Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

May 21, 2014, Page 22

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

May 1929


On Tuesday the last train was run on the Fairchild and Northeastern Railroad extending from Fairchild to Greenwood, the company having secured permission from the Railroad Commission to discontinue service on May 1.  Unless the road should be sold to the Omaha Company, the track will probably be taken up.


Friday noon, a considerable area of pavement suddenly sunk several feet into the ground at the crossing between the Merchants Hotel and H. J. Brooks confectionery store.


An automobile had just passed over the place, but was not caught in the cave-in.  Herman Henning of Marshfield, who was here on business, saw the pavement fall in and quickly put up a temporary barricade in the street and came over to the Press office to telephone Street Commissioner Wm. Farning.


It was discovered that a leak had opened in the water pipe opposite P. M. Warlum’s plumbing shop, the water softening the lower earth and flowing down the hill had cut out a cave of considerable size, leaving the pavement unsupported.  The leak was repaired and the hole filled in.                                                                


Free Dance!  Hear the “Blue Moon Troubadours,” 8-piece Orchestra at Clover Lawn Garden. Sat. night, May 4, opposite the Clark County Fairgrounds.  Every one welcome!  Dance every Saturday night hereafter; Henry Markwardt, proprietor


The building committee last week announced their decision on bids for the large annex to the Indian School, the contract for the building going to John Stewart of Durand, and the heating, lighting and plumbing to P. M. Warlum of Neillsville.  Most of the excavation will be done by help at the school, thus reducing the cost of construction.


Mr. Stewart has moved his family from Durand to the Indian School where they will live until the work is completed.  Mr. Stewart’s record as a builder has been good.  He built the Masonic Temple and is now completing the annex to the Condensery and all his work has been highly commended.               


Express Agent M. H. Zilisch received notice Tuesday that a large consignment of homing pigeons will arrive here soon from the Kaukauna Pigeon Club.  Mr. Zilisch will release these birds for their homeward flight at his residence on South park Street, about 7 o’clock next Sunday morning.  About 600 pigeons will be released at once and it will be an interesting sight for anyone to witness.                                                                          


Last week the Clark County Dairy Sales Association, which the County Agent recently assisted in organizing at Withee, was instrumental in selling and shipping to Iowa two car loads of dairy cattle, cows and heifers.  The cows averaged $138 per head, the best cow bringing $175.                                                              


 On Friday, May 10, Mrs. Annie Smith, doubtless the oldest person in the county, reached the century mark.  Mrs. Smith was born at Stokestown, Ireland and grew to womanhood there.  When she was in the early twenties, she came to America with her uncle and settled at Watertown, Wisconsin.  There she was married to John Smith, who was later in the Civil War.  She came to Clark County to live with her daughter, Mrs. Chas Appleyard and family in 1907 and has made her home here since.  She has retained her bodily and mental faculties well for one of her age.


Burley Grimes of Owen got his name in big headlines into Chicago papers, Monday, because of his performance as pitcher for the Pittsburgh team in is victory over the Chicago Cubs.             


Sunday, May 10, there will be services held at Shortville Community Church at 2 o’clock p.m. to re-dedicate the church building.  For many years this was a Presbyterian Chapel used in connection with the church organization of Neillsville.  Change of local conditions seemed to make it necessary to discontinue the service and some steps were taken to sell the building.  The people of the neighborhood, who represent various religious faiths, felt that they wished to keep the building intact as a place of worship and an organization was affected as a Community Church and the building was purchased.


Mr. and Mrs. John Zoller of Willard left Monday on a trip to Yugoslavia, their native country.  They expect to be gone about two months.  It is 25 years since Mr. Zoller came to this country and his wife has been here some ten years longer, so they expect to see many changes.                                                              


Over 150 beautiful fur coats direct from the show rooms of one of New York’s leading furriers will be offered at J. B. Zimmerman and Sons Co. store, May 31st & June 1st.


May 1959


The Home Demonstration week will be observed from May 3 to 9, this year.


