MERRILLAN, JACKSON CO., WISCONSIN, 1878
NEWS EXCERPTS PERTAINING TO CLARK COUNTY FROM THE WISCONSIN LEADER
Introduction: The Wisconsin Leader was
established in 1878 by Mr. Byron J. Castle at Merrillan, a growing
logging and railroading junction.
Mr. Rulef H. Gile moved to Merrillan in
1878 to work for Mr. Castle. By the end of that year, Gile had
purchased Castle's interest
and was operating the business. He and
his family maintained the publication, in addition to a large business
form volume, until 1929.
In these clips when you see a reference
to another newspaper, that was a common practice of one community's
paper repeating the news
from another nearby town, as the
newspaper was, in addition to word of mouth, the best communication of
news. The dates, volumes, and
numbers prior to the article are the
reference to the Wisconsin Leader's edition. (The entire record of the
Leader is on file at the
Wisconsin State Historical Society in
Madison.) As the reader can tell, the Wisconsin Leader served a large
business and geographical
area, partly due to the lack of local
competition except for Neillsville and Black River Falls, and to the
position of Merrillan as an
important railroad junction with lines
extending in 5 different directions by 1882.
Vol. I, No 36, 1/5/78:
Mr. G.A. Tracy at Humbird, keeps a good furniture store.
On Monday we visited, for the first time, the village of Neillsville,
capital of Clark County. Taking the stage at Hatfield, we passed over
fourteen miles of the
roughest road we ever traveled. The roads to Neillsville are usually in
good condition and pleasant to drive over; but during the past two weeks our
roads have been almost is impassable. From Hatfield to the point where the
road crosses the Black River, the country is sandy and barren.
(The rest of the
article is missing due to a torn page.)
HUMBIRD AND NEILLSVILLE STAGE LINE: Moses Knight, Prop. Leaves Humbird,
10AM. Arrives Neillsville 2:30 PM. Leaves Neillsville 5:30AM,
arrives Humbird 8:50AM. Fare one dollar each way.
Vol. I, No. 39, 1/26/78:
"Suburban Notes" Neillsville Republican & Press -- Lumbermen on this river
though not as hopeful of a good winter's work as they were two weeks ago,
have not thrown up the sponge but are getting an immense amount of logs
skidded, and if snow enough to admit of hauling comes between this and the
of July, there will be lively times all along the line. An unusual number
of teams have been engaged for use when the snow does come, and from that
time, if it
ever comes, there will be no time lost while the sleighing lasts.
Vol. I, No. 43, 2/23/78:
A NEW RAILROAD: The people of Neillsville are awake to the importance of
having a railroad to this place, and if the people of Merrillan will aid
we can have the road built and cars running before the Fourth of July. That
such a road would be of great benefit to Neillsville and Merrillan, there is
least question, and that our citizens should do all they possibly can to aid
this enterprise is equally plain.
The people of Neillsville are talking of building a narrow gauge road from
that place to Merrillan.
Neillsville Press-- The men have been leaving the woods for their homes in
flocks the past week. One thousand trade dollars were received at the bank
at this place
last week. Quite a number of lumbermen have been using ice roads during the
past week. The roads are made by hauling ice from the river, which is
the track and covered with water, making a solid sheet of ice. It is
reported to work well, but it is rather too expensive to give promise of
Vol. I, No. 44, 3/2/78:
HURRAH FOR THE RAILROAD TO NEILLSVILLE! The thing is a fixed fact, and our
people should help this enterprise.
We acknowledge a pleasant call from Mr. J. L. Gates of Neillsville. Mr.
Gates says that the people of Neillsville are bound to have a railroad this
Vol. I, No. 45, 3/9/78:
Neillsville-- The topic of the day here is not the terms of peace that so
engage the minds of our friends across the little pond. No, they are
nowhere now we have a
topic of our own, viz, Railroad. Yes, Neillsville so long shut out from the
world away up here in the woods is to have direct communication with the
civilization by way of Merrillan and before the year has runout we will bid
farewell to muddy roads and long ride to Hatfield and Humbird. Of course
all other projects for the benefit of the community has its opponents. But
after blowing for a few days the storm will soon ease and like all other
gales will be
forgotten. Several of our most influential citizens met yesterday (Feb. 21)
and took the necessary steps to apply for a charter which is expected Monday
when more definite action will be taken and the organization of the Black
River Railroad Company completed, after which subscription books will be
the sale of stock and work will be commenced at once. We sincerely hope the
citizens of Merrillan will help us in this important work and it will then
be accomplished more speedily.
