Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

September 21, 2016, Page 10

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

September 1931


The almost universal expression of surprise and approval of visitors at the Clark County Fair held last week would indicate that it is the general opinion that the fair was not only as good as any former fair, but indeed much better; to have put on such an exhibition in the face of Depression and drought was way beyond the expectation of most of the visitors.  It was indeed a happy surprise.                                                                              


A deal of great significance to Neillsville was closed last week when the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and the Wisconsin Telephone Company purchased the old R. J. MacBride home from Ethel Holway of Madison as a site for a “repeater station” on the new Twin Cities-Chicago toll cable, which will be built through here soon.


The building, the cost of which may run more than $50,000 with an additional $100,000 for equipment, is part of a large expansion program of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s toll lines.  The repeater stations are located about 60 miles apart and served the purpose of simplifying the conversation, making the toll lines as clear as local lines.


Buildings have been built in Eau Claire and Baldwin and it is expected that work on the Neillsville unit will be started sometime this winter.                                                                                    


William Farning, Sr., recalled this week that it was 60 years ago, Sept. 28 that he went into the pinewoods to work for John Dwyer on the east branch of Cawley Creek with Tom Hutchins, as foreman.  The camps were in Section 17 and the logging operations were conducted on both 16 and 17 in the Town of York.  He recalls that it was a very dry season with a great many forest fires forcing them into creek bottoms for safety while the fire passed over their heads in the tall pine tops. This was in the fall of the great Chicago Fire.                                                              


The old story about popcorn popping from the heat while still in the field has been proved at last.  Fred Bullard brought in an ear of popcorn from his garden this week on which nearly a dozen kernels had popped from the heat of the sun during the last hot spell.                                                                                                          


Ernest Herman, who operates the Pleasant Ridge Cheese Factory, took first premium on Swiss Cheese at the State Fair last week.  It speaks well for Mr. Herman’s skill, when he takes the blue ribbon in competition with the Swiss Cheese region in Green County and other like centers in the state.                     


On Sept. 1, a new class of 40 new members were initiated into the local Moose Lodge, a drill team from Eau Claire coming over to take charge of the ceremony.  Another large class is being secured to join soon.


Mr. and Mrs. Olaf Botnen, Joseph Haas and Miss Olga Botnen spent Sunday and Monday at Bean Lake fishing.  Among their catch was a 36-inch Northern Pike weighing 13 pounds and a 3-pound Bass.


The annual chicken dinner at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the fame of which has spread throughout this district, drew an unusual large number Sunday, there being about 600 meals served during the afternoon.  The menu offered a wide choice of wonderfully prepared food.                                                                  


Mr. and Mrs. Harry Hauge have started work on a greenhouse at their new home at the corner of Fifth and Forest Streets.  The building will be 30’ x 60’ with 6 benches the full length of the building.  It will have steam heat, and be entirely modern in every respect, but built so that it can easily be enlarged if the business demands.  It is their aim to produce a varied assortment of flowers, funeral pieces, weddings, etc., also potted plants and bulbs and plants for spring gardens.


Mr. and Mrs. Ben Pica of Loyal signed a six-year lease on the building formerly occupied by May and Ruchaber’s Sanitary Market on Hewett Street and plan to open a complete lady’s ready-to-wear store Oct. 10.


Mr. Pica is a well-known merchant in Clark County, also operating stores now at Greenwood and Loyal.


Two robbers who looted the Big Store in Greenwood of $800 worth of merchandise early Wednesday morning were forced to abandon their car after a running pistol battle with Greenwood officials and take to the woods, where they are being sought by a posse under direction of Sheriff William Bradford of Neillsville.


The Burglars, who worked at carrying goods out the front door of the store to their Chevrolet coach, which had been parked in the Main Street were discovered about 4 a.m., by Paul Borham, who runs the Blodgett Cheese Store next door.  Borham telephoned Marshall Simon Schwartz, whom with his son Wesley armed themselves and approached to a point where they could see the thieves at work.  As soon as the burglars started north in their car, Simon Schwartz fired one shot at the machine, but missed.  Wesley then emptied six shots at the car, one of which punctured the left rear tire.  The bandits returned fire, but their shots went wild.  The Schwartz’s aroused Julius Hoehne and the three started in pursuit of the thieves’ crippled car.  Apparently finding themselves losing the race with one flat tire, the thieves ran their car into the ditch in front of the Ed Klinke farm two miles north of Greenwood on Hwy 73 then disappeared.


The car has an Illinois license and contained rifles, shotguns, shoes, stockings, women’s handbags, and a large quantity of other goods.                                                                                                              


A large tarantula made its way into Neillsville via a bunch of bananas and was discovered by Miss Olga Botnen when she unpacked them at the Sanitary Market.  Geo. May and Wm. Ruchaber came to the rescue after a hard struggle got the big bug corralled in a large bottle.  A customer asked Mr. May what he would have done if bitten by the tarantula and Mr. May replied, “Go to the undertaker’s and get measured up.”                                  


Louis Aumann, six-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Aumann, suffered a broken arm while playing at school.


The Eric Schoenherr house and restaurant located on Seventh Street has been bought by A. Domenski and his daughter, Anna Keiper.  The sale was made through Joe Krause.                                      


Sunday Special – Roast Chicken Dinner, served with Home-Made Noodles Chicken Soup, Fresh Home-Made Rolls, Mashed Potatoes, Fruit Salad & Dessert - 50’.  This is going to be a “real special” and we invite you to dine at the Sweet Shop.


