Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

August 3, 2016, Page 14

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

August 1881


The hotels have been crowded with “commercial tourists” most of the time since the railroad was completed to this place.


The town bridge on O’Neill Creek, destroyed by the flood last year, will be replaced by a far better structure as soon as the timber to build it can be had.                                                                                  


C. Blakeslee is at work on the foundation of a building on Main Street, nearly opposite the residence of B. F. French, which is to be used as a flour and feed store, and a warehouse in connection with his general store.


A couple of brothers living just north of Staffordville, recently got into a dispute over the possession of the family buggy at a certain time.  Both wanted to use the buggy at that particular time, and one of them having succeeded in getting possession thereof, the other proceeded to demolish one of the wheels, in consequence of which no riding and a heavy bill for repairs was the result.                                                                                      


Hon. John Black, ex-Mayor of Milwaukee, made a long promised visit to Neillsville last Tuesday.  For the past twelve years, honest John Black cannot go into a town in the state without finding many real friends he has made by his inborn courtesy and hospitality, and Neillsville was no exception.  He was the guest of Hon. James O’Neill, who has known him since the time of that big rain.                                                                      


John Drane, the colored citizen of the Town of Hewett, is entitled to credit for removing obstructions from the highway.  After the storm two weeks ago, he went out early in the morning to take observations on the damage done, and finding eight trees blown across the road, resolutely tackled them with his little ax.  And re-opened the road before a team came traveling that way.                                                                                               


There has been considerable sickness among children in this locality during the past ten days.  Ripening plums will fetch illness.                                                                                                                


Taken up: came into the enclosure of the subscriber in the Town of Pine Valley, Clark County Wis., on Tuesday, August 16th, one pair of Red oxen, seven years old.  The owner is requested to pay damages and costs and take the same away.  Thomas Garvin, Neillsville, Wis., August 18, 1881.                               


August Schoengarth has opened a brickyard near his residence, south of Lowe’s.  he has already burned one kiln of brick.


A portion of the machinery in Canon Brother’s sawmill, in the Town of Washburn, has been in operation during the past two weeks.  It will be ready for business soon.                                      


Jas. A Hewett, B. F. French and M. C. Ring went out east last Wednesday on a hunting expedition.  Their supplies were sufficient to have fed the multitude that once assembled in the Wilderness without visible means of support, but contrary to the olden customs there was a total lack of the fluids once deemed so necessary in camp stores.


In response to the invitation extended by the landlady of the O’Neill House, Mrs. James O’Neill, Jr., quite several our citizens were made to enjoy last Saturday evening immensely.  It was the liveliest little dance the town has seen for years, and the general wish is that it may be repeated.                                     


The white grub worm, which did so much damage to meadows in Jackson and adjoining counties, is now destroying the potato crop in the same localities.                                                       


 What are you going to do towards making the Clark County Fair a success?  It is the duty of every citizen of the county to contribute to that end in some way.                                                                          


A corps of engineers from the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway have been engaged during the past week in locating the Neillsville branch of that road from its present terminus into this village.  They were instructed to find the best route in and out of the place, it being the intention of the company to build the road through to some point on the Wisconsin Central, probably Marshfield, at no distant day.  It is thought to be the intention of the company to build the road into this place before winter, because building a depot and freight house, which will become necessary when business opens in the fall.


The above 1902 photo was taken of a Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railroad engine with rail cars which routinely ran trips from Merrillan to Marshfield, making stops at Neillsville.


The Fox River Company, has advanced the price of its land in this county from $7 to $8 per acre.  The advance is due to the railroad facilities now afforded by the railroad to this place continuation of the road to Marshfield in the near future.


A false alarm, last Satruday night, got a small army of brave men out to kill burglars.  Doc., with his little shotgun, and Hank and Rufe with their revolvers in hand, looked earnestly and well for the burglars and would have blown them out of existence if they had been found, but an examination of the premises proved that they had not been burglarized, and Mack told the boys to limber to the rear, and let him look after matters alone for a little while.


Farmers! You can get a barrel of New Salt for $1.80 at Hewett’s Store.  


A large force of stone-masons commenced work on the foundation of the new schoolhouse in Greenwood on Monday morning.  They say that in ten days they will have their job finished.


August 1941


Neillsville and Clark County women were bearing up well this week under the greatest calamity that has hit the feminine world since the death or Rudolph Valentino.


The calamity, of course, was the order of priority on silk, causing a complete paralysis Saturday night of the production of silk stockings.  Silk was the basis for 80 percent of the nation’s hosiery.


The order caught local stores somewhat off guard, although most of them had some indication of what to expect a few days before the public announcement.  As a result, at least two local stores started “rationing” their present supplies.  At one place purchases were limited to one pair at a time per person; and another store limited them to two pairs per sale.


In face of the imminent shortage, the attitude of women, young and old, seemed to be, “If everyone else must get along without them, I guess I won’t mind.”


That is typical of Americans.


There were other reactions, too.  Among younger women and girls’ ankle socks were more in evidence as silks were saved for special occasions.  And in one store, clerks were permitted to wear half-socks, where they had been required to wear stockings pervious to the priority order.


For those local women who feared a return of unsightly black cotton styles, local retailers were unanimous in their opining that black would not return.  Black cotton was common in the World War I days; but there was very little color in anything, then, one manage pointed out.


