THE HISTORY OF CLARK COUNTY
Chapter XXV, 18 November 1909 -- Thorp Courier, Clark County, Wisconsin
Written by R. J. MacBride and transcribed by Crystal Wendt.
BANKS AND BARNKING -- EARLY BANKERS
MAUFACTURERS AND INDUSTRIES OF THE COUNTY
"Money is a good soldier, and will on."
The first incorporated institution to do a banking business in the county was the Clark County Bank, which was organized as a State Bank on the 20th day of August, 1875. Its first officers were Richard Dewhurst, President; J. F. Kirkland, Vice-President; and F. S. Kirkland, Cashier.
Its first directors were John Reed, Daniel Gates, James Hewett, James O’Neill, and F. S. Kirkland.
In the course of two or three years dissensions, between the directors of the bank, as to its management, led to the withdrawal from the directorate, of Messrs. Dewhurst, Reed and Gates, who sold their holdings, and from thence on had no connection with the bank. The bank continued in business with varying success until about the month of August in the year 1897 when it ceased doing business.
In August, 1879, a private bank called the Neillsville Bank -- unincorporated, was established at Neillsville by Daniel Gates and J. L. Gates, their banking business being carried on in the building on Hewett Street, no occupied by the Neillsville Post Office.
This business was carried on for nearly four years, when it was sold out to Richard Dewhurst, and others who in 1883 incorporated the Neillsville Bank under the laws of the State of Wisconsin, and in the latter part of the year 1883, moved into their new quarters in the Gates Block then just erected, and where they have ever since remained, doing a good business, under conservative management. During the year 1909, both Charles F. Grow the President, and Joseph Morley the Cashier, were called away be death.
There are thirteen organized incorporated banks in Clark county. Twelve State Banks, and one -- the First National Bank of Neillsville -- National bank, organized under the acts of congress of the United States.
The latter bank has just completed at Neillsville on the southwest corner of 5th and Hewett Street, a fine stone veneer bank building, two stories in height, well adapted for its purposes, and is not only the handsomest bank building in Neillsville, but also one of the finest in Central Wisconsin. This bank has a capital of fifty thousand dollars.
The Commercial State Bank of Neillsville was established some few years after the Clark County Bank went out of existence, and began doing business in the Gates Block, where is still remains. It is a sound reliable instituted doing a good business and is conducted carefully and conservatively.
Both the Commercial State Bank and the Neillsville Bank have each a capital of twenty-five thousand dollars and both of them have a large amount of undivided surplus.
The remaining ten banks in the county are distributed as follows: Two at Loyal, the Loyal State Bank, and a new bank organized in the fall of 1909, not yet doing business, the People State Bank at Thorp, the State Bank of Withee at Withee, and Bank of Owen, at Owen, the Abbotsford State Bank at Abbotsford, the Bank of Dorchester, at Dorchester, the Colby State Bank, at Colby, the Farmers State Bank at Granton, and the First State Bank of Humbird at Humbird.
All of the banks of the county are in good condition and prosperous, having large deposits, indicative of the growing wealth and prosperity of the farmers of Clark county and the people in general.
The county of Clark is entirely lacking in the number of industrial factories, to which it is justly entitled by reason to fist splendid location, railroad facilities, water powers, and natural resources, and this is especially true of the county seat.
In the early nineties there was organized at Neillsville what was popularly known and termed as the "Furniture Factory," but the tree corporate name of which was the Neillsville Manufacturing Company. To seven men of the county whose names will shortly follow, is due the respect and gratitude of at least all of the citizens of the city of Neillsville.
The men who so organized, built the plant, and carried on the business of the factory, during troublesome times, and in a financial panic, were Charles C. Snitemna, George Huntzicker, Fred Klopf, James H. Reddan, John G. Klopf, B. Dangers, and Matthew Kapellan.
Three of them are dead, the two Klopfs and James H. Reddan, and all of them with the exception of Sniteman and Dangers, lost practically every dollar they had in the world in the venture.
It is unnecessary to recount in detail the cause, or causes of the disaster. It is sufficient to say that today, the same plant is now owned and operated by Baltimore parties, who for some dozen year past have had the control and ownership of the plant, being incorporated under the name of the Wisconsin Furniture manufacturing Co. The grounds all within the city limits cover fifteen acres, the factory building being four stories in height, and 132 x 132 feet, besides the necessary outbuildings, engine rooms, sheds, switch tracks and other conveniences.
The plant has a capacity of employing 350 to 400 operatives. The company now operating it, are composed of wealthy eastern men, familiar with the business, and make in their special lines the very best of furniture, sold and shipped to practically every states, west of the Mississippi river. While the people rejoice in the success of the present proprietors, they do not forget the seven men, who by their money and energy made it possible for Neillsville to have such a factory. The plant and grounds were substantially given away by the men who paid for it, in order that it might be operated, and so benefit the city of Neillsville.
Another of Neillsville’s manufacturing industries, is the Neillsville Overall Company with their factory situate near the C., St. P., M. & O. Railway deport on 7th Street. As their name indicates, the business is the manufacture of overalls. At full capacity they can give employment to about forty employees. Their output in manufactured goods is about fifty thousand dollars a year. All of the cutting of the cloth, and in fact the whole manufacture of the finished product is done by machinery.
Among other industries at the county seat are the Wolf and Korman Foundry Works, Neillsville Planning and Saw Mill, Neillsville Milling Co. (flour mills) A. S. Leason, pumps, Howard & Seif, repair shops for tanks, pumps, and automobiles, and several others of minor importance, but all of them combined do not employ to exceed fifty men.
Throughout the county, there are numerous mills and industries devoted to manufacturing.
Prominent among them are the Jno. S. Owen Lumber Co. of Owen, a large and extensive concern engaged in the manufacture of lumber.
At Thorp another extensive lumber manufacturing company is the Nye, Luck & Hudson Co., also located there in the Thorp manufacturing Co. large manufacturers of staves and cooperage stock.
Various manufacturing plants also exist at Loyal, Greenwood, Colby, Humbird, Dorchester, and numerous part of the county, employing in the aggregate quite a large force of workmen.
Note. -- It was not the intention in this article to attempt to cover all the manufacturing industries of the county, but simply to touch upon the subject in a general way. When the matter is treated of in book form the industries of each town will be described in detail. -- R. J. MacBride.
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