******************** Reminiscences by Ju dge O’Neill I am asked by the editor to write for his s pecial edition, something of my recoll ections of Neills ville and C lar k C ounty as I remember the conditions existing w hen I came here thirty-seven years ag o. So, here goes . On a rainy day , the 18 th of Septe mber 1873 I came f ro m Hu mbird with my uncl e J ame s O’ Ne ill in the stage. I had met him in Cleveland Ohio at the home of another uncle, for the first time. My unc le James seemed anxious that I s hould come to live with him and practice law here. When we reached the top of the hill this side of David W ood’ s my uncle said: “There James is Neillsville.” And there it was a little village of, say 600 people. When we reached town, my uncle took me to his home, the same residence now owned by H.J. Brooks. I wa s shown and told that the front room was to be mine. My uncle had lost his wife in the spring of the same year and a Mr . and Mrs. Donovan kept the house. We went to board with my cousin Belle Covill who was the wife of W ilson S. Covill and liv ed in a ho use w hich sto od wh ere the res idence of Decator Dickins on no w is . My uncle found me an of fice in a room in the old court house, which is the building now occupied by Geor ge Hart for an express of fice. It stood where the present court house is located. I had a clie nt in a few days, and then a noth er an d another so I have been here, (is it pos sible?) thirty-seven years . Neillsville was a little villa ge, beauti f ully located amo ng these hills. It was a busy place for it was a base of operations for lumbermen. In those days from one to two hundred millions of logs floated down Black River every year . One the great centers of activity was the “Oasis”, a saloon kept by Alex Cross on the corner where Kappell and building now s tands. H ans Johnson and Henry Meyer kept the O’Neill House. Hotel business was booming in those days. D aniel Gates and Joe Head kept a meat market where the Neillsville Bank is located. Dr . W. C. Crandell kept a drug store about where W effer’ s is now . The only brick building in town was the store of Hewett and W ood, the now the dry goods store of W .J. Marsh. There was only one church, the Methodist, the same now owned by W. R. C. Everybody supported the church and was a center of religious interest. W ouldn’ t it seem good again to have only one church in a town this size! There never was but one religion. There never will be but one. There is only one God in this universe and a common destiny for all mankind. W ell the years have passed and our town has now nine churches. Who can tell may be in this city a hundred years hence? There may be a coming together and once again, a sin gle churc h. The county of ficers when I came were as follows: S.C. Boardman, County T reasurer; Ira Pope, County Clerk; R.J. MacBride, County Judge; F .D. Lindsay , Sherif f; Robert Sturdevant, District Attorney; E. H. Markey , Clerk of Court; S.S. Smith, County Supt.; W. T. Hutchinson, Reg. of Deeds; and Jones T ompkins, Ch . Cou nty Boar d. Rev . W. T. Hendren was here engaged in building the Presbyterian Church. Long
Pioneer History , Clark County , W isconsin
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http://wvls.lib.wi.us/ClarkCounty/pinevalley/history/PioneerHistory .htm