Clark County Press, Neillsville, Wisconsin

September 10, 2008, Page 24

Contributed by "The Clark Co. Press"

Transcribed by Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon.

Index of "Oldies" Articles 


Compiled and contributed by Dee Zimmerman


Clark County News

September 1868


We were presented, last Saturday by Mr. C. A. Ackerman a farmer living a few miles west of here, with two very nice specimens of the transcendent crab apple, which grew on his farm.  The apples were the largest and best of that variety that we had ever seen.  There are many who declare that no fruit of this kind can be successfully raised here, but we are of Mr. Ackerman’s opinion who thinks that with proper care and attention, there will be no more difficulty in raising fruit here than in many parts of the East where it abounds.  We do feel however that considering the soil of our county, the farmers are paying little attention to this excellent branch of husbandry.


New settlers are continually coming into our county. To see immigrant wagons moving along the road is no unusual sight and it is hailed with pleasure by old residents.  Most of the newcomers are taking up land under the Homestead Act.  Our population is increasing faster than ever before.  We have yet to see the first stranger who is not well pleased with our county.  People south of us generally believe we live in a pine forest and on sandy, unproductive soil, because we send to market a vast amount of pine timber each year.  They find out their mistake when they visit us and then are not sorry they came.


M. I. C. Gotchy informs us that a Mr. Bently has made arrangements to build, this fall a wagon and blacksmith shop on the Twenty-six Road near Mr. Lyons’ place.  There are a great many new settlers going into the town of Loyal.  It has a larger population now than any other known in the county except Pine Valley.  Nearly all of them are farmers and they come here for most of their supplies.  We will not be surprised to see a small village spring up in that vicinity before long.  Certainly it would be easier for the Twenty-sixers to buy their merchandise at home.  Some enterprising chap would secure a large patronage by opening at a convenient point for the settlers in that region, a good store filled with a large and general assortment of goods.


A few lumbermen are engaged in the upper apart of the country in making roads in anticipation of the winter’s work.


The County Board, at its last session, resolved that no more public meetings, unless business pertaining to the county, should be held in the courthouse.  By this action, religious gatherings are excluded; the same rule is in force at the schoolhouse, consequently there is no public place for Divine worship in Neillsville.  We regret to make known this fact.  But it is nevertheless the case.  We hope somebody will, out of respect to the place, inaugurate a movement to remedy this bad state of affairs.  We ought really to have a church, if for nothing more than to add to the moral character of the village.  We pay considerable attention to matters relating to things of this earth, but it should not exclude all interest in our spiritual welfare, or in the proper examples to be set before the rising generation.


The County Poor Farm Commissioners, E. H. McIntosh, Wm. Welsh and Charles Sternitzky, at a meeting on Monday of last week decided to purchase from L. R. Stafford, the farm called the Southard place, a short distance east of Mr. Hoseley’s Town of Weston farm, which will be a farm for the poor.  The sum to be paid for it is $2,500, which is said to be a fair price, considering the amount of improvements upon the farm, though we think a less expensive one would answer every purpose as well.  It is good property, however, and the county will lose nothing by it.


Most of the hop-pickers, who went to the southern part of the state to work, have returned.  They did much better than was at first reported, each one making between $10 and $20.


A Scotch man named James Thomas, better knows as “old Uncle Jimmy,” who has been living at Mr. James McClay’s, in the Town of Levis, went to a house raising near Mr. Philips last Friday.  In the evening he started back home.  He has not been seen or heard from since.  Parties have fired guns, shoulted and searched in all directions for three days, yet the old man is still missing.  Yesterday, Mr. Harrison Satterlee came to the village for help.  A number of persons were to meet at George McAdams’ this morning when a more thorough search will be commenced.  It is feared that the old man is dead.


September 1948


Important changes have been made recently in the ownership of cheese factories in Clark County.


