Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

December 6, 2017, Page 12

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

 December 1867


The grand ball and oyster supper at the O’Neill House last night was a magnificent affair.  The attendance was large but not crowded, and the music discoursed by Hall & Halstead’s band was excellent.  The supper was “dished up” in an elegant and tasteful manner, to the entire satisfaction of all who partook thereof.  At three in the morning the happy throng quietly dispersed, all declaring that this was the grandest ball of the season.


(Oysters were considered a delicacy at that time, to be eaten often during the winter season.  When I was a child, it was a tradition for our family to partake in oyster stew on Christmas Eve.  Occasionally during the winter months and the then “hard times” era, neighboring families got together to socialize and have an oyster stew supper.  Each family put a quarter in the kitty, a collection to buy the oysters; some brought quarts of milk, others butter, or small round, oyster soup crackers, all ingredients needed for the supper.


Those who occasionally crave eating oysters have mostly vanished, but there may be a few elders who enjoy oyster stew on Christmas Eve, as small quantities of oysters may be found in the meat display case at grocery stores during the Holiday Season.  However, now it would take many quarters in a collection to be able to purchase a quart of oysters. DZ).                                             


One hundred and sixty acres of good pine land lying in the northern part of this county was sold the other day by Mr. Eugene Parmeter for $1,280.  Prices for pine land, range from $5 to $8 per acre.


(Land acreage covered with pine trees was referred to as “pine land.”)


A scarcity of men to work in the woods during the winter season has been the universal cry of our lumbermen for the past few years, but this fall it has reversed, and men are becoming quite plentiful.  Every day, squads are arriving, on stage and a-foot, filling our hotels every night.  They all disappear into the woods as fast as they come, and for a stranger to imagine where they all go is almost impossible.


The dance at the Mormon Ripple House, a new tavern erected last fall half way between here and Black River Falls, will take place Tuesday, Dec. 24.  Many are going from here and it is expected that a party from the Falls will also be present.                                                                            


The new Town of Mentor, situated in the western part of the county, is rapidly adding to its real worth with many substantial improvements.  To one part of the Town we wish to refer particularly.  What was eight months ago a complete wilderness, without the least sign of habitation, in the midst of a brisk little settlement with several nice dwellings, a good-sized hotel and a steam saw mill that is now running day and night, turning out 15,000 feet of lumber every twenty-four hours, except Sundays.  Mr. G. W. King, of this village, is proprietor of the mill, hotel and some other buildings there, and it is mainly owing to his energy and perseverance that such great and important changes in that town have been made in so short of a time.


The hunting party of Whipple’s has returned to Neillsville and they are now loafing about town, with no little suspicion resting upon them, as to their intentions.  We are enabled to give their names, which are as follows: Condit, Nichols, Dickinson, Irwin, Bell and Whipple.  They brought back from the “deer range” the largest buck that has ever been shot in this section of the state, weighing 338 pounds.  He was caused to surrender his deer-ship to the eloquence and power of a Henry rifle, wielded by, the master hand an unerring aim of our former townsman, S. N. Dickinson.                                                 


A drove of nice looking horses entered our village the other day, in charge of some horse traders who were offering them for sale.  They have reached the right market, as such animals are in great demand here.


By referring to another news article, it will seem that the O’Neill House will be closed to the traveling public on the last day of the present month.  Mr. O’Neill, the proprietor, and our Member of Assembly-elect, will spend the winter in Madison, and we are sure the interests of this district will be faithfully attended to while our worthy and capable representative has a voice in the Legislature of Wisconsin.  We are sorry to learn that due to the consequence of his being away, the hotel will not be kept open, and we hope satisfactory arrangements can be made with some party that will keep it running.


(The O’Neill House did remain open for business when someone offered to lease the hotel. DZ.)


A view of the O’Neill House as it appeared in the late 1800s, on the northeast corner of West Sixth and Hewett Streets.  Note the flag above the roof with the letters, “The O’Neil.”  The one -story brick addition at the rear of the hotel was the “sample house,” where traveling salesmen could show samples of merchandise to local store owners who then could place orders for retail in their stores.  A barn was also maintained at the rear of the hotel, as a convenience for travelers to be able to stable their horses.


December 1942


A letter, which John Hoesly, who is in the employ of an American rubber company in Sweden, wrote to his mother and sisters Sept. 7, received here Nov. 27.  The letter was two months and twenty days in transit.


Mr. Hoesly and his wife are receiving no mail from the United States, though home folks have been persistent in trying to get messages to them.


It is nearly four years since Mr. Hoesly and seven other employees of his company and their wives and families went to Sweden.  A year ago, last July, the wives and children were urged, because of war conditions, to return to the states.  Mrs. Hoesly was the only woman of the group who remained.  Since then members of the party have returned at intervals until Mr. Hoesly now is the only American left on the job.  He has full charge of the management of the plant


“I take on an average of two or three trips a year to Stockholm,” wrote Mr. Hosely.  “Though the summer has been rainy and cold, the crops are good, for which we are very grateful.  Everything we buy is rationed,” continued the writer.


Mrs. Hosely was instructing a night class in English in one of the schools there at the time the letter was written.


The home folks had not heard from Mr. and Mrs. Hoesly since last April.


Tanks of pleasure cars have had their last full loads for the duration.  The thing that people and the government talked about for so long, gasoline rationing, is here.


But it was not without its one great moment before mid-night clamped the lid on Monday.  That “moment” was 48 hours long.


