The History of Weston Township

Clark County, Wisconsin


Indians made the first trails along the banks of the Black River in Clark County with the early loggers coming later, widening some of those trails into tote roads that wound through the brush and trees.  One of those early tote roads was west of Christie, between the Black River and the village’s present location.  It was there that the first Christie post office building was said to have been.  Later the tote road went along the route of where Highway 73 and Christie are now located.  The above small building is said to have been the first store in Christie in the late 1800’s, located on the corner of Highway 73 and County Road H, owned and operated by the Larvenez family.  It was later moved to their property west of Meade’s Avenue and north side of County Road H, presently owned by Larry and Sharon Fitzmaurice.  Did that building formerly exist as a post office on the first Christie site, later to be moved on the eastern site and then back?  History holds its secrets when there is no one left who lived during that time frame that may have known the answer.




Mormons in Weston Rapids




The first government entry in Clark County was made by Isaac S. Mason in Section 35, in the Town of Weston, on Sept. 1, 1848.




In the 1850’s the largest owners of land in Clark County were Cyrus Woodman and Samuel F. Weston. Woodman was by far the largest land owner of any one who ever owned land in the county, having taken land in nearly every one of Clark County’s 34 townships. As many as 12 sections in the Town of Seif, 5 sections in Hendren, 4 sections in Loyal, 7 sections in Weston, 15 in the Town of Eaton and 10 in the Town of Washburn. These figures were taken at random from the records and lesser holdings in every town in the county but two. (A section is one mile square or 640 acres).




History of Weston Rapids




Usher, Isaac's Memories of Hemlock and Weston Rapids




Treasurer's Ledger




"Clark County Illustrated" History of Weston Township.




West Weston: Fred Seif has bought two eighties from Hewett land, north and west of Tom Free.



Christie--This postoffice is in Weston Township, Clark County, 7 1/4 miles north of Neillsville, its nearest railroad station on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway. It has a general store, blacksmith shop, lumber yard and receives a daily mail. Turner's Hand Book and Gazetter of Wisconsin by Lura J. Truner, Paul Samuel Reinsch, 1898



The Tragedies We Faced Together



"Victims to amorous propensities" 1873


Shared Memories


"Berdina Remembers" -- Recollections of Rural Wisconsin in the 1920's

1918 History of Clark Co., WI

MRS. AMANDA SMITH, who came to Clark County in 1878, says. "I was born in Rutland County, 'Vt., in 1838. My mother died when I was 3 years old. When I was 12 years of age I came to Manitowoc County, Wis., with my uncle. At the age of 15, I was married, and subsequently reared a family of eight children, all born in Manitowoc. In 1878 we came to Clark County, traveling by rail to Hatfield, then by team and wagon to a settlement called Christie. We passed through Neillsville, which at that time was a small village. There were some farms cleared, but most of the land was covered with timber. From Christie we moved to Greenwood and lived there one year, then went to Longwood. Here we built a house, which was all open. We could see stars through the roof at night. We had no stairs and had to climb a ladder to get to the second story. We soon started to repair and improve the building, and when completed we opened the house as a hotel. For a time our guests were obliged to sleep on straw spread on the floors. We finally enlarged the building and used to keep the logging crews. Just as we had gotten the house all fixed up and paid for, it caught fire and burned down. We then moved over the Longwood store, starting another hotel, and soon had a fine trade, but immediately started a new building, and soon had it ready to move into. We lived at Longwood, keeping hotel all the time, until 1900, when we came to Withee. The town has grown about two-thirds since we came here."


1918 History of Clark Co., WI

EMMA F. ROBINSON was one of the early pioneers and her experiences were most interesting. Writing Nov. 25, 1901, she says:
"I came to Clark County, Wis., in January, 1859, my husband, myself and little twenty-months-old baby girl, now Mrs. James O'Neill. We drove through from LaCrosse with a team to what was then known as Weston's Rapids. We were four days making the trip. There were but a few settlers then in Clark County. Among them was the late James O'Neill, founder of Neillsville, Judge Dewhurst, Robt. Ross, Chauncy Blakeslee, B. F. Chase, James Hewett and S. C. Boardman.

"Neillsville was then a mere hamlet, although the county seat. It was there that I attended my first Fourth of July celebration in Clark County. Dr. B. F. French was the orator of the day. I met Mrs. French, Mrs. A. W. Clark and Mrs. John King for the first time, at that small gathering of patriotic settlers.

"There was a dam and bridge across Black river at Weston's rapids. A sawmill and grist mill were in operation there. There was a 'tavern,' as it was then called, for the accommodation of the lumbermen, and several tenement houses. We lived in one of those houses nearly two years and kept the first post office there. We only got our mail once a week and had no county paper at that time in fact all literature was very scarce in those days. The books and periodicals which we had brought from our eastern homes were gladly exchanged with our neighbors. They were read and re-read, passed out from one home to another till when they returned they were often in a somewhat dilapidated condition. After a time we were favored by having a very good little district library, which was greatly appreciated. Mrs. Melvin Mason, Mrs. Chandler and myself composed the committee to select the books for this small library of 100 volumes.

"A Methodist Church soon sprang up. It was built in Neillsville, all contributing most willingly. Its good influence was soon felt and it was the means of bringing the old settlers together oftener in a social way. Many are the church sociables we attended when our only conveyance was a big wagon or sleigh drawn by oxen or a span of mules. Before we had our little church our only pleasures socially were the meetings in our homes to read and discuss our well worn books and papers, and dancing. It was not considered a hardship by any means to have the big sleigh brought around right after supper and drive six or eight or even ten miles to a dance, gathering up our friends on the way. Mrs. Stafford, Mrs. Blakeslee, Mrs. Clark, Judge and Mrs. Dewhurst were generally along and always ready for a good time. By the way, it did not take as much to give us a good time then as at the present day. We were all young and full of health and hope and enjoyed everything to its fullest extent, our books, our dances, our drives and, last but not least, our church meant much to us in the wilds of Northern Wisconsin.

"The woods abounded with wild game, which was the means of bringing a great many Indians to our country. But they were friendly-too friendly, we thought, when several would walk into our houses and demand food, without even stopping to rap. We soon learned to keep our doors locked day and night and not to be frightened when we saw their dusky faces looking in the window at us.

"There was a log shanty near what is now known as Schofield's Corners, which was then used for a trading post for the Indians, by quite a notorious character in the early history of Clark County, by the name of George Pettengill. He was a tall, muscular fellow and affected Indian style by dressing in buckskin and wearing his hair long, reaching to his waist, and spending his time hunting and trading with the Indians. He at one time openly shot and killed a half-breed, which so enraged the Indians that the settlers were obliged to have him (Pettengill) arrested and lodged in jail at LaCrosse. But he was afterwards acquitted. He was not generally disliked by the white settlers and was allowed to trade with the Indians in the shanty on the corner without being interfered with, although they got in exchange for their furs and game a few gaudy trinkets and lots of poor whisky, and the nights were often made hideous by the weird cries of those poor children of the forest as they went reeling by to their wigwams after indulging too freely in 'fire-water.' I think there was quite as much need of a Mrs. Nation and her hatchet in those early days as now."


1949 "Globe-Marshfield Bridge" over the Black River


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