When Neillsville First Whistle Blew Neillsville was once more destitute of factory whistles than it is today . It was Thanksgiving night 1868 that the monotony was broken. A story of the occasion is told as follows. Rev . Hendren was a new minister in town at that time. The old grist mill which s tool on the banks of O ’Nei ll creek was own ed by Ch auncy Blakeslee. Joe Biter was an engineer there and Joel Head was chief miller . Mr . Blakeslee had bought a new steam whistle on the sly and was planning on giving the little village a great surprise. It was while Rev . Hendren was closing his service at 10 o’clock Thanksgiving evening at the court house that his congregation and the whole town wer e as tou nded by a s hri ll scr eech f rom the neighborhood of the old mill. It was the fi rst steam whistle that many had ever heard and certainly the first in this city . Mr . Blakeslee was at home and said to be in bed. He ar ous ed him self , dr ess ed qu ickly and ran down to his mill only to find the doors barricaded. The engineer and the miller had played a joke on Blakeslee and had fitted on the whistle to give the town the surprise. Mr . Blakeslee had been anxious to do this himself. ******************** Derivation of Clark C ounty N ames Clark Co. from Moses Clark who live d at the moth of the Cunningham. Black  River from the color of water . Cunningham from Thos. Cunningham, an early Mormon settler . W edges Creek from Major W edge an early settler . O’Neill Creek from James O’Neill Sr . Neillsville from James O’Neill Sr . “Jack” Creek from “Jack” Murphy a m an educated as a priest who lived on the farm w here M rs. M att Noel lives. Br uce M oun d fro m Fr ankl in Br uce an early settler near there. Greenwood from timber . Long wood from t imbe r . Hemlock from timber . Abbotsford after Mr . Abbot an of ficer of the W is. Central R.R. Sherman after General Sh er man . Mentor after Mr . Mentor an early settler .
Pioneer History , Clark County , W isconsin
4/19/201 1
http://wvls.lib.wi.us/ClarkCounty/pinevalley/history/PioneerHistory .htm