November 8, 2023, Page 9

 Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"


Extracted by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon. Index of "Oldies" Articles


Clark County News

November 10, 1938


Straw ballot favors fire truck purchase


Neillsville voters gave their city aldermen the “go ahead” signal on the purchase of a new fire truck in a straw ballot taken at the polls Tuesday.


Six hundred and sixty-nine straw votes were cast in favor of the purchase, while 269 voted against the purchase.


It is expected that the city council will act in favor of the purchase at a session in the near future. It is estimated that the purchase of a 500gallon pumping engine, to be maintained in addition to the 14year-old pumper now owned by the city, will save approximately $1,000 annually to property owners in insurance premiums.


A detailed report of a committee appointed to investigate the purchase of a fire truck was turned over to Mayor Henry J. Naedler at the council meeting Tuesday night.


At the meeting the aldermen instructed City Attorney Forrest D. Calway to draft an ordinance to prohibit parking on any street in the city from 1 a.m. until 5:30 a.m. during the winter to clear the streets to facilitate snow removal. The ordinance, if passed, would be enforced only at such times as there is snow to be removed, the aldermen said.




Peters and Hugill direct sale of Christmas seals


One of the largest volunteer armies in the country more than 6,000 men and women in Wisconsin, are marshalling forces this week on preparation for the annual sale of penny Christmas seals to raise funds to carry on the fight against tuberculosis.


Donald E. Peters, superintendent of the Neillsville schools, has been appointed by the state association to direct the sale in Neillsville, and C.G. Hugill of Withee, has been appointed to direct the sale there, the association announced.


Christmas seal funds make possible the work of the Wisconsin Anti Tuberculosis Association, the organization which carries on a year-round, statewide campaign against tuberculosis.




November 18, 1948


Winter catches family of nine in one room


A family of nine persons is starting out the winter in Neillsville in a shack measuring about 10 x 24. There is a mother and eight children. Three of the children are below school age and five are in school. They are all in one room, that room, the property of the county, was once used as a storage place. The walls are without lining; are one board thick; no plaster; no insulation.


The welfare department of the county has been trying to find a suitable house for this family but has thus far been unsuccessful. It is not a question of money; there will be sufficient money to pay proper rent. It might even be possible to make a purchase if there were an opportunity to buy advantageously. The difficulty is to find the place.


The mother is credited with being a good housekeeper, and with currently making an honest effort to care for the children. She is without the help of the father; he has disappeared. This publicity is given the need, with the thought that there may be some modest house, in Neillsville or its environs, which could be secured. Information should be given Mr. Trewartha at the county welfare department.




Boney gets his deer but damages his car


But traffic officer gets sweet revenge: He buys half of the carcass


Harry Frantz, the traffic officer, got a deer Saturday...a little before the season opened, it’s true, but entirely legal like.


You see, “Boney” struck it with his car.


The officer explained he was patrolling highway 10 a short distance west of the Stables and in the heart of the deer country.


Four deer crossed the road ahead, and he slowed the pace of his car as he approached the crossing. In the four which went over was a big buck with a rack of horns, he said, like an elk.


As he continued on, a straggling fifth deer popped out and tried to jump the road. It didn’t quite clear the front end of the traffic officer’s car. So Officer Frantz had his own accident to report.


The deer was a yearling doe weighing 65 pounds. The damage it did to the officer’s car included a smashed front headlight and fender.


But Officer Frantz is having some sweet revenge: he bought half of the doe, legally through the game warden.




Turkey Dance is tonight in the new legion hall


The American Legion’s annual Turkey Dance will be held tonight in the new Legion Hall, near the O’Neill Creek bridge. This will be the first public function of the organization to be held in the new building. Work on the unfinished portion of the hall has been pushed this week to have it in readiness for the dance.




November 7, 1968


Local grad named PR director of United Council


Jane Harvey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Harvey of Neillsville and a 1966 graduate of Neillsville High School, has been named director of public relations of the United Council, and a representative of the campus controls council at Wisconsin State University at La Crosse.


A sophomore at La Crosse, Miss Harvey took part last Friday and Saturday in the fall assembly of the United Council of Student Governments of state universities, held on the campus in Eau Claire.


The United Council is an organization of student government leaders and discusses the problems of the 58,242 students attending the Wisconsin state universities. Topics of the assembly in Eau Claire included: student elections, freshman orientation, leadership retreats, teacher evaluations, educational innovations, public relations, finance and United Council Procedures.




Birds come for free lunch


The bird feeder at the William Sollberger residence is very popular now, with a variety of birds. Many chickadees, numerous sparrows, several nuthatches, and hairy and downy woodpeckers come regularly for suet, small grains and sunflower seeds. Saturday morning two evening grosbeaks were seen breakfasting and Sunday morning there were four grosbeaks. They appeared again Monday morning and may become regular diners at the feeder.





