Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
The Lincoln County Court House may soon be on the National Registry of historic places, according to Katherine Hundt of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. Hundt addressed the monthly meeting of the county board yesterday where she reported on the progress of the application, one of 257 that were submitted. The state group supports the historic designation; if the building is listed the county would be eligible for grant money to assist with any restoration of the historic building.
In news briefs: An 18-year-old Merrill man was killed in a Marathon County car crash. Kenneth Jeske was driving on Schofield Ave in Schofield when he was struck broadside by a vehicle which failed to stop for the stop sign at Depot Street. Jeske will be honored Sunday with a memorial service at the Wisconsin National Guard Armory where he was a member. The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission has ruled that the city must bargain on the work schedule of the Merrill firemen. The local union wishes to change their work schedule from a one-on, two-day-off to a three-on, four-off schedule but has been refused by the city in discussions. Rev. Lyle Klemz will be installed as associate pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church this Sunday. Klemz is a graduate of Concordia College and most recently served a church in Iowa.
The local Merrill Lion’s Club has something to roar about as they celebrate their organization’s 50th anniversary. In a full page ad, the local chapter notes many of their accomplishments on the local, state and national levels. The first office of the Wisconsin Lion’s Club was in Merrill and the Wisconsin Lion’s Club magazine is printed locally at Merrill’s own Quality Print. By providing local support, the Lion’s Club has been involved in war bond drives, paid for the kiddie wading pool, donated 10,000 pairs of used eyeglasses, funded a bus for local school children, contributed to the construction of Holy Cross Hospital, funded the school band uniforms in 1946, mailed gifts to servicemen starting in 1942, bought raincoats for the local school safety patrol, along with a laundry list of other accomplishments. Recently the Lion’s Club turned over Lion’s Park to the city, a tract of land on Third Street which they developed over the years. Members pictured are Carl Torkelson, third vice-president, Ronald Lass, treasurer, John Ader, second vice-president, Don Boldon, chairman of the park board, Ray Galipeau, secretary, J. Michael Nolan, president of the club, and Merrill Mayor Ralph Voigt.
Business and Industry on Parade opens up this Saturday at the Merrill Senior High School Field House. The Chamber of Commerce event will showcase Merrill area businesses. Participants include: Seeger’s Dairy, Eddie’s Bake Shop, Shoeder’s Ford, Ryan’s Car Care, Toby’s Vac and Cleaning, Park City Landscaping, Weinbrenner Shoe Company, ERA Lincoln Realty, Mitchell Metals, Knispel & Latzig, Phil Ziesmer Photography, Park City Credit Union, Lincoln County Bar Assoc., Hurd Millwork, MAPS, Dr. Larry Wolf, Fox Point Sportswear, Garry Schmidt Contractor, Merrill Federal Savings and Loan, WJMT/WMZK, Warchala Video Systems, Lincoln Wood, Family Medical Clinic, Edward Klune CPA, Century 21 Realty, Semling-Menke Co, Trantow Building Center, WPS, Wisconsin Valley Improvement, Fitness Force, Fowler Drug, Bruce’s Cover All, In-Step Shoes, Foto News/Quality Print, Harkins Chiropractic, Noel Furniture, Holy Cross Hospital, Gene Block Insurance, Woller Construction, Wisconsin Nation Guard, M&I Bank, Church Mutual, Daily Herald, Lorraine’s Decorating, GTE Telephone, Merrill Manufacturing, Lincoln County Bank, Consumer’s Co-op, Lincoln Community Theatre. (I counted 33 now gone or changed hands)
A long standing businessman in Merrill’s Sixth Ward is being honored by his fellow merchants. Ed Schendel has operated his dry good store at the corner of W. Main and Foster streets for the last 48 years. The store was originally opened by his father-in-law Mr. Angelbeck in 1891 and carried a line of dry goods, shoes and furniture. Schendel came to Merrill in 1939 to help his father-in-law run the store and bought out Angelbeck in 1941. Now the 84-year -old strives to sell only American made products as he still holds his regular hours where a sale is occurring every day according to Schendel who has no immediate plans for retirement. In a full page article, several Sixth Ward businesses commend Schendel for his years serving the Sixth Ward; those ads include: Park City Liquor, Semling-Menke, Deli-Delite, Bill & Nona’s Sixth Ward Floral, KB Body Shop, Plawman’s Playhouse, Jim Koebe General Contracting, The Drapery Den, Auto Stop, and WISCO Security.
The Lincoln County Board of Supervisors has unanimously approved and ratified an agreement between the county and Sacred Heart Hospital to provide ambulance service in northern Lincoln County. This agreement will provide for 24-hour coverage seven days a week to an area primarily serviced by the 453 phone exchange. The agreement will become effective on August 1, and Sacred Heart will provide fully trained staff for the ambulance at all times. Previously the city of Tomahawk had provided the service.
The Guy’s Shop in Merrill is under new ownership, but at least one of the owners is not new to the store. Jack and Sherry Kleinschmidt officially purchased the downtown retail store as of April 1 and both are becoming acquainted with running the men’s fashion store. Sherry actually started working at The Guy’s Shop 13 years ago and has been the manager for the past seven years. Jack is still serving as a Merrill Police Officer, a job he has held for the past 25 years. Jack plans to continue to serve on the force while working part-time at the new business; he foresees a full time role once he retires but has not set a date yet. For now the store is busy with young men preparing to rent tuxedos for prom and soon after grooms and groomsman will start coming in for the summer wedding rush. Sherry said she plans on focusing now on the current clientele and looks forward to new customers.
The City of Merrill has now pinned their hopes on State Representative Tom Ourada in securing funds to install signal lights at the E. Second Street railroad crossing. Merrill Police state that three crashes have taken place in the last 10 years at the crossing, the most recent one involving a school bus. State Railroad Commissioner Rodney Kreunen explains the need for lights is based on a formula and currently the 8,560 cars and two trains that cross through that crossing every day is on the low end of the threshold for funding for crossing arms. The commissioner stated that it is possible that new and much brighter LED lighting could be installed to make the crossing more visible, but any upgrades will likely come from legislative initiatives instead of commission demands. Local police did confirm that Central Wisconsin Railroad is very diligent in maintaining the speed through the area, but they along with fire department and local elected officials would prefer that crossing arms be installed before a fatal crash occurs.