Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

February 3, 2016, Page 11

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

February 1881


The Neillsville railroad is completed.  It was a great undertaking for a little village of the size of Neillsville, and the successful completion of it is a fact we record with pride; for though other towns have been induced to exert influence in its favor, this town has been the root and backbone of the enterprise, and as a reward will enjoy the lion’s share of the benefit.


(The local newspaper reported on May 1881, “railroad construction runs to a point this side of Wedges Creek,” with Sidney coming into being as the first staging point for the railroad at the Neillsville-end before it crossed the river.  The first freight went over the tracks on January 24, 1881.  The extended track over the river and through Neillsville to Marshfield was completed and opened for travel on April 1, 1891. The last railroad train to wend its way over the Omaha tracks was a diesel engine pulling, fittingly, a caboose on January 22, 1982, at exactly 4:15 p.m.  Railroad service for Neillsville lasted for almost 100 years. DZ)                                         


The first freight to come over the Neillsville railroad was reported Monday by Harrison Lowery of Levis.  It consisted of three paper sacks of dried apples.


Lawyer Higby, of Arcadia, took the train Sunday evening for Merrillan.  He was probably the first passenger over the new road in the regular course of travel.                                                                  


Shortville News:

Col. W. W. Crosby of La Crosse passed through Shortville last week on his way to Sherwood Forest, where he is having a large amount of pine cut.


McPherson’s young people are having a hard time with whooping cough.


Logging on the Cunningham is progressing favorably all along the line.  Some expect to finish inside of 2 weeks.


Hans Nelson and John Short have finished one logging job and have gone away again, this time for Page and Cramer.


We had a thaw this week, the first in three months.  Everyone is glad to see it, as the roads have been impassable in some places.                                                                                                               


The dead man reported as lying out on the road that leads to Humbird, arrived in this village, alive and afoot, just the same after his satchel, which a relief committee from Neillsville had captured by the roadside.


Measles is wintering at Loyal, a guest of that jolly entertainer Pete Gwin.  The disease is paying its devotions to Miss Gwin.  G. W. Allen had the disease and now is well.   Loyal, otherwise, has had the least bit of all sickness.


The first dray load of freight ever delivered in Neillsville was hauled from the end of the railroad track west of the river to J. L. Gates’ grocery Tuesday afternoon on Sheldon’s R.R. Freight.   


One of Wisconsin’s legislatures wants it to be made a misdemeanor to ask a man to take a drink.  This would encourage solitary drinking, we fear.                                                                   


John Rollins of Fremont Township died Wednesday evening, Feb. 16, 1881, after a few days of sickness, at the age of 67 years and 6 months.  He leaves a wife and eight children.  He was very active, apparently healthy, and of very cheerful disposition.  We long remember him as we saw him last, sturdily swinging his scythe in the meadow near his home, little then that Death with his scythe would so soon come to mow him down.


Instead of patronizing fruit tree agents, persons desiring to purchase apple trees for this spring setting, should call on Mr. Geo. A. Austin, who will show catalogues of the very best varieties of standard fruit trees adapted to this soil and climate, and furnish the trees at $10 per hundred, exactly what they cost.  He is charging mothering for the trouble.  This is a rare chance, and every farmer should improve it by starting an orchard this very season.


(Geo. Austin had a farm east of Neillsville, where he had an apple orchard.  A few of those apple trees still remain, after all these years.  Early settlers lived off the land, also growing vegetable gardens and apple trees.


During summer or fall, while traveling along some are back roads, a tell-tale sign of some former farm-yard site, can be a grass grown-over driveway with a couple of apple trees or more nearby still bearing fruit, having outlasted any other tell-tale signs of a former farmstead’s existence. DZ)


February 1931


Old-time fiddlers of the community will have a chance to show their skill and compete for cash and other prizes in a contest sponsored by the Adler Theater in conjunction with the Neillsville Press, to be held Feb. 20.


