Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

February 11, 2015, Page 10

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

February 1880


Chippewa County has sold all its tax deed land twenty cents per acre, giving quit-claims, without recourse, the sale being made to New York parties.  Clark County might profitably follow the example of Chippewa.


A bill to authorize Fred Reber to build and maintain a dam across Cauley Creek has been indefinitely postponed in the Assembly.  Why should not Fred Reber have as much right to dam Cauley Creek as Tom, Dick and Harry have to dam of other streams in the county?                                                              


A few days like last Wednesday, Feb. 11th, will bring the lumberjack boys out of the woods by the thousands.


Loggers are still piling up logs on the landings and a fair winter’s work has already been accomplished.  With a few weeks more of good hauling, lumbermen will be so well fixed that there will be no living with them without making something out of them.


Charlie Bussell and Allie Lee have been kept more than busy scaling logs during the good hauling that fell to the lot of lumbermen during the past two weeks.  They have a number of camps in their circuit.


Four loads of logs, taken in succession as they arrived at the landing, scaled by C. E. Bussell at Dave Mason’s camp on Wedge’s Creek, last Monday, footed up 12,990 feet.  In one day, the camp had seventeen loads, averaging 2,510 per load.  How is that for a seven-mile road and a bad winter?                                       


Inclined icy sidewalks, are dangerous, but can be made comparatively safe on a thawing day, but the judicious use of a shovel or such like instrument.                                                            


A bill has been introduced in the legislature for the organization of two more towns in this county, to be known as the towns of Withee and Scott.  The new towns proposed are in the northern part of the county, but just what territory they embrace or what town organizations they effect, we have not been able to learn.


Second Street, from the O’Neill House to the brewery, presents a striking display, consisting of woodpiles, wagons, sleighs and the odds and ends of everything.  (What was then Second Street is now East Sixth Street. DZ)


Area blacksmiths have had another harvest during the past two weeks.  They make sure sharp-shod horses will be able to keep their footing.                                                                                    


A new cook at the O’Neill House is one of the greatest improvements that popular house has undergone under its present management and its tables are now of the best.                                   


Work on the flood dam at the Dells will soon be completed.  The piers are nearly filled.


Carl Neverman wouldn’t trade that new boy of his for a farm and he only weighed eleven pounds.


Neillsville has a saloon-keeper who is entirely too moral for his business, having recently had several men arrested for being drunk and disorderly.                                                               


A little ‘booze’ at the Rossman House saloon, on Thursday evening of last week, in which several whisky-befuddled customers became a little too boisterous for the proprietor’s sense of propriety, which resulted in a row when one of the party was pretty roughly handled.  There was a transfer of the whole caboodle of them to the lock-up, by Frank Cawley, where they passed the night and for which accommodation they were compelled to settle with Justice Kountz the following day.   The general understanding of the matter is that the affair reflects no credit on either the buyer or seller of the cause of this disturbance, and it is to be hoped that the parties who had to foot the bills will profit by the lesson taught.


At about eight o’clock, last Friday evening, someone passing the jail heard the cry of fire from within, when it was found that the building was on fire on the roof where the stovepipe passed through.  The prisoner confined therein, appeared to be terribly frightened, which was probably the case but it now has the appearance that the fire was of his own kindling, as he has since made his escape by the same means.  The experiment though successful in one instance is nevertheless a dangerous one and may yet in roasting some unfortunate offender whose desire for liberty is strong enough to induce its trial.


February 1955


The home for the old people, newly constructed by the county at Greenwood, was opened to guests Tuesday, February 1.  The number at first received was small, the purpose being to build gradually up to the capacity of 24.  This plan will give opportunity to iron out the wrinkles inevitable to a new building and a new enterprise.  It will also give opportunity for those in charge to accustom themselves to their new duties.


In charge are Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Geisler who hold a lease for the building for one year.  The arrangement is that they pay a nominal rent and receive an agreed rate per month for each guest.  The county has provided the building, completely furnished and equipped.  The Geislers supply the service and meet all the operating costs, including food and fuel.


