By Kris Leonhardt
CLARK COUNTY – Heintown, or Heinetown, was located about five miles south of Loyal in the northwest section of the town of York.
A mill was built there in 1885 by the Hein family, as well as a boarding house, just east of the mill, and a store.
“It was once a bustling and thriving community with chief industry being a stave, heading, and sawmill owned and operated by John Hein and his son, Tony,” recalled the Tony Walter family in a collection of stories gathered by the Clark County Historical Society for the county’s bicentennial year.
“This village was thriving from 1885 until the turn of the century.”
Heintown was also home to a general store, blacksmith shop,creamery, cheese factory, and a brick yard.
“Most of the people residing in the community lived in small tarpaper shanties along the main street of Heintown, which had wooden sidewalks.
“The residents had telephone service beginning in 1907,which was run from a switchboard in Wilcox (York Center.)”
Mail was delivered to the Heintown post office three times a week.
Pleasant View School, one of eight schools established in the township of York, was located in Section No. 4, nearby Heintown.
The History of Clark County, published in 1918, provides a prelude to the demise of the village, as Charles Meyer and his brother, George, move to the area. The pair migrated to the area from Jefferson County, which followed a path which many Heintown settlers took.
“Here they bought eighty acres of wild land and built a log house in which they lived for two years. At the end of that time Charles Meyer put up a frame house for himself, and a year later his brother sold his forty acres and went to Oregon. Charles remained in Clark County and cleared his forty acres. Later, he purchased the house that Mr. Heine, the sawmill proprietor,had used for a boarding house, and this he moved onto his place and united it with his old house so as to make a dwelling of seven rooms. He then built a barn 34 by 54 feet in size,” the entry reads.
“Three years after coming to Clark County, Mr. Meyer was married to Annie Shaklman. Her father was formerly postmaster of the Heinetown post office,Mr. Meyer working as his assistant. Since his marriage, Mr. Meyer has continued to improve his place and now has a good farm, raising Holstein cattle and other stock with profitable results. He has served as school director two years and eight years as treasurer.”
Other entries chronicle a trajectory toward farming in the area,which along with the closing of the mill, contributed to the demise of the once bustling village in the early 1900s.
If you have any information on Clark County ghost towns you would like to share, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kris Leonhardt, 104 E. Second St., Marshfield, WI, 54449.
The Sentinel & Rural News covers the news and events of Clark County and southern Taylor County, as well as regional news that affects those areas.