Neillsville-March 6-- Of the railroad, I am glad to inform your readers the
charter has been received, and at a meeting held last evening the
corporation to be
known as the Black River Rail Road Company, was fully organized with a
capital stock of $150,000 and the following officers were elected; N.H.
James Hewett, V.Pres.; Daniel Gates, Treas.; F.S. Kirkland, Sec.; The other
directors are James S. Gates, Geo. L. Lloyd, Hon. F.D. Lindsay, Hon. R.J.
and Leander G. Merrill of Merrillan. Mr. O.H. Hoffman has been engaged as
engineer and begins work today to run the levels and establish the grades.
One of the opponents of the new railroad in Neillsville, remarks that a
"Narrow gouged" road will not pay, and that "it will be in the hands of a
six months if built". This of itself, shows what kind of men are opposed to
Last Tuesday, O.H. Hoffman and a party came here from Neillsville and did a
preliminary survey over the line of the Black River Rail Road.
article stated Mr. Hoffman "expects no
Vol. I, No. 47, 3/23/78:
Neillsville is bound to have a railroad to this place. That fact is
settled, and by the first of August the iron horse will be making
regular trips between that place and Merrillan.
Vol. I, No. 48, 3/30/78:
The railroad meeting last Friday evening was attended by a large
crowd, eager for information about the new road, and taking a great
interest in the project. N.H. Withee, President, and Daniel Gates,
Treasurer, of the Company, together with several other gentlemen
from Neillsville, were present, and gave our people much information
about the road and the steps that had been taken to secure its
construction. Considerable desultory talk was had about the merits
and demerits of broad and narrow gauge, the taking of stock, etc.
All expressed themselves favorable to the road, but no one seemed to
be prepared to say just how much stock they could take, and this we
understand to be the prime object of the meeting. A road cannot be
built in a day, and our people are deliberating as to how much they
can afford to invest in a railroad to Neillsville. The road will be
of great benefit to Merrillan, and we are confident that when the
fever is over and the matter comes down to actual business, the
people of Merrillan will not be found unwilling to do their share.
Vol. I, No. 49, 4/6/78:
What do you say to a big Fourth of July celebration at Merrillan
this year, with an excursion to Neillsville on the Black River
Railroad as one of the principal features?
Mr. J.L. Gates of Neillsville, Superintendent of the Black River
Railroad, has been spending several days in town this week, looking
up the interests of the Company. Quite a number have taken stock,
and more will do so in a short time. This road is sure to be built,
and our citizens should not be backward in aiding its construction.
It will bring in capital from abroad, multiply our manufacturing
establishments, increase our trade, and help our town in many ways.
The company already has a $3,000 contract of hauling logs.
Eau Claire News -- Fairchild - The first mile of the railroad
from the elbow, on the Central road, via Fairchild to the
Mississippi River is laid, although there is no charter for the
road, and the track thus far laid is for the convenience of Foster,
Cook, & Co's Mill. We look for the above named extension in the
near future. Messrs. F.C. & Co. will build about two miles of track
beyond the mill this summer, and probably about the same next year
on the route from this place to Neillsville. The supposition is
that if a road is built to within seven or eight miles of
Neillsville by parties here, that those interested at Neillsville
will meet halfway and thus open a road between the two places.
Vol. I, No. 50, 4/13/78:
Neillsville Enterprise -- The actual survey of the Black River
Railroad commenced on Tuesday. An advancement has already been made
by the stock subscribers and camps are being established and stocked
with provisions for the graders. Mr. Gates has despatched three
barrels of pork himself. On a careful comparision of figures it is
found that the road can be built and fully equipped with rolling
stock sufficient to meet all demands for $40,000. The Merrillan
people have changed their mind in regard to the advantage it would
be to their town and are subscribing liberally.
