Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

August 16, 2006, Page 12

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Good Old Days" Articles 


The Good Old Days

August 1926


Wm. Ottow and his son-in-law, Paul Keller of the town of Washburn, have done some quick time building this summer, on their farms, which are on adjoining corners.  Mr. Ottow has built a new barn, 34 by 60 feet, full basement of concrete and tile.  Mr. Keller has built a similar barn, 34 by 50 feet, also a frame granary, 16 by 30 feet, and a tile hen house, 12 by 30 feet.  All of these buildings have been put up since June 1st.  They are all planned for convenience and comfort, being of the most modern and up-to-date type.  The new barns are filled with hay and the granary is ready for the threshers.


Mr. Ottow’s old barn is still standing and is one of the oldest buildings in this region.  It is built of logs and was put up about 60 years ago.  The roof is made of “shakes”, such as was used on buildings of the early settlers, and is still in good condition.  The old barn however, will be torn down during the coming year, as it is no longer needed and will make a large amount of heating fuel.


Mr. Ottow and Mr. Keller are progressive farmers and the little “village” they built this summer has improved the appearance of the community greatly.


The Humbird Canning Factory expects to complete the season’s pea pack some time next week.  The early peas were of fine quality and have filled about half of the warehouse room.  Late peas are running with a good yield, with the quality good also.  Canning of blueberries will continue while the picking lasts.


There will be a big dance at Pischer’s Barn, Tuesday, August 10.  Music will be by the “Midnight Entertainers.”  Tickets 75¢.  Alvin Pischer, Manager.


There will be a social held at the Carl Kessler home on Sunday, August 22.  Hot lunches and ice cream will be served, starting at 12 Noon and on.  There may also be a dance in connection, if arrangements can be made.  Everyone welcome


Neillsville Police is frequently picking up fellows running cars without licenses, these days.  Drivers will find it cheaper in the end to secure license and display the plates.


Fred Grap, of Globe, is the owner of a new Ford truck and is hauling milk for the Clark County Butter Company.


Grandma Frantz, past 93 years of age, went blue-berrying Friday, and picked 18 quarts of berries, with picking not so very good. 


Mrs. Frantz is one of the oldest, if not the oldest resident of the county.  Her mind and memory are as strong and active as her physical powers.  Mrs. Frantz does not confine her interest to things of the past, but keeps in touch with all the new developments of the community.


Many swimming fans are again finding the old O’Neill Creek a popular place to take a cool plunge.  The stream has been dammed up for several weeks and is now running over the dam, which makes it a body of live water.  Some persons are under the impression that sewers empty into this stream.  This is not true since the pea cannery has constructed a special sewer, which runs into the main city sewer.


Many cities would be “tickled to death” if they had such a place to take a swim, and especially so near the center of the city.  Some years ago, the Kiwanis Club spent considerable effort and money in putting up cement sides and a modern springboard.  This advantage should be appreciated and more use could be made of the stream.


Notice!  All persons having “empties” from the Neillsville Bottling Works, please return them, or notify me and I will call you back.  James Paulus


Fifty-four new books of fiction have been recently received by the Neillsville City Library.  These books are a part of the traveling library, issued from the Library School at Madison, and will remain here until some time in November.


Over 600 persons were thrilled by the various stunts at the flying circus, auto polo and auto races held at the Fair Grounds, Sunday afternoon.  The two airplanes flew over the city a number of times and displayed many, death defying stunts at the grounds, such as wing walking, hanging by the teeth, one hand and foot, a parachute jump and other air gymnastics.  The auto polo by four special racing cars produced many thrills and laughs.  Two car races were held, one a ten-mile and the other was a five-mile race.  Considering the wet track, a good racing time was recorded by the four cars entered in the contest.


The Fair Association received 25 percent of the proceeds.


August 1946


Mrs. George Wilding died Thursday Morning, July 25, at Centruala Hospital in Inglewood, Calif., after a series of heart attacks.


