Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

November 4, 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 1925


Mr. David Bender and Miss Mabel Broiher were quietly married at Winona, Minn., Wednesday, Oct. 21.


The groom is the son of H. L. Bender of the Town of Washburn.  He has lived most of his life on the home farm and is an industrious and worthy young man.


The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Broiher of South Pine Valley.  She graduated from Neillsville High School in the class of 1923 and has been employed for some time in the Central Telephone office.  She is a young lady of pleasant disposition and has the admiration of all who know her.  The young couple began housekeeping at once on the Bender farm, where the groom is carrying on farming.                        


There was a dedication last Sunday, Oct. 4th, in the Pine Grove Cemetery near Loyal, a tablet in memory of Samuel Hartford.  There was a large gathering of the people of loyal and vicinity.  Ray Thomas presided at the exercises.  There was prayer by Rev. James.  The whole company sang America.  Mr. Hugh Haight read the list of those who had contributed to the purchase of the tablet.  Mrs. A. K. Church had actively taken part in the movement to provide a memorial for this old soldier.


The following old settlers are buried in this cemetery: William Welch, William Hill and wife, Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Smith, Mrs. Weaver, two sons of Hon. William Irvine are buried there.  A granddaughter of Samuel Hartford came from Minneapolis and in a graceful address accepted the tablet for the family.  An address was delivered by Judge James O’Neill of Neillsville.


“Samuel Hartford was born 1798, in New York.  His father was a pioneer of that state.  He was sent to a small town to live with a married sister and attended school.  During his residence there, the Indian War broke out and his brother-in-law was drafted for service.  Knowing that his sister and seven children would surely come to want, he, a lad of fourteen, went as a volunteer substitute, serving as a private in Captain Mattison’s Division, New York Militia.  He was honorably discharged September 30, 1813.  He died in 1884 and was buried in Pine Grove Cemetery, located one and one-half miles north and one mile east of Loyal Wisconsin.


We are here today to dedicate a tablet in memory of one who risked his life in service of his country.  It was a surprise to me and I suppose to most of the people of this county to learn that a soldier of the War of 1812 was buried here in Loyal.  His ashes lie in the cemetery beside those of other early settlers who hewed down the forests and developed one of the richest portions of the state.  I was personally acquainted with nearly all of those who are buried here.  They were people of high character, industrious and ambitious in building new homes in what was then unbroken forests.  I was intimately acquainted with William Welsh, I enjoyed the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Weaver at their own home, and I knew Henry Sitts, David Fullmer, Volney Smith and Wm. Hill a half a century ago.


This tablet is dedicated to the memory of one who served his country in what has been called the “Second War of Independence.”  This war was declared in 1812 against Great Britain.  The three chief grievances were the impressments of American Citizens with the English Navy, certain British orders in council and the establishment of blockades by our commerce had been plundered in every sea.  The country had to depend for soldiers mainly from the State Militia and volunteers.  The treaty of peace was signed December 24, 1814.


We have had three wars since then, the war of Mexico, with Spain and the World War.  Good men in all countries are now bending their energies to bring the people into such accord as will forever prevent war.  From the time of Julius Caesar, down through the ages history has been principally concerned with recording conflicts between tribes, peoples and nations.


I believe that all nations of the earth should be associated together for consideration of all international disputes and adjustment of differences by peaceful methods.


The World War cost us billions of money and the lives of many of the best young men in the country.  We are now spending millions on our army and navy.  Other nations are doing the same.  What is needed in the whole world is the breeding out and cultivating out of the spirit of the lion and the tiger in our natures.  We should learn that there is one God and Father of all of us and we are his children.


This tablet will preserve the memory of a good man who served his country well, and lived the life of a useful citizen in this community for many years.”


