Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

April 23, 2014, Page 11

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

 April 1929


The above photo shows the original Winnebago Indian Mission School that was built in 1921 on the west side of Neillsville, bordered on the southwest by the Black River, a picturesque setting.  In 1928, a gift of the Woman’s Missionary Society of the former Reformed Church in the United States made possible the enlargement of the building doubling its original size.  In the 1940s, its total investment represented approximately $150,000.  In the late 1990s the building was razed. (Photo courtesy of Steve Roberts)


The Indian School will close its year’s work Wednesday of this week.  The school year has to be somewhat shortened because of the plans to being building the annex of the school as soon as weather permits, also the fact that several of the teachers and helpers were in poor health, being difficult to find substitutes at this time.  While the school has been handicapped somewhat, it is hoped with the facilities furnished by the new building, it will all be made up in the future.


Last Wednesday evening the annual meeting of the Neillsville Country Club was held at the Kiwanis Club rooms in the basement of the Neillsville Bank, 74 shares being represented in person and by proxy.  It would appear that this was the last annual meeting of the club as the railroad company has notified Secretary Wm A. Campman that is it will operate on the golf course this coming summer and will take out sufficient gravel to ballast 45 miles of track.  As the railroad company plans on taking this gravel from the large field in front of the clubhouse, it would definitely put an end to golf playing there.  Acting upon this decision, the Golf Club voted to sell its clubhouse and all its equipment at public auction and this auction will be held on Monday afternoon, April 15th at the Kiwanis Club rooms at 2 p.m.  The property to be sold is advertised. There are quite a number of chairs, tables, etc., in the clubhouse, which are the property of various members and these will not be sold, but should be taken out by the owners as soon as possible.  The Neillsville Country Club has been a source of pleasure and entertainment to its members and it is to be regretted that the course will no longer be available.  However, the new golf course will be in shape for play this spring, so that golf enthusiasts who learned the game at the old club will have a place upon which they can exercise their abilities.


(The first Neillsville Country Club golf course was located own leased land, which is now the site of gravel pits, along Hwy. 95 and the Black River, 10 miles southwest of Neillsville.  The New Golf Curse referred to, and the second one, was built by Ernie Snyder, five miles west of town along County Trunk B on the east side of Wedges Creek and Snyder’s Dam, which was in play for a few years.  F. J. (Joe) Baer started developing the new Hawthorne Hills golf course, on the southeast side of Neillsville, in the early 1930’s.  After the death of Baer, the golf club was incorporated, once again under the name of the Neillsville Country Club, DZ)                                  


Albert Davis this winter bought from Bernard Jahr some of the largest oak ever cut in Clark County.  This virgin oak grew on Mr. Jahr’s farm in the Town of Grant and had remained untouched by the ax and saw through all the years in which the timber of this region was being ruthlessly slaughtered.


Mr. Jahr was very fond of these big trees and even to the last we reluctant to see them cut. One may judge somewhat of their size by the fact that out of nearly 30,000 feet the logs ran only about 3 logs to the 1,000 feet.


(The term “ruthlessly slaughtered” was used because when many of the early settlers cleared their land for farming, virgin trees were cut, placed in piles and burned, destroying potentially prime lumber. DZ)


The Spanish-American War Veterans are planning to put on a public dance at Paulson’s hall on Friday evening, March 26.  This is an organization, which has never done before the public asking any favors or “handouts.”  Their treasury is getting low and they put on this dance to get a few dollars and at the same time commemorate the 31st anniversary of the day they were mustered into the national service.


It goes without saying that they plan a good time for all who come to this dance, and will greatly appreciate a good attendance.                                                                                              


Thursday evening, April 5, a cyclonic nature storm swept across a part of the State of Minnesota and into Wisconsin taking a toll of 12 lives, injuring a number of others and doing thousands of dollars worth of damage.  The greatest damage was across Barron County.  More than 70 injured are being treated in the hospitals at Minneapolis, mostly from that vicinity.


Minor storms are reported from other quarters.  At Owen, a part of the roof of the Condensery was torn off and other damage done, in many places silos were blown down and barns wrecked.


