Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

September 2, 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

 August 1930


William Ruchaber, former manager of the A & P Store here, this week joined Geo. May in the proprietorship of the Sanitary Market, taking over the interest of Alfred Spaete.  Mr. Spaete and his family expect to leave soon for his old home in Germany where he intends to visit until next March.  He expects to return to this locality in the spring and possibly purchase a farm.


The new partnership is expected to be a popular one, each member having been in business here a number of years and made many friendships.  Mr. Ruchaber for seven years was assistant manager of the Condensery and manager for two years. For the past two years, he was manager of the A & P Store.  Mr. May has been in the grocery and meat business for a number of years; at one time running a store where the Woodward store is now located.


The Neillsville Baseball team played one of its best games of the season Sunday when it lost a 1 to 0 game to Stratford at the Fairgrounds.  The playing was close throughout and all the boys were playing excellent ball.  The crowd received a thrill in the fifth inning when Laessig of Stratford was trying to stretch a three-bagger into a home run.  Lefty Zank nabbed the ball in center field and passed to Walter Zank Who speared the runner at home.


Neillsville made three hits to Stratford’s 10.  Ed and Walter Zank were the batters.  Ten strikeouts were counted on each side.


Next Sunday the Neillsville team plays at Colby.                                      


On Monday, 40 cans of brook trout were received at Neillsville and taken out to stock local streams, most of them being “planted” in Wedges Creek.  The J. B. Inderrieden Co. furnished the truck for transportation from the depot, and Albert Sollberger, John Mattson, Paul Klauer and Herb Brown helped to unload and distribute the cans.  The trout were large, from 4 to 6 inches long, and all arrived in strong condition.  A number of cans were taken off at Granton and Chili for distribution in the streams of those localities.                                        


Mr. and Mrs. Ole Aspen caught 19 trout last Sunday near Alma Center, one of which weighed 4 ½ pounds.


Remember this date - Thursday night, August 21, and attend the Chicken Pie Supper at Sherwood Town Hall.  This supper is put on by the Sherwood Community Club to build up their church construction fund.  Get a good supper and help a good cause.                                                                                                        


J. L. Neverman is constructing a miniature golf course, a form of the golf game, which is now becoming the rage all over the country.  Mr. Neverman has laid out the course on his home grounds on South Hewett Street and will soon have the course open to the public.  He has named it the Log Cabin Golf Course.  Announcement as to the date of opening will be made later.                                                                                                        


Sunday, several members of the Van Gorden family motored to Nashua, Iowa, to attend the centenary celebration of the birth of Dr. William Savage Pitts, at the “Little Brown Church in the Vale,” situated two miles northeast of Nashua.  Those of the family who attended were S. H. Van Gorden of Hixton; his sons Bret Van Gorden and wife of Taylor, Clyde Van Gorden and wife of Eau Claire, Harry Van Gorden and wife of Alma Center and Grandson Archie Van Gorden and wife of Neillsville.


The so-called “Little Brown Church in the Vale,” was built of native lumber sawed in the vicinity and dedicated in December 1864, but service had been held in a temporary building from 1855.  At that time a thriving village called Bradford sprang up and flourished until a railroad was built through two miles away, and Nashua was made the station.  All of Bradford moved away except the church, which continued to flourish.  In 1857, William Pitts, a Wisconsin boy, visited the locality and was charmed by the scenery about the church site.  On returning to Wisconsin he wrote the famous song.  Later he returned to Fredericksburg, near Bradford, teaching singing school in the two villages.  In 1864, he sang his famous song for the first time publicly in the church.  Sometime after, he studied medicine at Rush Medical College and returned to practice in Fredericksburg, where he remained in practice until 1906.  He then went to live with his son, Stanley William Pitts in Brooklyn, N. Y., where he died in 1918.  The song was published and became very popular, making the church itself world-famous.  Many pilgrims visit it every year and hundreds of couples touched with its story of romance have gone there to be married.  Across the road from the church, once stood the Bradford Academy.  S. H. Van Gorden, when a youth, attended this academy and was there fitted for his work as a schoolteacher.  Later, he came to Jackson County and went into business and he and his sons and his grandson have continued to expand this business.  He is still active and greatly enjoyed the trip Sunday, and the elaborate program, which was carried out in honor of the memory of Dr. Pitts.                                                                                              


