February 17, 2021, Page 9

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"


Extracted by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.


Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Clark County News


February 16, 1939


Flames eat at distillate as woman sleeps nearby,


Pearl Lockwood emerges sleepily as firemen prepare to knock door in; four homeless as result of $1,500 fire Saturday


Miss Pearl Lockwood, Neillsville telegraph operator, slept as flames licked hungrily at a tank of distillate, a scant five feet away.


Hot and high, the flames jumped eight feet from the already half consumed apartment-garage occupied by Mrs. Agnes Waterhouse and her three daughters on West Division Street Saturday night, and wrapped around the dangerous fuel tank, scorching and blistering the side of the small cottage against which it rested.


A hushed tension gripped spectators as the word passed swiftly along that Miss Lockwood was still in her cottage.


Any second flames might find a leak in the fuel tank and blow the small cottage to bits. Or flames might catch the tinder-like cottage and quickly engulf it, cutting off escape to the outside.


Frantically firemen pounded at the bolted cottage door. No answer. For many long seconds that seem a whole eternity they clamored; but apparently Miss Lockwood could not be aroused.


Then, just as firemen neared with an axe, prepared to smash the door down, Miss Lockwood unbolted the door and walked sleepily out. A coat, thrown hastily over her night gown, hung from her shoulders.


She rubbed her eyes and looked bewilderedly at the flaming building.


Then, with a shrug, she entered the nearby home of Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph Frantz, owners of the burning apartment-garage and the threatened cottage.


A short time later, after the flames had been somewhat subdued, but while firemen still were pouring water into the building, Miss Lockwood calmly returned to her cottage and her bed.


Mrs. Waterhouse and her daughters - Margaret, Hazel and Betty - were downtown when the blaze was discovered about 9:45 p.m. Apparently starting around the chimney, located against the wall which separated the apartment from the garage in front, the fire gained rapid headway, and had consumed the entire interior of the apartment before firemen arrived.


So hot were the flames and heavy smoke that early arrivals were unable to enter the apartment, However, witnesses did get into the smoke-filled garage and pushed the cars of Mr. and Mrs. Frantz and Bud Jens to safety outside.


In the ruins of the gutted building the next morning, “Bing,” small and faithful bulldog pet of the Waterhouse’s, was found under the bed where he usually slept. He apparently had been overcome by smoke long before the fire reached his body.


Fire Chief William Dahnert described the fire as “one of toughest small fires I ever fought.” Each time members of the volunteer fire department believed they had extinguished the blaze, flames popped out in another portion of the building.


The fire broke out for a second time about 1:30 a.m. Sunday - sometime after firemen had left, believing the blaze was extinguished. They were called again to pour water into the charred ruins. The black, flame-eaten remains of a mattress still were smoldering Monday morning.


Sympathetic Neillsville residents this week were rallying around helping Mrs. Waterhouse and her daughters, who lost all their personal property in the fire.



An unusual night picture of the blaze which made Mrs. Agnes Waterhouse and her four daughters homeless Saturday night is shown above. The seat of the flames, midway in the combination apartment-garage building is clearly visible. Miss Pearl Lockwood slept in her cottage, shown next to the burning building, while the fire was at its highest. Flames licked around a tank of distillate between the buildings, and for a time it was feared that an explosion might result. Miss Lockwood was aroused with great difficulty.  


Sub-zero weather causes delay of Derby, contests


Postponement of events to result in more entrants


Old Man Winter took a lusty crack at Neillsville and Clark County last Saturday, so the second annual Dog Derby and wood chopping and sawing contests were postponed a week until this coming Saturday afternoon. The event will be held then regardless of the weather.


Many spectators and entrants, whom the committee of the Junior Chamber of Commerce were unable to notify of the last-minute postponement, were disappointed; but members of the committee decided that the action would probably result in the advantage of both spectators and entrants.


After all, they reasoned, 10 degrees below zero is no temperature for one to be standing out-of-doors.


High, snow-laden winds last Thursday afternoon and Friday drifted over many township roads, and the majority of those who planned to visit Neillsville and watch the winter festival activities were force for that reason to remain close to their homes.


Expect good crowds


However, with any sort of decent weather, a large crowd should be on hand for the contests Saturday afternoon. Many entries already have been received. They ensure exciting competition in all three events. Additional entries are expected to result from the postponement, and this will make the show bigger and better, according to President Robert Schiller of the Junior Chamber.


Merchants have announced that the winter festival merchandise bargains they announced for last weekend would be held over to this Saturday. And extra preparations are being made for the accommodation of a great many more than the ordinary Saturday crowd.


Saturday’s festivities will get under way at 2 p.m. They will be held on the O’Neill Creek ice, just east of the South Hewett Street bridge. Special preparations are being made by the Junior Chamber’s committee to ensure all who attend a good view of all the contestants in each of the three events.


