Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

June 18, 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

June 1874


Next to turning swords into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks, Mr. Robert Campbell has done the most commendable thing we have ever seen suggested.  He has turned the old bowling alley into a wagon and blacksmith shop and is doing excellent work.                                                               


Mr. Crown’s work in the photography line is giving very general satisfaction and we are glad to see that he is doing a great deal of work.  He has evidently kept pace with the art, which has advanced more rapidly in the past fifteen years than any other known and can furnish any kind of picture called for.


The House of Representatives has passed a law for the relief of the homesteaders of this county, which has been referred to the Committee on Public Lands of the Senate, and will likely pass that body.  The bill provides that the railroad company may select other lands in lieu of those homesteaded, but it will amount to nothing as the railroad company will most likely prefer the improved lands.                                                                           


We have received some censure for the account we gave last week of the burning of Mr. Hewett’s dwelling, in which it is claimed, by a few, that we endeavored to forestall public opinion by reflecting harshly upon Mrs. Sturgeon.  If those offended will look closely at that article, they will see that we said only, in alluding to her, what her counsel, at the examination, repeated over and over again in substance, that there was a great excitement and indignation, and that suspicion rested upon her, but that there did not appear to be evidence to convict her.  We stated further, and for the express purpose of giving her benefit of all the knowledge if the matter we had, that her family could testify to her having been at home all the night of the fire.                                                                


The parties owning lots in the northern suburbs of this town have fenced their lots and turned in another course.  There is a question as to their right to do so, which is to be investigated by the proper authority.


(Is that why after crossing the bridge, on North Hewett the street takes a slight turn to the northeast and again at the triangle of West 17th intersection there is another slight turn to the right, where the street name becomes Black River Road?  Property owners, city and rural, often unknowingly, changed property lines when putting up new fences. DZ)


An anonymous friend at Loyal sends an account of a wedding in that town, which he calls romantic. The young couple, who appear to have been well prepared, packed their housekeeping implements into a lumber wagon and started for the forthcoming home.  As they were yet unmarried, the neighborhood looked forward to something rich to talk about.  Just as they passed Rev. Lester Allen, they called the good minister from his work, stepped out of the wagon, and were made one by the roadside and thus spoiled a good sensation.  Our informant adds that the happy couple thought it all nonsense to make a great fuss about so small a matter.  Come to think about it, we do not see why it was just as well for all practical purposes.                                                                                                


We publish the full proposition of the Agricultural Society offering a reward of $10 for the cow that will show the best record for milk and butter during a certain week of this month.  Let there be a scrabble for that $10.


Geo C. Farnham & Co. offer a special premium of one dollar per pound on the best butter made by any one cow during the trial proposed by the Agricultural Society next week.  The premium is offered upon quality alone.


The strawberry crop is the largest that has been known here for years.  The woods and fields are red with them and boys are busy picking berries for Fourth of July funds.                              


Elder H. W. Decker informs us that he will pitch his tent here next Thursday evening for a series of Advent meetings to be continued as long as interest is taken in them.  He will commence with a course of Bible Lectures.  The public is invited to attend.                                                                                                       


We are glad to learn that Mr. Hewett has decided to rebuild his residence and to make even more of a house of it than the one that was destroyed by fire.  It will be a larger and of a different style. The work will commence at once.


A postoffice has been established at Sand’s Mill, in the Town of Mayville.  The upper part of the county is still lacking in mail facilities.                                                                                                       


The social evil institution recently instituted here is undergoing persecution already.  It has, in fact, received notice to vamoose.                                                                                            


Mr. John McCarty, postmaster at Longwood, favored us with a call.  He reports everything prosperous in his section except the gardens, which have been destroyed by cut-worms.


June 1944


An eye-witness account of the Army Air Force’s first daring raid on the Ploesti oil fields of Romania was given to Shriner’s and their guests at the Neillsville Country club last Friday by one of the few men who returned from that epic-making mission.


