Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
The fire danger remains extremely high in Wisconsin but so far Lincoln County hunters are still being allowed into the woods. A week ago the DNR decided the best way to prevent fires during this tinder dry fall was to restrict any hunting in numerous counties. The decision to keep Lincoln County open was not taken lightly especially with a fire breaking out this past Saturday afternoon in Harrison. That blaze was reported on Cinder Road in north eastern Lincoln County and before it was contained it damaged grouse and deer habitat on county forest cropland. The crews battling that fire were later called to another fire in the Willow Flowage region of Oneida County; that fire was still smoldering Sunday morning. Both fires were believed to have been started by hunters. The DNR noted that hunter conduct will weigh heavily on their decision to keep Lincoln County forests open in the coming weeks unless significant rainfall is received. On the same topic, it is Fire Prevention Week and both Merrill Fire Stations will have their doors open for tours. A pumping demonstration will be held on Saturday according to Fire Chief Ray Priebe.
St. Paul’s Lutheran Church of the Town of Pine River will celebrate their Bicentennial this Sunday with a grand celebration at the church located at Route 2, Merrill. A worship service will take place at 9:30 a.m. that will feature special guest speaker State Senator Clifford Krueger of Merrill. Krueger will speak on the role of the Lutheran Church in the development of America. Following the service a dinner will be served in the school basement. In the upstairs area of the school antique displays will line the halls and classrooms. Rev. Laurence Carlson, pastor of the church, states the old time atmosphere was created by the Bicentennial Committee and he invites the public to attend. Pictured in front of the church are Edwin and Esther Kautz, seated in an antique horse carriage owned by church member John Uttech. (If you have not been by the church in some time it has undergone an extensive addition with a church hall being added, a true tribute to the dedication of the congregation.)
The Merrill Bluejay football team dropped their second game of the year to neighboring Antigo this past Saturday 6-0 but they are already looking past that loss as they prepare to travel to Marshfield to take on the Tigers during their homecoming this Saturday. Merrill and Marshfield are all part of a four-way tie in the Valley conference with 3-2 records. Head Coach Ira Rebella stated the Marshfield squad is very large in size and their running backs are very well known for their hard hitting attack, including Rick Lorenz who is third in the Valley with 390 yards for the Tigers this season. But what Marshfield is better known for according to Rebella is their exceptional defense, although Merrill is no slouch with a ranking of second in the Valley giving up a stingy average of 175 yards per game. Game time is 1:30 p.m.
It is fire prevention week and our local fire departments are out to educate. The Town of Russell Fire Department is also celebrating this week by showing off their recently completed fire station. The new building houses three trucks and cost $60,000. Fire Chief Dave Jackson is pictured with his fellow officers, assistant chief Jack Prueser, captain Len Krueger, Lt. Jim Ronis, treasurer John Ronis, and secretary Earl Kressel. In other photos on page one, members of the Merrill Fire Department, Dan Deml and Steve Peterson, are pictured giving fire safety talks with Smokey the Bear.
Things are on edge on Merrill’s north side as the union at Northern Wire has gone on strike as of this morning. Merrill Mayor Richard Holt has issued an emergency order to the Merrill Police Department to arrest anyone for violence, damage, or threats of violence in the area. With the police monitoring the strike, Holt is asking union and company workers to cooperate to keep law and order during the strike.
In an ad on the obit page the Wistein Funeral Home announces the association of Mr. Earl Janseen, licensed mortician. Owner Milt Wistein died this past June.
October is National Restaurant Month and the following are featured in an ad on page 6: Champs’s, Club Modern, Hardee’s, Hwy 51 Truck Stop, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Kozy Korner West, Pine Ridge Restaurant, The Ritz, Skpper’s and 3’s Company.
Candidates for the fall election will gather both in Tomahawk and Merrill in the coming weeks for forums which will be aired on the local radio stations. WJJQ will be sponsoring the event in Tomahawk which will be held at the Inshalla Country Club while the Merrill event will take place in the Community Room at River Valley State Bank and will be moderated by Rev. Robert Smallman. Candidates invited to participate include US Congressional District 7 – David Obey and Scott West, Wisconsin Senate District 12 – Roger Breske and Nancy Levanetz, Assembly District 35 – Tom Ourada and Mike Barkley, Sheriff candidates Paul Proulx and William Voigt, District Attorney John Schellpfeffer and Mike Gravely, and Clerk of Courts Cindy Kimmons and Christine Rozewicz.
October is National Restaurant Month and the following have ads on pages 20 & 21: Hardee’s, Club Modern, Hugo’s Pizza, Cal’s Chips, XtoC and XtoC on B, Kozy Korner, Kathy and Cal’s Club 64, Pine Ridge Restaurant, Harry O-‘S Bar and Grill, Grecian Delight, the Eagles Club, 3’s Company, Hwy 51 Truck Stop, the Italian U-Boat, Champ’s, Diamond Dave’s, Time Out Sport’s Bar, and Les & Jim’s Lincoln Lanes.
A historic piece of railroad history could soon be destroyed but some local railroad enthusiasts are working to prevent that. An original Milwaukee Road freight depot which stands alongside the tracks at the Third Street crossing is slated to be demolished for the expanding Park City Credit Union. The 30’ x 90’ structure was built in 1889 and was known as the Merrill Freight Depot. Erin McCarthy and Rich Schmidt, both members of the Merrill Historical Society, are seeking to save the building, but as for its future use and home that is up in the air. McCarthy would like to see the building moved or re-built near the railroad tracks and used for storage for now and possible exhibit use later, noting the preservation of the building is the first priority. If you are interested in helping contact the museum. (I found out Erin has a few boards and the original sign from the building; the rest, like many of our historic buildings, was unfortunately lost to the wrecking ball.)