Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

August 24, 2016 Page 9

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

August 1936


Fifty years ago, Saturday, August 8, Hewettville burned and the cutover area west of Neillsville was a mass of flames.


Smoke darkened the skies and cinders from the holocaust dropped in Neillsville. 


Marshfield burned that summer and even in Thorp, which was surrounded by wetlands, the sawmill closed down several times, to let their crews fight fires along the railroad track east of the village.


Fire, which broke out about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Fullerton Lumber Company’s barn and warehouse on the west side, spread almost instantly through the entire structure and within half an hour destroyed the structure and contents.


Firemen were handicapped by a shortage of water, due to the small water main, which feeds that section of the city, but could keep the blaze from spreading the O and N Lumber Yard, which appeared to be threatened for a time as a brisk northwest wind hurled hot embers over a wide area.


The fire was one of the hottest here in years, being fed by a carload of tarred roofing material, a large quantity of loose hay and a pile of coal.  A gigantic whirl of black smoke rolled southward over the city obscuring residences in its path.  Many empty metal linseed oil barrels in the upper part of the barn exploded as the terrific heat vaporized the small amount of oil that remained in each.


The fire was discovered by August Janke, who is employed at the O. E. Counsell feed business across the street.


Everett and Alfred Kleckner ran to the building when they heard the siren and succeeded in getting Herman Yankee’s horse out the east end of the barn just as the blaze swept into that part of the building.


The building was built many years ago, by Guy Youmans and O. E. Counsell who were dealing in blooded cattle at that time.  Later it was sold to the Midland Lumber Company and was acquired by the Fullerton Lumber Company when it had purchased the Midland interests in recent years.                                       


Two camp sites for tourists will be established along Highway 10 in Section 2, Mentor, and Section 5, Hewett, under the direction of the Clark County Forestry Department, per Allen Covell, forester.  These grounds will be graded, cleaned up, fireplaces put up and roads built.  The object is to discourage camping at unauthorized site so that fire wardens can exercise greater control over fire hazards.                                                                             


Tuesday afternoon, Archie Van Gorden of Neillsville, Floyd Potts of Christie, and Dr. Wm. Olson of Greenwood took the train from here for Canada where they plan to spend about 50 days hunting and fishing in the Canadian Rockies.


This is Mr. Van Gorden’s third trip into this wilderness and he has definite knowledge of where the game country is.


As on previous trips, he plans to take many pictures and make films of the scenery and wildlife in that region.


Alvin Bugar, a young lad living near Loyal, is meeting with good fortune early in life.


With money, he earned picking berries, Alvin purchased a 19-year-old mare and had her bred to the Percheron stallion owned by Gene Enhelder.  Five weeks ago, the mare gave birth to a fine pair of coal black twin colts.  These colts have been brought to the Clark County Fair where they are attracting much attention.


(A mare giving birth to twin colts is rare, so that was an attraction to the community. DZ)


Marriage Licenses:


Bert Dresden, Neillsville, Kate Holland, St. Paul; Leland Hansen, Levis, Dorothy Rennek, York; George Hammond, Granton, Adeline Gall, Loyal; Hosea Youmans, Colby, Lena Anderegg, Loyal; Frank Cieslik, Jr., Longwood, Helen Kovalosk, Owen; William R. Spencer, Nora Sakett, Seif; Mark Vornholt, Grant, Grace M. Baumel, Hewett; Wilbur Schlinsog, Natalie Gerber, Grant;                                 


The public of Clark County will be given an opportunity to inspect the vast amount of work being done in the county owned forests on Sept. 4 when Allen Covell, forester, will personally conduct the group through the area, starting from the court house at 9 a.m. An immensely interesting program has been arranged, including dinner, for which a small charge will be made, at the Globe CCC camp.


The Clark County forests total about 120,000 acres and constitute an almost continuous block in the town of Sherwood, Washburn, Levis, Dewhurst, Hewett, Mentor, Seif, North Foster, South Foster, and Mead.  These lands are now benefited from three improvement programs, embracing the 10 cents per acre paid by the state for forest development, the CCC work and the WPA conservation project.


The first stop will be 17 miles from Neillsville, north of old Carter’s Lake to inspect the Norway Pine growth, stop No. 2 is 29 miles from Neillsville to see red oak and pine growth.  Stop No. 3, is to the Globe CCC camp to inspect Norway and jack pine plantings.  Stop No. 4 will be to inspect typical hardwood ridge, Stop No. 5, Rock Dam to inspect site of proposed dam to create a splendid lake for recreational purposes.


(The Clark County Forestry had taken on a great project, with the help and encouragement of the State Reforestation program, that required a great deal of planning and labor in accomplishing their goal. DZ)



During the Depression years, when employment was scarce, the Federal Government developed the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC), which created jobs with various work projects, such as planting trees, building roads, bridges, and dams, developing federal, state, and county parks, campgrounds, irrigation ditches and firefighting, plus working on public building projects.  The young men learned good work ethics and discipline, and some, a life-long trade, through the projects.  Clark County had two CCC camps, one of which was in the town of Foster, 4½ miles west of Rock Dam.  The above photo was taken of Camp Arbutus, located in the Town of Dewhurst, along Arnold Creek, across the road from the junction of Riviera Road and CTH J.  Evidence of what CCC projects did is yet visible throughout our county and state.



The roof on the city hall and fire station is finished so that the interior work can now be carried on regardless of weather.


The John Widi Company of Green Bay, which has the contract for the floor now has workmen busy in laying it, a composition known as terrazzo, being the finishing coat.  It is made of marble chips mixed with pure cement.  This will be ground down and polished making a beautiful and substantial floor.


