Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

August 12, 2015, Page 9

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

July 1895


William Wildish and Laura Coats were married Monday evening, July 29, at the Methodist parsonage by Rev. G. N. Foster.


My property on the corner of Sixth and Court streets is for sale.  It is for sale at a price that makes it a bargain.  A new iron roof has been put on and the improvements recently made are first-class and extensive.  C. F. Schulz


On Tuesday, Mr. Moh and wife of the coal kiln neighborhood were unmercifully stoned by a family of neighbors, while driving along the road in a buggy, and rocks were thrown at them.  One large rock struck Mrs. Moh in the head, knocking her hat to the ground.  She alighted to recover the headgear and was struck a terrific blow near her temple and the skull nearly crushed.  Her husband got a hard blow on the head also, and when they got away, there were a bad looking couple. They drove to town to get their heads patched up and yesterday intended to have their assailants arrested.  The bad blood grew out of a new road that had been opened, closing an old logging road that had been used by the rocky neighbors for so long, that it was Moh who they blamed.                                        


If you see C. I. Fall, who lives on Pleasant Ridge, he has a big strut about him, and you may guess the reason.  It is because he has the biggest field of oats in the country.                                          


The common council of Greenwood has determined to re-plat the city.  They have been experiencing great inconvenience on account of undetermined and conflicting lines so have finally decided upon this wise course.  A railroad surveyor has been engaged to do the work.  Wm. B. Agnew of the W. C. Co. went over with compass and chain Monday, probably for the above purpose.                                                                                     


The Dewhurst-Hemphill-Dickinson camping combination at Ross Eddy have dozens of callers daily and at night they are illuminating the country by setting Ring’s pine stumps afire, helping clear the land.  Bathing and football are side occupations, with fishing, chin-wagging, resting and feeding as the regular order of business.


Dr. W. J. Brewster and family and Frank Glass and family are camping on the Black River at the pine grove a short distance west of Ross Eddy.  They have an icy spring handy and as romantic a spot as there is in the neighborhood.


The presentation of a silk flag to Co A, Saturday evening by citizens was a pleasant affair, which appealed strongly to the citizens to the patriotic sentiment, of those present.  Mr. O’Neill’s presentation speech was a gem in it way, full of good suggestions to the boys and of patriotism.  Geo L. Jacques responded on behalf of the company, in appropriate terms and drill was promptly resumed for the evening.  On Sunday, the new banner went to Camp Douglas with the boys, who were proud and grateful fellows, and are putting in a great week at camp. 


Mr. Hage of Lynn died Sunday, while sitting in a chair, at his home there.  He moved George Huntzicker’s hotel to the south side of the creek some years ago, and raised the O’Neill House.  Relatives from Milwaukee attended the funeral and the remains were taken to Milwaukee.                                                   


Gus Klopf went down to Jackson County where he rested and meditated on Sunday, then on Monday caught 55 trout.


Geo. L. Lloyd will build his new residence in this city this season and work will begin at once.  It will be a substantial, valuable house, roomy and convenient.  George has sold his Georgia pinelands.


Much of a country neighborhood is caused by “cackling and general chin-wagging” of neighbors.  There are some people who are never content to mind their own business and let other people’s troubles alone but must go about with their unbridled tongues to stir the pudding thicker and put patches on the entire area,


The C. C. Sniteman building is so far progressed that the sleepers for the second story floor are in place, the roof of the old building is being pierced for that purpose.  The premises are going through a metamorphosis not unlike that of the caterpillar to the butterfly.                                                                     


The art of welding copper to iron or steel, which has been lost since 500 B.C., has been rediscovered at Pittsburgh, Pa. by three iron workers named George Cromley, Cornelius Shay and John Ryan, and Carnegie’s princely offer for  the secret is being considered.                                                                                            


The barns of the suburbs are being extensively made use of by some of our enterprising merchants for sign purposes.