There will be a school program and dance at Rock Creek School in the Town of Levis Friday evening, April 12; Proceeds to go toward a picnic.  All are invited.  Douglas Walters, Teacher


(Rock Creek School was located seven and one -half miles south of Neillsville on Grand Avenue. DZ)


A touch of the Wild West was here.


An indifferent quality of Moon was the cause of a little indiscriminate shooting last week, but unfortunately the gun totters were poor shots so that no one was hurt.  But the incidents furnished a little excitement.


The cheese factory at Star Corners in the Town of Lynn burned to the ground Thursday evening.  The loss also included a considerable quantity of cheese.


Mrs. Parkinson, wife of the cheesemaker, first discovered the fire and called in the neighbors, but it was too late to save the factory and contents.  A dwelling nearby was saved.


The factory was built about 25 years ago.  Mr. Parkinson has owned and operated it about two years.


(Star corners was south of Lynn on the corner of County Road W and State Highway 73 intersection.  DZ)


Mrs. Henry Ross closed a deal Monday, disposing of her ice business in Neillsville to W. F. Tibbett, who took possession Tuesday morning. The sale includes the icehouse, barn, stock of ice and the entire equipment.  The ice business is a very good line in Neillsville, but Mrs. Ross found it difficult for her to carry it on and concluded to sell.


Mr. Tibbett has been manager of the New Dells Dam Lumber Co. logging business here during the winter and has got quite well acquainted with Neillsville people.  He is an active, efficient man and will doubtless give the patrons excellent service in ice business.


April 1959


Here and there along the country roads in southeastern Clark County these days you’ll see white “smoke” rising quickly toward the sky in the maple woodlots that dot the countryside.


For it is sap time again; and that smoke you see actually is the steam rising from the big evaporating pans in which probably 100 or more Clark County farmers of that area are boiling down maple sap into sweet, delicious amber syrup.


Time was when Clark County was among the leading maple syrup producing counties of the state; and Wisconsin was second only to Vermont in production of that sweet stuff is necessary to a good pancake dinner.  And, while it may have lost its high ranking, there remains a considerable amount of “sugar bush” in the county.


Francis Steiner, Granton high school’s agricultural instructor, estimates that from 150,000 to 200,000 maple trees have been tapped this year in southeastern Clark County by 100 or more farmers.  There is another maple syrup area, too, in the county; in the northwestern section, he says.


With most farmers who gather and boil sap to syrup these days, the syrup business is just a sideline.  They produce but enough for their own tables and perhaps a little for sale.  The woodlot acreage was probably 150 trees.


But not all are sideline operators.  Although Clark County no longer has those big sugar bushes having 5,000 to 10,000 trees that boasted 20-25 years ago, it still has some surprisingly sizable operations.


Clarence Sternitzky, for instance, has probably the largest sugar bush between her and Antigo.  This year he tapped 2,000 trees in two woodlots on his farm two and a half miles northeast of Granton.


When we visited the “cooking shack” last Sunday morning with Mr. Steiner, operations were under full swing and the steam from the big, modern evaporating pan was rising merrily to the tops of the trees, and then disappearing in the grey skies above.


The cooking was being done in a new shack, which Mr. Sternitzky built last summer.  This shack has a concrete floor, probably the only operation hereabouts where the operators don’t bog down ankle-deep in mud at sometime or other.


Mr. Sternitzky, too, was set for a big run, should it come this year.  He had two other evaporating pans all set to go in the old shack and still another set was in stand-by shape in another portion of his sugar bush.


Outside and spread over a considerable area around the shacks, were wood and gnarled stumps and roots, all sawed and ready to stoke the hot fires, which boil the thin sap to the 11 pounds-per-gallon required.  Approximately a barrel of sap, 30 ½ gallons, is required to make a gallon of syrup.  It must be evaporated in big pans by means of fire.


To protect his supply of wood, for the annual syrup-making, Mr. Sternitzky has bought 40-acres of wood and brush land south of his farm this year, though he didn’t have to tap that source.  The railroad replaced a quantity of ties near his farm and he bought the old ties for his syrup-cooking fires.