Work has already commenced on the Black River R.R. It is
expected that the grading and tracklaying will be completed in about
Vol. I, No. 51, 4/20/78:
Next week The Leader will have been published one year. The paper
has been of much benefit to the place, and has been well supported.
With the continuance of this suport we can still further improve our
paper and make it such our people may feel proud of.
Augusta -- Bro. B.J. Castle of the Merrillan Leader, was in town
and called at this office Tuesday. Mr. C. reports that Merrillan is
having itself connected by rail with Neillsville - a narrow gauge,
which is to be completed in July. The work on it is already
commenced and will be vigourously prosectued. Black River Falls had
better have that costly court house completed soon before Merrillan
will gobble the county seat away from it. With its three railroads,
merrillan is bound to cut a figure.
Vol. I, No. 52, 4/27/78:
THE RAILROAD - The Neillsville Press says - The work on the
railroad has been pushed in earnest this week. Mr. Gates has been
busy with from twenty five to thirty men, and has it ready for the
ties, there being but little more to do than to cut away the brush
and small trees. It is the intention to have four miles of the road
ready for the ties by tomorrow night (4/20/78)
and word received just before going to press brings the assurance
that it will be accomplished. The force will be increaseed next
week. The railroad project is no longer one of talk. The road is
being built, and from the energy of the managers and the general and
growing interest of the people, it is fair to expect that before
many months we shall be in communication by rail with the balance of
the world. From the way that assistance is being offered, it will
not be over sixty days before the grading is all done. As ties are
to be had for the cutting, on the ground, along most of the route,
this will also be a small job for the hundereds of expert choppers
who are ready to lend their assistance by the time it is needed.
Neillsville - Apr. 24 - Amongst all the bitterness still raging
between the Engilish supporters of Turkey vs. Russia, it is very
pleasant to have a diversion. Sunday last brought a storm, and
Monday morning on getting up we found the river was up and instead
of thinking of war, our attention was turned to hand spikes and pike
poles, and the b-word of every one we met was "the logs are running
and good times are sure to come". Well, we do not know about the
good times, but we do know that O'Neill and Wedge's Creek are clear
of logs and the river from Hawley Creek down, except what few are on
the shores, and good judges estimate that fifty millions must have
reached the booms by this Wednesday evening. Well, with Gold and
Greenbacks at par, and a good drive in April, let us look for better
times, and hope that the Black River Railroad will be completed this
summer, and then Neillsville and Merrillan must and will prosper.
Vol. II, No. 1, 5/4/78:
The permanent survey of the Black River Railroad, between this place
and Neillsville is completed, and a contract let for furnishing
20,000 ties. The work of grading will be pushed with energy, and in
about ninety days the road will be ready for iron and rolling
stock. The heaviest cut on the new railroad is only eight feet, and
this only for a distance of a little more than 200 feet (Note,
I believe this was at Trow). The balance of the way the
ground is nearly level except one or two small cuts near the upper
end, and will not require any great amount of grading.
Vol. II, No. 2,
C.B. Hackney of Humbird, has resigned his position as route agent
for the West Wisconsin Railroad.
Work on the railroad to Neillsville is going on, and in a short
time the grading between Wedge's Creek and Neillsville will be
completed. We understand that arrangements have been made for the
iron which will be delivered at this place.
Vol. II, No. 4, 5/25/78:
Neillsville Press -- Forty men are now making the dirt fly on the
Black River Railroad. We learn from the engineer who has completed
the estimates sufficientyly to tell that the grading of the road
will average 5,000 cu. yds. per mile and less than $1,000 per mile.
Vol. II, No. 5, 5/31/78:
Two daily stage lines make regular trips between Neillsville and
Fifty five men are employed on the Black River Railroad, grading
and making ties. Nearly two miles are ready for ties and iron, and
one bridge and 600 ft. of trestle work are done.
