Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

July 3, 2019  Page 9 

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled and Contributed by Dee Zimmerman

July 1869


Oration Delivered by J.S. Carr, Esquire, In The Village of Neillsville, July 3rd, 1869.


Mr. President, Citizens, Ladies and Gentlemen: 


 The Assembling here today of the multitude of men and women, of parents and children, all mingling together in mutual rejoicings and thanksgiving, the glad countenances of each beaming with national pride, in consciousness of personal security, all leaving behind the busy toil of life and forgetting the strife of local interests and the clash of opinions, while they join in commemorating this sacred anniversary of Independence, speaks a higher sentiment of patriotism, a profounder argument for the perpetuity and endurance of American Institutions than any sentiment of argument that may pass my lips on this occasion. This is truly a happy day with us. It is a happy day with every American citizen throughout the length and breadth of the land. The clouds of the Civil War have been cleared away by the gentle breath of peace. No longer does the wife, or mother pore over the daily news to catch some casual intelligence of the safety of the husband and the son on the field of battle. That eager, watchful look that furrows the face of the faithful soldier no longer hangs upon the brow of the sons of America. All is now peace; all is quiet. We do well, then to rejoice and pour forth songs of Thanksgiving on this happy occasion.


(The above is an introduction of the Independence Day speech given by J. S. Carr in Neillsville, 1869. DZ) 


Messrs. Neverman and Sontag have opened their new brewery here, and hundreds who have so long hankered for the favorite beverage have already indulged in copious draughts of homemade lager.


While we have no word of encouragement for the practice of beer drinking, we recognize the completion of the new brewery as other evidence of the steady growth and sure prosperity of our embryo city, as well as an unmistakable indication of the paying character of case investments in Neillsville. The building of Neverman & Sontag is of large proportions, being three stories in height, besides the basement, and when entirely finished will be a fine specimen of architectural beauty. With a splendid brewery in full blast, who says that Neillsville cannot afford to put on Metropolitan airs.                                       


The Clark County Board at its last session formed a new town in the northern part of the county, the boundary lines of which may be seen in the proceedings of the Board. The Town is named Eaton, in honor of Elijah Eaton, Esq., the pioneer settler of that section.                     


Nearly all crops are doing fine at present. With a few days of dry weather now, after much rain, wheat and oats will do remarkably. Corn is at least three weeks behind and it will be remarkable if a good crop is realized.


Our village barber left town a  short time ago, to visit some of his friends, as he said, intending to return soon. He has not come back yet, and from the looks of the men’s faces about town we are prompted to say the first barber who comes in here and puts out his barber’s pole will strike it rich. We are jeopardizing the reputation Neillsville has sustained of having good-looking businessmen.


The limits of our village are gradually extending. James O’Neill’s fourth addition has just been made. It is situated east of the courthouse square and consist of about six blocks. The deputy county surveyor, Mr. Wm. Welsh says, in the report of the survey mde by him that “the streets are sixty feet wide, the alleys are sixteen and a-half feet in width, and the lots in the blocks are 66 feet front and 132 feet in length.” There are, in all, fifty -one lots. The first street east of the courthouse, running north and south, is named State, the second Huron, the third Center and the fourth Willow Street.                                          


The old worn out, rickety, shaky, risky and dilapidated concern strung across O’Neill pond in our village, commonly called a bridge, has become dangerous that it is really unsafe for anybody to cross on it. It is a disgrace to the town, and unless some repairing is done upon it soon, it will be a very expensive thing to the town. On Monday evening, a cow coming over the bridge met a team of horses and stepped on a plank that broke through and landed her in the pond. Fortunately, she got out safe and the horses were prevented from following her into the “drink.” Yesterday, Mr. Blakeslee had the bridge repaired in its weakest place, but the entire thing needs new planks. The street leading down to the bridge is in a horrible condition, also.


Our post office is now a money order office. Postmaster Hutchinson is now prepared to issue money orders to any other office in the country.


July 1939


You ought to be arrested! And nearly every person living in, passing through, or maintaining a business in the city of Neillsville, could be arrested practically every day of the year.


They could be but aren’t.


For instance, the city ordinances, published in book form in 1916, and still in effect for the most part, provide that it is unlawful to drive over the O’Neill Creek bridge, or either of Black River bridges, faster than a walk. Penalty: fine from $10 to $100.


Most of us violate this one ordinance daily. And it’s only one of the screwy city laws officials are trying to straight out.


Did you know that concrete sidewalks in Neillsville are illegal? They are. It’s in black and white in the ordinances that the city sidewalks shall be constructed of “good sound pine lumber” with “sound oak stringers.” Yet, one would have considerable difficulty in finding a single piece of wooden sidewalk in the entire city!


Funny? Of course, but read this. Did you know that the city has an ordinance regulating the speed, which horses may travel in the city? Yes! Four miles an hour! And section 242 of ordinance 235 continues, any person driving a horse or horses, mule or mules across any crosswalk is liable to a fine of not less than $2 nor more than $5 for each offence.


So, you are going to a costume party? You’d better wait until you get there to don your costume. City ordinance says it shall be illegal for any person to disguise himself in any manner and appear on any street, lane or alley in the city in nighttime, not for any purpose whatsoever, fine from $5 to $25.


Did you know that crossing gates, should be erected and maintained at the Omaha railroad crossing on South Hewett and West Streets and Grand Avenue? Section 88 of Ordinance 235 says so. And in the next breath it says the above shall be inactive until such time as a train or locomotive passes over one of these crossings at a speed greater than six miles an hour. It’s being done every day.