(The city hall flooring, installed 80 years ago, has an ever-glossy appearance, as if recently placed. DZ)


St. John’s Lutheran Church will celebrate its golden jubilee Sunday, September 6, an impressive program, and dinner having been arranged, under the direction of William Baumann, pastor.


St. John’s congregation was organized, by Prof. August Graebner of the Theological seminary at Milwaukee, Sept. 6, 1886.  From a flock of six families the congregation has grown to more than 500 communicants.


August 1956


The Vern G. Howards, Town of Grant, are planning a barn raising for Monday, August 6, or thereabouts.  Preparations are now being made, and the raising will take place Monday and Tuesday, August 6 and 7, if progress and weather are satisfactory.


The new barn will be 36x100.  Its construction speaks for the choice of a farm career on the part of William, the youngest boy.  In going into farming, he continues a tradition and will keep in the family the old home farm, which is now beginning its second century as a Howard possession.                                                       


A neighborhood drama made up of squirrels and life and death, cost little Alice Braatz, granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Braatz of Neillsville, a broken bone last week.


The drama opened when a grey squirrel crossed the road and was struck and killed by an automobile.  That was late one afternoon, near the Braatz home on Oak Street.  The squirrel was a pet that had plied between its nest in a tree on the Braatz property and a big butternut tree across the street.


The squirrel was buried in solemn service by Tim, Cheryl, and Jane Harvey, in their back yard alongside their pet terrier, Nipper and an assortment of other birds and animals, also, victims of automobiles.


But, Alice, knowing that the squirrel had left behind four little ones in her nest, became anxious about their feeding.  She started up a ladder toward the nest; but on the very first rung her wet-soled tennis shoe slipped and she fell to the ground, her collarbone was cracked.                                                                               


Farms, which have had ownership in the same family for the past century, are beginning to appear in Clark County, per Stanley W. Ihlenfeldt, Clark County Agricultural Agent.


The Vern Howard and Rollie Dietrich farms in the Town of Grant and the Albert Hasz, Carl and Amos Yankee, Arthur Yankee, and Arleigh Kleinschmidt farms of the Town of Lynn all are marking their century ownership.  Each received land patents in 1858, from Pres. James Buchanan after application was made in 1956, the year all settled in Clark County.


Rollie Dietrich’s grandfather Christian, made entry on April 17, 1856.  He came from Wurtemburg, Germany, at the age of 23 and was the only member of his family to settle in this country.  His father, who ran an old-time grist mill in Germany, taught him the miller’s trade.  He worked in the lumber camps of Clark County and finally settled in section 22, of the Town of Grant.


Robert Howard, grandfather of Vern Howard, moved up from Chicago with two brothers-in-law, John Pope, and Henry Counsell, and settled in section 15 of the Town of Grant, making application for land on January 17, 1856.  The three men had five dollars between them, per Mr. Howard, present owner, and built three cabins.  Mr. Howard, was a cow buyer for years, butchered and sold the fresh meat to the lumber camps.


Frederick Yankee, Charles Sternitzky and George Kleinschmidt came up from Town 10, near Milwaukee, each making application for land on May 5, 1856, in the Town of Lynn. The first two cabins were on the lands of Yankee and Sternitzky, with Kleinschmidt living the first summer with Yankee and building his cabin on his own land in 1857.


Frederick Yankee was a tailor by trade, per Arthur Yankee, present owner, and made suits and wove hemp.


“The first pants were made of hemp,” says Mr. Yankee, “and they could stand up by themselves when first made.”


They first obtained supplies from Sparta, and Mr. Yankee drove up the first flock of sheep into the county from there.  Later they traded homemade shingles at Black River Falls for supplies.  Mr. Yankee also homesteaded the land, which is now owned by Carl and Amos Yankee.


Charles Sternitzky, great grandfather of Herman Hasz of the village of Lynn, moved in and started logging immediately.  At one time, the George Hiles Land & Lumber Company occupied a portion of the farm and manufactured headers for barrels.  The headers were shipped out on The Milwaukee Road Railroad, which came up from the south through Lynn and terminated at Romadka.


George Kleinschmidt, grandfather of Arleigh K. Smith, lived the first year with Frederick Yankee, where Fred Kleinschmidt was born, the first white child born in the Town of Lynn.  In 1857, a cabin was built, and the family moved in.  During the early years, Mr. Kleinschmidt produced hay and garden vegetables, which he sold to the lumber camps in the nearby vicinity.


All the families arrived in Clark County by ox team, followed along the river road, then hacked through the brush the last five to 10 miles in clearing a road to their new homes.                                        


Dean of county fair “Sandwich Man” is Clark County’s Ben Grambsch.


To some of the middle-aged and older folks of Loyal, he may be referred to as the “Candy Man,” but most folks who elbow through the midway of the Clark County Fair, year after year will recognize him best standing behind his hamburger and hot dog grill.


Mr. Grambsch has been at fairs for 43 years, and for 41 of those he has been on the midway at the Clark County event.  That would put his start back in 1913.  He was younger then and full of enthusiasm for the life and excitement of the midway.  The enthusiasm hasn’t died in the least; but the flesh has weakened some.


He said fairs have changed in the last 43 years.


His first year, in 1913, was not what one might describe as a whopping financial success.


“I left that fair with a $12 profit,” he smiles.  Then he explained, “There is a lot to running a stand so you can make some money.  It’s like every business, you need to know the tricks to the trade.”


By “tricks,” he meant corners to be cut, methods of operation that pay off, which the neophyte has no way of knowing without experience in the field.


Like the fairs, candy business has changed, too, Grambsch lamented.


(Grambsch also had a candy making business, located in Loyal.  His candy shop was a busy place before Christmas. DZ)




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