Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

April 3, 2019  Page 11 

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled and Contributed by Dee Zimmerman

April 1869


On Thursday morning, April 1, we were somewhat surprised to find a furious snowstorm raging. We had been thinking of nothing but summer, “but alas, for the rarity.” All day long, the storm raged with much more fury than at any time during the winter months, and at night about a foot of snow had fallen. The storm was the most disagreeable of any we had during the winter. Some forecast to say that sugar making will be brisk now, and we have no wish to dispute their assertion.


News a week later:

The season for making sugar in this county is turning out much better than was first promised. Sap has run very freely, and everybody engaged in this business are counting their pounds by the hundred.


Our very backward spring is proving a loss to the farmers. One year ago, wheat was sown in this county during the last of March. It is April 14 and the frost is not yet out of the ground and no plowing has been done.


(Planting wheat in March? Now, very little if any wheat is planted in this area. However, it is hard to imagine any small grains being seeded here at the end of March even though it is in the climate change era. DZ)    


There was a narrow escape in attempting to run the “angles” on the Black River with a raft of square timber recently, as we have learned. Five men were swept into the water by the raft striking a rock. Four of them found  refuge upon a rock projecting above the water, and the other rafts-man, Sam Visno, floated down the stream to a log jam, where he succeeded in getting out very much exhausted. The men upon the rock were compelled to stay there until the next morning, when they were rescued from the dangerous position by another raft brought close enough for them to leap upon it.                                         


In the absence of any millinery establishment here, Miss Mary Bacon had bought and just received a new and splendid stock of bonnets, hats, flowers, trimmings, etc., to accommodate the ladies in this vicinity. Her shop is at her father’s residence, Mr. Orson Bacon, where she will be pleased to receive her customers, and who will also be pleased at the variety and style of the goods.


(The house Orson Bacon had built for he and his family remains on the southwest corner of Fourth Street and Grand Avenue, being well kept by its present owners. DZ)   


The largest logjam ever known on the Black River was formed this spring on an island near Easton’s mill about eighteen miles north of here. The logjam was three or four miles long, with logs it contained being estimated by competent judges to be about 75,000,000 or 80,000,000 feet!


 The logjam was continually augmented by logs coming down the stream to be joined with those coming in from the Popple River. In some places it was twenty or thirty feet high with great huge logs thrown together by the force of the current, in every conceivable shape, many of them standing on end above the surface of the water. A crew of about forty men was kept constantly at work for several days working to break the jam. They finally succeeded in getting the logs started, logs coming down filling the river for miles, as full as it could hold, striking against rocks, thumping against each other, and creating a confused noise that would make a person think that all the timber in the upper Black River country had been put afloat and was causing fearful destruction along the whole river.                                                                        


A “roll-away” is a place upon the bank of a stream where logs are piled during the winter and in the spring rolled into the river. Often in starting one log it lets loose a dozen more and they all go down the bank with considerable force into the water, occasioning, sometimes, serious accidents to the workmen, if they happen to get in the way. Bob Schofield was in a predicament of this kind the other day and came very near being rolled down the bank of eternity. Standing below the logs he saw the logs coming too late to escape by a flank movement, and, as the only alternative, leaped into the water. The logs followed close after with a heavy splash, and Bob disappeared. He suddenly arose to the surface, however, between two logs, and scrambled out upon shore uninjured, to the wonder and astonishment of those looking on.


(The above stories confirm that lumberjacks and river log-drivers had the most hazardous occupations of that era. The Black River is known to have the steepest grade and fastest current of any river in the state. DZ)


The above photo shows what a typical lumberjack crew’s shanty in the woods, looked like. That was where they lived from the beginning of the winter’s logging season until spring breakup, which was about six months. The two men wearing aprons were the cooks who served the same menu for all three meals of the day – pork and beans, biscuits with molasses and tea, except Sundays  when stewed, dried apples, or prunes were also served.


April 1939


Clark County streams and lakes this year will be stocked with 4 1/2 million walleyed pike, bass, trout and muskies, County Game Warden Alva Klumpner has announced. This will be an increase of about 1-1/2 million over last year.


The extensive stocking program, which will be continued for the next five years, at least, in Clark County, will get under way this week, Mr. Klumpner revealed. “By the time the present project is carried out, the results should be evident in the sporting waters of the county,” he declared.


Included among the stocking to be done this year are a large number of German brown trout. This is the first year this species has been available for the county, Mr. Klumpner said.


The German brown has proven to be a much hardier fish than the brook trout, Mr. KIumpner said, and in counties where low waters and high temperatures have been disastrous for brook trout, the German brown have done very well. “They also are better adapted for waters extensively fished because they are perhaps the most wary and difficult to catch of any trout.”


Clark County fishermen will be in for a larger catch of pike this year than in any season for several years past. This is because of the fact that the 1936 planting of 1-1/2 million pike fry should have attained legal size by now.


Whereas, Friday, April 7, is Good Friday, and it is fitting that observance of the day that Jesus Christ was crucified be made; and


Whereas, Governor Julius P. Heil of the state of Wisconsin has issued a proclamation asking business institutions and people throughout the state to observe the day; now,


Therefore, I urge that all Neillsville businesses join in observance of the day by closing their doors from 12 o’clock, noon, until 3 p.m.


(Signed) Mayor Henry J. Naedler.                                                   


A puppy crawled into a small opening under Dr. A.S. Dustan’s touring car at Stevens Point last Monday. He worked his way through a narrow passage at the right, scrambled over the motor and settled down between the batteries and the side of the motor.