The process in every city built on hilly ground is to cut down the hills and fill the low places.  This process is going on here.                                                                                                       


The city water reservoir became to stale last week that it had to be emptied.  O’Neill Creek is so dry that at places upstream it has stopped flowing.  It looks as if there was need of prompt action to get a water supply, and the new main ordered laid up North Grand Avenue will strike the Black River up in Dan Kennedy’s neighborhood, near where the witch-hazel man discovered wetness.


July 1940


Dan Cupid made his annual June “raid” on Clark County and retreated with a toll of more than 41 couples.


While 41 marriages were scheduled in the county during the last month, courthouse records showed, several couples were known to have taken the plunge in nearby states, where regulations are not as severe as in Wisconsin.


At the end of June, a total of 86 marriage license applications had been made at the office of County Clerk Calvin Mills.  Thus, June piled up a record comparing favorable with all five previous months of the year, during which only 45 licenses were issued.


Invasion of the Low Countries of Europe undoubtedly has some effect on the marriage situation here.  For, on the day after western front action got under way in Europe, marriage license applications literally streamed in at the courthouse.  As a result, the June total of marriages recorded here was nine above the number recorded in June last year and five more than in the corresponding month of 1938, before the law requiring a Wasserman blood test went into effect.


Indications are that marriage license business will continue at a good pace.  Already Mr. Mills has had word from two prospective fall bridegrooms.  Both inquired about rumors circulating at Thorp to the effect that the government has decreed that no marriage licenses will be issued after July 15.  Of course, Mr. Mills said the rumor is false and will go right on issuing licenses after that date.


The two prospective bridegrooms indicated that, should the rumor be true, they would advance the dates of their marriage; but they also indicated that they would rather take a little more time before plunging in.


(At that time, married men were deferred from the military draft with only single men being called to serve their country in army or navy training. DZ)                                                                      


Dr. Sarah Rosekrans of Neillsville has signed a contract to sing on the National Hymn hour of National Broadcasting Company, starting July 15.  The contract was offered her after recent auditions in Chicago.  The program will necessitate her presence in Chicago three days each week.                                                         


Citizens of the local school district have an appointment to meet one another at 8 o’clock next Monday evening at the auditorium of the high school.  The occasion is the annual school meeting, at which are settled the policies, which govern the local public education of our children.


In a democracy education is one of the most important public functions, and yet citizens usually pay relatively little attention to the annual school meeting.  If anything happens awe do not like, we take our patriotism out in finding fault about it.  This is not a constructive custom.  The way to get our school system to function as we want is to turn out at the school meeting and express our views at the appointed time.            


From 300 to 400 persons who were born in Clark County anywhere from one year to several years ago, have recently had their birth records added to those on file in the office of Register of Deeds Henry Rahn.


The addition of these previously unrecorded births has resulted from a birth record survey, which was stated about two months ago with the cooperation of the WPA.  As yet only a small portion of the county’s population has been approached, for at present the survey has been confined to the Greenwood, Warner, Eaton, Loyal, Sherman, Fremont, Lynn and Mentor.  Other townships, cities and villages will be included as rapidly as possible.


Add to the haying accidents the experience of Ruby Selves of Pleasant Ridge, who wasn’t injured, strange as it may seem.


Ruby, a twin of Ruth and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Selves, was setting the hayfork one day last week when, somehow, the rope twisted around her ankle.  Up she went to the beam, dangling head-downward, and clasping the trip rope tightly.


It might have been described as suspended suspense.


Then she pulled the trip, releasing the load and, incidentally, herself.   She fell down between the mow and the hay wagon, a distance, which Ruby described as “a few feet.”


Uninjured, she got to her feet and sailed into the work again.


(Once, as a teenager helping unload hay into the barn, I accidentally put a sling rope around a rack sideboard, and as result, that end of the hay rack started going up with the sling of hay, headed toward the mow.  Luckily, it was seen in time to stop the team of horses that were pulling the big hay rope.  DZ)   


Pillet pounders in and near Neillsville this week were having an opportunity to straighten out their hooks and slices, and brush up on their somewhat rust golf games generally.