In taking a look at Clark County, we find there are approximately 950 members, organized in 66 homemaker clubs, working in nine centers: these centers are Thorp, Withee, Abbotsford, Chili, Greenwood, two centers in Loyal and two centers in Neillsville.                                                                                   


A $50 donation for Pee Wee baseball was voted on by members of the Neillsville Volunteer Fire department at their meeting Monday night.  The department, which raises funds at its annual dance, has made a similar donation to Pee Wee baseball every year.                                                                               


Neighbors of Albert Lindow who live in the Riverside Community came with their farm equipment Tuesday and Wednesday and put in is oats, as he has been ill for several weeks.  Those helping were: Lawrence Dix, Lyle Doehr, Milton Rand, Harley Pigott, Paul Riedel and Ed Schlinsog.            


A savage wind and rain storm dropped 1.42 inches in 40 minutes here Monday, May 4th in the afternoon, destroying a barn on the Leon Stanley farm in the Town of Grant, leaving it in shambles and doing considerable other damage.


Sixteen cows and five pigs were inside the barn basement when the storm, struck, but luckily escaped unharmed.


The chimney was blown down at the Champoux tavern three miles south of Neillsville on Highway73 during the Monday afternoon storm.


Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Marty are building a new kitchen onto the southwest corner of their residence.  The basement was open and the house was being readied to add the new room.  When the storm hit, it put six inches of rain into the new basement and water poured into the upper section of their house.


Mr. Marty plans to have a basement garage for his car under the new kitchen, but the storm caught him with much of the house open to the weather.                                                                         


The Hemphill residence on Hewett Street, for many years a show place in Clark County and central Wisconsin, has been sold to Mr. and Mrs. Robert Stoll.  The spacious home, center of social activity in the pioneer history of Neillsville, was purchased from Mrs. Frances (Hemphill) Rodolf who is now making her home at Tulsa, Oklahoma.


With a beautiful lawn, fountain and shade trees, the Hemphill property has caught the eye of every person passing through Neillsville on Highway 10.


In announcing the purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Stoll also announced the sale of their new residence on East 5th Street to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Meyer.  They plan to give possession about June 1.  Mr. and Mrs. Garth Bollom will rent an apartment on the second floor of the Hemphill residence.                                            


Alan Voigt, John Reinart and Elmer Kapfer, all of the Town of Washburn, are building machine sheds on their farms.


The pupils and teacher, Lawrence Fagon, of the Cozy Corners School held their closing picnic Saturday, May 9th. It was

the last picnic for the school, as the district voted to discontinue the school this coming year.


(The Cozy Corners School was located one mile north and three miles west of Chili, in the Town of Fremont.  At that time there were nine rural schools in the township. DZ)                              


Lands outside cemeteries hold many unmarked, lonely graves in Clark County; for them there is no Memorial Day.


Countless pioneer residents of Clark County, men and women who helped hew out the wilderness to make a land of fine farms and friendly communities, lie in unmarked, unkempt and lonely graves.


Only here and there do people know of these graves, now covered by weeds and infringed by the returning forests.  Where cemeteries throughout the county will be spruced and be-flowered this coming weekend as we observe Memorial Day, there are many which will not.


The so-called “Columbia country,” about ten miles southwest of Neillsville has its share, and more, of these unnamed graves.  One little “community” of them, four in number, lies about four-tenths of a mile south of the old Columbia School corner, on the Hewett-Dewhurst town line.


Lying east of the road, which connects Highways 10 and 95, a lone headstone, which marks the spot, is visible through tall brush and expanding vegetation today, only to the motorist with a sharp eye.


In this unofficial cemetery are four depressions in the earth, each presumably making the grave of an early settler.  Some of the old-times in the area, George Poertner, for instance, thought there were but two people buried there.  Others like Ward Lockman and John Sollberger, recall that there are four.  They recall the  names vaguely in one or two instances, but there is no way of telling under which few feet of soil, lay which people.


The exception is that of the headstone, which living parents had erected when their 16-month old daughter was laid in the Columbia burial ground way back in 1895.  The others were older people, who had done more to pioneer the area; but theirs is becoming more and more a role of forgotten people.