Thus Clark County, for the first time, makes adequate and seemly provision, which closely approximates a good family hotel.  The guests will have pleasant light rooms, most of them 12’ x 16’.  Each room contains two single beds, provision for two occupants.  These rooms are arranged on both sides of a long corridor running 120 feet, the full length of the building.  At the north end of the corridor is an entry, with double doors and a similar entry on the south.  The main entrance is at the west, with a wide stairway leading up to the lobby.


On each side of the lobby, on the main floor, is an alcove where visitors may be received, each comfortably provided with modern seats.  These may be used by the guests as a place of assembly and sociability, but they are more likely together in the pleasant dining room or in the large recreational rooms in the basement.


The home makes provision for both men and women, one end of the main floor for men and the other for women.


For the care of this building and its guests, the committee on welfare and Mr. Trewartha interviewed and considered quite a number of applicants. The selection went to the Geislers because they have many qualifications which fit.  Mrs. Geisler worked for a time in the LeGault Hospital at Owen; was employed in the Ryal Hotel at Stanley for two and one-half years, doing chamber work and waiting tables.  She was a saleswoman for a year in a store at Sheboygan and also worked in a store at Thorp.  She is a good cook.


Mr. Geisler worked several years for Clark Electric Cooperative.  His experience in electricity was regarded by the committee as especially helpful in his new job, where he will be called upon to deal with many modern devices operated by electricity.  He will be mainly the custodian, janitor and yardman, but he can also cook in a pinch.


The Geislers have a grass roots background typical of Clark County.  Mr. Geisler is the son of Adolph Geisler, who lives on the old Geisler place near the Braun Settlement.  The farm has been in the Geisler family for two generations.  Ervin Geisler went to the rural school near the family home and then worked on the farm until his early twenties.  He worked at the Blue Moon Plant in Owen as a cheese maker’s helper; then five years for Clark Electric; then a little time for the city of Greenwood.


Mrs. Geisler is the daughter of Alex Soeller, a veteran cheese maker now residing in Thorp.  She was born at Maple Hill, north of Boyd, where her father made cheese.  The family moved to the Breezy Hill section, where Mr. Geisler owned and operated the Breezy Hill cheese factory.  She graduated from Thorp High School in 1940.


The Geislers own a pleasant home about 150 feet south of the Old Folks Home.  They have a son, Arden, 6.


Mr. and Mrs. Ed Petke on rural route north of Withee celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Sunday afternoon with an open house at the St. John’s Lutheran Church for relatives and friends.


Veterans Village, about to die, salutes you!


This adaption of a famous salutation introduces a survey of a portion of Neillsville, which has played a unique part in its history.  This village, consisting of 12 rental units, has helped many families over a difficult housing in Neillsville.


The doom of the village has now been sounded.  The council has adopted a policy of discontinuing the units one by one, as each may be vacated by present occupants.  Upon being vacated, each will be sold, but with the understanding that it must be removed to a location outside the city limits.  Thus, the way is prepared for the ultimate disappearance of the village.


As compared with the original plan and expectation, the village has gone way beyond it expectancy.  Then the little houses were brought in from Badger Village, near Baraboo, the accepted idea was that they would be used two or three years only, and that they would then be abandoned.  But they were opened to occupancy on or about March, 1946, and have had a life of nine years of usefulness.


When the policy of closing the Village out was adopted in the city council, members expressed the judgment that living quarters may now be secured upon normal commercial basis in Neillsville.  Doubt about this was suggested by Mayor Carl, but he did not insistently oppose the policy of abandonment.  The Mayor’s doubts are more than echoed by some of the present residents of the village.


The Art Schroeder’s for instance, have sought a house elsewhere, but have been unable to find anything, either for rent or for sale, which seemed to them not available at anything like it at a reasonable price.  They are planning to build in the spring.