(Well said, Judge James O’Neill.  Now, 90 years later, his closing statements of advice could be applied to the present day.  Three weeks after the above article appeared, there was another reference to the Samuel Hartford memorial tablet, which is included below. DZ)


The tree in the Dodgeville Cemetery near Loyal, on which was placed a bronze tablet in memory of Samuel Hartford, veteran of the War of 1812, was found to be decaying in places, and Lynn B. Morris of Neillsville was called upon to go up and use his skill as a tree surgeon upon it.  He spent considerable time on the job so as to make the tree’s lease of life secure for many years to come.  A number of trees in Neillsville, treated by Mr. Morris several years ago, appear to retain their health and are still growing.


(A map of Clark County shows a cemetery one mile north and one mile east of Loyal, on the southeast corner of the intersection of Spencer Road and Pelsdorf Avenue.  However, in 1925 the cemetery was referred to as Pine Grove in the first Samuel Hartford news article but as the Dodgeville Cemetery in the second article.  Was there a small community at that intersection known as Dodgeville, which is the reason for the cemetery being referred to as such in the second article?


In the early 1930s there was a rural school located two miles east of Loyal, along Hwy 98 named “Dodgeville,” two miles southeast of the cemetery.


History has many mysteries to be solved, now many years later. DZ)



The Neillsville Brewery, one of Neillsville’s oldest manufacturers, was in existence for 70 years in the heart of the city, located on the 200 block of East Sixth Street.  There were five owners of the business during its existence as a brewery.  The building was destroyed by a fire in the 1950s, while occupied by bowling lanes.


This week there passed out of existence for all time the oldest manufactory in Neillsville, the brewing plant. 


Chronologically its history is short, namely:


1855 land entry by James O’Neill; 1869 - bought by W. Neverman; 1874 - bought by Louis Sontag; 1882 - bought by Herman Schuster; 1884 - bought by Ernest Eilert; 1898 - bought by Kurt Listeman; 1925 - sold by Kurt Listeman.


Homesteaded 79 years ago, the brewery was started 56 years ago by William Neverman, father of Otto Neverman, and Mrs. Wm. Hannah who are still living in Neillsville.


After several years operation it was taken over by Louis Sontag, father of George, one of the “Railroad Sontag” boys, who in turn transferred it to Mr. Schuster, father of our “Jeff”, who two years later sold it to Ernest Eilert of Humbird.


Since its purchase by Mr. Eilert nearly 42 years ago, there has been only one transaction, its sale to Kurt Listeman, who has been its owner the longest of them all, namely 27 years.  His ownership ended Sept. 21, 1925.


The purchase of this property by Ernest Eilert in 1884 brought with it a complete change.  Ernest Eilert was a man of unusual strength of character, a man beloved by all, who came as near to being idolized by his fellow citizens as any man who ever lived in Clark County.  A man of unusual character, as virile and upright as the sturdy oak, Ernest Eilert erected, in conformity with his rugged spirit, on that block of land, as strong and enduring a building as was ever erected here.  Located in the heart of the best timber section of Wisconsin, here went into this building the finest timbers, the clearest lumber, mostly hardwoods.  Into the ceiling of the refrigerator rooms there went 4x12 ft. joists 25 ft. long, spaced a foot apart resting in the middle on a stick 15 in. square and 45 ft. long, every piece of finest white oak.  Well it needed such solidity, for on this “ceiling” there rested for 10 months each year some 5,000 cakes of ice, each weighing 400 lbs., a total weight of 1,000 tons, equal possibly to a dozen modern locomotives.  Yet today there is neither crack nor sag found in that ceiling.


Foundation walls 3 ft. thick were laid with their footings 15 ft. under the surface, and the intense cold of many winters has not yet been able to produce the first crack or “heave.”


There was a well dug that is perhaps the largest blasted and stone-lined well in the county.  Half a dozen men worked all summer, blasting through stone until at a depth of 30 ft. water came in too fast to handle and the well was then lined with cut rock, the diameter left at 15 ft.  Some years ago Kurt Listeman, at the request of the City tested his well and ran his 2 barrel-a-minute pump for 24 hours but made no headway in lowering after getting down 2/3rds of the way.  Estimating his well to produce from 1,000 to 2,000 barrels daily, Listeman then offered to the city free use of this water, but nothing further came of this.  There are 5 wells dug and stone-lined on the brewery premises with an abundance of delicious soft water, in unique contrast with the otherwise inadequate underground water supply in Neillsville as shown by Madison records.


