Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

March 14, 2018 Page 9 

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

March 1878



It’s spring now, and yet there is a class of weather prophets who predict thirty days of sleighing before the grass grows.                                                                          


If you are short of those “dollars of our daddies,” we will take a little maple sugar or syrup on subscriptions payment.                                                                


When a fellow comes to town and hitches his team on the street for several hours, should that fellow get mad because a kindly neighbor had put the team into a barn and fed them at his own expense?


The Church Guild Sociable held at Mrs. MacBride’s, last evening, to be the last entertainment of the kind held until after Lent, was full of enjoyment for all present.              


Our Jackson County neighbors are to have a new courthouse and jail, a bill authorizing the loan of a portion of the state Trust Fund to be used for that purpose having become a law.


During the past week, the sidewalk on Main Street has been extended from Furlong’s to John Thayer’s by the property-holders interested, making a continuous street, in all, of one mile on that street.  It will be the promenading block of the village during the promenading season.


The farmers of this county are preparing to commence operations on the farm.  An early spring usually insures a bountiful harvest, and we hope it may prove so to them in this year.


Mrs. Ferguson has received her first invoice of spring millinery goods, which ladies of Neillsville and vicinity are invited to call and examine.  Millinery rooms are over the post office.


The little bit of a row last Saturday afternoon, in which a little man had his thumb by bitten by a big fellow, is the first indication we have had in this village that the boys returning from the woods had done worse than throwing their money away by investing it in very poor whisky.


The day for sore fingers will soon be here.  In a few days the ground will be dry enough for indulging in that great national game, baseball.                                                                              


The bridge over the Black River in the Town of Levis, which has been considered unsafe for some time, proves to have been a dangerous trap, as a portion of it gave way last Friday just as a team and heavily loaded wagon had passed over it, fortunately without injury.  The structure has been repaired, somewhat, since that time, but is still thought to be unsafe, and town authorities have posted a notice to the effect that the bridge has been condemned, and that parties crossing it do so at their own risk.


The streets have been full of the “boys” who have returned from their fruitless labor in the woods to settle with their more unfortunate employers.  It has been hard work making ends meet, and in some instances, the men have been asked to accept a reduction, and in most such instances they have been found ready to divide losses with the employer, knowing that he had done his best.


Owing to the sudden appearance of spring, the maple sugar crop, in this county is as complete a failure as the lumber business has been.  But very little has been brought to market, which does not begin to supply the home demand.  As trifling a matter as this may seem to be, it is a serious embarrassment to the farmers who have depended on their sugar bushes to help them through with the expenses of the year.                                                                                            


W.W. LaFlesh, who left this place last spring for the Black Hills, has, after nearly a year of patient and fruitless hardship and toil, at last struck a bonanza, which we hope will bring him back to us a wealthy man. A short time since, he struck a vein of free gold, which yields $1,000 to the ton.  He already has realized enough from it to warrant his sending for his family and making arrangements for going into business on a large scale.                                                          


Mr. Albert Brown, one of the best known and most popular loggers on the Black River, went into voluntary bankruptcy today.  His failure is the direct result of the capricious winter just passed.  Mr. Brown had taken some very heavy contracts, and went into the woods early with eight camps, employing over two hundred men, who have been practically idle all winter.  His liabilities are about $60,000, and his assets, figured down to selling value, are about $30,000.  Al has the sympathy of everyone, and his misfortune can never deprive him of the general esteem in which he has been held.  He will turn out the last dollar to his creditors, but he will still have a capital left in honor and energy that will in good time make a rich man of him again.


(Years later, the year of 1878 would be referred to as the “Al Brown Winter,” the year Brown went broke due to not enough snow for sledding cut logs out of the woods to the river landings, then down the river to market. DZ)


March 1943


Big Paul Derringer, 36-year-old right-hander of the Cincinnati Reds, has gone to the Chicago Cubs in a straight cash transaction, it has been announced in Chicago.  Derringer, who won 25 games in 1939 and came back with 20 more in 1940, could win but 10 against 11 losses this year.


Neillsville block leaders are busy this week making calls to promote the campaign for fur vests for seamen of the merchant marine.  They are asking local persons to contribute discarded fur articles, which will be made up without cost by fur workers in various cities throughout the country.


For local collection, a box will be place today in the Benson Hardware Store.  The fur articles placed therein should e accompanied by the name and address of the donors, who will receive certificates of cooperation from the war emergency board of the fur industry.  The furs must be well wrapped in paper; newspaper will be satisfactory.


This announcement is made at the request of Mrs. Donald H. Crothers, on behalf of the Wisconsin Council of Defense.                                                              


Ed Gates received a letter from his nephew, Harry Gates, in which he states that the supposition that his daughter, Miss Marcia Gates, is a prisoner of the Japanese, is confirmed, the young nurse is being held at Santo Thomas prison camp, Manila, Pi.                                


An invitation to attend the Sportsmen’s Dinner here March 15 has been extended to school boys, who will be doing a large share of the hunting that is done until the end of the war, and to the members of the Neillsville, Loyal and Greenwood Rotary clubs.  The dinner will be held in the Moose Hall under the sponsorship of the Neillsville Kiwanis Club and the Clark County Rod & Gun Club.  The speaker will be E. J. Vanderwall, state director of conservation.                       


The Navy’s need of guns and revolvers of all sorts was presented Monday evening to the Kiwanis Club by James Musil.  He indicated that it would be in order for the club later to name a committee and to proceed in orderly fashion to gather up all the firearms available in this area.