S/Sgt Leigh Claflin, a cousin of Dr. M. L. Claflin, former Neillsville resident, told the story.  Having been wounded in the Ploesti action, S/Sgt Claflin is back in the United States after taking part in the war against Hitler from all fronts on which American airmen have been active.


Of 125 big American bombers, which took part in the Ploesti raid, only 46 returned.


The raid was a complete surprise to the enemy, Sgt. Claflin told the Shrines. He recalled skimming barely 25 feet above the ground on the last leg of the journey to the target.  Going up the Danube valley, he said, the countryside looked peaceful in the hot summer sun.  People coming from church services were surprised as the big American bombers roared by; and the airmen were flying so low they could see the look of astonishment cross the people’s faces.


If all was uneventful on the approach of the Ploesti oil fields, the Americans did not find it so over the target.  In spite of the fact that the enemy defenses had been surprised, the air armada nevertheless ran into a blazing inferno, during its 60-second bombing run over their target.


Barrage balloons, which the Americans hoped would be caught on the ground, were riding above the field on their cables swung from them like the menacing arms of a multitude of octopi.  How any pilot was able to take his plane through that maize of whipping cables, anti-aircraft fire and huge steel oil storage tanks is still a source of wonder to S/Sgt Claflin.


It was in that minute over the target that Sgt. Claflin received “bleeding wounds,” while another in the plane was more seriously hit.


I didn’t see it myself, I was too busy stopping my bleeding and taking care of the other man; but the bombardier said afterward that “we had left an area a mile square in flames.”


While over the target one of the four motors of S/Sgt Claflin’s plane was knocked out.  Rather than attempt a return to their North African base, the crew voted to try to make Malta.  The skimmed mountain tops over Yugoslavia, passing over some crags by a matter of inches.


It was not until later, when Sgt Claflin went to switch over to an auxiliary gasoline tank that the crew learned a gas line has been it and they has lost considerable fuel.  Then there as a question whether they would be able to make Malta; so the radio operator contacted Malta and gave word of the plane’s plight.  It was between Malta and Sicilia that the plane was set down on the water.  Sgt. Claflin and two others of the crew were put in the life raft, while others of the crew hung onto the raft.  Two and one-half hours later they were picked up by a boat sent out for them from Malta.


Headlines of the Clark County Press June 8, 1944:


Crack Atlantic Wall!


Invasion:  It’s a Blazing Battle of Men and Machines.


Establish Beachhead with Relative Ease along 100-mile French Coast.


Losses in Preliminaries are Unexpectedly Light, but Sharp Fighting Develops on some beaches; 4,000 ships and 10,000 Planes in Attack.


The situation up to noon Wednesday was that the first counter attacks of the Germans in the vicinity of Caen were repulsed.


The first paratroopers to land had been reinforced by a great air troop train.


Reports from the front indicated that Rommel is moving up two armored divisions operating under his personal command.


Part of the beachheads as originally established have been enlarged to such an extent that they are n9ow linked together, but in other cases this linking of beachheads has not been completed.


 The Allied air forces flew 13,000 sorties Tuesday in support of the ground and sea operations, and the outlook was that sorties of at least that number would be flown Wednesday.


The Second Front was opened early Tuesday, June 6.  When dawn broke the greatest war fleet of all time, 4,000 ships in all, moved up the French coast of Normandy and presently began to land troops and equipment and supplies at intervals along 100 miles of coast stretching from Cherbourg to Le Havre.  Supplied with swift-moving tanks and trucks and jeeps, the Allies pushed rapidly inland, through opposition lighter than anticipated.  In a relatively short time the penetration had extended nine or ten miles inland, evidently centering at Caen, important junction point.


 The actual landing had been preceded by powerful bombardment and paratroop attack.  Shortly before midnight Monday great clouds of planes began dropping bombs upon the invasion area.  Upon that first day close to 10,000 sorties were flown and 10,000 tons of bombs were dropped upon the shore, the coastal fortifications and the German support areas to the rear.  The effect if this bombardment was devastating.  Most of the coastal installations were knocked out and silenced.  Such as remained, were later pummeled by close to 700 naval guns ranging from 5-inch to 16-inch in size.


