Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

October 21, 2015, Page 8

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

October 1880


Louis Rossman, cigar-maker, went to Milwaukee last week to purchase fresh stock and employ a few more skilled cigar-makers.  He will bring home about a carload of Tobacco.                                         


More lumber has been deposited near the Presbyterian Church this week to be used in the building of the new steeple.


Neillsville, as it is now, presents this appearance:


A village, lying upon a few sharply defined though not abrupt hills; of about 1,100 people; not a house vacant; with a “business center” about twice as large proportionately as that of other villages of the State; every citizen driven with work and business; nobody complaining; politics lively; a gracefully brick residence just being finished for Henry Myers; another residence well along and enclosed for W. B. Morley; a handsome county jail and Sheriff’s house up and enclosed, built of brick, with fine steel sells in the jail; a substantial and commodious poor house a few miles out of town, approached from the village by a good country road; the new Lowe block, brick, completed and occupied downstairs, and only waiting for mechanics, now all engaged, to complete the second story, with a tenant ready to take possession at the earliest possible moment; Mrs. Reddan’s large boarding house being greatly enlarged and improved; loggers all actively laying plans for a heavy winter’s work in the woods; a well-attended teacher’s institute going on, in a brick schoolhouse, which has been newly painted, and for size and convenience will compare favorably with any school structure in the State; a substantial, if not ornamental, bridge nearly completed across O’Neill Creek in the center of town; street grading being done here and there; and a new railroad being rapidly constructed from this energetic, Chicago-like town, to connect us with the outside world at a place called Merrillan in Jackson County.


The citizens of this village have reason to be proud.


“Lute” Lowry, and old-time playmate of ye scribe, came up from Sparta last week.  The first impulse upon seeing him was to find a piece of string and make a play horse or put up a watermelon patch expedition.  “Lute” will go into the woods, working for Geo. Lloyd.                                                                                    


Snow fell at this point nearly all day Saturday, Oct. 16th.  It was the first of the season.  A monotonous rain fell during Friday night, and a cold wind blew, followed by snow the next day. 


The cold, snowy weather of the past week has been bad for plastering, and it is understood that the new Sheriff’s residence will stand in its present shape until next spring.                    


We’re a mighty polite crowd up in this county if we are industrious.  The other day one of our physicians met a man on the road north of the village, who bowed so low that he keeled right over out of his buggy to the ground.


John Nichols, of the Town of Grant, held a turkey and chicken raffle in this village over on the King Lot last Saturday.  Nichols informed us that for 18 turkeys and 10 chickens he got about $75.  He says he gave the men a fair show but they didn’t set the sights on their guns right.                                                                 


The Shortville area didn’t receive mail last week.  We shall have to stir up that Pleasant Ridge Post Office again to a realizing sense of duty.  There is quite a good deal of fault found of mail matter being laid over there, sometimes two weeks, and those looking it up have found it at that office.  Even papers, it takes until the second Saturday to reach Shortville by the Ridge.                                                                                


Flood dams are being put in along Cunningham Creek, ready for spring work.  The poor settler has to build bridges while capital builds dams to destroy them                                                        


John Bowerman had a flock of seventeen fine turkeys; but the foxes got them.  And now John says he is going to get seventeen foxes to pay for them.                                                           


The Town of Lynn has finished its New Town Hall, which was opened to the public a short time ago with a free dance, except for a small subscription to pay for the music, which was furnished by Nelson Marsh.


The hall is a fine splendid building and will be of great benefit to the town.  The people of Lynn are enterprising, with a town hall, cheese factory, fire insurance company, and sawmill.  They also have a candidate for County Clerk, and one for the Assembly.                                                                                              


Joe Marsh is again at Heath in the Town of Fremont, where he intends to lumber again this winter.  He is going to have quite a crew of men and teams hauling logs to Rose’s mill and the lumber from the mill to Spencer.  From there it will be sent to market.                                                                                                      


News of Longwood:


Bright & Withee are building a large storehouse on their farm. 


The Longwood store is being crowded with goods, adapted to supply area lumbermen.


We understand that our neighbor, Gibson, has taken an extensive job of putting in logs on the Yellow River.  We wish him all the success that the good prospect of the job indicates.


October 1940


The Mayflower, several generations removed, of course, came to Granton, Chili and Neillsville last week.


In a recent issue of “Wisconsin Families,” magazine of the Wisconsin Genealogical Society, the ancestry of several residents of the three communities were traced back 11 and more generations to Priscilla Mullins, she of the Miles Standish courtship and the John Alden wooing.


Specifically, the magazine traces the ancestry of Mrs. L. G. Morris of Delafield.  But Mrs. Morris, a former Granton resident, is a full sister of Price Lee, who lives in Granton.  Among others in the three communities who are included in the direct line of descent are Frank Davis of Neillsville and his two daughters, Stella and Mrs. George Prochazka; Dr. Ell L. Lee and Vinton Lee.


Claimants to descendants from the Priscilla of literary and historical note living in Granton, in addition to Price Lee, are Truman Davis and members of his family, Dale Lee, and the children of Neil Davis Pietenpol.


In Chili, those in the direct line of descendants of Priscilla are Ernest Lee and his children.


The article states that Mrs. Morris is 11 generations removed from William Mullins, the father of Priscilla.  With his now famous daughter, William Mullins landed in America from the Mayflower in 1620.  After a romance with the dashing Capt. Miles Standish, Priscilla and John Alden were married in 1621, according to the article.


One thing states as fact by the article, which was omitted by Longfellow in his famous poem was that Standish’s son, Alexander, later married Sarah, the daughter of Priscilla and John Alden.


Mrs. Joseph Kopp of the Town of Pine Valley reports that during her absence from home Sunday afternoon, someone took all but three of the squash which she had reserved for her own use during the coming winter and some pumpkins.  She made the discovery upon her return home, but feeling that the thief had her interest at heart to some extent; she did not put them under cover.  The following morning they, too, were gone.                     


It was a haggard group of men who sat in the circuit court room in the courthouse on the last afternoon of the board of supervisors’ session last November.


It had been an unusually long and trying session, and the work was nearly done.  So long had the 52 supervisors of Clark County been there that the hard court room benches were cutting into them; for they, mostly are men of action, used to the fields and not to wooden benches.  They moved toward adjournment with the difficulty and slowness born of fatigue.


As the clerk, searched his desk, for more work, Charles Varney, Greenwood city supervisor, uncoiled his long legs and arose.  He received recognition from the chair and, with a twinkle in his eyes and a jerk or two at his long mustache; he strode to the front of the room.


Standing there he sang in monotone a story, the theme of which eludes the memory.  It concerned the rough-and-tumble days of lumbering and a girl, the toast of the camp.  It continued in a certain sly humor, typically Charley Varney’s.


Finishing, he moved toward his seat.


But no!  No one would hear of that!


Again the supervisors were laughingly alive.  Gone was their fatigue and sluggishness.


Charley chanted another shorter story of the lumbering days he knew so well, then the board whipped swiftly through the remainder of its work, its spirit high.


That was one thing about Charley Varney, he generally picked his spots.  When the end came close and the board slowed up, Charley tugged at his mustache and sang a ditty.  Always they were of the days gone by; always they set the members rocking with laughter; generally they were of his original composition although he tried to lay them to someone else.


When the board moves in next month to attack problems of the county budget, tax equalization, and all kindred matters, they will have to do it without the help of Charley Varney.  For Charley died last Friday at his home in Greenwood.


For some months he had been on the fading trail, his heart worn by its three-quarters century of work.


His stories sung in monotone, they, in themselves, told the life of Charley Varney.  The sly humor was that of the stolid New Englander.  Charley was born of New England stock, in Skowhegan, Me., on April 25, 1865.


But the stories then were laid in the lumber camps and early-day modes of Clark County, with which he was so familiar.


As a youth of eight, Charley came to Clark County with his parents, Hiram and Cynthia (Withee), and others of the family.  Theirs had been a round-about search for land in a new country, for  from Maine they went to La Crosse, then on into Iowa, back to La Crosse, and finally into the woodland in the Town of Warner.