Food Cooperative, Inc., which was an organization of food stores, has retired from this field, with the purpose; it is understood, to buying its cheese in the open market.  The result is that the old Ludwig Johnson factory on Hwy 10 is back in the hands of Mr. Johnson, who will run it.


The other factory of Food Cooperative, the old Gempeler factory east of Eaton Center, has been sold to Vernon Mech, who is running it.


Standard Brands has also retired from cheese production in this territory.  The Pine Grove factory, town of Beaver, which was developed by George Foelsch, has been sold by Standard Brands to Pauly & Pauly of Green Bay a concern, which is understood to be a subsidiary of Swift of Swift & Co.  This concern has also bought the Riplinger factory, long owned by Emil Marten.


The management of the Pine Grove factory will remain for the present with George Foelsch, whose contract runs through this present year.  Mr. Foelsch resides in a pleasant home adjacent to the factory and also owns neighboring farms.


Another factory transfer is that of the Silver Rick, which has passed from a partnership into the hands of Wilfred Nelson.


The Pine Grove factory, included in these transfers, is one of the largest of the county in production, its output exceeding a million pounds per year.


Loss estimated up to $20,000 was suffered when fire of undetermined origin swept the August Ehlers cheese factory Friday afternoon.


The factory is located about five miles southeast of Thorp, in the Town of Reseburg.  Until recently it had been operated by the Yaeger Brothers and was taken over by Ed Franz on August 13.


Mr. Franz and an apprentice cheesemaker were working in the plant, unaware of any fire, when the blaze was discovered by Mrs. William Przybylski, who lives across the road from the factory property.


She ran to the factory to notify the men.  With help, they saved the factory’s two agitators, a stainless steel vat, a Kusel cheese press and a variety of groceries.


The fire threatened to destroy buildings on an adjoining farm.  Two or three times blazes started on the barn; but were extinguished by men wielding a garden hose.  A smaller building, however, was razed.


The Ehlers factory, owned by Mr. Ehlers, was partially insured.  It was a frame structure, two-story in part, with living quarters on the second floor.


The plant was understood to be handling an average of about 10,000 pounds of milk daily.  The milk now is being hauled to Meinholdt’s Pleasant Ridge Cheese factory, located about nine miles northwest of Greenwood.


A $28,000 contract for the construction of a dam spillway on the Eau Claire River in the Town of Mead was signed Monday by Lowell Schultz, chairman of the Clark County Park Commission, and A. E. Stadler, chairman of the county board of supervisors.


This is the first step in the creation of a 400-acre lake and county-owned recreation area in sections 28 and 29 of the Town of Mead.  The county board of supervisors appropriated $30,000 for the project last fall.


Successful bidder is the Nelson Construction Company of Black River Falls.  Their bid of $28,000 was the only one received by the county.  Representatives of three other construction firms viewed the site; but they did not bid.


The county owns all of the property, which will be covered by the backwater of the Eau Claire River in sections 28 and 29 of the Town of Mead, excepting for two pieces.  One is owned by Nicholas Demos, who lives outside the county; and the other is owned by Mrs. Mary Ule.  Mrs. Ule’s property will be affected but slightly by the artificial lake, according to surveys made there.


According to the county clerk, the contract does not include construction of levies, a quarter-mile dike, or rip-rapping, all of which he said will be necessary to complete the project.


According to surveys of the area, the lake will have a maximum depth of from 16 to 18 feet.  The dam site will be situated about midway of section 29 and the lake area will stretch completely across the width of section 28.


Castle Hill is located on the Main Boulevard between Merrillan and Black River Falls.  Serving Refreshments, Steaks, Chicken and Sea Foods from 6 p.m. to 12 p.m. daily; Fish Fry every Friday Nite.  Dancing by Wurlitzer to the latest dance tunes.


The three Wren brothers, who are enjoying a reunion here in Neillsville, have been having a fine time renewing old friendships.  Marion F. Wren, who hails from Washougal, Wash., has not been back to the town of his birth for 46 years and finds change and familiarity inextricably woven together.


