Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

September 24, 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

September 1879


The well being bored at the Fairground has reached a depth of 90 feet and sandstone has been struck.  It is believed that 20 to 30 feet of drilling will bring the thirsty contractors to the liquid.   


It is reported that the cranberry crop in Wood County has been considerably damaged by frost.  Probably the Jackson County Crop has suffered some damage also.                                         


Jesse Lowe drove his buggy around the corner at Dr. French’s the other day when his horse stumbled at the crossing, falling flat on his side.  A fill had been broken, making it necessary to unhitch the horse and help him up.


Recollect the Methodist Church Fair to come off at the Fireman’s Hall this evening.  It may be the last opportunity you will have to do Elder Cheynoweth a kindness.  A New England pork and beans dinner will be served in the hall, between 5 and 9 o’clock p.m.  The waiters will be dressed in the olden style, as when, long ago, our forefathers wagged their gray beards over platters of porridge.  It has been some time since Neillsville has enjoyed an entertainment of this sort, and there will be a big turnout.                                                                                             


At the donation at Mrs. Blakeslee’s Tuesday evening, to aid Wm. B. Campbell and family, the typhoid sufferers, the handsome sum of $31.15 was raised, besides quite a large quantity of wearing apparel, bed-clothing, provisions, and such.  A large number of people attended and many kind words of sympathy were heard.  The generosity of our people that was exemplified in the substantial manner of Tuesday evening cannot be too much extolled.  Neillsville is full of warm-hearted men and women who delight to do generous deeds.  Judge Newman, T. A. Dyson, H. Myers and a few other gentlemen who did not attend the donation made up a purse of about $7.50 and sent it over to add to the receipts.


Carpenters are busy at work on the Courthouse square preparing the oak posts, rails and stanchions for the new fence.  If the fence proves to be half as pretty as it certainly will be strong, it is safe to say that the seat of our County Government will be beautifully surrounded.  After the fence is up, there will be nothing to prevent the laying-out of paths and planting of shade trees next year.                                                                      


A small part of our citizens who live in the Lynn area, with barrels, boxes or pails, started for the cranberry marsh last Saturday; they stayed out on night and brought back a good supply of berries.


At the village of Unity they have been having a sensation over a tin pie-plate worth, perhaps, a dime.  One woman borrowed the plate of another and when she went to return the article, was informed that it was not the one she borrowed.  She said it was and was called and then followed a discussion touching upon the morals of each other, one intimating that her neighbor had been a soiled dove.  That was enough, and Ransom, Justice of Peace, was called upon to settle the pie.  He called a jury and the case opened Monday.  The females in their turn bounced the witness box and laid themselves out to capture that pie plate, which was worth a dime, and which was to be, to the female who carried it off, an emblem of purity.  The case lasted all of Monday and Tuesday up to midnight.  The verdict was “no cause of action, the prisoner is discharged,” (this opens up a new phase of jury trials,) and Unity went home and to bed.


Last Friday afternoon the ladies of La Crosse organized a kindergarten school at Germania Hall.


The great forests on all sides of our village are golden, brown, red, olive and a thousand other colors of autumn.  The uniform green of the woods has blossomed, so to speak, and now it is time for the ladies to drive out and collect bunches of beautiful leaves to ornament the house with.                                    


Gustavus Sterns at his planing mill, north of O’Neill Creek, is as busy as a bee.  He turns out all kinds of plain and matched lumber with great dispatch.  He has a splendid turning lathe and does the finest styles of turning for brackets, etc.


Hundreds of acres of the rich land in this vicinity are being cleared for the plow this fall.  Where dense forests stood two years ago, winter wheat has been dragged in and the agricultural resources of Clark County are being developed more rapidly as the richness of our soil is understood.  It is not likely that hereafter the logging interests will consume all the surplus production as the necessity for better and cheaper transportation become more and more pressing.


O. P. Wells ships cheese to all parts of the State for the proprietors of the Lynn Cheese Factory, who send put a thoroughly good article that is winning an enviable popularity.


