Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

June 24, 2015, 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 1880


“And the rains descended and the floods came.”  They continued to do so, and last Saturday there was more water in this county than had been known within the memory of the “oldest inhabitant.” The storm on Saturday evening, June 5, which is wrought so much destruction in this locality, particularly in this village, the evidence of which are yet to plainly visible, was followed at intervals throughout the week by storms of almost equal severity, and on last Saturday the Black River was at its highest point, threatening destruction of the remaining bridges, mills and dams on the upper river.  The water at this place was almost up to the bridge on the Humbird Road, and it was thought for several hours that it must go, with those that had gone before it, as it would have done had there been any logs running at the time.


Mr. C. C. Monroe, of the Town of Levis, reports damages to his mill and other property from the rains of the 5th, to the amount of $1,000 on his mill and dam, and $300 on dwelling house and other property.  The stream upon which his property is situated raised ten feet, completely flooding his mill and dwelling.


The recent flood on O’Neill Creek converted old sawmill there into an unsightly ruin, for the removal of which a general prayer is offered up.


The second temporary bridge across O’Neill Creek was completed last Wednesday and travel north was again resumed.


Gardens, not washed away by the recent flood, are now smothered with weeds.


J. H. Burnham, of Bloomington, Ill., was in town for business relating to the building of an iron bridge on O’Neill Creek.


The Black River Falls Independent estimates the damage done to the flood-dams on the Black River and its tributaries at $25,000.                                                                                                        


Joe and Lew Marsh are building a large hall at Maple Works Corners, and the young people there will now have a place to shake the fantastic toe at last.  Two very pleasant little dances have already been enjoyed in the building, although it is far from being completed.


(Maple Works was later named Granton. DZ)                                    


Salt Pork sold at 7’ per pound, Lard, ham and salt meats of all kinds have been added to J. L. Gates Provision store.


Members of the German Methodist society of the Town of Grant are building a small, neat church, about two miles east of Rexer’s Corners.  The minister in charge was in town last Wednesday procuring subscriptions from our citizens to aid in the commendable work.                                                                                 


Blueberries have made their appearance in the Humbird market.  The crop prospects are pronounced excellent.


John Breed plowed up a piece of winter wheat recently.  It promised well, but when it came to head out, there was nothing but chaff to be seen.                                                                                 


According to the census just taken, our village contains a population of slightly over one thousand.


In other localities, it is claimed that much sickness has been caused by the impure condition of wells, made so by the amount of filthy surface water they received during the recent heavy rains and it might be well to consider the effect produced by similar cause in this locality before the evil complained of, referred to above is experienced here.  Wells that were flooded with surface water should be carefully cleaned before the water is used, and negligence or disregard to consequences in that direction may result in sickness and death.    


Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Clark, of the Town of Hixon, recently lost all their children, four in number, by diphtheria.  Two of them died during the same day and were buried in the same coffin.


The work of fitting up the track at the fairgrounds, for the purpose of training the fast horses of this locality for use at the coming fair, will soon be commenced.                                             


Louis Wheeler indulged in the flowing bowl again last Sunday and as usual with him when under the influence, started on the warpath.  He was finally carried to that haven of rest in the rear of the Court House, from which he had been liberated but a few days, for a similar offence.  He was arraigned before Justice Kountz on Monday morning and given thirty days in the county jail, at hard labor.                                                                   


Myers Brothers have just received a supply of fireworks and Chinese lanterns.  They were bought for the trade during the July 4th celebration and will be sold cheap.                                         


The crosswalk torn out on Second Street, between the O’Neill House and the Christie building should be repaired.  It is the only one on that street in general use.


June 1950


The story “The Day They Gave Babies Away” will be made into a movie, The rights have been bought by Howard Hughes, who will make it into an RKO picture.


This announcement, coming from Hollywood, has a strong local interest, because the story was written by Dale Eunson, a son of Neillsville, who is now fiction editor of the Cosmopolitan Magazine.  Its hero is Robert Eunson, one-time sheriff of Clark County.