John Kinnery and James Conlon were both hurt with gashed feet
while working with axes on the Black River Railroad.
Vol. II, No. 6, 6/7/78:
The heavy rains have railsed Black River some, and an effort has
been made to drive down a few more logs.
N.H. Withee, President, and Danl. Gates, Treasurer, of the Black
River Railroad Company were in town on Wednesday and Thursday,
looking up the interests of the new railroad.
The LaCrosse Democrat says that the committee from that city who
went up into Clark County to select sites for dams put them all in
at one place, between Hatfield and Neillsville, where the stage
Messrs. O'Neill, Withee, and Gates, of Neillsville, came here on
Wednesday to confer with Mr. L.G. Merrill about the railroad between
this place and Neillsville. Definite plans were made and agreed
upon, and in about a week matters will be in such shape that work
can be commenced on this end of the road.
Vol. II, No. 7, 6/14/78:
B. Hamilton is building a mill for E.D. Carter near Humbird.
The officers of the G.B.&M. (Green
Bay & Minnesota) and the Black River Railroads have appointed
a meeting here next Tuesday evening for consultation about running
the trains of the Black River Railroad over the Green Bay track
across the bridge here and into the depot. This arrangement will
save a number of thousands of dollars in building the road.
Vol. II, No. 8, 6/21/78:
The Black River Improvement Co. intend building dams on the upper
portion of the river, to enable lumbermen to get their logs to the
boom near the Mississippi, by flooding. It is expected that by this
means a clean drive can be obtained at any stage of water.
On Tuesday afternoon Mr. T. Case, Receiver of the G.B.&M. RR.,
with other officers of the road, held a conference here with Messrs.
Daniel Gates and L.G. Merrill, Directors of the Black River Railroad
Co. The object of this meeting was to learn on what terms the G.B.&M.would
allow the B.R. to run its cars on that part of the G.B.&M. track
between the switch at Trow's lumber yard and the depot. We are
informed that the officers of the G.B.&M. agreed to give the use of
the track, water tank, and depot and build a turn table, side track,
and engine house for the B.R. Co., and the latter company for these
considerations agrees to do the switching of freight cars at this
point for the G.B.&M. Co. This proposition will be made in writing
this week, and when accepted formally by the Black River Railroad
Co., a force of men will be employed at this point to grade to
LaCrosse Democrat -- At a meeting held on Monday afternoon, which
was attended by Messrs. G.C. Hixon, D.J. Spaulding, C.C. Washburn,
A.A. Bright, W.G. Bussell, N.B. Holway, S.L. Nevins, C.L. Colman,
John Paul and David Austin, resolutions were passed favoring the
immediate building of a series of flood dams to facilitiate the log
driving on the Black River and in favor of locating the first one at
Hemlock Island, and building the same.
Vol. II, No. 9, 6/28/78:
Neillsville Press -- The energy and liberality of the business men
of Neillsville has in itself almost given us a railroad. It has
made the grading and tieing of the road certain but there is still a
great deal more to do before the road is completed and stocked. The
same parties are able to do all this, but it is hardly fair for this
community, every member of which is to be benefited, to expect it.
The small subscriptions from which a great deal was expected do not
come in. The men who are able to give from five to fifty dollars
seem to be too well satisfied to let others foot the bills. This is
anything but just, and we are in favor of the only means for
collecting the just proportion that individuals should pay, by the
levy of a special tax, provided a majority of the voters of the town
are in favor of it. There is a law under which such election can be
ordered by the town clerk, upon the petition of twelve taxpayers and
we suggest that the sense of this and adjoining towns be tested by
such elections. With what is already accomplished, a tax of one
fourth of one percent or less upon this and several other towns
interested would bring the cars to Neillsville by the middle of
Vol. II, No. 10, 7/5/78:
The people of the town of Pine Valley, Clark County are to vote July
31st on a proposition to issue $15,000 in town bonds to aid in the
construction of the Black River Railroad.