(That means the Lynn Cheese Factory has been producing and sending out cheese for at least 135 years! What a record! DZ)


This 1880s photo taken of the Lynn Cheese and butter factory behind cords of logs for the nearby heading and shingle mill.  At that time Otto W. Becker owned and operated the cheese plant, receiving 8,000 to 10,000 pounds of milk daily from 60 patrons in the area.  Most of the butter and cheese was hauled to Marshfield for shipment.  The Becker home is shown to the right.


September 1949


First shipment has just been made of a small timing light, new item produced in Neillsville.  It is an addition to the line of Auto-Test, Inc., of which the executive head is William Yenni.


The new timing light is a sharply competitive item, selling for $5.95.  It is intended to meet the need of small garages and shops, where the larger standard timing light at $23.50 is regarded as a little expensive.


Like the larger timing light, the new model is encased in synthetic rubber and is so made that it will take rough treatment.  The synthetic, known as neoprene, will thrive under a treatment of oil, gasoline and dirt and may be thrown around on the floor with impunity.


This is the fourth item to be produced by Auto-Test.  The introduction of a new item is now a small matter, the tooling for the new timing light cost about $2,500 and the cost for the larger light was about $5,000.


Heroine of the seventieth anniversary of the York Center Methodist Church, celebrated in two services last Sunday, was Mrs. Walter Rowe, known in the community as “Grandma” Rowe.  She is credited with originating the plan for the celebration and she was the leader in carrying it through.   During the day’s services she wore a corsage, given her in recognition of her long labors for the church.  It was she who prepared the history of the church and it was she, who, after the reading of that history by the Rev. Lee H. Holmes, played the piano joined by her granddaughter, Shirley Rowe, in singing “The Country Church by the Side of the Road.”  She is 74 years of age and stood up to the strain of all the preparations and the celebration in itself, but she didn’t feel equal to reading of her story of the church.


Among the 150 or more persons there were others whose memory reached back into the earlier days.  Far up front sat Burt Lawrence hard of hearing but vigorous in physique; he was recalling the days of 1879, when he as a youth helped to clear away the trees and brush from the land upon which the church was built.  Present also was the Rev. W. J. James, whose first of the church reached back 55 years.  Mr. James was the star old-timer of the afternoon service, telling from the pulpit the story of his coming to the church.


In those early days, Mr. James was known as the “boy preacher” of the conference.  He could not vote until after his first service to the York Center Church had ended.  He had begun his work at Pittsville and assigned to the new charge, he packed most of his belongings to go up by freight.  At that time a railroad had been built up into York and his belongings were entrusted to it.  He went on first, in his preaching Prince Albert suit and with other such things as he could carry.


The freight was long in coming and the roof of the Loyal Church needed shingling.  So the boy preacher went up on the roof, Prince Albert and all, and helped with the shingling job.         


Finally, Mr. James heard that his freight had been deposited along the railroad track, there being no freight shed, or depot, or agent.  He went and got his stuff.  There was nobody to whom to pay the freight charges.  Presumably they are unpaid to this day, Mr. James said.


Mr. James preached his first sermon 57 years ago.  At that time, there were 144 members of the conference.  Of that number, only seven are left and he is one of the seven.  He told of some of the changes in viewpoint and customs, which have come about in his long life and service.  His father was also a preacher with three appointments each Sunday.


The following history of the York Center Church was written by Mrs. Walter Rowe and read to the congregation last Sunday by the Rev. Lee Holmes.  High Points are:


1879, the new church was planned; 1880, the new church building was completed; 1897, church remodeled and annex built; 1898, enlarged church and dedicated; 1941 interior refinished by Abie Turner and his son, Clayton; 1947-48, electric lights and oil heater installed; 1949, new rugs and runners added for pulpit and piano.


The early settlers of York, with few exceptions came from the southern counties of the state or places long improved with railroads and wagon roads.  These settlers were looking for lands, which could be purchased with little money and made into small farms.  They found only dense woods with but few roads or trails, and only a bridge now and then across a stream, which they had to cross.  Nearly all the families came through with oxen and covered wagons.  This trip took days, perhaps weeks.  After locating a plot of land and building a log house, they had more time for other things, such as writing home.  The mail had to be taken to Neillsville and it was often sent with a neighbor who would bring mail, groceries and supplies back with him for the neighborhood.  Many times a sack of flour was carried out on the shoulders of one who needed it.