Anna Kurth was born to Charles and Minnie Kurth April 15, 1880, on the Kurth farm known yet as Kurth Corners, 5 miles east of Neillsville.  She grew to womanhood there and on October 16, 1901, was married to George Wilding.  They went to live on their own farm, 2 miles north of Kurth Corners, where they remained until 1915.  Then they sold their farm and moved to Neillsville.  In 1920, they moved to 142 West 120th St., Hawthorne, Cal., where they have made their home ever since. 


Mrs. Wilding was the youngest and the last of the Charles Kurth family, her parents, a sister, Mrs. Amanda Handke and four brothers, Richard, Adolph, Robert and William preceding her in death.


Services will be held next Sunday evening at the Union Church, in Granton, for the dedication of an altar, pulpit and chairs.  The guest speaker will be Dr. Crosby, of Owen.  The presentation will be made by William L. Smith, who, with Mrs. Smith, donated the pulpit and chairs.  The address of acceptance will be made by Miss Ruth Pietenpol.  The altar is the gift of the Circle Ladies.


Two polio cases have been reported in Clark County, located in Thorp and Owen.  In both instances inquiry was made of the Clark County Chapter of Infantile Paralysis, and the instruction was given to take the patients to the Wisconsin General hospital without delay.


In view of the danger of further cases at this time of year, Jess Scott, head of the county chapter, has authorized public notice to the effect that direct action should be taken by physicians, whenever a case of infantile paralysis is diagnosed.  The patient should be placed in an ambulance and taken to the Wisconsin General hospital without delay.


The expense of the care of all such cases will be borne by the county fund, and transportation will be included as part of the care.  This will be done in every case of polio, and Mr. Scott advises that no advance arrangement is necessary.  The important thing is to get the patient isolated and under expert care as soon as possible.


A group of Cloverbelt league “all-stars” defeated Black River Falls in an abbreviated game last Thursday night by a score of 3 to 2.  The game, played at Black River Falls under lights, was called after five innings because of rain.  Frankie Zank, of Neillsville, was the winning pitcher.  Harold Milbreit was Frankie’s catcher.  The “all-stars” consisted of seven members of the Neillsville team and two members of the Greenwood Cloverbelt league team.


What was Neillsville like 50 years ago?


An answer to this question has come to light in the office of Schuster & Campman.  There, Mr. Campman digging around in a drawer of relics came upon a printed presentation, named to the state board of Normal School regents by representatives of Neillsville.


At that time, Neillsville was a candidate for the location of a teachers’ college, and went after it in a large way.  The city and county offered a site and $50,000 for buildings.  This offer was backed by the presentation, which was signed by S. H. Esch as chairman and J. O. Carbys as secretary.  Esch as a doctor and was once mayor, probably at that time.  Carbys was a lawyer.


Among the advantages cited for Neillsville was that board and room could be had for $3 per week; that carpenters could be employed at $1.50 to $2.50 per day.  As evidencing the state of culture in Neillsville, the presentation alleges that Neillsville homes had a total of 150 organs and 50 pianos.


The presentations was (were) the work of a committee on statistics, consisting of Geo. E. Crothers, Wm. Huntley, R. J. MacBride, M. C. Ring and James O’Neill.  These were all men of means, but they lacked what was needed, or something, for the teacher’ college did not come to Neillsville. 


Details of the presentation area as follows:


To the honorable Board of Regents of Normal Schools:


“Neillsville is situated at the junction of O’Neill Creek with Black River.


The surrounding country for miles in all directions has a fertile soil, in many places still covered by the primeval forest of stately and valuable timber, but large tracts are cleared and under cultivation.  In no portion of the state can be found finer farms, neater or more commodious farm buildings nor a more prosperous and substantial class of people than may be found in the country surrounding this city on all sides.  The first settlers were people from New England, New York and other parts of Eastern United States.  Later have come, people from all parts of the world, Germany, Scandinavia, the British Islands and Canada.  There is scarcely a family in the city, however, in which English is not the language used.  The class of twelve graduates, yesterday, from Neillsville High School, contained three pupils of German parentage, one of Norwegian, one of Swedish, two of Canadian Scotch and five whose parents came from “back east.”  This indicated, sufficiently, the nature of our population as regards to nationality.”