Weapons of all sorts are needed.  Those supplying them will be given receipts.  They are donations, with the possibility that, so far as practicable, they will be returned after the war.


Merchandise, which “walks” is the miracle of Neillsville, according to J.H. Parrish, who has changed the location of his business from the Odd Fellows building on Fifth Street to the old May & Ruchaber location on South Hewett.  Mr. Parrish had planned to do his moving the hard way, but presently, as he was preparing the new location and breaking things up in the old, first one friend and then another dropped in and took a load to the new location.  So many took a hand that presently Mr. Parrish gave up trying to keep track of them, soon all the stock was up in the new store, with the owner scarcely knowing how it got there.


Mr. Parrish had a lease on the old location, which ran all through 1943, but the Odd Fellows, appreciating the situation and the improvements, which Mr. Parrish had made in their property, cancelled the lease.


“The splendid courtesies, which I have received confirm my judgment in remaining in Neillsville,” said Mr. Parrish.  “I like the neighborly ways of the people here.  We of Neillsville ought to spread the good word of our fine town and ought to try to develop industrial enterprise here.”


Harry Roehrborn has been designated as local recruiting officer for the Navy, cooperating with the recruiting station at Chippewa Falls.  Chief Recruiting Officer E. Berry of the Chippewa station directs attention particularly to the opportunity now open to 17-year-olds and to women.  The boys of 17 may now enlist, but there is no assurance as to how long enlistment will be possible.  For women of 20 to 35 the opportunity is open with the Wave and Spar.  Those having two years or more of high school or business school, plus a satisfactory amount of business experience, may qualify.


Miss Frances Ruzich, R. N., daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Matt Ruzich of Willard, entered the army recently as a nurse.  She is a graduate of Greenwood High School and also graduated as a nurse from St. Joseph’s Hospital.  Miss Ruzich has been employed for some time in a hospital in Milwaukee.


(The family name of “Ruzich” is now spelled “Ruzic” in this area.  Through the years, there are other names that have had minor spelling changes.  DZ)              


Beans for Victory and Money for Yourself; Grow beans for your Country and her Allies and we will pay you a good price for them.


Top Price for Green Beans, 5-1/4 cents; Top Price for Wax Beans, 4 cents per lb.


Don’t delay, sign a contract today with one of the following: H.H. Van Gorden, Neillsville; W.J. Spry & Co., Chili and Granton; Mrs. Mike Krultz, Jr. Willard; Marshfield Canning, Co. Marshfield.                                                                  


Dyes for use in civilian clothes has been cut 40% below the amount allotted and used in 1941.  Less dye will mean lighter colors, so this spring all clear, sun-bright colors are used, with yellow, blue, pink, violet and soft greens listed as favorites.                                                


Meeting of the “Knothole Club” was held at its regular place.  The meeting was called in honor of Capt. Oscar Gluck, organizer of the club, whose birthday was celebrated.  Members present included vice president John “Cigar” Gloff and the newly elected secretary/treasurer, Bill Dux looking for a wife; Cooney Dux, the rector; always to be found wherever there is a dollar; Ray Paulson, advertising manager; Pete Warlum, auditor; Gerald Hart, newly appointed to the entertainment committee; Alton Imig, the speaker; Paul Skroch, the club doctor; and waitresses, Genevieve Linster, Ruth Skroch, Mrs. Paul Skroch and Mrs. Matt Scherer.


The meeting adjourned for the duration of the war, after which lunch was served; Cannibal Sandwiches (raw ground beef), smoked liver sausage, cheese and fish, food was prepared by Brother Hart.  After lunch all present sang “God Bless America.”  The club’s motto is “One for all and all for one.”  The club has 4 service stars.


(Back then, Cannibal meat was served on a slice of rye bread, topped with a slice of raw onion.


Taverns served it during the Christmas holiday season as a treat for their customers.


Butch Bollom, who had a butcher shop in W. 7th St.; Butch Hart, who ran a grocery store on the Northside, and Susie Skroch were well-known for mixing up a batch of tasty “Cannibal Meat,” back in the day.  The thought of it makes me hungry. DZ)  


Point values for meat, butter and cheese rationing were made public Tuesday.  Each person is entitled to 16 points per week, with the points cumulative for one month, but not longer.  Point values are as follows: One- pound steak, 8 points; one-pound hamburger, 5 points; one-pound liver sausage, 6 points; one-pound cheese, 8 points; one-pound butter, 8 points.


(Think about those numbers.  Menu planning was made in advance for buying meat items, to make sure they had enough rationing stamps.


Those who lived on farms had their own meat supply.  My parents always butchered a beef and a hog early in the winter.  Steaks and roast cuts were wrapped and frozen, stored in a big barrel on the back porch.  Fresh pork hams were smoked; meat for sausages were ground, mixed and smoked at our local butcher shop.  Liver sausage and headcheese was homemade.  Some of the meat was ground, formed into patties, fried and canned.  Small links of polish sausage were packed in quart jars and canned.  Also, some meat was cut into cubes, placed in quart jars with water and some salt, then canned, to be stored in the cellar for summer eating.  How tasty that was when heated up, tender with the delicious gravy that formed during the canning process; served on top of a generous serving of mashed potatoes.


A lot of work went into processing a farm family’s yearly meat supply, but it sure provided good eating, as some of you may remember. DZ)


(I, the transcriber knows exactly what DZ is talking about above, we, a large family did much preserving of meats (beef, venison, pork, and chickens), canning, freezing, curing, making sausage, etc. and always had large gardens and did lots of preserving. DMK)



A late 1940’s view of the east side of Hewett Street, looking northward from the 5th Street intersection.





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