Through the courtesy of Dale Eunson, this story was the feature of the Christmas edition of The Clark County Press in 1948.  Mr. Eunson gave The Press the right to publish the copyrighted story.


It will be recalled by Press readers that the hero of the story was Robert Eunson.  When he was about 12 years of age his mother died.  His father had previously died.  The mother gave Robert the responsibility of finding homes for himself and his five brothers and sisters.  The story tells how in the Christmas season he went about this difficult task and how successful he was with it.


Louella Parsons, motion picture editor of the International News Service, says that Edmund Granger will be the producer of the movie version; that Valentine Davis will write and direct; that Bobby Driscoll will be borrowed from Walt Disney for the role of Robert Eunson.                                                                     


Now Open - The Meadow View Grocery Store, in conjunction with The Meadow View Tavern, 5 miles South of Neillsville on Highway 95- Emma Painz, Proprietor                       


Free Wedding Dance at Marty’s & Louie’s in Honor of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Kalina, Saturday, June 3.  Music by Marden’s Orchestra                                                                                             


Development of Wisconsin’s cranberry industry, which now ranks second in the nation, is told in a bulletin, which has been published by the crop reporting service of the Wisconsin and U. S. Department of Agriculture.  The bulletin was edited by C. W. Estes and W. W. Morris.


First mention of Wisconsin cranberries is found in LeSuer’s writings dated about 1700, the bulletin reports.  Early settlers gathered the wild fruit and shipments were made as early as 1828.


Cultivation of cranberries in Wisconsin was begun in 1853 near Berlin.  Later, the crop spread to other parts of the state.  In 1949, the state had 3,100 acres in production.  The 1949 crop totaled 210,000 barrels, with an estimated value of $2,594,000.


Many changes have taken place in the industry over the past century, including improved methods of production, harvesting and flooding the bogs for frost and insect protection.


Marketing has also changed, the bulk of the crop being handled by growers’ cooperatives.


It was a story that sounded now, nine years later, like it might have been born of an opium pipe; yet people there were stunned by reported horror of the Bataan Death March of the early Pacific war.


And it was told by Joe O’Connell, now a case worker of the Clark County welfare department, who survived the march, witnessed some of the atrocities that headlines screamed about a few years back and lived through the war in Japanese prison camps and mines.


O’Connell told his story very simply when he spoke before the Kiwanis Club Monday night.  He left much untold; but it was a forceful, living impression that he gave men of Kiwanis, and probably the more jolting because of the forthright, simple manner in which he told it. 


He did not try to draw conclusions from his experiences, O’Connell said, because he didn’t feel qualified to draw them.  But he did make the observation that “environment has a tremendous effect on the human personality.”


This conclusion he pointed up with an unsavory story of an American naval officer, in charge of a kitchen in a Japanese prison camp.  This office, whom he called “Little,” turned over to the Japanese guards an American soldier as “kitchen thief” because he had stolen from the kitchen stores and was caught.


Knight, name of the prisoner given by O’Connell, was bludgeoned by a pick handle in the hands of a guard.  A few days later the prisoners had work that Knight had died.


Naval Officer Little, making the announcement to the others, said: “Last night Knight died.  Anyone doing what he did, will get the same thing.”


Recalling this, O’Connell observed:  “Environment can make men into dogs…. And dogs into men, I suppose.”


Full of the spirit of adventure and short on the book side of schooling, O’Connell said he joined the Army when he was 16, leaving his schooling at Janesville.  He shipped out when he was 17 years old, enroute to the Philippines.  That was before the Pearl Harbor attack, but not much before, because even then ships were blacked out on their runs from Honolulu to Manila.


They reached there, 18 days before the Pearl Harbor attack and went to a camp near Clark field, which was one of the principal targets of the Japanese onslaught on the Philippines.