For the last two days before rationing went into effect, station attendants pumped as much gasoline as they had the whole month previous.  The stations enjoyed brisk business such as they had not known since the era before tire rationing forced many a car from the road.


It was one grand finale, a finale, which was not prevented under the rationing regulations.  Cars were permitted full tanks.  Extras were not barred.  So, there were gasoline cans, from one to 100 gallons, that were filled in addition to the tanks of pleasure cars.


In one instance, a serviced station was called upon to fill a drum, which had been painted a fire-red and stowed away in the trunk of a car.                                                                            


Definite plans for sharing rides among local people have been made by the Monday Progress Club.  A registry will be opened at Kerns’ Drug Store, with a bulletin board posted in the window.  Upon this bulletin board will be written the names and destinations of local persons making necessitous automobile trips.  Such persons will provide room in their cars for others going in the same direction.


The anticipated arrangement is that the travel will be upon the sharing basis.  The person registering will furnish the car, but the guests upon the trip will share the expense.          


Starting Monday, Dec. 7, with the coming of gas rationing, your grocer is forced to curtail his delivery service.  Stating Monday, the undersigned grocers will deliver in the afternoon only: Farmers Store, J. L. Neverman and C. C. Wasserburger Co.                                                                    


Of all the happy Thanksgivings in these parts, none was happier than the members of the Dignin family of Humbird, the members of which welcomed Robert Dignin, who has been in the Navy the past two years.  Robert was home on furlough and had a great tale to tell.  His ship was lost near the Soloman Islands, and he, and another sailor floated on the broad Pacific for 16 days, before they were seen and rescued by another ship.  His relatives here had not heard from him since this hard experience.  He walked in on them unannounced, a veritable Thanksgiving surprise.                                                              


The petitions of 30 Clark County residents for citizenship will be heard in circuit court here Dec. 14 and 15 according to word received by Clerk of Court Ben Frantz from the immigration and naturalization service.


For the second time since the outbreak of war between Germany and the United States, German petitioners are excluded from the list.  Seventeen German Nationals have filed final citizenship papers here, but none has been heard since 1941.  Most of the 17 had filed the final papers before the outbreak of war, Mr. Frantz said.


The Clark County Selective Service Board this week was preparing to fill its December call of 110 men to leave Sunday, Dec. 20, and to register 18-year-olds, in perhaps, the last draft registration of the war.


Arrangements have been made for handling the annual Christmas mailing rush at the post office, Postmaster Louis W. Kurth said this week.


The post office has solved its manpower problem by reaching into the high school.  Robert Beyer and Jack Casler have been secured as “extra” help and will be called in for after school and evening work when the flood of mail requires the additional help.                                                


W. G. Greenman of Wauwatosa, and official in the state defense council, went home from Neillsville last week with some food he said he had not “seen for months.”


In Neillsville for a meeting with local service corps heads, Mr. Greenman revealed he has bought a pound of butter, four dozen eggs and five pounds of honey, things that are hard to get in the metropolitan area, if they are available at all.


He spent some time at the meeting contrasting the nutritional variance between rural Clark County and urban Milwaukee.  The balance was all in favor of the rural area, where food is plentiful.


In Milwaukee, for instance, he said merchants have been limiting sales of butter to one-quarter or one-half a pound per customer.  This restriction came about after a federal announcement that butter rationing might be necessary, started a “run” on butter.


“You have no idea how serious runs on commodities are in the cities,” he said.


“During the course of this war,” he said, “we may all be called upon to eat things that are plentiful and give up on those things which are not plentiful but which we have eaten much of in the past.”


(I wonder how people now would handle the lack of certain basic food items such as the World War II days? People then took it in stride, went without and didn’t protest about it.


Pizza was unheard of here until after the war, when returning soldiers told of having eaten “pizza pies” in Italy. D Z.)                                                                                                    


The salary of Oluf Olson, Sr., courthouse janitor, was increased from $105 to $115 per month at a meeting of the Clark County public property committee last week.  The fixing of the janitor’s salary was delegated to the committee by resolution of the county board.                                


Neillsville had an opportunity Tuesday to return the many friendly courtesies shown its sons in far-off parts of the world when a unit of the 2nd Division, a famous Texas Army unit, was held up here for the day and night.


Sixteen men were here from noon Tuesday until early Wednesday morning awaiting replacement parts after an arm of the steering apparatus on an Army truck broke when a mile west of the city.


The unit was under Lt. B. M. Lester, a Kansan, and Lt. J. M. Stephan, a Texan.  And although the outfit is a Texas Division, it had a liberal sprinkling of Pennsylvania Dutch, with a few Oklahomans and Hoosiers thrown in.


The men were guests of the Rotary Club at its weekly dinner meeting.  Following the dinner an impromptu party was arranged by the U.S.O., through county chairman A. C. Wagner.  Several local girls took part.  The unit was also invited to attend the annual Christmas party at the Masonic Temple.


The unit left about 4 a.m. Wednesday for “somewhere up north” after being put up for the night at the fire hall.


Game birds in Clark County are having “slim picking” and many of them already have starved because of the covering of snow, which prevents them from finding feed and grit.  Game Warden Allen Chamney said this week.  He said the “situation is growing serious here.”


In order to save the birds, Mr. Chamney urged farmers to clear snow from spots where sand and gravel might be available to them and to put out feed.  The warden said he has distributed 1,500 pounds of corn to several centers in the county, which is available for feeding purposes.




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