The animal’s route could not be questioned, for he left a considerable amount of hair along the trail. When the chiropodist got into his car Monday afternoon to start for Neillsville, a cylinder was missing. He drove to a garage to have the trouble remedied.


Unfastening the hood from within, Dr. Dustan lifted the cover and said. “There’s the trouble,” pointing  to a broken wire.


“The mechanic standing at the left, lifted the frightened puppy out, with the remark:


“And here is the seat of the problem.”                                             


Dr. Sarah Rosekrans was scheduled to sing over WEAU radio at Eau Claire at 2:45 Thursday afternoon, April 20. She was to assist in a program given up to cancer control. Physicians from Neillsville and Clark County were expected to attend a postgraduate course, sponsored by the Wisconsin Medical Society, at Eau Claire on the same day.                                                                                    


Weatherman willing, the Neillsville Country Club will open its official season Saturday, April 22. Several golfing enthusiasts have been dubbing around on the fairways for the last few days.


The women of the Neillsville Country Club will gather at the clubhouse April 27th at 1 o’clock. They are urged to come to paint the kitchen. Mrs. Kurt Listeman will serve a chow mein luncheon after the work is finished.


Thursday, May 4, will be our first Ladies’ Day for 1939 and our first potluck supper. The men are cordially invited to the supper.                                                                                      


Rainfall and light snows of the early part of this week have proven a good thing for the country roads, although they have prevented Clark County’s farmers from getting onto their fields for spring planting.


County Highway Commissioner Otto J. Weyhmiller explained that the rains acted to draw out the remaining frost from the ground and settled the roads.


“The rain made the roads muddy and difficult for a short time,” the highway commissioner said; but it will prove beneficial in the long run.                                                                       


Neillsville “made” Robert Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” column the week.


The column, which appeared in hundreds of daily newspapers over the nation last Satruday, including a large drawing of Paul Jonas, Levis township farmer, and his giant 163-pound squash.


The drawing was taken from a reproduction of the picture taken for the Newspaper Enterprise association by The Clark County Press last fall.                                                    


A program of planting 1,028,000 trees in Clark County’s forest areas will be carried out this year, Allen C. Covell, county forester has revealed.


The program is a part of the longtime scheme, which is designed to increase Clark County’s abundant recreational facilities and to keep it in the fore as one of the greatest recreational spots in Wisconsin. Other parts of the program to be carried out this year include the planting of 4 1/2 million of fish in the county’s lakes and streams by the state conservation department, and the county’s conservation clubs, as well as other projects planned by the groups.


The tree planting program, Forester Covell said, will be divided into spring and summer plantings, with Norway, white and jack pine and spruce being planted on the county-owned forest areas.


The spring program will include plantings in the towns of Sherwood, North Foster and Hewett.


Confirmation of an order for 500,000 trees has been received by Mr. Covell from the state nursery at Wisconsin Rapids. The first project will begin in the Town of Sherwood, where about 40 men will be employed in setting out 200,000 trees.


(The Clark County re-forestation program included planting many acres of tree seedlings during the 1930s, planting trees on soil that couldn’t grow farm crops, which had previously grown the great virgin white pines; meant to be forestlands. DZ)                                                               


Seventy-five years ago, when wheat fields and pineries engaged the attention of the state’s pioneers, a new industry took root in Wisconsin, with the establishment of the three-story frame cheese factory at Ladoga.


To commemorate the event, special entertainment under the auspices of the Wisconsin agricultural authority and the state department of agriculture and markets will be held on April 28 at the site of the first Wisconsin cheese factory.


Owned and operated by Chester Hazen, a Fond du Lac County settler who had enough faith in his venture to face ridicule, the first cheese factory, according to various historic records, was opened in 1864. It was at once referred to as “Hazen’s folly.” An entire week passed before a few farmers brought their milk to the factory but by the end of the year, milk from 300 cows was being received at the plant. By 1866, Hazen was receiving milk from 1,000 cows and was manufacturing hundreds of pounds of cheese every day.


(Clark County’s first cheese-butter factory was operated by George Austen in the early 1870s on his farm one mile east of Neillsville. The county’s second cheese factory started in 1878 by  group of farmers in the Lynn area, located on the site of the present Lynn Dairy cheese factory. DZ)                 


The natural beauty of O’Neill Creek has made a strong impression upon Dr. Milton Rosekrans. He has drawn this the attention of The Clark County Press and has suggested this as a natural spot for civic pride.


“O’Neill Creek plays a part in the lives of all of us who live in or near Neillsville,” said the Doctor. “Practically all of us cross its bridges, some of us several times a day, particularly the bridge at Hewett Street. The view east from the Hewett Street bridge, while not in all respects admirable now, has distinct charm and perhaps would be found to have possibility of development without much expense.


“The upper reaches of the pond are very picturesque, with a clump of large rock outcroppings at one point, a beautiful curve, and an island just at the head of the pond are quite accessible, but not most of us.


“We go through this life only once, and those of us who live here depend mainly upon what we see here for enjoyment of the out-of-doors. Here is a spot, which we all see. Could it be developed upon a plan, which would be feasible under present conditions?”


(Dr. Milton Rosekrans grew up in the Merrillan and Alma Center area. After receiving his medical degree, he chose to set up his medical practice in Neillsville, an area where he could enjoy the outdoors along with its natural resources, such as hunting and fishing. DZ)





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