The negotiations between the Black River Railroad Company and the
Green Bay Company for trackage having fallen through by reason of
the onerous conditions imposed by the latter company, work has been
commenced at this end on the line first surveyed. A cabin has been
built, and a crew of men are at work grading about half a mile from
the depot. Good progress is being made on the other end, and the
foot of the iron horse will be resounding through the woods between
Merrillan and Neillsville before very long.
Vol. II, No. 10, 7/5/78:
BLACK RIVER RAILROAD -- I have received a copy of a call for an electrion in
the town of Pine Valley, Clark County, to be held on July 31st, to vote on a
proposition to issue $15,000 in bonds to aid in the construction of the
Black River Railroad, which gives me much pleasure; not because the people
of Clark County are doing more than their part in this road and we are sadly
derelict, but because the people of Clark County are waking up to their true
interests and showing a determination to utilitze the advantages which the
God of Nature has given them. At the same time I regret to see how lukewarm
and pennywise the people of Jackson County appear to feel on the subject. I
know that railroad building is out of fashion now on account of depression
of business resulting from bad legislation, Black Fridays, credit mobiliers,
steamship subsidies and the ungodly resumption ghost, together with an undue
representation of the enormous amount of the public debt compared with the
resources of the United States.
But let us see what has been done as to the Black River Railroad. A few far
seeing but modest unassuming men at Neillsville have procured a charter, had
the line surved and found the distance from Merrillan to Neillsville depot
to be 13 3/4 miles, and the route one of the easiest and best to be found in
any country. They have gone quietly to work, have three or four miles
graded, Wedge's Creek bridge nearly built, have contracted a large portion
of the ties put onto the track at 7 cents each, find it can be graded ready
for the ties for about $600 per mile, find that there are only two bridges
of any importance to build and that the cost will be about $1,000 each, and
had the iron offered so that it will only cost about $24,000. I have lately
become so ashamed of myself and the people of Merrillan that I have
contracted for 3,000 ties for this end and put a crew at grading, determined
to keep on as long as I can get trusted. I suppose the people of this town
would be thunderstruck if a proposition should be posted proposing to vote
$10,000 in bonds to aid in the construction of this railroad. I know we are
heavily loaded still I am for it. I have not lost all faith in everything,
as it would now appear under the state of things that everybody had. I
believe, considering the character of the men at the bottom of this project,
that the bonds of this road will be worth par as an investment. It has been
the general practice in the construction of railroads to build on an easy
grade line for about $10,000 per mile ready for the rolling stock, and then
report the cost at $25,000 per mile thus watering the stock to the tune of 2
1/2; then to put on the rolling stock, officers and attaches pitched to the
same tune. Some roads have survived all this villiany and still pay a
handsome dividend. I am informed the railroad between Eau Claire and
Chippewa Falls, twelve miles, having been constructed under the management
of prudent men, pays a good dividend. But suppose it should not pay any
dividends? There are other considerations that are important. Have
railroads benefited this truly great country? To answer this, imagine thse
United States without one mile of railway at this advanced stage of
civilization. There may be a voter or two in Clark County who will oppose
the railroad proposition, but from what I know of the character of the
people, I think that kind of a fool would be hard to discover in Clark
County. -- L.G. Merrill
(L.G. Merrill was the founder of Merrillan
and heavily invested in farms, logging, and business in the area.
Vol. II, No. 11, 7/12/78:
E.D. Carter of Humbird, is building a substantial platform near the depot in
that village for use in shipping lumber and timber. Mr. C. is just now
filling a large bill for heavy bridge timbers, to be used at Baraboo.
We made a short visit to Humbird on Tuesday and found nearly all the
merchants of that thriving burg busy waiting on customers. We noticed quite
a number of new improvements being made, and altogether got a very favorable
impression of the village.