As, all the other brewery floors were likewise strongly built, it was not unusual to store 5 carloads of barley on a single floor without a particle of deflection produced on any of the 3 to 4 inch joists of 12 inch height that lay underneath.


The finest technical machinery was installed and when finished the Neillsville Brewery ranked as a model plant.  The first beer-filter came into existence about 1890 and about the first one to be installed in Wisconsin was by Mr Eilert; it cost $2,500, although in size less than 2 ft. square, the work it did was unbelievable, its fineness such that it could completely remove the bacteria from the finished product, not overlooking that 100,000 yeast cells can find plenty of room on the head of a pin, changing a non-transparent fluid into a dazzlingly brilliant clear liquid.


The copper work alone represented many thousand dollars outlay, again as much more for the other machinery such as millwork, pumps, engines, power plant, washing machines, counter pressure fillers, grain cleaning and grinding mills, coolers, super heaters, pitch and cooperage machinery, ice cooling apparatus, carbonators, condensers, etc.  An electric washer to sterilize and clean 25,000 bottles daily, huge casks in the cellars that could store for three months while aging in freezing temperatures vats 10 ft. high and 8 ft. in diameter made of clear white oak.


The plant consists of a complete 40-barrel brewing unit, a 20-barrel bottling unit and a malt house that had a capacity of 60 bushel of barley per day.  An idea of the network of piping and valves is gotten when one figures over 5,000 ft. of iron pipe controlled by 200 valves, ran to every corner of the 20,000 sq. ft. of floor space, made more flexible by an additional 1,000 ft. of rubber hose.


To insure an ice supply, Kurt Listeman and James Paulus, who owned the ice business, in 1911 erected a concrete dam, with the City contributing $700, under the Hewett Street Bridge at a cost of nearly a couple of thousand dollars more, for which expenditure the city gave them or their successors the exclusive right to ice privileges on the O’Neill Creek.  This dam, although closed three days after the cement went into it in the zero weather of late November, is as solid as the day it was completed and is one of Neillsville’s finest natural assets, a credit to the city and to these men who built it.


Never again will winter see thousands of bushels of fine Clark County barley hauled in on sleds by farmers from up to 20 miles around, never again witness hundreds of loads of 4 ft. hard maple for firing brought to the brewery, nor the load upon load of hay, fodder, oats for the barn full of sturdy brewery horses.


Never again will one see the stream of hard working farmers that came daily to the brewery; 10, 20 not seldom 50 on Saturday to take home to the family a package of the healthful wholesome product, there is a record of one 3rd of July when 206 farmers some 15 years back, drove to the plant to so purchase beer.


Never again the big and merry icing crew to prepare the pond, to cut and store away the year’s ice supply.  Hardest to realize is never again will be the good old times of the 80s and 90s when tolerance allowed the fullest measure of social enjoyment and personal freedom.


To the grand old brewery, thousands of our fellow farmers, whose tough monotonous life had been made a little happier because of this institution, will utter a sincere and regretful “good-bye.”  To its successor, The Clark County Canning Company an equally sincere welcome.                                               


Carl Walk has sold his store business near the depot to his son-in-law, Harry Roehrborn.  The building has undergone extensive change and improvement, the partition being taken out so as to use all of the first floor for store purposes, new shelving has been put in and other changes made to accommodate the additional stock, which Mr. Roehrborn is putting in.  This consists largely of certain lines of dry goods.  Mr. Walk felt it necessary to relieve himself of the responsibility of the business on account of his own and his wife’s health.  He will continue for a time to help Mr. Roehrborn as needed.  The new proprietor has had a wide experience in merchandising as clerk and as traveling salesman and is very popular locally.




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