Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

October 22, 2014, Page 10

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

October 1909


Thursday evening of last week there was a bold holdup and robbery at the home of Chas. Diedrich on Ridge Road in the town of Grant. Mrs. Diedrich was alone in the house when the men folks were doing the chores. In going into the dining room, she was met by a strange man wearing a mask. At the point of a revolver she was requested to remain quiet. The confederates of the robber of which there were one or more, went through the house, securing about $30 in cash, including the children’s money, kept in a small bank. As soon as possible after the occurrence, the alarm was given to the neighbors and the news telephoned to the sheriff, but as yet, no definite trace of the gang can be found or at least is not reported.


The new Furniture Store and Undertaking Establishment of H.H. Eberhardt on Main Street was opened to the public Saturday, although the stock was not all moved from the old store until later. The new place of business gives much more room than the old, has greater chance of showing goods and is more convenient for storing and handling.


The meat market formerly occupied by Chas Youmans has been rented and will be run by Dwyer & Wolff. Mr. Dwyer will have charge of that shop and Mr. Wolff of the upper shop.


Several farmers in this area are hauling in their sugar beets. Although the season has been very dry, there is a fair yield.


Last week John Carlson had eight rose-comb White Leghorn pullets taken from his hen house in the night. The heads of the fowl were cut off and left there. Mr. Carlson wishes to warn future intruders that it may be their heads that will be left next time they call and wishes this published, also as a warning to other chicken owners thereabouts, to look well after their flocks.


There is a mining excitement in the town of Unity on alleged finding of iron ore, being the cause.  


It is reported that A.E. Garvin of the town of York has purchased a quarter section of land in North Dakota and has rented out his farm here. He expects to move out there this spring.


 Mrs. M.A. McKinney, a 69-year-old widow, is still in the progressive mode. She is now building a lean-to, 14x22, on her place in Columbia. She has also just opened 2-1/2 acres of new land and will build a cement chicken coop.


Geo. Hart, Jr. of the town of Pine Valley and Miss Della Sweetland of this city were married Tuesday at the Congregational parsonage, Rev. H.A. Risser officiating. The bride and groom were attended by Mr. and Mrs. Youker. We offer our best wishes to the young couple.


E.E. Crocker is remodeling and enlarging his livery barn on the corner of Grand Avenue and Fifth Street, and when completed it will be one of the finest liveries in the Northwest. The old main barn has had the stalls taken out and is used for carriages on the sides and hitching floor through the center. A fifty feet extension is being built on the rear, the ground floor or basement being used for horses. It has a cement floor, drains and sewer, and is reached from the hitching floor by an inclined plank way. A wash- room for buggies, with cement floor drain and sewer has been completed; a repair and paint shop fitted up and all the conveniences to be thought of are being put in. The entire corner as far as the Kirby building is now owned by Mr. Crocker and all the buildings are being nicely fitted up.


A meeting for subscribers for stock in the new National Bank of Neillsville was held at Woodman Hall Tuesday afternoon to effect a temporary organization to attend to the business of the bank until it opens its doors the first of the coming January. It was found that one hundred and five persons had subscribed for stock, nearly all of whom are representative farmers and businessmen of Clark County with a few from Madison, Oshkosh, Marshfield and other points. At the directors meeting the following officers were chosen: Chas. Cornelius, president; B.F. Frasier, first vice pres.; W.H. Woodward, second vice pres. And S.M. Marsh, Cashier.


October 1939


The new $56,484 Greenwood High School addition was dedicated as the social, educational and recreational center for the whole surrounding community in formal exercises last Friday night.

More than 500 residents and school children were present to take part in the dedication of the fine new auditorium and classroom building, the third public school built in the city of Greenwood.

Final steps in the formal dedication of the building are planned for the first home basketball game, during the second week in November, with Withee High School as the opponent. Memories of many of the older persons present were turned back 40 years or so by Mayor Ed Buker, who vividly pointed out the contrast between the modern auditorium and classroom addition and the old log school houses in which so many were exposed to early formal education. Mayor Buker declared that “all citizens should appreciate the advantages offered by the new addition. “Many of us,” he said, “remember the old log school houses of 40 years ago, and their rough and uncomfortable equipment. Now our children have the best of opportunity, teachers and equipment.” Then speaking directly to the many young folks present, he challenged: “Boys and girls be sure not to miss this opportunity!”


Albert Fenske and Elgine Montag, both of Chili, had a birthday celebration Sunday. For Mr. Fenske the celebration fell right on the dot, for October 1 was his anniversary. For Elgine, the occasion was two days premature, his birthday falling on October 3. Albert Fenske was 89 and Elgine was three, the difference, you see, is 86 years, and even this is not so much, when seen through the clear, un-spectacled eyes of Grandfather Fenske, eyes which read The Clark County Press every week and which do not halt at the fine print.


Mr. Fenske’s eyes have seen a lot of living, most of it right here in Clark County.


They have seen the country around Chili cleared from wild woods to pleasant, open fields. They used to see deer and wolves. They have looked upon four or five generations and with satisfaction, for Grandfather Fenske likes people.  


If those clear eyes have looked upon the world so have the willing hands encountered it. When Mr. Fenske arrived in Clark County in 1882 he found plenty of work for a pioneer to do. He worked in the logging camps winter after winter. Upon the home farm there was only a log house. There was a cow, but no beast of burden. The trees must be felled and the stumps cleared away before crops could be planted. But it was a laborious path for the immigrant family, which must make good to relatives for the passage money given them, and to meet the needs of a growing family. So Albert Fenske cut grain with a cradle, and his wife tied it up in sheaves. If there was a shearing to be done, Mrs. Fenske knew how to hold up her end. They worked and saved and made a place for themselves by industry and thrift. They shared the lot of pioneers until 24 years ago, Mrs. Fenske rested from her labors.