Three graves lie in an east-west line in this burial ground.  In the center of them is the headstone, which marks the grave of the 16-month-old.



Dau. of E. E. and E. L.


Born April 1st, 1894

Died Aug. 5, 1895

Tread softly by the grave

Of one of our hearts

Had learned to love.


To the west lies a depression bordered by several fieldstones.  To the east lies another.  Fieldstone placed there two years ago by Mr. and Mrs. Art Tews of Neillsville and Mrs. William Gress of Tacoma, Washington, a native of the area.  Believing there were but two graves there, they marked with the fieldstone the grave that thought was the of Mrs. Gress’ mother, the first wife of Fred D. Eggiman, who was the father also of Mrs. Tews and Ray Eggiman of Neillsville.


Directly south of the Grimes child’s grave, only a few feet away, is the fourth depression.  Hours of investigation and inquiry brought out the surnames of the two others buried there.


Frank Hanel, whose son, Louis, later spent many years as a railroad section foreman out of Columbia.  He later moved to Merrillan and then to Fairchild.  Today Louis, now 83 lies in Memorial Hospital burdened with ailments akin to age.


The fourth “Mr. Nimitz,” a one-time sawmill man who John Sollberger recalls seeing as a youth more than 60 years ago, but whose first name he has lost.  Mr. Nimitz, according to Sollberger’s recollection, was burned to death in a fire.


The incident surrounding the Grimes baby is not clearly recalled.  None of the present residents was old enough to remember.  George Poertner, a relatively newcomer with less than 40 years in the community, recalls hearing a story to the effect that she has received a cut on a leg and bled to death or died of blood poisoning.


The cluster of graves on the Hewett-Dewhurst town line is perhaps unusual.  Mostly there unmarked, all but forgotten graves are in lonely singles or in occasional pairs.  Theis pot however was intended for the start of a cemetery for the then bustling Columbia area, which one time had 80 pupils in its grade school.  Its mentor was Knute Wiggins, a surveyor for the Wisconsin Land Company, a large landowner of the area.  Wiggins started the cemetery near his home, which long since had gone.  He, himself, was buried elsewhere, and today the property is owned by and is a part of of the Clark County forest.  A plantation of jack-pine ends but a couple of rods north of the gravesites.


Investigation of these deaths by the writer brought out the fact, unknown to most of the younger people; that burials in those old and rougher days were not always in organized cemeteries such as we have today.


The Town of Hewett, for instance, has its share.  Ward Lockman recalls that a man and his wife, their names have escaped his memory, were buried across the Omaha railroad tracks and south of the old Columbia depot.  The building now is gone; the area has become a part of the William Sollberger farm, but before that a road was put through and crossed the graves of the now-nameless man and wife.


Near the creek at the old William Biggs farm, on County Trunk B, recalls another grave, “an old grandfather,” as he put it.  Bill Schultz, also a resident of the area, recalls the place and can point out the grave; but the memory of the name is gone.


John Sollberger, who has spent more than 60 years in the area, recalls several others.  He acted as pallbearer at the funeral of a man who was buried near his house on a knoll. Now covered with brush.  The deceased had selected his own site and burial was made there in accordance with his own wishes.


Another grave lies on the John Putz farm in the Columbia area, “between the house and the barn,” in Mr. Sollberger’s recollection.  The grave was one marked by a grape arbor.


In those days burials were not organized or limited as it is today.


That is undoubtedly, why one of the basic ordinances of almost any community is one, which prohibits burials in grounds outside an officially recognized cemetery.


(My Mom used to tell me that a man about two miles from Columbia center, when he died was buried beneath a window in his home in the Town of Levis across the county line from Pine Valley.  Don’t know if rumor or true. Dmk)



This 1971 photo is of the Farmer’s Store, located on the main street of Greenwood.  The building was a Foster Mercantile outlet and built on a plan similar to the Fairchild store.  N. C. Foster Railroad entrepreneur, liquidated his Farmers Mutual Trading Co holdings of the Fairchild and Greenwood stores in 1917





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