The Chevrolet economy driving contest, being held by R. H. Welsh, is attracting much interest as more than 100 drivers have tried their skill at long distance driving on a pint of gasoline.  W. L. Murphy of Dells Dam holds the record so far with 4.2 miles or 32.2 miles to the gallon.  Bob Dux is second with 4.1 miles.  W. L. Murphy, Ollie Meihak and W. M. Winn are tied for third place with 4 miles.  The contest is to run until Saturday night.  If there are any ties at that time the contestants will drive off the ties.                                                                                  


Mr. and Mrs. Archie Garvin and daughter of Pittsburgh, Pa., were callers here last Wednesday.  Mr. Garvin, who was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Garvin, was born on the farm west of Neillsville and the Black River.  When Archie was a lad of about 16 the family moved west, some 27 years ago.                               


Picnic at Hatfield Sunday, Aug. 24.   There will be a Free Band Concert with Roller Skating to the Music by the Granton Band and Baseball Game.                                                                  


Chicken Wheat!  Just received, a carload of nice Chicken Wheat 100 lbs. $1.75.  Egg Price is up!  Start your pullets laying with Wildwood Egg Mash, a 20 percent protein feed, 100 lbs. $2.50.  S.H. Van Gorden & Son


Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Tibbett and little twin daughters of New York City are visiting at the home of Mr. Tibbett’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. W. F. Tibbett.                                                                           


Through some oversight, no annual meeting was held in the Church School in the Town of Foster in July, which somewhat complicates the business of the district.  School officers can be elected only at the annual meeting.  A special meeting will be called to vote money to carry on the school.  There are only a few pupils in the district.


(Church School, the only rural school in North Foster was located on the west side of County Road M, one and one-half miles north of the intersection of County Road I.  The 1930s plat book listed, “Entire Township of North Foster in Forestry & Recreation Dist. #1”.  DZ)


In 1927, Henry Aumann, Sr. owned a farm with small acreage, which was located about one-half mile north of the Black River Grand Avenue Bridge.  The family home was on the east side of Grand Avenue and is believed to remain there today, but with a porch having been added some time later.  The Edward Aumann farm was one mile north of Henry’s farm.  (Photo courtesy of Steve Roberts)


August 1950


The Rev. William Koehler will be installed next Sunday evening as pastor of Zion Reformed Church.  The sermon will be delivered by Mr. Koehler’s father; the Rev. Carl Koehler of Fond du Lac, the altar service will be in charge of the Rev. Ben Stucki.  The men’s chorus will sing.                                                          


The Neillsville Recreation bowling alleys were sold Tuesday to George Haack, Town of Weston farmer and widely known bowling enthusiast, Ted Schmidt, who established and has operated the bowling alleys here for the last 10 years.  The transfer of ownership has taken place.                                                      


Mr. and Mrs. Fred Stelter celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on Sunday, August 6, at their home on East Fifth Street.  Present for dinner and supper were seven children, 25 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren in addition to many friends of the couple, making a total of 15 present.


The house was decorated with garden flowers and white wedding bells.  A three-tiered wedding cake trimmed in white and gold was the table centerpiece.  In addition, there was a tiny plastic tree with each branch loaded with gifts of money.


Mr. and Mrs. Stelter were married in Russia on July 13, 1900.  Ten children were born to this union, seven of whom survive.                                                                                                             


John G. Gerlach, who was a colorful figure in baseball about 50 years ago, is spending the summer at the home of his sister, Mrs. Virgil McHone, near Granton.  The last time the two sisters and their brother were together was 23 years ago in Portland, Ore., at the time of the death of their mother.                         


Justice William Seltrecht performed his first wedding ceremony since taking office last Saturday night.


He united in marriage Donald Haas, 23-year-old press helper of Menomonie Falls, and Doris Schafer, 21-year-old office worker of Milwaukee.


Neither is known in Neillsville, the Justice said.  They explained that they came here because their finances were limited.  Had they been married in the Milwaukee area the cost would have eaten up their small amount of available cash.