All old-time fiddlers are urged to come out and take part in this display of fiddling skill, which is sure to bring forth a lot of good talents.  Already in parts of Wisconsin old-time dance music is coming back and the square dance is regaining some of the popularity it once enjoyed where the older generations were doing the schottische, quadrille and reels.  The ranks of the real old-time fiddlers are thinning out and few of the present age have had the pleasure of seeing and hearing these musicians in action.  Some of the younger fiddlers have picked up these old “tunes” and they are eligible to enter the contest, the only requirement being that the contestant play by “ear”.


Alvin Ehlers of Greenwood is the owner of a new 3-Ton truck.  He now has three trucks in operation, two hauling milk and one on a milk route.                                                                                       


We will cut ice for any farmer having icehouses to fill the first of next week.  Call 292 for prices on the pond or delivered.  Tibbett Ice and Fuel Company                                                                     


Two graduates of Neillsville high School class of 1930, Theamore Vine and Herbert Kurth, won honors last week at Madison in what is known as the “Little International,” a stock show put on each year by the Agricultural College in which students from the Short Course exhibit all classes of stock, during Farmers’ classes of stock during Farmers’ Week.  Theamore Vine of the Town of Grant showed the champion shorthorn and also won the championship in all breeds of beef cattle.  He also won first in baby beefs.


Herbert Kurth won second place in Jersey calves.  Both boys, who are in their first year of the Short Course in Agriculture, are reported doing excellent work in college.                                        


About a dozen men employed by the city are making rapid progress on the new intercepting sewer being laid along O’Neill Creek.  The work began at the lower end and is going on fast, as there is little frost in the ground and the bottomlands along the creek are quite dry.


The money saved the city, as there is little or no snow-shoveling thus far this winter, which will go quite far in laying the sewer, and it helps to keep the men employed.                                       


A fine farm house of Fred Brick five miles northwest of Greenwood, together with all its contents, was totally destroyed last week Wednesday by an explosion of carbide gas.  The gas plant was in the basement and Mr. Brick was filling the tank, and it is reported that one of the valves stuck, allowing the gas to escape.  Mr. Brick, seeing the danger, ran upstairs and gave the alarm to his wife and son.  They all fled from the house and had gotten only about 100 feet away when the gas reached the furnace in the basement with a tremendous explosion that followed.


The house, which was a two-story frame structure, was all blown to pieces; the furniture and other household goods were torn and shattered.  Even the basement wall was badly broken up, and the windmill destroyed.  A farm house across the road had 15 windows shattered.  Almost by a miracle, none of the flying fragments struck any of the Brick family members.  There is no insurance covering damage of this kind, and the loss is a serious one for Mr. and Mrs. Brick.


The explosion was heard for miles around and attracted a large crowd to the scene.  All joined in cleaning up the debris and the neighbors and different organizations are assisting in partially outfitting the family, who are occupying some of the rooms in the house across the road.                                                       


The other night, Gus Deutsch, R. E. Schmedel and Everett Wildish came out of the Masonic Temple and started various ways home.  Schmedel invited Wildish to ride with him and Everett accepted.  When he got home Mrs. Wildish asked him where he had left his car.  Then he happened to remember that he had driven his own car down to the temple, so he had the pleasure of walking back and bringing his own car home. Gus Deutsch is the authority for this story and having known Mr. Deutsch a long time, we suppose we will have to believe him.           


Mr. and Mrs. H. Rottjer and daughter, Janet, of Granton drove over Friday evening to help Master Jerry Anderson celebrate his 5th birthday.                                                                                    


J. F. Zilk, the Standard Oil man, recently purchased from C. R. Sturdevant, the corner lot at the south end of Hewett Street on Highways 10, 95 and 73.  The house is now occupied by W. J. Landry and family.


May and Ruchaber plan to move into their new store in the Dewhurst building, Monday.  Most of the stock is now in place and the icebox for the meat department has been moved and is being set up.