Thermometer hits 18 degrees below


Week’s high 36 above; four inches of snow falls


Rural residents of Clark County spent the early part of this week digging out of one of the meanest snowfalls of the winter, which came last Friday.


Four inches fell during the day while the temperature ranged from 31 degrees above zero to six degrees below, according to records of the cooperative weather observation station on the Henry Marquardt farm near the fairgrounds. The four-inch snowfall melted down to 1.15 inches of precipitation. The highest temperature for the week came Sunday when the official thermometer registered a high of 36 degrees above zero. The lowest, up to the Wednesday night’s reading, was 18 degrees below zero; recorded Saturday night.


Temperatures, high and low, for each day of the week, are given in that order below: Thursday, 20 above, zero; Friday, 31 above, six below; Saturday, three above, 18 below; Sunday, 36 above, three below; Monday, 33 above, 17 above; Tuesday, 23 above, 13 above; and Wednesday, 13 above, 15 below.


Case dismissed


Charges against Herbert Frederickson, Granton cheesemaker, of a bad check charge, were dismissed Wednesday afternoon by Judge A.E. Dudley on motion of District Attorney Hugh Gwin. Mr. Frederickson previously had pleaded innocence of the charge and was awaiting preliminary hearing when the motion to dismiss was made.


Man injured as result of high wind Thursday


At least one Clark County resident was injured as a result of last Thursday’s high wind. 


He was George Howard, 76-year-old Grant township man. Mr. Howard was descending the stairs outside of the rear of his farm home when he was struck by a door, which was blown shut by the hard wind. The force of the blow threw him from the steps to the ground. He suffered side and back injuries.


County recipe contest winners announced


Clark County winners in the recent Wisconsin butter recipe contest have been announced.


Mrs. Christ Keiner of Greenwood was awarded first prize of four colored mixing bowls for the best recipe sent into the state-owned radio stations WHA and WLBL. Second prize of an ice box dish for holding butter was awarded to Mrs. J.F. Steinwand of Colby; and third prize of an aluminum frying pan was awarded to Mrs. Agnes A. Smith of Withee.


All others in the county who took part in the contest will receive wooden butter molds. More than 2,300 entries were received. The radio stations and the Wisconsin agricultural authority cooperated in sponsoring the contest.


Bound over


Lewis Badzinski of Boyd, WPA worker and former operator of the East Worden Dairy and Grocery, was bound over to circuit court by Judge A.E. Dudley Wednesday morning, following a hearing on charges of issuing a check without sufficient funds. He was released under $100 bonds to await circuit court action. The check allegedly was turned over to the Neillsville Production Credit Association to be applied to the account of Frank Fillipeck, in payment for milk. It was for $11.25 and was drawn on the People’s Exchange Bank of Thorp, dated March 1, 1935.


Thorp man elected head of county syrup group


H.C. Conklin of Thorp was elected president of the Clark County Maple Syrup Producers at their annual meeting in Loyal Monday afternoon.


Other officers elected were Julius Schroeder of Spencer, vice-president; Carl Yankee of Granton, secretary; Ed Klinke of Greenwood, treasurer; and Justin McCarty of Owen, Elwin Cook of Loyal and Charles Greeler of Neillsville, directors.


Members attending the meeting voted to sell maple syrup in 1939 at the same price asked in 1938. The principal speaker at the meeting was James Gwin of the state department of agriculture and markets, who told of the requirements for producing a good quality of maple syrup.


Arrangements for the meeting and the securing of Mr. Gwin as speaker were handled by County Agent Wallace J. Landry.


Willard News


L.S. Butcher was in Greenwood on business Monday.


Rudolph Trunkel came from Illinois for a visit with relatives and friends.


A wedding dance in honor of Mr. and Mrs. John Trunkel, Jr., was held Wednesday evening, in the Slovenian National Hall. A large crowd was in attendance.


George Hintz, Sr., is improving after an attack of influenza.


Misses Ruth Richter and Jane Butcher spent Sunday afternoon with the Volovsek twins. They were accompanied by Eddie Godec and Jimmy Klancher.


Mr. and Mrs. Carlyle Baldwin and family of Greenwood visited at the home of A.R. McCune Sunday.


Mr. and Mrs. Harry Liebzeit of Greenwood called at the home of Mr. and Mrs. L.S. Butcher Sunday evening.


The Clark County Conservation League held its regular meeting at the Slovenian National Hall Sunday evening, February 12. A good-sized crowd attended.




Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Davis and Clare visited relatives at Sherwood Sunday afternoon.


Mr. and Mrs. R.C. Miller and family spent Sunday evening at the Alvin Anderson home.


The John Prust family visited at the Harry Cole home Sunday afternoon.


Harold Miller of Granton was a Monday caller at the RC. Miller home.


Born to Mr. and Mrs. Otto Schmidtke, February 13, a daughter.


Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Brandt and family and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Lindow helped C.A. Happe of Chili celebrate his birthday Saturday.








© 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