Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

May 9, 2018, Page 10  

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


May 1883


A fire broke out at Marshfield about 10:45 on Sunday night.  The fire originated in the second story of Disbrow’s saloon on the east side, Culture’s store, LeMere’; and Mrs. Lambert’s two dwellings on the north were in ashes, excepting the boarding house of Chas Bullman, which was saved by the most superhuman efforts of the citizens.  The Central House was the key to the whole city, and when it was assured that the whole block was doomed, attention was turned to saving it.  Several times the building was on fire, but the citizens, knowing the danger, stood their ground and fought desperately, many receiving severe burns.


Upham’s big sawmill and a large quantity of valuable lumber were destroyed by fire last week Tuesday.


Robert French’s well-known hotel at Hatfield was burned to the ground a few days ago, it was uninsured, and therefore a total loss.  It was having a good trade, and Mr. French was contemplating enlarging it this season.  He has the universal sympathy here, where he is well known.


The city council of Black River Falls has ordained that no painted windows or screens be put in front of saloons.  This will give the deserted wife a chance.                                            


A dozen sewing girls are wanted immediately at Mrs. Dole’s Millinery and Dressmaking establishment, Neillsville.                                                                                    


Why bother darning socks when you can purchase new ones so cheap at B. Dangers.


A general tearing up and moving out is going on at the Gates grocery corner, and before many months have passed a substantial brick block will cover that site of present chaos.


Residents in the southern tier of towns in Clark County have their attention directed to the road jobs that are to be paid for out of the county appropriations, to be let in Washburn and Sherwood Forest on the 22nd of May, and in Levis the 23rd.


(At that the Town of Sherwood had the name of “Sherwood Forest,” later dropping the word “Forest.” DZ)


We hear that Mr. Blakeslee has reconsidered his decision to put up a block opposite B. F. French’s residence and has caused work on the lot to discontinue.                           


Mr. Willie Marsh and Miss Bertie Walls were married at St. Paul, Monday afternoon, May 14, 1883.  Both these young people are well known and popular in Neillsville, where Miss Bertie has lived all her life, and Mr. Marsh has spent many of his years.  The event was a genuine surprise to most our people and a happy surprise.  It was an occurrence most fitting and desirable; we wish them all happiness.  A few of their intimate friends were at St. Paul to witness the ceremony, and their presence added to the festivities of the occasion.


An umbrella mender came into town yesterday.  He found very few umbrellas at home.


Monday, at about sundown, a drive of Hewett’s horses headed by one that was evidently being pursued by the rest, rushed into the corn of the field at O.G. Tripp’s corner, then two of them broke through the fence and went sailing away up the streets of town.                                                          


Some wicked fellow got into a church just after the deacons and clergymen had held a meeting there and left  four beer bottles and a whisky flask, all empty, and two packs of cards under the table.  When the sewing circle ladies met an hour later and discovered the articles, they held a long and whispered conversation.


Clark County Ghost Towns


Riplinger, a village, which was located in Section 17, Unity, on the “Soo” line, between Spencer and Owen, formerly known as Osborn.  It was an important shipping center for cattle, wood and wood pulp.  It had a sawmill, two stores, meat market, blacksmith shop, garage, two saloons, a schoolhouse and public hall.


Tioga was located along Cty. Road I in Hendren Township, on the Fairchild and Northeastern railroad, located between Fairchild and Greenwood.  It had two stores and a hotel.


Willard was a thriving place on the Fairchild & Northeastern railroad, between Fairchild and Greenwood.  In the late 1920s, it had two stores, a cheese factory, boarding house, a Catholic Church and school.  Ignatz Ceznic began organizing a colony of Slavs and kindred nationalities starting in 1911, to settle on the cutover barren land in the Town of Hendren, with most of those settlers coming from the Chicago area.  Willard became the center of the community.  Ceznic had the backing of the Foster Lumbering Company, of Fairchild, the company that had cleared the area of all its virgin timber.


The above photo is of the Anton Zupancic farm, with family members standing in front of their home.  The farm was located one and one-half mile north and one-fourth mile east of Willard, on county Road G.  Two other Zupancic farms were located nearby; John Zupancic farm was one-fourth mile north and the Frank Zupancic farm was one and three-fourth miles north of Willard. All three families came to settle on the cutover Foster land where they built homes and broke up the land for farming.  Family members of the next generation changed the name spelling to Zupanc.  (Photo courtesy of Steve Roberts)


April 1938


The Victory Garden committee for the city of Neillsville was set up to give advice and assistance to persons planning a garden.  The committee members are F. A. Prange, chairman, Kiwanis Club; Mrs. John Matson, Women’s Club; Mrs. Edna Georgas, Professional Women’s Club; John Matson, Rotary Club; and Glen Haven, American Legion.


The committee has available plans for various sized gardens, which can be obtained from the county agent’s office in the courthouse.  These plans give details on planning and planting the garden.  Information on cultural practices as well as disease and insect-control, will be given at a later date.


One plowman told Mr. Prange that he had already plowed 48 gardens and had 57 yet to plow.  Another had plowed 28 and had 46 more ahead of him.


(At that time, Clark County owned various lots in cities and villages all over the county, lots that came to it through non-payment of taxes.  Many of those lots were desirable for gardens, and there were several inquiries for the garden plots that could be rented.