Neillsville Press -- We publish today a notice for a special town election
for the town of Pine Valley to vote upon the question of granting aid to the
Black River Railroad Company. The proposition of the company, which is
embraced in the notice, should be carefully read. It will be seen that the
company simply asks the town to become its endorser, for which the town is
to hold a like amount of the stock of the road. It may be argued that this
is not the best security. It is possible the town may at some time have to
sell the bonds at less than their face, but the chances in this case are
just as good that it may sell them at a premium, as the city of Chippewa
Falls did those of the Chippewa road, which it took in exchange for its own
bonds. The report of the railroad commissioner shows the local roads to be
the best paying roads in the state and there is no reason that this should
be an exception. But even should the town be a small loser on the bonds of
the road held, it must be insignificant compared with the direct benefit to
the people of the town, derived from the road. The question is one of very
vital importance, upon which every citizen should thoroughly post himself.
Vol. II, No. 12, 7/19/78:
Neillsville Press -- Several wagon loads of wheel barrows and other
implements for the construction of the Hemlock Island dam, passed through
town this week. A steam saw mill will be erected on the spot for the
purpose of sawing the plank and square timber needed in the construction of
A seven foot rise in the Black River Wednesday night elevated the loggers
into the seventh heaven of expectancy. The river is jammed full of logs,
and everywhere the cry is for men to help get the logs into the water.
C.A. Ecker has been reappointed Post Master at Frankville post office or
Humbird Yarn -- Daneau & Francis shipped the lumber and timber for a
building which they propose to erect in Gary, D.T. yesterday. (From
various stories, it appears that many people from the Merrillan and Humbird
areas went to the Gary, Dakota Territory area to establish farms and
Vol. II, No. 13, 7/26/78:
Neillsville Press -- The heavy rain of Wednesday did some damage to the
railroad bed, in washing out culverts. It also made it necessary to suspend
work for a day or two. The flooding dam company had just got the foundation
for the Hemlock Island dam in when the rise took place. When last heard
from it was still there, but it is expected that it will go out.---We have
this week taken pains to gain exact information as to the present shape of
the Black River Railroad, by an examination of the books of the company
named: A little over four miles of grading at $675 per mile. Forty rods of
trestle work of hewn timber, together with a Howe truss bridge over Wedge's
creek, nearly completed, with 60 foot span and good solid piers, at a total
cost of $1,500, the amount of timbers used being 110,000 feet. Eleven
thousand ties, at a cost of $550. All this work, which foots up to $4,750
has been paid for with the exception of $250 on the grading and trestle
work, and $150 on the ties, or $400 in all. All this, which is over a third
of the whole work of grading and tieing, has been accomplished with an
assessment of only 20 per cent of the stock subscribed. Taking out what the
Merrillan people have promised and are expcted to perform, and we have over
half of our work of grading and tieing accomplished. Work on the other four
miles at this end is being continued at the same rate that the other has
been built, while at the other end, which is almost at water level and but a
small job, the Merrillan people have a crew at work that will complete the
job by the end of the season. There is not and has not been any question as
to the road's being graded and tied this summer. The question of ironing it
has been the only one that has given the directors any trouble, and it is to
settle this point early enough to secure the completion of the road by fall,
that the credit of the town has been asked.
(The following is included as the camp the
trip was made to was in Clark County and for entertainment value.)
Wakefield, Trow & Co. made the first business trip with their new
tram-engine last Saturday, having previously been engaged in fixing their
track. The trip to the camp, four and a half miles, and back was made in
less than an hour, four cars of logs being brought down. On Sunday
afternoon a small party was made up and an excursion had to the logging
camp. No accident occured to mar the pleasure of the trip, a very good time
was enjoyed by all who went, and everyone voted both the excursion and the
"steamboat" a grand success. We noticed along the route some cranberry
marshes covered with vines which were well laden with berries, also an
extensive corn-field. A meeting with a specimen of the genus Poli, whose
name, contracted from Abenaki Seganky, the members of the party will ever
hold in fragrant remembrance, lent a bit of variety to the ride. At the
camp the boys were taking their Sunday rest, and treated the party to music
from home made wooden horns. The run back was quickly made, and the party
separated, thoroughly convinced of the success of the enterprise. The
engine is now making regular trips, and is doing the work of twelve men and
twelve horses. This firm is entitled to much credit for the enterprise
exhibited in this matter.