Acting as witnesses at the 7:30 p.m. ceremony in the police headquarters of the city hall were Officer Herman J. Olson and Mrs. Seltrecht.                                                                                                 


Wedding dance for John Bertz and Jane Smith, Satruday, Aug. 12, with the Howard Sturtz Orchestra at Silver Dome Ballroom                                                                                             


If you ever visit the pleasant town of Neillsville, don’t miss meeting Dr. Frank Garman who, at a lively 86 years of age, is perhaps the oldest practicing optometrist in the state, says the Eau Claire Leader.


In his 86 years, Garman has been a lumberjack, hardware store owner, tin smith, mechanic, piano tuner, watch maker, farmer, plainsman and, of course, an optometrist.  He was one of the early optometrists, licensed in 1916 through the state’s first licensing law, and he has been an active member of the American Optometric Association, the Wisconsin Association of Optometrists and the Northwestern Wisconsin Study group, in which he has played an important role.


If the doctor’s original training, graduation in 1909 from the school at the College of Optics, South Bend, Ind., seems unusual now, it must be remembered that he was extremely well-prepared in a day when eye glasses were usually peddled from door to door.


He was born on August 20, 1863, in Glenburn, Maine.  When 18 months old, Dr.  Garman was introduced to the “wilds” of Wisconsin where his father operated a saw mill on the Black River.  During the next five years, he says, He grew up among “lumberjacks and river rats.”


After his father’s ankle was smashed between two rafts of lumber, the Garman family moved to a farm near Alma Center.  He began his formal education at this time, attended a small country school in the area.  An untreated eye defect, which he suffered then, impaired his vision and today he speaks in all sincerity when he cautions parents to have their children’s eyes tested before they begin school.


When 22 years old, he and a friend, Edward Buckly, set out on a trip west in a prairie schooner pulled by two oxen.  They lived on game during the six-week haul to South Dakota where they settled on a piece of land and decided to raise flax.  The land was ploughed, the flax sown, but, as Dr. Garman recalls it, “the hot winds harvested the crop.”


The youths sold the claim, for $5; ‘Which hasn’t been paid to date,’ and returned to Wisconsin.  Recently, Dr. Garman learned that the plot is now priced at $8,000.  After his return, he began to acquire many of the mechanical skills, which he has mastered during his lifetime.  He married Miss Nellie Blencoe when he was 39 years old.  “She ended all my troubles,”  he says now.


The couple lived in Alma Center for several years before moving to Neillsville where Dr. Garman devoted all of his time to his profession.  He has become a familiar figure here throughout the years and although he claims that he is about due to retire, he still continues his professional services to his many old friends and customers.


And if you were to ask him to what he attributes his years of active living, he’ll tell you, “Maybe it is because I never smoked a cigarette or have taken a drink of liquor; Maybe it is just because I’ve always had a sense of humor.  Anyway, no matter what has caused it, I think it was time well spent.”                           


“Dutch” Manderfield, Country Club greens-keeper has purchased Steine’s tavern. Mr. Steinhilber has purchased the Tom Kelley house on State Street, now occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Russell Larson.


The Little Club proudly presents “The Guy Woodford Trio”; playing nightly the Music You Like - A Dreamy Waltz or a Red Hot Polka, Good Old Ragtime and All the Latest Songs.  Be sure and hear them at “The Little Club” Spencer, Wis.  “It’s Fun in the Country.”                                                                              


Most parents find that taking care of just one baby is a full-time job.  Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Thiele aren’t happy, however, unless they always have four of them, they helped to rear 116 future citizens, says the Milwaukee Journal.

The state department of public welfare isn’t sure that the Thieles have set a record but terms their accomplishment “very unusual.”

Five of the children were the Thieles’ own, one was adopted and the remaining 110 were babies they have reared for the state and the Lutheran Children’s Friends Society.

Taking care of homeless children in Mrs. Thiele’s way of making up for a son she was forced to give up for adoption 20 years ago.  After the death of her first husband, she was unable to care for both of her small children.

Statistics indicate that boys have top billing in the home.  She has taken 81 of them and 29 girls.




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