Behind the whole thing is Tom Dobson, WPA-sponsored professional, who started giving class instruction at the Neillsville Country Club Tuesday afternoon.  Classes were to continue for a week, with women working over their games from 2 to 4 each afternoon, and men after 5 p.m.


Membership to the club is not required to enable one to receive the instruction.


Mrs. Gilbert Lawrence has taken over Betty’s root beer stand on Division Street.  The stand was operated last summer and until recently this year by Betty Hubing, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Hubing.


They called it the Unincorporated Village of Columbia; but not much longer will it be known.


Officials are about to write “finis” behind the name, thus bringing to a conclusion Clark County’s ghost village that never became more.


Amid fanfare and powerful promotion, the unincorporated village was brought into being August 8, 1893, in the wilds of the town of Hewett.  Bright things were envisioned for the community by the Columbia Improvement Company.


It was to be an industrial center, year, with business bustling on sites along the Omaha railroad tracks and Fall Creek.


It was to be a residential city with beautiful homes, set side-by-side along Milwaukee, Madison, Wisconsin and all the other streets. Quiet, shady ways were pictured for the many avenues laid out north and south.  In short it was to be a magnificent city.


Some 3,300 plots were laid out, and many of them were sold for $75, $100, $150 and upwards; they were not just “held,” they really were sold.  Pictures of Fall Creek, and Five Mile Creek, which join in the center of the platted section, showed a mighty stream, rather than a sluggish little creek.  Perhaps trick photography?


Apparently the Unincorporated Village of Columbia boomed with the vigor of a Florida realty development.  For, on October 23, 1893, the first addition to the village was placed on file in the register of deeds office by George Chittenden, as president of the Columbia Improvement Company and Charles Graves, as secretary.


The addition about doubled the size of the original plat.  And even today it looks beautiful on the silk paper on which it was drawn by O. G. Bleedorn, the surveyor.


But something happened.  Somehow the double-o was taken out of the boom.


It fell flat, and the Unincorporated Village of Columbia became just a platted record in the offices of the register of deeds and the county treasurer.


Among those shady streets roadways were built, but never felt the cut of a wagon tire.  Weeds forever grew on ground meant for beautiful homes.  The only industry the might sites felt was, perhaps, the tread of the fisherman’s boots.


When the stilts came out from under the boom, those who bought plots let them go delinquent, until today Clark County has come into ownership of from 80 to 90 percent of the “village.”   The few farmers living there have taken up the rest of the land, and today they are paying taxes of three cents annually on lots that were sold originally for $100 or more.


Today the County treasurer’s office is gathering data on the plat of the Unincorporated Village of Columbia, preparing for the final thrust of the dirk.  District Attorney Hugh F. Gwin is expected to have the necessary material in his hands this week.


Then will come the action to vacate the plat.  Practically, all that will be done is to relieve assessors of a lot of work.  For, when the plat is vacated, that land which comprises the ghost village will simply be described as “the NE1/4 of the NE1/4, etc.” rather than “Lot 1, block 2, etc.”  And it takes up a good many lots to make up a quarter-section of land.


“The Bee Hive” was the first general store in Columbia, owned by George Henderichx of Brazil, South America.  Columbia’s short existence as a village started in the early 1890s.  Its first business was a general store with post office.  Soon after, there was another general store, newspaper, blacksmith shop, and butter/cheese factory.  There was a boarding house, two-story building, operated as such until a nearby sawmill closed down, with the owner then donating the building to be used for church services.  A one-room schoolhouse was later replaced by a two-story, four-room building in 1900, so as to serve 85 students.  In January 1945 the state closed the school.  A five-mile railroad spur provided railroad service.




(I traveled through Columbia many years, on the way from my home by Bruce Mound to my parent’s home in Pine Valley.  Also my Fifth and Sixth grade school teacher, Irma Sollberger, lived in Columbia and she was the news writing person for Columbia for many years. DMK)



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