Humbird Yarn -- After the completion of the Black River Railroad to
Neillsville, the wagon road from Humbird to that place will probably be
Vol. II, No. 15, 8/9/78:
As will be seen by an extract from the Neillsville Republican and Press,
which we publish in another column, the proposition that the town of Pine
Valley should issue $15,000 in town bonds in exchange for a like amount of
stock of the Black River Railroad Company was defeated by a vote of 197
against to 70 for. This would look very much as if the people up there did
not want a railroad. The advantage of the railroad to the town can not be
questioned, and this action looks to us like a man cutting off his nose to
spite his face. The increased revenue derived from the sale of hardwood
timber would in one year pay the bonds, and the stock would represent so
much bonus given the town for allowing the railroad to run through it. We
do not believe this will stop the building of the road, although it may
retard its completion somewhat. The men who have commenced this enterprise
are not the men to let it fail of completion for the lack of a paltry
$15,000. As we understand the matter, the men comprising the Board of
Directors are able to build the road alone and sooner than have the project
fall to the ground a total failure, they will do it.
Hon. Herman Greaves, of Sparta, was in town on Monday. Mr. G. was very
favorably impressed with the inducements offered for investment in the
Neillsville railroad project, and thought he would take hold of the
Humbird Yarn -- The buzz of the threshing machine is heard in the valley,
and the buzz of a rattle sager still lingers in Charley Long's mind. It was
in the bundle of oats and it would fairly make one crawl to hear the (tail)
tale as related by Charley. (sic)
Vol. II, No. 17, 8/23/78:
Dispatches from Nevada state that G.W. King formerly of Humbird, and well
known in past years as a lumberman on Black River, is the Greenback
candidate for Auditor in that State.
Reports from Neillsville state the bridge builder's crew commenced work
again on the railroad Monday of this week, and that a large crew of men is
to be set at work on the grade as soon as the hurry of harvest and threshing
is over. Iron for the road is being delivered at Hatfield, and it really
looks as if the officers of the road meant business. Our people should wake
up and commence operations on this end of the route, and have the road
completed before snow flies.
Vol. II, No. 19, 9/6/78:
Neillsville Press -- P.T. Johnson of this place, who has a farm in the town
of Lewis (sic), near Black River
bridge, had two yearlings and a cow killed by a panther last week. The
animals were killed on the farm on different nights, the last being the cow,
which was in the barn. The yearlings were partially devoured, but he seems
to have got a full meal by drinking the blood of the cow. Efforts have been
made for its capture, but so far it has been too wary. Panthers are by no
means plenty in this county, for which farmers may be thankful if they are
all as extravagant in satisfying their appetites. This is the first we
have any knowledge of.
Vol. II, No. 20,
(Just an example of the advertising that
was done in those days. Pres. Rutherford B. Hayes had recently made a stop
in Merrillan on the train.)
President Hayes told Attorney General Devens when they passed thro' here the
other evening that his wife told him that James G. Blaine said that Matt.
Carpenter remarked to Gov. Smith that it was a well known fact that Samuel
Tilden had emphatically stated to Henry Ward Beecher, who remarked it to
Theo. Tilton that the best and cheapest place to buy hats, caps, dry goods,
groceries, and notions is at the store of Merrill & Loomis, in Merrillan.
Vol. II, No 22, 9/27/78:
Work on the new bridge between Humbird and Neillsville, over Black River,
commenced this week. The bridge is to be compelted by October 15th.
The Senatorial District Convention for the 11th Senatorial District,
comprising the counties of Chippewa, Lincoln, Taylor, Wood and Clark held at
the Blair House in this village, last evening, nominated Richard Dewhurst of
Clark county, for Senator from that District.
(Note that due to the location of Merrillan
as a travel crossroads, the meeting was held there even though Jackson
County was not in that district.)
Vol. II, No. 23, 10/4/78:
City Point has a new postmaster in the person of R.W. Button.
A Humbird man had bear, deer, and goose served up for dinner the other day.
In the new distribution of M.E. Ministers for this district, Rev. H.M.