T.B. Jennings, a commercial traveler for gents furnishing goods, was a business caller here Friday.  He reports that he has been coming to Neillsville at regular intervals for 50 years.  During the lumber days he state that Neillsville did a wonderful business in his particular line, the hundreds of men working in lumber camps being outfitted here before going into camp and again on coming out, created a volume of business here that has now largely disappeared.  Mr. Jennings, who is in his eighties, has been on the road, selling for 60 years.                


George D. Schultz, one of the oldest settlers in southern Clark County, died suddenly at his farm home near Dells Dam, Feb. 12, age 81 years, 5 months and 24 days.


Mr. Schultz was born in Buffalo, N. Y., Aug. 18, 1849, being the son of Mr. and Mrs. Philip Schultz.  In 1853, the family came to Wisconsin, staying one winter in Milwaukee and then moving to a farm near Mayville in Dodge County.  Here, George grew to manhood.  In 1870, at the age of 21, he came to Clark County, working in lumber camps on the Black River and Cunningham Creek winters and returning home in summer.  On July 4, 1878, he was married in the Town of Levis to Miss Mary Leopold, who survives him.


He worked in the woods and on the river for 17 years and became foreman for the Black River Improvement Do.  He was placed in charge of Dells Dam, which was then used as a flood dam for log driving, and held that position for 25 years.


Soon after his marriage, he bought some wild land close to Dells Dam, which he cleared up from time to time and erected buildings, making it into a comfortable farm home.  During the years he was employed at the dam, he became one of the best known men in Clark County; from La Crosse to the head waters of the Black River all the woodsmen knew him and held him in high regard.  He was an authority on questions of logging and log driving, as well as being efficient in handling men and getting work done.  He took an active interest in local affairs, serving on the Town board and school board for many years.  Mr. Schultz was one of the oldest members of the Neillsville Odd Fellow Lodge, having been a member about 40 years.


Besides his wife, he leaves five children: Florence, Mrs. Arne Bakken, Mrs. Hattie Blencoe and Hazel, Philip of Hatfield; and Guy on the home farm.  Bessie, Mrs. F. Abend, died in Dec. 1928, and Oscar was killed by a falling tree, Feb. 13, 1904. 


Burial took place in the family lot in Dells Dam Cemetery.                 


The matins song of the Condensery whistle, that for many years has awakened the echoes and other sleepers at 6 o’clock a.m., is no longer heard in the land.  It is understood that a protest was entered against the morning blast by residents in the locality, then too there is a saving of steam, so the whistle was discontinued.


Last week, C. D. Bollom purchased the meat market from W m. Betz and took possession Monday morning.  Mr. Bollom has been in the meat and grocery business for a good many years.  For five years, he was located in Owen and one year in Greenwood.                                                                                            


The Eaton Center State Graded School, which was closed for some time because of scarlet fever epidemic, is again in session.                                                                                                     


250 pounds of kindling wood for $1.00 at Midland Lumber & Coal Co.


February 1921


Cedarhurst is one of our county’s “landmarks” of the past.  It was located about one-half mile northeast of Chili, on the farmland of the A. W. Beil family.  The Omaha railroad has sidetracks where freight cars were left for another train to pick up, or for some area customer who had ordered supplies.  There was also a water tank-tower for railroad engines water supply.


A.W. Beil was a county board supervisor for a number of years.


Mrs. Laura Beil was the daugher of Wm. And Pauline Schlinsog, early settlers from Germany who live near Granton.


Beils had three children: Arvin, Esther and Hazel. Esther was later married to Gerold Dankemyer, and lived in Neillsville.  Hazel Beil Doehr lived in Clark County until recently moving to Monroe, Louisiana.



The above photo was taken at the Cedarhurst sidetrack of the Omaha railroad, which was located about one-half mile northeast of Chili.  The railroad track went through the A. W. Beil farmland with Cedarhurst being about a block from their farmhouse.  Shown in the 1920 photo are: Mrs. Laura Beil, son Arvin and daugher Esther.  (Photo courtesy of one of the daughters, Hazel Doehr)





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