Meanwhile airborne troops made landings at points, still undisclosed, well inland.  The size of this force of paratroops must have been impressive.  Its strength may be inferred from the Allied statement that it was borne by 1,000 airships and that the train of gliders stretched a length of 50 miles.  An estimate based upon a Nazi communiquι would seem to indicate that not less than four divisions, roughly 60,000 men, were quickly dropped in a designated area, perhaps not far from Rouen.


(There were many sacrifices to be made during World War II.  No new cars; rationing of gasoline and tires, which limited traveling; each year, one pair of shoes for each member of the family, several food items were rationed, all requiring allotment of stamps; but no one complained.  The greatest sacrifice was members of our family, friends and neighbors, who gave up three or more years to go in some branch of the military to fight, defend our freedom, some of whom didn’t return.  Let us not forget! DK)                                                                          


Victor J. Anderson, the mayor of Neillsville, summarized the viewpoint and opportunity of the people of this community:


Let us attend to our business efficiently and faithfully, neglecting northing; let us buy War bonds aplenty; let us attend to the surgical dressings and the salvage calls; and let us go to church next Sunday, all this to do what we can for the European Invasion.”                                                                            


Stamps for the federal tax on autos have been placed on sale at all post offices.  These stamps cover the federal tax of $5 per vehicle, due July 1, and the stamp must be affixed to the windshield not later that that date.


Mr. and Mrs. Billy Davis have purchased the Ed Kiedrowski house on North Prospect Street and plan to occupy it soon.  Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Dux, owners of the house on North Hewett Street, where the Davis family has been living, are moving back to Neillsville, after a few years residence in Owen.  Mr. Dux has purchased a milk route.


Two young men of Clark County are included in a recent casualty list issued by the war department: Pfc. William M. Arch, whose father is Louis Arch, Greenwood and Sgt. Frank W. Malaszuk, whose mother is Mrs. Amelia Malaszuk, Thorp.


The AAA office of Clark County was moved this week to the old post office building, immediately north of the present post office building.  The building has been redecorated.  It will be used exclusively for the business of the AAA, and will afford a more ample space for workers and files.


For some years past the AAA has shared a dwelling at the North end of Court Street, with the Farm Security Administration.  As records have increased in volume, and as additional work has come along, especially the milk subsidy, the available space has been inadequate.


When the AAA moved this week, it has a big job to transfer the 30 steel files containing its records, along with the various desks, chairs and other items of office equipment.  Those 30 files contain chiefly a five-year history of 5,798 farms in Clark County, the experience of every farm, which has been in the AAA program. 


The record show that the 5,798 farms contain 290,585 acres of cropland, 142,184 acres of open pasture and enough wooded and wild land to bring the total to 574,279 acres in farms.  It will be noted that the farms in the county average almost exactly 100 acres in size.


The AAA move transfers the working quarters of twelve persons, as follows: the three members of the AAA county committee: Axel Sorenson, Clark Brooks, And Arthur Stadler; the chief clerk, Norene Reinart; the eight clerks, Dorothy Schlinsog, Hazel Breseman, Lucille Wilding, Leona Sternitzky, Alice Beyer, Hazel Handtke, Mae Kalas and Lila Ure.


A pleasant message from Sgt. Melvin E. Meier in Italy was that he has been using milk from the Neillsville Condensery.  Melvin is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Meier of the Town of Levis, a mess sergeant.  He says in his letter, “Seeing those cans of milk made in my home town was like seeing someone from home.”


In 1916 the Oatman Condensed milk Company established a condensing plant on the south bank of O’Neill Creek, west side of Hewett Street.  In 1919 it was deeded to a subsidiary, the Neillsville Condensed Milk Company. The business was sold to American Store Dairy Company in 1928 and operated until January 28, 1966, when it closed due to the declining market for evaporated milk, after nearly 50 years.





© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel