Fotos from the past

Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr. 


There is good and bad news for the boys basketball team. Brad Sanders returned to the lineup this past week, but Bruce Muschinske is out for at least six weeks with a broken ankle. The Jays split two games this past week; they beat Rhinelander 54-52 on the road while they lost to Marshfield by a matching score of 52-54. In other sports news, Merrill alumnus Larry Schuman will receive the outstanding athlete award at the Milwaukee Journal’s annual All Star Football Dinner this evening in Milwaukee. Schuman, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Schuman of Genesee Street in Merrill, is the offensive captain of the UW Milwaukee Panthers, serving as center and tackle. While a student at Merrill, Schuman was on the football, wrestling and track teams and was state champion in wrestling in 1970. 

Christmas shoppers will find plenty of bargains in this week’s paper. Heath Sales and Service is featuring Skiroule snowmobiles and outerwear. Livingston’s is open this week until 9 p.m. and has plenty of specials on clothes including polyester and double knits. Midland Co-Op has toys for the kids and dad. Gruett’s Toyland is the largest in town and everything is 15% off this week and includes free gift wrapping. Caylor’s has a full page ad that includes men’s shirt and tie combos from $3.99, ladies Cardigan sweaters $5.99, Canadian snowmobile boots for $9.99 and polyester dress shirts starting at $5.99. Campbell’s in downtown Merrill has ladies coats half off and panty hose for only 50 cents a pair. McLellan’s is featuring Christmas cards three boxes for $1 and wrapping paper for 83 cents a roll. And besides their toy land, Gibson’s Department Store has blenders for $24, a Black and Decker drill for $12 and a Rival brand can opener for $7. 

If you are looking for a bargain on the entertainment scene, Club Modern has a steak and lobster combo on sale, the Beacon is featuring fish frys for $1.25, Howard Rajek at the Riverside Club has a t-bone steak special on Thursdays that includes the salad bar. A new restaurant has moved into the Lincoln House. The House of Hibachi specializes in Oriental foods but also has an American menu. Dinners start at $1.85 and highballs are 50 cents while martini’s and Manhattans are 75 cents. 


Judge J. Michael Nolan has sent an 18 year old Merrill man to Mendota Mental Health after a court trial this past week. The man pleaded no contest to charges related to a fire in an apartment complex in the 600 block of W. Main Street that left 36 year old Gerald Benzinger dead. The suspect was found guilty but not responsible for the crimes due to mental disease or defect. 

Mayor Richard Holt has announced he will seek a third term in office. Holt hopes to continue to implement his comprehensive plan for the city if elected this spring. He is a member of Christ United Methodist Church and resides in Merrill with his wife Ellen and three children. 

A story on page nine tells about the former Pope family dairy which became known as the Cream Top Dairy. The business was started by Ben Pope who worked in Merrill and often brought in left over milk from his farm to his fellow employees. Seems his milk was so popular he ended up quitting his job and just delivering milk door to door all over town. Ben became deaf at a young age but his trusted horse not only knew each stop on the milk route but would stop if he heard a customer yelling for milk. Harold Pope bought the dairy from his widowed mother in 1929, and in 1934 he and his wife came up with the pinched neck milk bottle. Cream would form in the upper portion of the neck and customers could pour it off and whip it with a special spoon. Milk sales took off for the Pope’s and the dairy continued to supply Merrill with milk and cream until it was sold in 1957. 


Merrill’s Christmas parade continues to grow and over 400 people gathered at E. Main Street and Court Street when for the first time ever 13,000 lights were lit on trees on the court house lawn. Also making an appearance for the first time in the parade was Frosty the Snowman. The 14-foot-tall snowman was the work of several members of the Eagles Club and most of the plastic that coats its framework was donated by C&H Packaging. Some of those responsible for putting together the large decoration were Fran and Ed Hildebrand, Randy and Judy Bellin, Roy, Sandy, Donnie, Sean and Rhonda Hoffman, Dean and Judy Stevens and Betty and Pat Pyatt. The Eagles Club cannot store the large snowman and they are looking for someplace for him to bed down off season. (I remember it was in front of city hall for a couple of years, but whatever happened to Frosty?)

Pine Crest Nursing Home had an open house to celebrate their new expansion. The layout of the building was improved to allow the nurses to have a central station in the center of the wings. Rooms were also designed to give residents more windows and the cafeteria now has room to accommodate all 160 residents at the same time. 

Doctor Thomas Krembs has been honored by the Wisconsin Dental Association with the 1993 Dental Care for Older Persons Award. Dr. Krembs has given 15 years of service to the residents of Pine Crest Nursing Home. Ron Sitter, President of the Wisconsin Dental Association, noted Krembs’ dedication to the aging people of Merrill is impressive and deserves recognition. 

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