to speak, “Say Mr . Hart were not you one of the early clerks of Neillsville?” “Clerks? Why yes I used to clerk for J.H. Marshall in his hardware store where Dennis T origny’ s old store stands. I am no good at remembering dates and such things and we were to busy to think of Xmas in those days. It kept us bus y loading stuf f upon logging tote sleighs. Once we went over to a dance in O’Neill house hall. Y ou are too young to remember that but it used to be a great place in those days. I remember Samuel Boardman a nd others of the town were there. It was a great af fair and all were dressed in dress suits. Whitcomb’ s Orchestra from Humbird played for us. There were four in the Orchestra, two or three of whom could play the first violin with ease. Joe Hall of Augusta was a member of that band. I never was any good at remembering years. Don’ t know just when this was but is somewhere around ’72 on. When I first came here I thought that Neillsville was a whale of a town. What! Y ou going to publish this?” The reporter disappeared out of the door with a “Thank you, Geor ge.” ******************** Fr ed Whitcomb T ells of Old T ime T ransportation Fred Whitcomb was giving the last puf f to a stump of a cigar when approached. “When did you come up into this country Fred?” There was a twinkle in hi s eye as he spoke “O, I did not co me direct to Neillsville but I came up to Humbird with E.D. Carter in 1869. There was only a house or so there at tha t time a nd seems the first thing we did was to build a home. After the road got into Humbird most all the goods for Neillsville were hauled from this point. There were two stage coaches a day . As it comes to me Capt. T olford ran one of these. The extra Xmas freight did no t bo t her us any you can bet on that.” ******************** Robert McCalvy on Old T imes The Press man took a se at an d re mov ed his note book from his pocket. “Now what you got?” exclaimed Uncle McCalvy . “My earliest recollection of the holidays did you say?” We used to have a deer once in a while then. Didn’ t have any turkeys. I spent a number of years in the woods. There were not as many dances then as there are now . We had spelling schools instead, between the schools. New Y ear’ s Day of 1864 was the coldest New Y ears we ever had. In Greenwood they had to take the mercury up into a cupola in order to give it a chance to drop. My memory has to be j ogged now and then. I have se en 83 Christmases up to date and I cannot tell how many more I shall see. Did they hand up stockings when I was a kid? Why yes, of course they did and they were all hung aroun d the old fire place and it woul d be a scramb le in the mor ning to see who would get to the stockings first. The old Christmases were a great deal better than they are now . The inhabitants were all on the same pl ane. They could all be bundled into a wagon on a little straw and with a yoke of oxen could go about to a party . They were more sociable. Now , you know it is all select society . The most pleas ed I ever w as at Xmas w as w hen I go t a good pair of s hoes and stockings. The presents we used to get were useful. There were no toys about them. The venerable man of over four score years stroked his beard with one hand and finally stammered “But what in the world are you going to do with that stuf f?” But U ncle McC alvy w as once mo re alone.
Pioneer History , Clark County , W isconsin
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