Here's one, which might conceivably be hard to collect on: Any person who “attempts” crossing the railroad track of any railway company at Hewett, West or Grand avenue in front of a moving train, is outside the law.


Of Course, if he merely “attempted” it, the poor fellow undoubtedly would be knocked galley-west. The city would have a pretty tough time prosecuting unless it made some special arrangement with Saint Peter, or the other fellow.


Well, the city ordinances are packed full of such crazy provisions, and the process of weeding them out and re-codifying the ordinances of the city has been underway for many months, with great variation of enthusiasm. But the green light is on and city attorney Claude R. Sturdevant and the city council are closing in on the matter and vow they will bring the ordinances up to date in short order.


Men and beast sweltered in intense heat during the last week as the mercury in the official thermometer here climbed to the high 80’s and once shoved the mercury up to 95 degrees.


A message of patriotism was brought to Kiwanians meeting Monday evening by Victor W.E. Nehs, district lieutenant governor, who had attended the convention at Boston. Mr. Nehs told how he had stood on the bridge at Concord and had experienced a thrill at his cradle of American liberties.


But just as liberty was a stake at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill, so, said Mr. Nehs, it is at stake in these days. He told of how the Kiwanis convention emphasized Americanism and the duty of citizenship, how religious fervor was recommended, and conscientious use of the ballot.


(On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress declared that the 13 colonies were no longer subject to the monarch of Britain, an event that led to freedom and the formation of the United States.


Every generation of my family has been represented with service in the military since the Civil War.


My great-grandfather, William, at the Age of 38 volunteered to serve with the Infantry unit out of Des Moines, Iowa, at the beginning of the Civil War. He left his wife, Emma, and six children to make their living on a few acres of land while he was gone for the duration of war, which was three years and four months. At that time, the soldiers received little or no pay, but at the war’s end, each were offered 105 acres of federal land, some was still available, as payment for their service. He was able to get acreage near Atlantic, Iowa, where the family settled. Being a carpenter by trade, he built a house and farm buildings, grew corn and grain on the land, and raised beef cattle and hogs, along with planting a fruit orchard. He installed a ram, gravity pumping system for running water, the first farm in Cass County to have running water.


Eleven years ago, I was able to visit the farm site. DZ)                    


Otto Warren, Town of York, has educated hogs. They were taught in classes of electricity, taught by a charged fence. Now the electricity is no longer connected, but the hogs give the wire a wide berth. One contact with the live wire in their earlier experience was enough, and the fence , without electricity, keeps the hogs where they belong. Cows learn in the same way. Brushing against the wire, the cow gets the  full value due to its four legs on the ground, their contact is admirable, and they feel the shock. Thereafter they remember, so a single strand of wire will hold them easily.                                                                       


Joseph Cowgill of the Town of Sherwood tangled with a rattlesnake last Saturday without knowing it. That the snake had hit first, and it then ran, Mr. Cowgill didn’t know. But he had had a previous experience with a rattler, and he figured, if there were rattlers around, he had best protect himself.


So, he started for the house, intending to put on boots. By the time he reached the house, there wasn’t any question. He knew the rattler had hit him and run afterwards. So, a razor blade was quickly used, and Mr. Cowgill was rushed to the hospital. The latest information available is that the razor blade was used in time, and that Mr. Cowgill will make a complete recovery.


(A razor blade was used to make a cut over the snakebite area, so as to bleed out the venom. DZ) 


Death came peacefully today to Grandpa Jake Schiller, 84, known as a longtime logger.


Confined to his bed in the North Grand Avenue residence since last Saturday, “Grandpa” Schiller, as known by young and old, died about 9 a.m. Wednesday.


Coming to Clark County during the lumbering days of the 1890s with his wife, the former Margaret Litzen, Mr. Schiller started working as a logger for John Hein, on of the well-known lumbermen of this section at the time.


Mr. Schiller and his wife settled down in a log cabin near Wedge’s Creek during these first years in the Clark County wilderness. A few years later, the Hein sawmill was moved to the Town of York, and Mr. and Mrs. Schiller went along with it. Mr. Schiller was a valued employee of Mr. Hein, and frequently was sent out in search of new timberlands. He made many such trips in other sections of Wisconsin, and at one time, his work carried him into northern Michigan.


After 14 years of this work, Mr. and Mrs. Schiller moved to Neillsville, where Grandpa took over a position with the city water works. It was here that an accident overtook him. A piece of flying metal lodged in an eye. An operation failed to save the eye, and soon afterward blindness came to the other eye.


The house on North Grand Avenue was one which young and old loved to visit, for Grandpa liked to tell yarns about the logging days and his experiences in the county when it was “young.”


A photo of newly harvested logs being hauled out of the woods with a team of horses pulling the loaded bobsled along the east Fork of Black River near the Town of Levis and Jackson County line during the winter of 1889-1890.


It is the end of July and Mrs. Charles F. Lueck has started to harvest pumpkins.


While picking green beans in the vegetable garden on the farm just east of the city limits on Highway 10 Saturday, Mrs. Lueck came across the first ripe pumpkin. It weighed four and a-half pounds. Several others on the vines are turning, and soon will be ready to pick. Most of the vines in the garden, Mrs. Lueck said, grew from seed thrown out on a pile of ashes last fall. The ashes were later spread over the garden area. The vines came up early this spring.                                                                            


Final preparations for a round-robin tennis tournament will be made at a meeting of the newly organized tennis club at 7:30 p.m., Friday at the city hall. There are 38 entries.






© 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