Fotos from the Past
Researched by Michael J. Caylor Jr
The Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce has formed a committee to work on details of the city wide sales celebration known as Crazy Day. Carl Short, Roger Strand, Clifford Livingston and Mrs. Gerald Bauer were all selected to come up with a definite date for the event which includes back to school shopping sales. The retail committee also confirmed that merchants should stay open through the Lincoln County 4-H Free Fair which runs from August 4th through the 7th. John Howland who serves as chair of the retail committee expressed his concern that no one from the West Side or Sixth Ward Businessman’s Association was present at the meeting. Howland said that separate organizations in cities the size of Merrill hinder planning and communication for activities such as Crazy Day.
Harry Hurd, former president of the Hurd Millwork Company, Medford, died Sunday in his home on Riverside Ave in Merrill. He was active in the lumber and millwork fields for about 70 years. Born in Plainfield in 1880, Hurd worked for the Stewart Lumber Company in Wausau before returning to Merrill in 1898. He was initially employed as a bookkeeper for the former Gilkey & Anson Lumber Company and then became secretary-treasurer of the Anson-Gilkey and then the Hurd Company when it was formed in 1910. Harry and his late brother Will, began a box manufacturing plant at Medford around 1920. He sold that company about five years ago but it still operates under the name Hurd Millwork Company. A visitation was held yesterday at the Krueger Funeral Home with a funeral mass today at St. Robert Bellarmine Church.
Sheriff Alfred Giese and Chief of Police Gerald Plautz are pleased that the holiday weekend came and went with no significant events in the county. Now that the county ambulance is no longer run by the sheriff, Sheriff Giese was able to concentrate his deputies on road patrol work. No accidents involving injury were reported in the county or the city during the weekend. Stolen cars however kept the attention of officers. A deputy found a car abandoned on County Rd T and Highway 8 Saturday, it was found to be stolen from Prentice Auto Sales. Tomahawk police said a car stolen from a downtown street on Friday night was found abandoned in that city on Saturday. Highway 51 was detoured around Tomahawk on Saturday during the annual Pow Wow Day parade. That resulted in a traffic back up that took an hour and a half to clear after the parade ended. Merrill police manually controlled the traffic lights most of Friday afternoon into the late evening as thousands of cars drove through the city headed north.
A 16 year veteran of law enforcement is seeking the Republican nomination for county sheriff. Ronald W. Hirte, 40, has been a member of the local agency since 1975, prior to that he served for 11 years with the Milwaukee Police Department. Hirte hopes to upgrade and promote harmony within the agency and hopes he can make Lincoln County a better place to live. Hirte lives in Pine River with his wife Pat and five children.
The City of Merrill has a tavern license up for grabs. The premise formerly known as the Blue Jay Bar at 1400 River St did not renew their license this past month. The bar was formerly owned by Joann Proft and was recently operated by Ardeth Krause who had operated the Kings and Queens. The Slope Bar, 410 E 2nd St did get a license issued, after the city had been holding up their license due to deficiencies in their fire inspection. City Clerk Bob Klug said next year the payment for the license will be due at application; this will save his office the time of chasing down bar owners for payment at the time the license is issued.
As the ballot comes together for the fall election, Lincoln County is still short one coroner. No one has filed any candidacy papers for the office currently held by Dr. James Janowiak. Both incumbent Sheriff Ronald Kruger and his deputy Ronald Hirte have filed for the Republican ticket while Deputy Ken DeBels has taken out papers but has not returned them for the Democratic nomination. Michael Dudley, formerly of the public defender’s office, has filed to be on the Republican ticket for district attorney; incumbent Richard Olson has declared non-candidacy. Clerk of Court Janet Beyer-Thums, Register of Deeds Warren Weckwerth, County Clerk Kenneth Oldenburg, and Treasurer Florian Koehler, all Republicans are so far running unopposed.
Fox Point Sportswear in Merrill is gearing up for a potential expansion as Mike Anderson, president of the company, sees continued growth in the product lines. Fox Point sews clothing for women under the Fox Point label, snowmobile clothing under the Midwest Outdoors and a long of clothing for motorcyclists under the Wheels of Man Label and a Harley Davidson label. Currently Fox Point employs 52 people in the sewing department but Anderson expects that division to swell to 100. Material for the factory is cut at Fox Point’s plant in Port Washington. The continued expansion of light industry will only assist the Merrill economy Anderson said. He noted women providing a much-needed second income in today’s economy take most of these jobs.
A 28 year old man, recently released from federal prison is back behind bars after stealing a semi-tractor from the Town of Corning. The man unhocked the Mack’s trailer and headed west with the tractor. Lavern Yorde reported the theft Thursday morning. Troopers in South Dakota stopped the tractor near a rest stop in Sisseton to check the registration and found it to be stolen, the man unlicensed and listed as a parolee. Lincoln deputies are seeking extradition.
Residents and business owners in the Town of Scott have petitioned the city for annexation. Steve Blake, owner of Club Modern supper club said he has always considered his business a part of the city, now he would like the city perks like sewer, water and garbage service that go with it. Otto Moritz of the nearby Maple Manor trailer park stated that all but one of his 23 families support the move, with that one being worried about city taxes. In all, the city would annex about 80 acres according to the petitioner’s attorney, Glenn Hartley. He thinks this would be a win-win for the city with the additional property on the tax roll and more room for development. Merrill Mayor Ken Sparr is cautious of the process noting he does not want the city to branch out with fingers of land into the surrounding townships.