The Robert Kunzes have done some looking, but they have been unable to find anything comparable in cost and accommodations.  Neither they nor others of the present tenants have occasion to worry about the present order of the council, but there has been some concern lest a final deadline be fixed after a time, beyond which even the present occupants night not linger.


The name Veterans Village is unofficial and was adopted because it was a fit.  The units came from a wartime village and the first and immediate purpose was to insure housing to veterans returning from World War II.  Throughout the nine years veterans have had a preference.  Only in case there was no veteran on the waiting list was a unit rented to a non-veteran.


Another name for the Village might have been Honeymoon Home, for it was inevitable, under the circumstances, that the Honeymooners, short of accommodations and usually short also of money, should start life in Veterans Village.  Ample proof of this is found in the troop of children who have kept things stirring in that part.  For The Press man, Mrs. Walter Beyer counted the children as she could recall them at one point in her residence there and she could count 22.  Also the Village had six expectant mothers at one time, with pink and blue showers at every turn.


The Village turned out to be a good place for children, with ample room for them apart from traffic hazards.  There was a large open space to the west in which they could run.  And, near the house on the west, was a good garden spot for every family.  When the present units are gone, however, the prospect is not quite so good.  The present units are set up on the east right up to the street.  If the area is subsequently made available for houses, each house must be set back at least 20 feet from the line and this will leave small yards in the rear.  On that account, the land may not be readily sold for permanent residence.


The units, though small, are favored because they are complete and modern. They have everything that a family needs. Even though it is in miniature; the eight large units are all alike, as that occupied by the Robert Kunzes.  Their living room and kitchen is 12 x 16 feet, and has two bedrooms with closets and a bathroom.  The four smaller units are like the larger except have one bedroom.


Financially, Veterans Village has been a good deal for the city.  The units were at first a loan and then a present from the federal government.  So they cost nothing.  The city’s cost was in transporting them from Badger Village and placing them on the site.  They were place upon wooden posts, and had no substantial foundation.  This lack of foundation is one of the weaknesses, for the cold air plays under the floors and tends to make the units cold when a hard wind blows.  Except for very windy days, the units are considered by the tenants to be reasonably comfortable.


A few years ago, the units began to look a little decrepit and the city had siding place upon them, using sheet asbestos.  That has made them somewhat sightlier and also more comfortable.


The city’s income has been from $1,600 to $1,800 per year, net, according to the city clerk.  The rent charged for the units is $18 per month for the smaller, one-bedroom size and $22 per month for the larger, two-bedroom units.


List of occupants during the nine years, nearly complete, were: Gerald Anderson, Eugene Bardell, Bruce Beilfuss, Walter Beyer, Ed Bowman, Clarence Bremer, C. Burchell, Douglas Butler, Gordon Campbell, Alva Clumpner, Lawrence Drescher, Kenneth Dux, Wendell Elmhorst, Ernest Embke, John Flynn, Harold Francis, Leo Gates, William Gault, O. Godwin, Darwin Graves, Marvin Hemp, William Hill, Ronald Holverson, Robert Horswill, Robert Knoop, Arthur Kunze, Robert Kunze, Arne Matheson, Mrs. M. Maxwell, Norman Moffatt, Leo Neville, Michael O’Leary, Rudy Opelt, Joe Poehnlein, Harold Potter, Harris Schoengarth, DeWayne Schweinler, Kenneth Short, Eugene Smith, Robert Spiegel, Delbert Struble, James Swenson, Erwin Thoma, Richard Tibbett, Neil Trogner, R. H. Van Gorden, Ted Viergutz, Oscar Walk, Robert Wilsmann and H. R. Zugich.


The Veterans Village units were located on the west side of Hill St., between West 2nd and 4th Street, plus a few units on the north side of W. 4th between Ayers St. and Sunset Place.  These portable buildings were designed similar to the present mobile homes, which served as emergency housing for returning World War II veterans, their wives and families.  These units were brought to Neillsville in 1946, being utilized until 1955 when they were sold and removed.





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