To Albert Fenske and his kin the United States meant an opportunity fifty odd years ago. They could not see much future in Germany, and so Albert and his wife and their babies started for Wisconsin when Henry Neinas, an uncle of Mrs. Fenske, advanced the money for their passage and engaged to provide a home for them until they established themselves in the new country. Mr. Neinas then lived on the farm on which Ernest Montag now resides. There the Fenske’s lived but a short time. Their permanent home was on Section 25, town of Fremont, where Mrs. Fenske’s parents, arriving shortly before, had undertaken to make a home. Their name was Pofold, the William Pofold family. As the years came upon the Pofolds, Mr. and Mrs Fenske looked after them. The old place came into the hands of the Fenskes and now Charles Fenske, a son lives upon it.


Upon the old place Mr. and Mrs. Albert Fenske lived for 28 years. They were the parents of seven children, of whom four are living: Richard, residing in Chili; Gustav, residing on a farm near Ripon; Charles on the home farm; Mrs. Herman Montag of Chili.

If life in the country involves hardships these days, the modern generation might think upon the labors involved in the living of the Albert Fenskes. Their wheat was ground in Neillsville and the flour was brought by accommodating neighbors to the proximity of Chili, whence Mr. Fenske trans- ported it to his home on his shoulders. On one occasion he carried a quarter of beef, weighing around 150 pounds, for a distance of five miles. Now the fourth generation living around Chili; consider themselves in a hardship if they run out of gas and have to carry a gallon to their stalled car.  


Although plans of a new O’Neill creek bridge on Hewett Street, to replace the one, which collapsed September 17, have not been completed, this much is definitely known: The Bridge, whatever style it may be, will have a built-in light standard on each corner.


A new overhead trestle bridge on Hewett Street was constructed across O’Neill Creek in 1939 after a former bridge collapsed. It carried traffic for many years before being replaced.  


The city council Tuesday night determined this much when its members voted to draw up an agreement with the state highway department that the city will maintain and operate the lights if the highway department will assume responsibility of initial construction.


Plans for the new bridge are expected to be complete within a few days, according to William F. Baumgartner, head of the Eau Claire division office of the highway department. Additional foundation soundings were taken last week by highway engineers, he said.


Neillsville has just been favored by a visit from a dog, which is a tramp. His name is “Pug”, and he travels exclusively by train, unattended. From Neillsville to Granton, Marshfield and Green Bay; from Minneapolis and St. Paul to Merrillan and points south, Pug knows them all, and he is known by many. For the truth is, Pug is a dog beset with wanderlust, and plagued with a love of trains. He is, to put it in the vernacular, a canine “hobo.” For years he has pestered, pleaded and begged rides on the main line of the Chicago & Northwestern, ranging out from his home in Merrillan. But of late he has snubbed the snobbishness and the lavish comfort of the streamliners for adventures on branch lines such as the Omaha.


Pug was in Neillsville again last week. He came in on the early morning train. And he left on the 3.21, just because he had made his rounds in the city, picking up choice tid-bits at Roehrborn’s grocery store and other stops on his “regular route” and was ready to leave. He never leaves until he is quite ready.


No one knows what kind of dog Pug is. “Lord! You got me,” exclaimed Miss Pearl Lockwood, telegraph operator, when asked recently. “I guess he is just plain dog.” Pug’s thick chest and neck indicate something of the bulldog. But his coat of black and white, the white is usually covered with a heavy layer of soot, suggests something of a hound. His ears and nose, well, Miss Lockwood tagged him. He’s just plain dog. Nor does anyone in these parts know how old Pug is or how long he has been riding the rails.  


Mr. Zilisch, local express agent, estimates his age at from eight to ten years. And any inexperienced eye can readily see that Pug is not, even at the best, a spring chicken. Mr. Zilisch too has a theory about how Pub started bumming rides on the trains. His theory is that Pug started hanging out at the Merrillan depot when he was a puppy. Members of train crews coaxed him into cabooses and took him on short trips.


If the theory is correct, Pug since has become a snooty customer; for he now absolutely refuses to have the least bit to do with freights. It’s best or nothing at all. And it’s always the best because all the trainmen know him and they treat him with consideration. Perhaps one reason is that Pug knows his place on the trains and never takes advantage of his preferred position with trainmen. He knows that the baggage car is the place for dogs. So, although he might board the train in the coach entrance, he quickly seeks out the baggage car.  


Last week when he was leaving Neillsville, Pug reached the baggage car to find another dog occupying the place he considered his. But he was much of a gentleman about it. He merely stopped and glared at the intruder. Then he turned and stalked haughtily to another part of the car. He stood there quietly until a trainman placed a rope leash about his neck.  


According to Station Agent H.G. Kvool, Pug never misses a train. About a half hour before time for the train on which he wants to leave, Pug is at the depot waiting, edging up to strangers and workers there waiting for a pat.  


As train time comes nearer and nearer Pug grows increasingly nervous and his tail wags faster and faster with every retreating minute. Any number of engines and freights may be switching in the yards or passing through with whistle blowing; but Pug can’t be fooled. He knows what train he wants and when it will be in.


A few minutes before time for the train, Pub makes his way to a spot near the tracks in front of the depot. There, he sits and waits. Then the sound of the train whistle floats in from a distance. Although the train is not in sight, Pug knows it comes from the train he wants and shoots off to another point on the station platform. There he waits until the train arrives. And when it stops, he turns his head neither right nor left but hustles aboard and back to the baggage car.  


Pug’s visits are never regular. He may be back next week, or it may be two weeks before he comes again. But sooner or later, he’ll be back.  




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