It was there that Charley tasted the life of lumber camps during the long Wisconsin winters.  Summer times he forsook the woods for the more passive life of the mason and plasterer.  But not always could he leave the trees; and when the itch for action in the woods during the open season became strong, he turned his talents to road building through the virgin timberland.  Road building in that early period of Clark County history was a relatively simple matter.  Roads in the low, wetlands were made with logs covered over by dirt; corduroy, it was called.  On drained land it was merely a matter of cutting trees, pulling stumps and leveling off to make the way passable.


It was in this manner that life went on for Charley Varney until November 27, 1890.  On that date he married Nettie May Van Airdale of Saxville, and together they went to Thorp, where Mr. Varney set up a butcher shop.  After a year and one-half of quartering beef, the Varneys sold out and went to Tower, N. D.


But the Clark County beckoned again after another year and a-half, and they purchased and worked a farm now occupied by Roy Rossman.  They lived there until 1908, when the family moved to Greenwood.


For several years hereafter Mr. Varney rode the mail routes out of Greenwood, and thus became widely known among all people in the area.


In 1919, he resigned his position as mail carrier and went into the front office as postmaster, a position he held for the following six years.


In 1926, a year after his appointment as postmaster expired, Mr. Varney’s wife died.  Four children had been born this union.  Mrs. George (Cynthia) Einfeldt of Greenwood, Forrest of Sacramento, Cal., Vern of Madison, and Irene of Fort Atkinson, former Neillsville librarian.


Two years later he was married to Lydia Einfeldt, a former Greenwood resident living in Chicago at the time, who survives.


During his later years, Mr. Varney was a substitute mail carrier and an insurance agent; but he spent considerable time in extensive travels about the nation.


In 1934, he was appointed supervisor from Greenwood to fill the unexpired term of Dr. J. R. Thomas, when the dentist moved to Neillsville, and from that time on, he had been consistently returned to the supervisor position by Greenwood voters.                                                                                                              


Stelloh’s Specials - Plow Shares, from 50’ to $3.00; Good Binders at $25.00 to $50.00; Plows $5.00 to $25.00


See our display of Allis Line and Hammer Mills


(It was the season to advertise binders and plows, for the local farmers who would be using binders for cutting corn, followed by fall plowing.  In desperation due to lack of money to have the implement shop sharpen plow shares, I remember my dad doing that job himself, by using a file to sharpen the shares before plowing the fields.  The prices of used machinery in 1940, seems unreal, but the farm equipment used then is in no way compared to that of today either. DZ)


Dance at Riverside Pavilion Sunday, Oct. 13, Music by “String Pickers,” Gents 30’, Ladies Free, Hall Free for Wedding Dances.                                                                                                                


Plum Pudding & Chicken Supper at Pleasant Ridge Church, Thursday, Oct. 17, 50’ & 25’


Harvest Festival & Banquet, Chili Evangelical Church, Friday evening, Oct. 18; Melvin Laird will be Guest Speaker, 7:30 p.m. Adults 50’ Child 20’                                                                                


The 3,445 selective service registration cards are in bundles.  Each parcel contains the registration cards from one of the county’s 52 precincts.  County Clerk Calvin Mills is acting as chief registrar for Clark County.


Free Wedding Dance, Wednesday, Oct. 30, in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Shober at the Silver Dome Ballroom.


Stelloh’s Implement and Allis Chalmers dealership was located on the northwest corner of the West Fifth Street and Grand Avenue intersection in Neillsville, on the present site of the IGA parking lot.




(Transcriber’s Note: In the Joseph Kopp family, this said Mrs. Joseph Kopp of Pine Valley had died in 1934, she being my mother’s mother and this statement of this event in the 1940 news, does not coincide.  And her mother-in-law, Mrs. Joseph Kopp of the town of Levis, had died in 1930. In speaking with my cousins they also believe this to be in the wrong time frame. Or if there was another Mrs. Joseph Kopp, we did not know of her, in the Town of Pine Valley.  Dmk)



© 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