These early settlers soon began to wish for divine services, which they sadly missed.  Soon they were going on foot and by ox teams to the “County Farm” schoolhouse for services and they also held prayer meeting in their homes. Then a new log schoolhouse was built on the Livingston land one-fourth mile west and one-half mile north (of the present church site).  In this log schoolhouse were held by Rev. J. Webster, who walked out from Loyal to preach.  There was also Rev. J. P. Greer, who lived in Spencer, who used to come out on horseback and stay all night before returning to Spencer.  Rev. Greer was the minister who started the plans rolling for the building of a church.  A land grant was secured from the Fox River land Company.  This company donated six acres of land as a site to build a church and start a cemetery.  This was in the year of 1880.


It is believed that logs were cut from this tract of land and sawed into lumber to build the church.  Many helpers from far and near volunteered to cut and haul the logs to the saw mill, clear the land and hew out the blocks for the first foundation, which was later replaced by a stone foundation.  The carpenters were William Rowe, and Sylvester Pease, Sr., assisted by Vet Pease, Jr.  at this time only the east wing was built, the main part of the church today.  The church was well filled from the first with families who came from miles around with oxen and wagons.  Homemade benches and seats were placed around the outer edge, with chairs through the center.  Later an appropriate pulpit and altar rail were added.  At this altar many people knelt and found God.


At about the same time the cemetery was laid out and staked.  Rev. Greer, Bert Lindsley and Burt Lawrence did the work.  The first to be buried there was Ida Lawrence Turner, wife of Pint Turner.


Some of the first church member names were:  Benedict, Lawrence, Fisher, Gibson, Adams, Bolton, Palmer, Johnson, Rogers, Huminston, Root, Vandeburg, Mortimer, Lindsley, Bassett, Rowe, Smith, Campbell, Smithers, Turner, Warren, Graves, Davis, Fulwiler, Teatz and many more followed. 


During those first years they had no organ and when it was mentioned, a few objected thinking it was not necessary, but one was finally purchased.  When Bert Lindsley heard that some had threatened to throw the new organ out of the church, he took his own down to the church and later the disturbance was quieted, the new Kimball organ was installed and used for more than 50 years.  


The York Center camp meetings were started during the pastorate of Rev. G. N. Foster.  Ten acres of beautiful woodland joining the church ground on the southwest was leased from William Rowe and here ministers and people for many miles around gathered for one week each summer.  They met under a large tent to listen to most inspiring music and preaching.  Rev. Limmokuler and his wonderful singing, Rev. Foster and others will never be forgotten.                      


A total enrollment of 610 was recorded for the Neillsville Public schools on the opening day of school, Tuesday.


This compares with 603 on the opening of last year, or an increase of seven.  It marks a new high in the history of the city school system; but is somewhat below what had been anticipated with the new law requiring all children to attend school until they reach their 16th birthday.


However, school authorities expect that the opening day enrollment will fluctuate some in the next few days.


The enrollment on Tuesday was divided as follows: High School, 300; North Side Grade School, 97; South Side Grade School, 213.                                                                                                 


Wedding Dance at the Silver Dome Ballroom, Sat., Sept. 17 in honor of Eugene Jepsen & Ethyl Bartz with music by the Jack Kolbeck’s Orchestra.                                                                     


A Pet Parade and Penny Scramble will be features of Neillsville Harvest Days, now announced for Friday and Saturday, October 7 and 8.                                                                                         


Cloverbelt Championship Baseball Game to be held Sunday Nite, Sept. 25, 8:15 p.m. with Neillsville Athletics, Leonhardt & Baierl, Battery, versus Augusta, Haas & Young, Battery.  This game will decide the Pennant.  Admission: Adults, 75’; All School-Age Children, 25’, tax included.




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