Lemont F. Wren of Hawthorne, Calif., has been here more recently.  In fact he is laying the foundations of a firm habit of coming to Neillsville for a visit every fall, for this is his third autumn visit in a row.


Thomas Wren, who has stuck by the old hometown, plays host to his brothers.  Their only sister, Mrs. Nettie Baptie, of Seattle, Wash., had hoped to join her brothers here this fall but was unable to do so.


Three other brothers, Lemuel and Earl, of Washington, and Frank of California, are deceased.


The Wrens are children of Mr. and Mrs. Sereno Wren, who came into Clark County about 1867.  In 1869 they bought an 80-acre tract of land in the Town of Grant and three years later sold that and bought a 240-acre, also in the Town of Grant, which Mr. Wren cleared by ox team, and upon which he built at log cabin.


He brought the first traction steam engine into the county and used it for threshing for himself and his neighbors.  In 1881, he built a saw mill on his property and cut timber for hundreds of residences around Neillsville.


His first wife was Alleda Hatch of Kankakee, Ill, who subsequently died at Columbus, Wis., in 1891.  His second wife was Mrs. Sarah Smith, a widow of Orland Smith.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Wren are now deceased.


A single with one out in the ninth inning robbed Arnold Buchholz, Globe hurler, of a no hit, no run game last Sunday.


Buchholz went eight and one-third innings before a Humbird batter connected for a single just over second base.  Buchholz had to take consolation in a one-hit game and an 8 to 0 victory.


In all, six Humbird men got on base; three on walks and three on errors.  One of these six was trapped on base; the others died there when their mates failed to solve the servings of Buchholz.


Globe retired the first 11 men in order.  Buchholz collected nine strikeouts in turning in his one-hitter.  Nibbe, Humbird’s mounds man, was nicked for 13 hits.


Globe will meet the Eau Clarie Conoco team on Poppe’s diamond Sunday afternoon.


Dedication of the new $17,000 American Legion building on the banks of O’Neill Creek Saturday will be one of the highlights of the Seventh District Fall Conference of the Legion.


The building, still incomplete, is one of the finest semi-public edifices erected in Neillsville for many, many years.  Replacing the Kleckner Elevator building on Hewett Street, across from the Condensery, it is a first-rate improvement for the community.


Approximately 200 members of American Legion posts, auxiliaries and members of their families are expected to come to Neillsville Saturday and Sunday for the fall conference.


Among them will be Jack O’Melia, state commander of the American Legion, and other state dignitaries of the veterans’ organization.


The dedication comes almost exactly on the 29th year anniversary of the formation of the Otto A. Haugen Post, No. 73, American Legion.  The original charter was granted to local veterans of World War I on September 30, 1919.


For the first few years of its existence, the post held meetings in the W.R.C. Hall.  It was in the early 1920s that the post purchased a building on East Fifth Street, in which the Northern Auto Supply Company is now located.


The building was remodeled to provide for meeting and clubrooms on the second floor.  The ground floor space, at first was used as a city rest room.  However, after a year, the ground floor was rented for a retail business and was used for that purpose for several years.


After selling the Fifth Street building, the post purchased the old Kleckner Elevator Company building on Hewett Street, site of the present new hall.  A tall, tin-coated building, the post gradually carried on interior remodeling during the first years of ownership.  The plan was to eventually remodel the entire building into a modern structure.


However, plans for the reconstruction of the old building were not considered adequate by the industrial commission and the post membership determined to start anew.  The result was that he old building was razed this spring and work was started with laying the brick and tile walls on the solid concrete foundation, which held the old elevator building.


Kleckner’s Elevator was located on the east side of Hewett Street and on the south bank of O’Neill Creek during its existence.  The foundation of the elevator building, in later years, became the site for American Legion Post 73’s meeting hall, holding the building dedication in September 1948.  (Photo courtesy of Bill Roberts’ collection)





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