception on the lawn of her home by Governor Vernon Thompson.  He was in Marshfield for an appearance at the fair there, heard of the tribute her friends were paying Barbara and came along to join them.


“Sure, I know Barbara well.” He remarked as someone tried to introduce them.


“Hello, Governor,” was Barbara’s smiling greeting as the state’s highest official met the state’s most important sales promotion gal.


The governor brought along a couple of cameramen, who spent the evening popping flash bulbs as he posed with Barbara, her parents, Mr. and Mrs. E. C. Haslow, the county dairy queen, Nancy Huckstead and a wide assortment of just plain folks.                                                                                                        


Dismantling of the “Howard building,” one of the old structures on West Fifth Street is rapidly nearing its end.  The work is being done by Rudy and Kenneth Opelt for the owner, Fred E. Wall.  The three-story south end of the building, which once served as a farm equipment warehouse and showroom, is being torn down.  The two-story portion at the corner of West and West Fifth Street is being left; but plans call for it being reduced to a one-story building.  Mr. Wall said he has not definitely determined the use that will be made of the building.


The property first belonged to James O’Neill, the founder of Neillsville.  In the early 1870s, possibly 1872, this corner lot, which extends 132 feet along West Street, was acquired by the Eyerlys, an early pioneer family.  On September 8, 1882, Harry Eyerly acquired the property from the Eyerly estate and on July 14, 1902, Frank Eyerly sold the property to Len Howard. In 1957 the property was sold to Fred Wall.


The north 63½ feet of the building was erected in the early 1870s by the Eyerlys, a family which took an active part in the early life of Neillsville, business, fraternal and community-wise.


The two-story front section was used for many years as a general store; Adolph Radke, the father of Mrs. Albert Dahnert, carrying a complete line of hardware merchandise for many years before the turn of the century.  The upper floor of the front section was a community recreation hall and was used for lodge purposes for a number of years.  Mrs. Jesse Sturdevant said that her husband, Claude, said “he used to go to dances there when a boy.”


Fred Vine, 89-year-old town of Grant pioneer, states that “the Workmen’s Lodge held regular meetings there.”  There is some indication that the Odd Fellows, which was organized here in 1871, held meetings there prior to building the Odd Fellows Hall in 1878.


Later the lodge hall was made into an apartment in which Miss Elizabeth Kennedy, a Clark County superintendent of schools, lived with her mother.  Mr. and Mrs. Victor Nehs lived in the apartment after Mr. Nehs returned from World War I.  The late Fred Rossman made his home in the apartment for many years with his wife.  The Henry Herian family also resided there for several years.


When Len Howard purchased the property from Frank Eyerly in 1902, he built a small office building at the rear of the original building.  Before his marriage, he made his home in this office.  Mr. Howard built the three-story addition in the rear including in the construction a large elevator, probably the first elevator to be seen in Neillsville.


There being no additional land for display of wagons, buggies, grain binders, which were then coming into use, and other farm equipment, the three-story structure with the elevator allowed space for assembling and displaying the merchandise.  At that time, pumps, windmills, well-drilling equipment and other items were stored there, or on display.


Mrs. James (Nettie) Hughes, a pioneer leader in the Town of Grant, writes: “I worked for Howard and Seif, and Stelloh and Seif at this location as secretry and bookkeeper for four years.  An exciting thing happened while I was there.  Looking out of the office window one day, July 3, 1907, I noticed people running here and there.  Mr. Howard came in and said a tornado was passing north of the city.  The three-story addition was then being built.  It was not finished, but we worked our way up to the roof and stood on the studding and we could see the damage the storm was doing.


“The tornado roared terrifically as it traveled eastward, destroying much farm property, including all the buildings, but the chicken coop on the Charles’ farm, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Claude Paulson, north of Neillsville. That was my first sight of a tornado.  Later, I saw two children who were brought into the doctor’s office; they were covered with so much dirt, they looked black.


Len Howard and his brother, John, who was a well driller, added car sales to the farm equipment line and over a period of years, Ford, EMF, Reo, Mitchell and Krit autos were sold there.  Mr. Howard interviewed Leinenkugel Brewery at Chippewa Falls, relative to using trucks for transporting beer.  They laughed at him and said nothing would ever replace the horse for that purpose.