Mr. Nickel and boys, Donald and Bill, were cooking sap over a fire in their out-door evaporator, which had the inevitable backdrop of cut-up and gnarled stumps and roots piled high nearby.


This year it appears that the market on maple syrup is likely to be in the neighborhood of $5.00 per gallon.


(The number of maple syrup producers in Clark County is down in comparison to the 1950s, but fortunately there still are a few who are willing to go through the laborious hours required in making that sweet delicacy so enjoyed by those of us who have acquired the taste for the “real maple syrup” over our pancakes. DZ)



The Loyal fire department with the Loyal-Beaver fire truck answered a 10:40 a.m. call Sunday to a fire on the farm of the Elpert brothers, Joe, Wallace and Frank.


The farm is located in the Pelsdorf neighborhood, about four miles southeast of Loyal.  The two-story house was all ablaze before the firemen arrived.  The house was gutted, only walls and roof remained standing.  Water was obtained at the Elpert farm and Schlinsog factory.                                                      


A deal of little interest to Neillsville is the purchase of the old Schuster home by Hoard Matson of the staff of the Neillsville Bank.  Mr. Mattson will occupy the residences as his home.


Since the death of Mr. and Mrs. Schuster, Mrs. Edna Newell had continued to occupy the large house as her residence. Mrs. Newell is a niece of the late Mrs. Schuster and had lived with the Schuster’s for years.  She was a life beneficiary under Mrs. Schuster’s will.  Since the sale of the property Mrs. Newell has been living in one of the apartments in the Zimmerman‘s building in the business section.


The Schuster home is one of the older residences of Neillsville, built upon the spacious and rambling lines of the older day.  It was full of the good, solid furniture of another era, with a brass bed, for instance, which has so much solid brass in it that it was difficult to lift or to move around.  Mrs. Newell helped herself to much of this furniture as she could use in her new home, but she could use only a small part of it.  Under Mrs. Schuster’s will she was entitle to take all of it that she wanted.


The chief concern of Mrs. Schuster, in making her will was to see to it that Mrs. Newell was cared for, up to the limit of the resources of her estate.  Hence she made specific bequests to others of only $1,000 in an estate of a little more than $20,000.   There was direct and specific bequest to Mrs. Newell of $2,000, and all the rest of the estate, except the $3,000 in specific bequests, was set up in a trust fund, with William A. Campman named as trustee and given the duty of using the trust fund in Mrs. Newell’s interest, even if the fund were exhausted in caring for her.  The residue after Mrs. Newell’s death goes to distant relatives of Mrs. Schuster.


For a man who had lived long and worked steadily in business, J. F. Schuster left a relatively small estate.  As a businessman, he was definitely old-style, some of his business customs running back to the lumber days.  He was brought up to annual settlements, a plan whereby the old-timers got together once a year, or less frequently, producing whatever accounts they had and came to a settlement.  Mostly those settlements were amongst friends and to them it didn’t matter if they were off a little, more or less.  They could give and take.  As the years passed, it irked Mr. Schuster to encounter the modern quick-trigger young fellows who wanted statements every month and who expected to be paid monthly, too.


Mr. Schuster was not the kind of man to profit by the old-style ways.  His accumulation of wealth was in forms other than money.  For instance there was the good feeling that he had in handing over the park, which he gave to the city of Neillsville and which bears his name.  He assembled this tract over 30 years ago, gathering it up parcel by parcel.  Part of it he got by buying tax deeds; part by paying owners what the market required.  He finally got it into one parcel ad deeded it to the city, for park use.  It is now worth many times what it cost 30 years ago, and it speaks for the foresight and business skill of a man who understood real estate and knew how to assemble small parcels of little value into one large parcel of very great value.  The Schuster’s did not have children, but they adopted the companion of their home and the people of Neillsville, which makes them out skillful business people of quite an unusual sort.


(Jeff Schuster’s legacy of donating land for Schuster Park lives on with many children and their parents of the present day finding relaxing enjoyment with the playground equipment, cook-outs and picnics in summer gatherings at the park, for which he intended.  Jeff Schuster and Bill Campman were business partners in Schuster-Campman Abstract & Title, the business, which is still in Neillsville. DZ)




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