O’Connell did not dwell on the losing battle on Bataan; but related that the surrender order was issued April 9.  Later, a Japanese noncommissioned officer ordered them to march to Marvalous.  From there, they started on their now-famous Death march, during which they marched 110 kilometers north.  It took them five days and five nights to make the trip.


At Fernando they were packed into boxcars “like sardines in a can,” left there two hours and then were marched off again. 


Water facilities in the Philippine prison war camps were bad, and at one time the death rate reached 886 per day.


During their time in the prison camp, they were kept busy with burying their dead, cutting wood and gardening.  The garden was a 300-acre area, which they plowed with picks.


On August 18, 1945, the men were called together and told they wouldn’t have to work; that something was broken in the mine.


Later, they were informed that due to the internal destitute condition of the country, Japan had been forced to capitulate.


A schedule of tournaments, dinners and other activities at the Neillsville Country Club, embracing the next 10 days, was announced this week by officers of the club.


The activities will open Saturday at 3:30 p.m., with a two-ball foursome for men and women.  Saturday’s event will close with a 6:30 potluck supper.


Sunday morning, July 2, a handicap match for men will get underway at 9 a.m.


A flag match for men and women will be held from 8 a.m. until 12 noon on Tuesday, July 4; and a four-ball foursome for men and women, on a handicap basis, will be played beginning at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.  A dinner at the clubhouse starting at 7 p.m. will be followed with a bang at 8:30 p.m. when fireworks will be touched off.


Next week Saturday, July 8, the club is planning a basket social at 6:30 p.m. to replace its usual family dinner.  The social idea is being tried to determine whether members would like to continue it.



Throughout the existence of the Neillsville Country Club, there has always been some experienced, or pro-golfer, willing to conduct classes of instruction for beginners learning the sport.  The above late 1940s photo was taken of a group of ladies taking beginner’s lessons on the proper way to hold a club when addressing the golf ball.  Pictured (l-r) are Laniece Schiesel, Betty Marshall, Alice Wasserburger, Mettie Russell/Roberts, Grace Urban, Lovetta Anderson, and instructor, Lillian Selk.



Eighty-two persons have become members of the Congregational Church of Neillsville since April 6, according to announcement made at the service Sunday morning.  Thirty-six persons were received into the church last Sunday morning.


A reception for all of the 82 new members is being held in the church parlors Thursday evening, June 29.  This will also be a goodbye to the pastor, the Rev. Banks Blocher, just prior to his departure for two weeks of vacation.  For July 9 and 16, the Methodist people will meet with the Congregational people in the Congregational Church, with preaching by the Rev. Virgil Nulton, the Methodist pastor.                                                  


The high wind of Monday blew down and damaged the tent in which evangelistic series have been held by the Calvary Wesleyan congregation.  The tent was located west of the Masonic Temple.


The services had proceeded two weeks and it was expected that they would be continued longer, but the damage to the tent has necessitated discontinuance.                                                                        


Marriage Licenses:

Vernon A. Smith, Loyal, Joan Jean Smith, Loyal, to be married June 27 in Loyal


James Stevens, Loyal, Ella A. Olsen, Loyal, to be married at Loyal, July 1


Carl E. Sillampa, Owen, Beverly A. Poppe, Withee, to be married at Owen July 1


Frank Zawacki, Withee, Ann Jean Chmiel, Chicago, to be married at Thorp on July 3


Merle Bartsch, Granton, Jane Crothers, Granton, to be married in the Town of York


Patricia Turenne, Thorp, Mahlon Wallace, Elk River, Minn., to be married at Thorp on July 22


Dance for the Globe Baseball Team, Wednesday, June 21, at the Weston Town Hall; music by the Volovsek Trio.


Plans for an archery organization and an archery course near Neillsville were laid by from 15 to 20 bow enthusiasts who met here last week.  Jim Hauge was elected temporary chairman; Dan Brewer, secretary.  A committee was named to investigate proposed site for the archery course.  On the committee are: Dale Hake, Vernie Suckow, Harold Gaier, Raymond Tesmer and Heron Van Gorden.




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