The result will be to step up the production of rayon and cotton hosiery.  Toward this end the government has ordered that 10 percent of the rayon produced be put aside specifically for hosiery manufacture.  Research carried on over the last three years, too, has brought to the front new cotton stockings, which are smooth and more attractive than the ordinary cotton.


(Silk became difficult to obtain due to World War II, and silk that was available went into war production materials. DZ)


The heat wave of nearly three weeks was broken Tuesday when the temperature of the official weather station recorded moderate temperatures, far below those of preceding days when highs were in the high 80s and lower 90s.


Mrs. Minnie Filitz has had her home painted recently.  This puts a touch of newness on a building 75 years old, the only remaining hotel building of the old days on the road between Black River Falls and Neillsville.  Years ago, when travel was by horse and stage, the hotels were thicker than now.  This old building was once a busy place, sometimes filled to over-flowing.  Not only were the dining room and the bedrooms well patronized, but Mrs. Filitz has the old bar, which speaks for the old saloon connection.  The use of the building as a hotel was discontinued about 62 years ago, but the house, changed over to a residence, was not remodeled.  It slipped from hotel use to residential use without difficulty or complaint.


The old building was constructed originally by Winthrop Goss, who was the landlord for some 13 years.  Mrs. Filitz has lived there 43 years.


(The Filitz farmstead is located on the northern border of Levis Township, ½ mile west of State Hwy. 95, on Poertner Road, DZ)                                                                                                        


The establishment of buses operating out of the Greenwood School District was voted at a special meeting Monday night.  The bus routes are under consideration.  One would operate south and west of Willard, with a possible round trip of 30 miles.  A second would make a round trip of 15 miles, covering territory north and west of the city.  The third would cover the area north and west to Braun Settlement, with a round trip of about 25 miles. 


The committee, which investigated the use of buses was composed of Howard Corey, chairman, T. F. Scholler, Rug Buker, Frank Smaldone and Fred Huntzicker.                                                           


Gambles Store Special! Trade in your old bike on a 1941 Hiawatha Streamliner, $21.95 cash.  Pay as You Ride, $1.25 per week, Pay Monthly!  Insurance for 1 year, $.50 extra.  Electrically welded streamlined frame.  Baked on enamel finish in choice of colors.  Deep saddle, longhorn handle bars.


At Authorized Gambles Store Dealer in Neillsville.                                   


Four worthy citizens of this section of Wisconsin, three of them now living in Clark County, speak for the bravery and industry of Mrs. Horace Lawrence, who went to her reward 11 years ago.  Her local progeny is Roy Lawrence, Town of York; Floy Huntley, Town of York; Orin Lawrence, Town of Levis; Horace Lawrence, Spencer.


Mrs. Lawrence, left a widow of nine children, faced the world bravely, and made a go of it.  When her husband, Horace Lawrence, Sr. died about 52 years ago, the youngest child was two months old, and the oldest was not yet twelve.  She had the farm, a widow’s pension of $10 per month, and a pension for each child of $2 per month until the age of 16 was reached.


With some resources Mrs. Lawrence made a go of it.  She let the farm out on shares to various neighbors, kept two or three cows, a horse, some pigs and chickens.  She managed thus until the boys became big enough to take a hand on the farm.  Then the Lawrence’s went right at the farm work. The mother was the manager, and a hard worker.  She kept the family together until they were all grown up, and until one by one, they married and went to homes of their own.


But that wasn’t the end for Mrs. Lawrence.  Her oldest son’s wife died, leaving a girl of two and a little baby boy.  Mrs. Lawrence took the girl, raised her and put her through grade and high school, and gave her a musical education.  This girl is now Mrs. Ira Davis of Humbird.


Mrs. Lawrence’s care of her family was accomplished under difficulties, which would now seem impossible.  All her children were born without the help of doctor or nurse.  She had a hired girl for not more than two weeks at the time of confinement.  At the third birth, there were twins, Roy and Floy.  Then, when these two were 14 months old, she gave birth to twins again, Earl and Ethel.  She cared for the little babies in her bed with herself, and had the two older twins suspended in a hammock over the bed, where she could attend to them.  So, she was caring for four babies at a time.


When the children were little, Mrs. Lawrence did three washings a week, and some of them were big washings.  She never in her life knew what it was to work with a washing machine.  What she had was a tub and a washboard and a stout back.


People have recently been through what they called hard times.  If times were hard to Mrs. Lawrence, she didn’t know it and did not complain about it.  She took hard times in her stride, as a matter of course. Sugar? Yes; she had a little; kept it in the house as a treat, to be put on the table when there was company, but not otherwise.  Were the children choosy about their food?  They were not; they ate what they could get, and were delighted to get it.  Nothing was wasted.  If a little piece of bread was left over, it was put into the bread jar and accumulated there until supply was sufficient, and then the family got fried bread, and like it.


Mr. Lawrence’s husband was a Civil War Veteran.  She survived him for more than forty years.  The farm remained in her possession and her home until the end.  Then it was sold to settle the estate and to permit distribution to the heirs.  The farm, located in the Town of York, was sold to John Passow.


(It is difficult to imagine the endurance that Mrs. Lawrence had to have had in raising her family under the circumstances.  DZ)





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