Sour ce: Neillsville Pr ess Mar ch 15,1923 Some Ol d Clar k County Hi story
As T old by He r Pionee rs T ranscribed by Lani Bartelt. Mrs. Jane Gates Experienc e It was a gloomy , cloudy afternoon that the Republican and Press man called on Mrs. Jane Gates. This with the fact that Mrs. Gates has been confined to her room and almost to her bed for s eve ral years past might lead one not to expect a very cheerful visit. We were happily disappointed. Mrs. Gates still notes with keen interest the events of the day , and goes back with still keener pleasure to the old time gone.” Y es, we came here at a early day” she said, “It was in 1856 Major W edge was then logging on the creek that is named after him. Mr . Gates and I went to work for him. I was to do the cooking in camp an d my husband went to work outside. I was taken sick and had to quit work. When I got better we took char ge of the tavern or stopping place at the mouth of W edge’ s Creek wh ere we s taid five y ears. It was p retty n ew her e then, lot s of de er all aroun d. Major W edge killed a great many and we had venison most of the time. Between our place and Neillsville the only houses I remember were Dr . French’ s, Mr . Clark’ s (where Geo. Bandelow now lives) and Bob Ross at Ross Eddy till we go to Cawley’ s. We had the first team brought to Clark County . All sorts of people stopped at ou r place, s ettlers coming into th e co untry or going bac, and forth for supplies, lumbermen tote teamsters and now and then a bridal party . Judge Dewhurst and his bride ate dinner with us as they came in from Madison where they were married. She was Miss Maria Curtis, niece of the wife of Gov . T aylor . Chauncey Blak esl es, t hen a p romi nent b usines s man of Neills ville and h is brid e Miss Boardman stopped for dinn er with us on th eir way to Sparta to be married. There were some great romances in those days too”. At this juncture Mrs. Gates daughter , Mrs. R. J. McBride came to call on her mother and together they recalled many an incident of early times. There was a school house in the vicinity of the L owery farm where Mrs. McBrid e and her brother Jas. L Gates first attended school. Their father took them on horseback. Geo. Richardson was the first teacher and was followed by Miss Pope and Robert Sturd evant, after war ds a District Judge in W ashington. Blakslee ran a store and hotel where the Neillsville Bank now stands. He built a lar ge barn where the First National Bank is now located. When the barn was finished Mr . Blakeslee gave a big dance in the barn which was attended by nearly every person in Clark County . They all got supper at the hotel and were well fed. Betwee n the hotel and the barn there were no buildings but was all a big vegetable and flower garden. When the Blakeslee’ s moved out of the hotel Mr . and Mrs. Gates moved in and ran it a year before moving to the farm home w here Mrs. G ates still lives. MacBride s ays she remembers well her first Christmas experience. “W e didn’ t hear anything about Christmas when we lived down at W edge’ s Creek” she said “ but I remember well when my brother , Jimmie told me that he had heard that if one would hang up his stocking on Chris tmas Eve there woul d be something it it in the morning. We resolved to try it, an d each got a chunk of loaf sugar and a silver quarter: ******************** Mrs. C. W. Stern T ells of W eston Rapids
Pioneer History , Clark County , W isconsin
4/19/201 1
http://wvls.lib.wi.us/ClarkCounty/pinevalley/history/PioneerHistory .htm