“More than 60 of the teachers in Clark County live in Neillsville and its immediate vicinity.  Citizens of all classes take great interest in public schools, and the utmost harmony prevails in every thing pertaining to school matters.  In addition to the public schools, there are two small parochial schools, one under the auspices of the Lutherans and the other Catholic. The former is rarely in session except during vacation in the public school, and pupils of he latter joining with hearty good will with the public school pupils in holiday demonstrations.”


“We have seven comfortable and commodious churches, viz.: Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Congregational and Unitarian.”


There are 13 manufactories, of different kinds, viz.: Furniture factory, flour mill, stave mill, washboard factory, saw and planning mill, molding and planning mill, pump factory, a machine shop and foundry, two wagon and carriage factories, brewery and spoke factory.


The Eidsvold Cheese factory and grocery has been sold to The Wheeler Corp. by Charles A. and Alice Flunker.  The purchase price, as stated on the warranty deed, was $14,500 for the real estate.  The store fixtures and stock were also purchased by the corporation.


What would Neillsville be without its bowling alley?


Most of us can remember what Neillsville was without bowling.  It certainly was not so (as) interesting as it is today.


As summer sports begin to wane and as the fall brings a nip to the air, we take to the Neillsville Recreation and spend many hours in healthful and interesting sport.


And how we have taken to it!  So completely, that Neillsville ranks as one of the first bowling cities of its size in the United States. 


The popularity of bowling in Neillsville is due, in no small part, to the excellent provision made for it and to the wise and efficient management.  The community owes thanks to Mr. Marsh for the thorough manner in which he provided housing for bowling, and to the Ted. Schmidt’s for the fine equipment and splendid management.


Miss Martha Raab, of Oshkosh, and Orville Jake, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Jake of Neillsville, were married at St. Marty’s (Mary’s) Catholic Church on Saturday morning, August 24.  Rev. J. J. Pritzl read the ceremony.  Attendants of the couple were the bride’s sister, Mrs. Lester Steinhilber and Everett Skroch of Neillsville.  Dinner was served at the Merchants Hotel to the bridal couple, their parents and immediate relatives after the ceremony.


That afternoon, the couple, accompanied by the groom’s parents, left for a week’s visit in Oshkosh.  The couple will make their home in Neillsville.  The groom is employed at the Neillsville Dairy.


The American Legion has purchased the Kleckner building on South Hewett Street.  This building will be reconstructed and improved, and will become a home for all veterans’ organizations and their auxiliaries.


The Legion is also acquiring land to the east along O’Neill Creek, with the purpose of converting it into a park and picnic area.  This area will be landscaped and trees will be planted.


Announcement of the purchase is made by Harry Roehrborn, commander, and Hans Brandt, adjutant.  They were installed as officers at the first meeting, together with the following: 1st Vice, Dwayne Felser; 2nd Vice, Earl Bemis; finance officer, Leslie Yorkston; chaplain, Henry Naedler; historian, Donald Commings, Jr.; Sergeant at arms, Edward Zschernitz; service officer, Joseph Cardarella; trustee, George Prochazka; convention delegates, Hans Brandt, Laverne Gaier; alternates, Donald Cummings and Joseph Hartung.


(Click to enlarge)

The "O'Neill Pond" as it was often referred to in the early 1900s, was very versatile in providing community needs during that era.  Below the Hewett Street Bridge, and east of the dam, was an ideal location for swimming in the summer and ice skating in the winter.  A short distance upstream, ice was harvested and stored in a building on the shore.  In the summer months, the ice was delivered to Neillsville homes and some businesses to be used for refrigeration needs.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts.)



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