Exactly 100 years separate Henry Schoen and his grandson, Larry Schoen, pictured above. On November 11, Grandpa Schoen will be 102 years old; and of young Larry, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ed Schoen of Rt. 2, Neillsville, he says: “He’s, my pal!”. (Press photo Nov. 7, 1968)




November 6, 1975


Firemen fight losing battle as fertilizer plant burns


Building threequarters full for spring rush


It was Tuesday afternoon, 18 to 24 hours after the first alarm sounded, and smoke was still rising from what was left of the H.H. Van Gorden and Sons fertilizer plant in Neillsville.


A gigantic blaze consumed the building Sunday evening in one of the largest fires to hit Neillsville or surrounding communities in several years.


Men from the Neillsville, Greenwood and Loyal volunteer fire departments responded to the call, and some fought the blaze for over nine hours before departing for home.


The plant, located just south of O’Neill Creek in the heart of a supply, service and warehouse center for the community, was considered a total loss by owners Heron A. “Pink” and Dick Van Gorden. Dick’s office was in the plant, and he did most of his work from the building.


According to Dick, between 900 and 1,000 tons of fertilizer were stored in the plant at the time of the fire. The Van Gordens were stocking up for next spring’s usual run of farmer’s preparations for planting. In fact, a train load of fertilizer was resting on the tracks adjacent to the plant while firemen battled the blaze. The steaming car had to be pulled from the vicinity. Also heading into Neillsville Sunday evening was still another car of fertilizer but alert staff called the railroad just hours before its expected delivery to waylay the load in nearby Merrillan.


The cause of the fire was still unknown. The Van Gordens refused to speculate but discussion in the community centered on ignition from a gas space heater or overheated grain drying in the plant. The state fire marshal was investigating the cause.


The fire siren in Neillsville sounded just at 8:00 p.m., on Sunday evening and within minutes trucks arrived at the plant to see trickles of smoke escaping around doors and windows.


Earlier in the evening citizens noticed the smell of smoke in the air throughout the city but no one at that time was able to locate the fire. What little wind there was did not aid in finding the fire’s location but at the same time aided firemen in fighting the blaze.


The firemen approached the building cautiously, noticed the seeping smoke and lapping flames coming from the small business office located in the northeast corner of the building. As they broke open the office door, heavy smoke at once began coming out of every hole, gap or air space in the building. This was believed due to the building being fairly airtight; the office entering caused an air current to fan the already spreading blaze.


Within just a few minutes, the heavy smoke turned into a massive funnel of smoke and fire as the fire broke through the roof and sent flames and sparks 75 feet into the air.


By this time, firemen knew that they had a problem on their hands which was further worsened by the proximity to a Goodyear tire center and warehouse on the block. Neillsville soon put out the alarm to Greenwood and Loyal and soon trucks from those towns were on the scene to quell the conflagration.


Members of the department stated the next day that 70,000 gallons of water were used by the departments in the battle.


But all was to no avail. Many at the scene speculated that the fire may have been burning for several hours before its being located. Reportedly a passerby, Louis Henchen of Neillsville, called the alert to the fire department.


Firemen worked from the first alarm at 8:00 to past 10:00 before Greenwood and Loyal units went home. Some of the Neillsville volunteers stayed until 5:00 a.m., before departing with the feeling that everything was under control.


But the battle was still not finished. By Monday afternoon, the wrecked hull of the building was still smoldering and at 2:30, the smoke increased to a point where the department was again called to the scene. Within minutes and the downpour of more water, the smoke subsided to an acceptable level.


The 128 feet by 64 feet structure was a shell by Monday morning with only the walls, foundation and what remained of a metal elevator still intact.


According to Van Gordens’ the future is still uncertain. They are pondering whether to rebuild the plant, utilize another of the Van Gorden buildings or to realign their agricultural company.


Dick Van Gorden was quick to point out that farmers with commitments for fertilizer would still be honored. “We have received word that more fertilizer will be available for spring,” he stated.


No information was available on the financial loss suffered by Van Gordens.




New factory for Humbird, is reported


Manufacturing here? Yes! It is reported it will employ six or seven men. A pellet factory, (feed for cattle) is being built close to the railroad tracks to make shipment easy.


It is hoped it will bring good luck to our small community.



Reopen bridge on Highway 12 at Merrillan


The highway 12 bridge near the Merrillan cemetery was reopened to traffic late last Thursday afternoon.


A new concrete floor, railings and a sidewalk were constructed. The old steel railings and lamp posts were removed, thus making an entirely new appearance to the bridge. Two of the lamp posts were preserved for their historical significance and will be placed near the village hall.


Work is progressing on Oakwood Falls dam and officials expect it to be completed in another week.


The two new wellhouses near East Halls creek are receiving a coat of light blue paint. Work there is at a standstill, waiting DNR approval for machinery to be installed.





According to his coach, Brad Zimmerman typifies “excellence” in the sport of cross country running. Brad will be Neillsville High School’s representative at the state cross country meet to be held in the next week. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Zimmerman, Brad is a senior at the schools and has had a bemedaled career in long distance running. (Press photo Nov. 6, 1975)





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