September 1951


The Granton Public Schools will open Tuesday morning, September 4.  Buses will run at about the same time they did last school year and will follow nearly the same routes.  As all, except new students, have already registered, the regular program will be held the opening day.  Freshmen students, and new students will be registered Tuesday morning.


All buildings have been redecorated and some new equipment has been obtained.  The major addition for the school system is the new hot lunch program.  The new lunchroom located in the grade building.  A new milk-testing lab has been added to the agriculture building.  Two curriculum changes are listed for the school year, a full year of bookkeeping and an office practice class, for seniors.                                                                                    


Your holiday tours about the state will probably take you to several sites of historical significance.  You’ll want to know where they are as well as something about them.  To this end several states have approved of official markers for their historic sites, and Wisconsin has an active program designed to mark our state clearly and commemorate the momentous events that occurred thereon.                                                                                     


After ordinance #704 goes into effect, there will be no 13th or 16th streets in Neillsville.  The council has approved an ordinance to change the name of East 13th Street to East 12th and East 16th Street to East 15th, thus eliminating the confusion caused by the two short streets.


(Now we know, I wondered if 13th was eliminated due the “unlucky 13” superstition, and not until now, did I realize there is no 16th Street! DZ)                                                                                    


Thirty-three candidates answered the call of Coaches Harry Scott and Joe Kalina at Granton for fall baseball.  Three games have been scheduled; Unity, Dorchester, and Colby.  Graduation took the entire infield, but the batteries and outfield remain intact.  Last year’s reserves will play a big part in filling the gaps plus some newcomers.  Lettermen returning are Schmitz, Don Bartsch, Bob Albrecht, Walter Stauffacher, Harold Stauffacher, and squad members Tilman Erickson, Richard Erickson, and Norm Wessenberg.  Newcomers who show promise are Len Schumacher, Don Rose, Roland Helm, Dan Bolander, Bob Scott, and Fred Bartsch, R. Gower, B. Naedler, T. Todd, R. Garbisch and L. Schmidtke.


Dance to Laurence Duchow & His Red Ravens Band Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the Country Ballroom, on Marshfield’s North Side.                                                                                                                  


Rudolph H. Walk, 75, one of the last members of the Walk family of Clark County, died at his home in Lewiston, ID, September 6.


Mr. Walk was born in Jefferson County on October 6, 1875.  When he was 12, his father, Carl Walk, Sr., moved the family to Neillsville where they settled on a farm, three miles southeast of the city.  The farm was later sold to Frank Keller, father of the Keller brothers, and is now being farmed by Joe Urlaub.


Mr. Walk attended the Neillsville Public School and at age 16 began clerking.  He worked in the Sol F. Jaseph store, which was located near the present Nick Gangler Store on the North Side.  He later clerked for John Hein and for the B. E. Luethe Company.  The John Hein store was located where the transformers now are.  The B. E. Lueth Company occupied the corner of Seventh and Hewett Streets, where Harry’s Standard Service Station is now located, having been called the Dangers corner.


In 1896, Mr. Walk joined the firm of Either and Walk in Milwaukee.  In 1902, however, he returned to Neillsville and joined his brothers in the Walk Brothers general store.  The four Walk sons, Carl, Paul, Rudolph and Hans, the sole surviving brother, ran the store on the corner of Fifth and Hewett.  The building was sold in 1908 and the First National Bank building now occupies the site.                                                                       


Craig Asplin of Greenwood, and George Scher of Loyal, who recently purchased the former Walter Reber Cheese factory in the Town of Grant, will continue making Swiss Cheese there as the market warrants.  The factory, which is located at Kurth’s corners, has for years been known for its Swiss Cheese.


Walter Reber who formerly owned it, sold the factory in May of 1950 to Herman Hediger.  Mr. Reber is now farming at Kurth’s corners.  Herman Hediger owns a butter factory at Christie and will continue running his butter factory after Mr. Asplin and Mr. Scher take possession of the cheese factory.  Mr. Asplin and Mr. Scher take possession and plan to operate the cheese factory on a partnership basis.                                                              


Management at the Merchants Hotel will change hands October 1.


The Art Epdings, who have run the hotel for over six years, have sold their interest in the business to Mr. and Mrs. Robert W. Schiller of Tomah, formerly of Neillsville.


The Epdings with their three children plan to move to Wausau, where they will take over the management of the West Side hotel on October 10 or 15.


Robert Schiller is well-known in Neillsville.  He operated the Schiller Funeral Home and furniture store following his father’s death in 1936, up until his departure with the local unit of the National Guard in 1940.  After his discharge in 1945 he was County Veterans Service Officer.  In 1947 the Schillers moved to Tomah, where he managed the Central Wisconsin Gas Co.


When the 32nd division was reactivated in 1948, Mr. Schiller rejoined the group as full-time regimental administrator.  He was stationed at Monroe until the offices were removed to Tomah.  He has now resigned that job to take over the management of the Merchants Hotel.


Schillers anticipate no changes in the operation of the hotel, as of now.  They plan to live in the hotel apartment, which the Epding’s occupied.


The Merchants Hotel is one of the historic buildings in Neillsville.  Originally, it was a frame building on the north side of Neillsville.  Called the North Side Hotel, the building stood on the Dr. Leason property.  A hotel, called the Central House, stood on the present Merchants Hotel site.  After the Central House burned in 1884 or 1885, the North Side Hotel was moved across the O’Neill Creek.  A special scaffolding trestle was built south of the present Hewett Street bridge to transport the hotel building.  The frame building was later veneered with brick.


The above photo was taken of the Merchant’s Hotel in 1890, shortly after it has been moved across O’Neill Creek from its original site on the North Side.





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