Fred Seif, Sr., the father of Fred and Charles Seif, was a partner of Mr. Howard from 1908 to 1910, Mr. Seif and Fred Stelloh from 1910 to 1912, Pete Paulson, father of Art Paulson, operated a garage there.  Mechanics who worked in well-drilling, car and machinery repair and assembling included Otis Beardsley, Ernest Dixon, brother-in-law of Mrs. Alta Devos, Harley Wall, father of Fred Wall, and Hubert Carter.


Fred Bullard had an electric shop at this location during the period of World War I and for a few years thereafter.  Paul Blum operated a tire shop there starting in 1926. Albert “Pete” Smith came into the business in 1927.  Blum retired in 1941 and Smith remained there until 1945.


The south three-story section was used a storage for many years. Svirnoff Brothers stored rags and rubber in the basement of the rear section for 30 years.  Pete Smith said, “The rats in there were as large as Shetland Ponies.”  The rats have since been eliminated.


“Pete” also says the storage space on the second and third floors of the building were used for many years to store bankrupt goods.


“In order to deaden the sound for those below,” says Smith, “dry dirt was used between the ceiling and the floor of the dance hall and lodge room above. The idea was an early attempt at insulation to deaden sound.


Perhaps the ‘Old Goat’ used in the lodge program was more rambunctious and noisier in those days and they didn’t want the folks below to learn the lodge secrets.”


Wm. A. Campman, a brother-in-law and well-informed resident on early Neillsville history, provided much material and verified items from other sources for this article.                             


Two Prize Packs….. Pine Valley Brand Wisconsin, Grade AA Butter & Pine Valley, Rindless, Natural Cheddar Cheese, Approximately 2-lb. Pkg.  Buy them from your favorite grocer or the Neillsville Milk Products Cooperative Manufacturer.


The Monday Progress Club, which was organized in 1908, is observing its 50th anniversary this year. A special program will be given at 2 p.m. Monday, September 8, in the Congregational Church. All federated clubs in the county have been invited.                                                                                                                       


Mrs. Alfred Spiegel has purchased a lot from Mr. and Mrs. Tony Wieting on West Street. Excavation of a basement for a house will be started this week.  Mrs. Spiegel plans to move the Spiegel cottage from south of the Shortville store onto the foundation.                                                                                              



All-new rural schoolhouse constructed in Clark County, 1958


The first all-new rural schoolhouse constructed in Clark County in more than a quarter-century opened its doors near the Shortville corner (Washburn Township), southeast of Neillsville on Highway 73, Monday morning.


The opening was delayed two weeks to permit the finishing of construction of the new $40,000 plant, which unlike its counter part of yesteryear, contains three classrooms and modern facilities from front door to the back.


Opening day found about 75 children registering for classes under three teachers. They came from all parts of the combined district, which for the last few years has operated the Cannonville, Shortville and Carlyle schools.


Thus one enlarged country district has moved to counter the consolidation trend, resisting pressures of travel and finance, which have forced consolidation of rural areas with those of urban communities throughout the state.


Low and painted a dull brick red, the new Washburn School presents a strictly modern appearance.  It is 58 feet wide by 90 feet long, but an overhanging roof gives it an even large overall appearance.


The front door opens onto a spacious hallway that runs the length of the school to a library room at the rear.  On the west side, near the doorway are the two toilet facilities, for boys and girls.  On the east is one classroom.  A second classroom is at the northeast end of the building and is separated from the one in the front by a hallway and a furnace room in which two oil furnaces are installed to provide heat through overhead ducts.


Just north of the toilet facilities on the west side is a long room.  This room can be divided into two rooms by use of a folding wall.  The room will be an assembly room and will also be used as a hot lunch room, as soon as the installation of kitchen facilities is completed.


(Their efforts to be excluded from consolidation with the Neillsville School District, was eventually to no avail, as were all rural schools within their districts. DZ)                      



The Penguin stand, which was open during late spring, summer and early fall, served burgers, hot dogs, fries and ice cream treats such as cones, strawberry & Blueberry shakes, all popular summer treats. During the 1960s and 1970s, the stand was located along the south side of Division Street at the intersection of South Hewett Street. (Photo courtesy of Bob Boysen’s Neillsville collection)



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