With wartime rationing of foods, there was a great desire to grow vegetables for family needs in local garden plots.  By home canning, a winter’s supply of vegetables could be stored in the basement, enough to last until produce was available from the next year’s growing season. DZ) 


At the semi-annual meeting of St. John’s Lutheran Church last Sunday, the secretary’s report showed that the church is now entirely free of debt as far as local obligations are concerned.  A debt of $2,400, part of which was incurred at the time the schoolhouse was remodeled, has been paid within the last two years.


A Manpower Work Freeze will soon go into effect within Clark County.


Just how the freeze of essential manpower will work in Clark County has now been determined.  A description of the method has been received by The Clark County Press from Norman E. Scholze of La Crosse, special representative in charge of this area, which has been designated for the La Crosse – Eau Claire – Wausau area.


Heretofore it has been known that essential workers are “frozen” in essential industries, and that such workers may not freely change situations for the purpose of securing higher pay.  Now a plan has been adopted, which fills in the details, and which prescribes conditions under which employers may take on new help and under, which employees may change their situations.


The central feature of the employment plan is a “statement of availability,” which must be presented by a worker to his prospective employer at the time such employment is accepted.  This statement of availability,” which must be insisted upon by the employer of a person who has theretofore been employed in an essential industry.


The statement of availability is made by the employer upon application of the employee, at such time as the employee wishes to change his employment.  The employee, seeing a statement of availability, must give the employer a notice of seven days, but the employer may wave this notice at his own option.


(Can you envision that ruling being accepted in the working world?  However, during World War II there were many temporary rulings made to protect the county’s manpower needs. DZ)


Musicians of the Neillsville High School are winners of 13 firsts in the contest held at the district festival, which was held in Eau Claire.  (There were 58 band members and three majorettes that year. DZ) 


The winning Neillsville High School Band puts finishing touches on a 14-year record.  Richard Becker, director of the Neillsville High School Band, has now rounded out 14 years of remarkable accomplishments.  He has made the band not only a credit to the high school, but an institution of the community and the occasion of pride to all citizens of public spirit.                                                            


The plan of a Victory Grove for Neillsville has received the approval of the city council.  “The grove will be located just above the water works, along the Black River, and will occupy a space of about 60-feet wide and 550-feet long.  Trees that have been ordered for the planting, will consist of elm, ash, pine, spruce and silver maple, which will be large and healthy specimens, ranging from eight to ten feet in height.


The land has already been plowed in preparation for the planting, which will be done soon.  The land lies high and has a beautiful outlook.                                                                   


Mrs. Earl Zille, her pupils and the patrons and others of the Kurth School District held a picnic at Schuster Park Friday.  Mrs. Zille will teach in the Reed District the coming year, her sister, Miss Ruby Selves, having accepted the teaching position in the Kurth School.  The same day, Miss Rebecca Hains and her pupils of the Reed School also enjoyed a picnic in anther section of the park.      


The Nazi regime is looting occupied Europe by taking to Germany other countries’ machinery, war materials, art objects and even garden tools and door hinges, while taking over whole industries, at the rate of “tens of billions of dollars a year,” the Board of Economic Warfare asserted in a summary of the plunder of the Hitler conquest to date.


In what is described as “a partial listing of Nazi spoils,” BEW stated that “not only has wealth, accumulated over centuries, been carried back to Germany, but the labor power of the occupied countries are under absolute German domination.”


The actual transportation of physical objects of wealth to the German homeland was a high point recorded in the report.


“Thousands of machines have been dismounted and moved to Germany, with laboratory and scientific equipment from the greatest research institutes in Europe,” it stated.  “Horses, cattle, sheep, pigs and fats have been confiscated; public galleries and private collections stripped of art objects, and office furniture, park benches, and garden tools taken.


“On April 25, 1941, the German High Command announced that 872 ships totaling some 2,000,000 tons had been taken over in occupied harbors.”


The BEW declared that “for magnitude and ruthlessness the German looting of occupied Europe surpasses all previous conquests in history.


(Our country’s younger generations, not having lived during World War II, don’t have a clue as the horrors prevailed on people by the Nazi regime. DZ)                                                  


The promise of a vast new reservoir of manpower, now going to waste through absenteeism, was held out at the closing sessions of the American Chemical Society, with the announcement of four new types of sulfa drugs that have already reduced by more than 50 percent the loss in man-days due to illnesses.


I am going to share an incident that was told to me by a lifelong Neillsville resident, some years ago;


A young man, who was graduated from Neillsville High School in the late 1930s, left after graduation to find employment in Milwaukee.  While working there, he had met a young lady and after dating for some time, he asked her to accompany him for a weekend visit to meet his family in Neillsville.


It was during the winter of 1942, wartime.  The young couple attended worship services at his family’s church.  Arriving at the church, they noticed most of the pews were filled.  At that point in time, most of the congregation members attended worship services every Sunday, praying for the war to peacefully end.


As was the custom, the men sat on one side of the church aisle and the women and small children sat on the other side.  Boys could sit with their dad’s after they were confirmed.


The young visiting couple walked arm-in-arm down to the front of the church, then they chose to sit together in a second from the front pew.  As the rest of the congregation witnessed that, there was an overall gasping for air that could be heard throughout the entire church.


In Milwaukee, the old trend of seating in churches, men on one side with women and children on the other, had changed a few years previously.


After the young couple’s Sunday visit, the Neillsville congregation members began to change their seating habits, families started sitting together in the same pew.  Apparently, they came to realize, that the old arrangement of separation in seating had to have been a man-made rule, a rule that could be changed without disrupting their main purpose of being there, which was to worship.




© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel