Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August  14, 2019, Page 14 

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled and Contributed by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News


August 1904


The shoes that fit well and  wear well, sell well, which accounts for the large shoe sales going on at The Balch & Heath Co. Up-To-Date Store.                                                               


A team driven by Mr. A. Braman of Levis was frightened by the city steamroller Thursday and executed a fantastic dance in which they broke the rig a little. No one was hurt.


“The Holy City” to be given at the Opera House here Friday night, Aug. 19, is one of the most spectacular presentations to be put upon the stage in America. To have the opportunity to see it without having to go to New York or Chicago is fortunate for the people here.                             


As a “boozified” rustic rogue whipped his team of horses to a run Monday, racing through the city southward, he managed to tip out a terrified child near the Bradbury hacienda. The speeding fine for the run was $5 and costs.


A camping party from the city has planted its wigwams in Tom Winters’ fine woods in the Town of Washburn, moving into the wilderness last Sunday. They now are having a fun time of it. In the party are Misses Margaret, Helen, and Marion O’Neill, Viola Youmans, Forest Calway, Frank Crocker and Ed Blair.


The old historical Sam Boardman home at the corner of West and 6th Streets, was sold Monday to Charley and John Wasserburger. The sale includes two lots, and the consideration was $1,000. The house, which is now vacant, is going to be fixed up to rent or sell.                                   


Miss Bessie King of this city starts shortly for Rome, Italy, to spend a year in special studies at the “Eternal City,” in the American School of Classical Studies. She leaves today and will sail from New York on the North German Lloyds steamer Princess Irene, for Genoa, Italy. She will spend a month at Florence, before going to Rome. Next spring, with her class, she will sail to Greece and tour that country on horseback.

Hollis Jaseph has developed a new idea in autos, and is working on one now, which uses a windmill as propelling power. The windmill is attached to the back seat. It is expected to gain speed rapidly, creating its own wind as it goes. Of course, the wind will be pushing in the wrong direction, but he is hoping to switch the wind around. And after he gets some place, he can turn around and sail home before the wind he manufactured on the out bound trip.


(Apparently Hollis’ brain storm didn’t materialize, as there weren’t any “windmill-driven” automobiles on the market at any point in time. DZ)                                                         


Neillsville has been doing a dangerous thing of late, limping along with 13 saloons. But, my sakes, we’ve got 14 now, and the danger is passed.                                                              


Within a circle 20 miles in diameter, with Neillsville as the center, there are as many churches as saloons, and more public schools.                                                                       


With wheat considerably above a dollar a bushel and Japan and China buying it by the shiploads, American farmers are in the clover. Wheat ought to be a great crop to harvest next year.


Joe Dillman has bought the E.D. Webster house and lot, W.F. Woodward acting as Mr. Webster’s agent. Consideration was $3,000. It is a fine property, with grand trees, modern improvements, and with a neat barn. It will make Mr. and Mrs. Dillman a very nice home.                              


The Episcopal Chapel looks so neat with the new  walk in place, now a mowing of the lawn would make it the prettiest church property in town. It could be mowed once a week, without much expense of muscle. 


Lynn Wants State Capital!


“I noticed in the newspapers some time ago there was some talk of moving the state capital from Madison. As the state capital ought to be somewhere near the center of the state, the people of Lynn and vicinity believe that Lynn would be the proper place for it. This place is near the center of the state and located on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad, a leading railroad of the state. The people will give a building site gratis in a fine park. Lynn also has good hotel accommodations.”


Max Opelt, Lynn, Wis., Mar. 17, 1904, Dispatch to the Milwaukee Sunday Sentinel.


(Max Opelt, Sr. was born May 4, 1868, in Germany. At the age of 14, he came to America with his parents, who settled in the Town of Lynn .There, he grew to manhood, and on Nov. 18, 1891, he married Miss Phoebe Sternitzky. After farming for a number of years, they became residents of the Village of Lynn, where Max went into the mercantile business, running it until about 1917.


During Max’s time of living in the village of Lynn, he purchased property on the northeast side of the village On that property, he developed Lynn Park, which included a pavilion, merry-go-round and baseball diamond. Dances were held regularly in the pavilion. The park was a busy place with various outdoor activities during the summer. Cunningham Creek ran north through the park.


Bob Washburn and Max Opelt were owners of the first two cars in Lynn. Bob owned a Ford and Max an International.


Max Opelt, Sr. was a great promoter, actively involved in the village and community affairs, striving to make Lynn a better place to live. He enjoyed music and was a skilled harmonica player.


Leaving the village in 1917, he traded the Lynn store for a farm in the Town of Levis, where he and his wife resided until Max’s death in May of 1936. DZ)


The above early 1900s photo shows people dressed in their “Sunday Best” while attending a special event, such as maybe a wedding reception, at the Lynn Pavilion. The pavilion was equipped with a kitchen for preparing meals to served the invited guests. Max Opelt had a park developed and pavilion built on land he had purchased on Lynn’s northeast side soon after becoming owner of a mercantile business in the village.


August 1944


Albert Degner of Neillsville has received a card from a nephew, a German who is a prisoner of war in this country. The young man is George Degner, son of the late Ludwig and Toni Degner. The card came as complete surprise from Camp Clinton, New York. It reads as follows:


“If you mind to have relatives in Germany (censored), if you would be bothered by this fact, please neglect this card and take it as not received. If not, give all the relatives my kindest regards and greetings. We hope you are fine, all the cousins, too. The next card will be sent to Aunt Dora In case you want to know more, write me (censored) I am the son of Ludwig and Toni.”


This card is undoubtedly one of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, which will inevitably be received in this country by families of German extraction, as are a large percentage of persons hereabouts. They imply inevitable some uncertainty, such as is expressed by the young man in this case. It will be noted that he identifies himself as the son of Ludwig and Toni. Except for this he would be entirely without identification to Mr. Degner, who has not maintained communication with his brother’s family. The Ludwig Degner in question, father of George, was killed in France in World War I.


The ”Aunt Dora” referred to is Mrs. Louis Lindow, sister of Albert Degner.


Mr. Degner has not as yet replied to this card. Except for the obvious embarrassment of the present situation, he would naturally respond, and it is possible that he may not yet do so, on the theory that blood is thicker than water and that his nephew is lucky to be in the United States instead of where his father was at the end of World War One.


(Many captured German prisoners of World War II were sent to the United States, where they were held in guarded camps and assigned to work on projects due to a labor shortage. There were several temporary work camps located throughout Wisconsin, where prisoners worked on farms in the summer months. After the war, the prisoners were sent back to their homeland. Some, liking what they witnessed whole in the United States, would later immigrate to this country, and a few got in touch with people they had met while living here as prisoners of War. DZ)                                                                         


The Clark County Welfare Department moved Monday from the Neverman house on South Hewett Street into the Lastofka building recently vacated by the AAA and the FSA.


The first official election ballot cast by a soldier overseas was received here last Wednesday. The election is August 15, still nearly two weeks away.


The ballot was cast by Sgt. Donald Stabnow, son of Mr. and Mrs. Harold Stabnow, and came from New Guinea by airmail in seven days. Sgt. Stabnow has been overseas for the past year.


A pair of wrens solved the housing shortage this year by bull-dogged determination, in spite of the fact that they were twice forcibly evicted.


It happened in the Town of Levis, at the Fred Sears farm. The wrens built their nest in the Sears mail box about five weeks ago. In spite of the fact that the nest was removed twice, the wrens failed to take the hint and stayed in their “mailbox apartment.”


In fact, they lived so comfortably there, they now have five little ones.


Clark County Farmers Union Picnic Will be held at the Fair Grounds, In Neillsville, on Saturday, Aug. 6, 1944


Mr. K.W. Hones, State President of the Farmers Union will be the speaker. He will discuss the OPA-Dairy Plant controversy.


There will be races for the young and old, men and women; a Tug-of-War, Hog Calling and Dinner Calling Contest, prizes awarded.


Prizes will be given to families traveling the longest distances. Refreshments will be sold on the grounds.


Clark County Schools will join in the Milkweed Collecting Drive!


Floss from the common milkweed is needed for life jackets for our men in the armed service.


Kopak was formerly used, but since Japan captured the East Indies it is no longer available.


A drive to harvest milkweed pods will be carried on through all the schools during September. This is when the pods are beginning to ripen and should be harvested when seeds are turning brown.


Eugene Laurent, county superintendent of schools with the county war board, will head the drive.


Milkweed should not be cut; instead, harvest the pods when ripe, as it is a vital war material.


(Being a grade school student at that time, I remember collecting milkweed pods while walking along the fence lines and in the country road ditches. I carried a gunnysack, gently dropping the picked pods into it. Each pod had a slight break in the shell with bits of floss visible, confirming it was ripe and dry enough to pick. A sack filled with the pods had very little weight. I often wondered how many milkweed pods it took to get enough floss to fill just one life jacket.


As I worked at the chore, I kept in mind that insulated vests were needed to keep the airmen warm as they sat in the cold cockpits of planes as they were flying on bombing missions over Europe. DZ)


Emil Podobnik, pitcher of renown in Clark County, has been signed up by the Philadelphia Phillies. He will report for spring training next year. Emil’s work was observed last Sunday by a scout from the Phillies. It was a job with frills on it, for Emil struck out 11 men and carried the Loyal club to a 6 to 4 victory over Wisconsin Rapids. In the 1944 season, he chalked up 88 strikeouts in 83 innings, and the Loyal team has won six games out of nine played thus far.


Emil is 21 years of age. He has heightened his local reputation this year. He began by pitching for Willard, being a Willard product, who had worked regularly on his father’s farm. Then he went on to Greenwood, hurling for the Greenwood city team in 1942 and 1943.


Last Sunday’s game was played at Wisconsin Rapids. Next Sunday the Loyal team has arranged a doubleheader, to be played on the ground of the Loyal High School. The opposing team will be the Owen Redbirds. The Owen boys have beaten the Loyal Blackhawks twice this year, but the Blackhawks are favorites around Loyal, having a long record of victories on the home field.


Armin (Stub) Berhardt, formerly of Neillsville, is expected to pitch the first game for Owen, while three former Neillsville players will be in the Loyal lineup: Harold Milbreit, Gene Christie and Henry Ott.


( Emil Podobnik did play a short time for the Philadelphia Phillies team, until receiving an injury. However, Emil provided much excitement for area fans with his outstanding pitching ability shown at local baseball games. There were other talented pitchers who came from the Willard area – Tony Zupanc and Wally Reber.


Bob Urban, who played for the Neillsville Athletics during the 1950s, had a chance to play for the Chicago White Sox. At that time, Bob had a wife, two young sons and was a partner in the family business, reasons for which he turned down the offer.


Whenever the Neillsville Athletics played a home game, the city’s grocery stores took turns donating a bag of groceries to the first Athletics player who would hit a home run. Bob, known for being a “big hitter,” more than once carried home a free bag of groceries after a baseball game.


There were three men, each long involved in this area’s cities league baseball, starting as young players who then became team managers: George Scherer of Greenwood, George Schmitz, of Lynn and Gene Christie of Neillsville. DZ)





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