Hackney is settled at Merrillan, Charles Barker at Humbird, I.B. Richardson
Humbird Yarn - Humbird is probably beyond a doubt the best place to trade
between Merrillan and Fairchild, and even those two want to "look a leetle
Vol. II, No. 24, 10/11/78:
Humbird Yarn - For the month of September the earnings at this Station were
Freights for Neillsville come in such quantities as to require two or three
teams to move them to their destination.
F.D. Whipple while hauling timbers at Carter's mill had his hand badly
mangled, but luckily no bones were broken.
Nearly a fire on Sunday morning. Big blazes shot out of the chimney of the
hardware and drug store. A prompt application of the water cure squelched
Vol. II, No. 27, 10/25/78:
(The issue number was printed that way by
Neillsville Press: The Government timber agents are about to begin the
prosecution of a considerable number of Black River lumbermen for trespass,
alleged to have been committed during the past ten or fifteen years. There
has probably been since the commencement of logging operations on Black
River, more or less trespassing, intentional and otherwise, and there has
been times when it would have paid the government to have had more diligent
agents. But that time has passed, since the professional timber stealers
have the way of all rogues-to the dogs. The only prosecution attempted, so
far, proved a disastrous failure, and the only thing the government can now
accomplish is to make some useless expense for itself and the already too
Humbird Yarn - Beautiful snow made its appearance on Monday. Short visit
this time. "Pomes" are in order now.
Vol. II, No. 28, 11/1/78:
Humbird Yarn - Reported that a new grist mill is to be built at the trout
pond west of town the coming winter. Good location for an enterprising man.
The removal of the old bridge and building the new one, across Black River,
places a temporary embargo upon travel between this village and Neillsville
as everything must be transferred by ferry.
Vol. II, No. 29, 11/8/78:
Logging crews are making for the woods.
Neillsville Press: On the first of this week County Surveyor Bussell laid
out the new road on this side of the river from the old bridge, at Arch
Days, to the site selected for the new bridge, this side of Arnolds. After
leaving the old bridge, the road as laid out will follow the bank of the
river for about a mile and a half, when it will make a straight cut across
the big bend made by the river and strike the stream again about a mile
below the mouth of Wedge's Creek, and near the site of the new bridge.
Humbird Yarn - More hunters from abroad who are not posted on Wisconsin game
Teams have been crossing the new Black River bridge for nearly a week.
Great scarcity of wood, prospect of a famine. The Railroad has not brought
any here for some months. (Satire
concerning the source of wood for many residents.)
Humbird is putting on Metropolitan airs. One day last week there was
visible on Main street at one glance eleven teams and one train of cars. We
didn't have fifty seven trains in two days tho'.
Vol. II, No. 31, 11/22/78:
Humbird Yarn - G.M. Andrews is engaged in fixing up a camp north east of
town, preparatory to placing a large quantity of wood on the line of the
C.St.P.&M. Ry., report says about 1,000 cords.
Vol. II, No. 32, 11/29/78:
A dangerous and fatal accident happened to a Norwegian named Larson, at
Pray's mill east of here, last Monday. A board was thrown from the saw in
some manner, striking him in the head, smashing in a portion of his
forehead, adn breaking some of the bones of the face. His recovery is
Vol. II, No. 33, 12/6/78:
Ole Larson, the Norwegian mentioned last week as having been injured at
Pray's mill, died at Black River Falls on Sunday night.
Vol. II, No. 34, 12/13/78:
Humbird Yarn - E.D. Carter is furnishing for Minneapolis parties, a bill of
square timber that will fill fifty cars.
Vol. II, No. 35, 12/20/78:
The name of the Hatfield post office on the Green Bay Railroad in this
county has been changed to Pray and Charley Harley appointed postmaster. -
B.R. Falls Banner
Humbird Yarn - The cheerful music of the railroad woodsaw has greeted the
ears of our citizens for a few days past.
House & Page have thrown Prof. Tice overboard, and are now building a tram
road on which to transport their logs.
A Frenchman who is working on the railroad wood saw here was "helf up" for a
small amount of cash on Tuesday night while between the Brewery and town.
Begin 1879 - (Vol.
II, No. 38, 1/10/79)
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