June 23, 2021 Fotos from the Past – Merrillfotonews

Researched by Michael J. Caylor, Jr.


In briefs: The Weinbrenner Shoe Company and the union representing its line employees have come to a contract agreement. The two-year contract was announced by J. V. Greenlee, President of the company. The company made final offers with employees in Antigo, Marshfield, and Merrill last week in meetings; all three locals accepted the offers the next day in votes. The County Ambulance Committee voted to go ahead with the purchase of radios which will connect the County ambulances with the County hospitals and their bases. The radio purchase will be boosted by an $8,000 grant from the federal government. A new ambulance was also delivered at Merrill this week. The new Chevy Suburban model comes at a price of $11,085. (That is $73,498 in today’s money, yet ambulances today can easily run over $250,000.) Summer has just begun; however, plans are coming together for the Labor Day celebration. Applications are being accepted for princess candidates. Single girls age 13-19 must submit a photo with their application. Applicants must be a union member or the member of a union family. Applications and the whole works can be sent to Golde Touchette, 602 Blaine St. Deadline is June 26.

Here are a couple of dinner ideas for this week. On Wednesday, it is T-bone steak night at Club 64. You can get a T-bone steak dinner, including salad bar, potato, and beverage, for just $1.95. During the week, a chicken dinner is $1.50, while 21 shrimp are $1.95, and both meals include salad bar. Buckets of chicken to go start at $2.95. Over at Dick’s Riverside Club, ½ a pan fried chicken is $1.40 Monday through Thursday; that also includes salad bar.

You still have two weeks left to leave your mark on the new elderly housing tower on Grand Ave., as the city seeks a permanent name for the structure. The contest to name the building is sponsored by the Westside Businessmen’s Association in cooperation with the Merrill Housing Authority. Entries should be by those 18 or older and can be mailed to 411 W. Main St.; the person with the winning submission will receive a $25 savings bond. (I had to look up who the winner was, didn’t know that myself – stay tuned.)


Merrill Fire Chief Harvey Emanuel wonders if a reduction in wood burning would reduce the number of fire calls. His department has responded to a total of 74 calls so far this year, compared to 89 in all of 1980. Chimney fires account for the majority of those runs, despite a public education campaign on the threat from wood burning for heat at home. Merrill Fire Department will stop serving the northern part of the town of Maine at the end of this month; that is when the Maine Fire Department will go online. Rate increases were discussed at the meeting, as the pay structure for services from Merrill vary. The Towns of Corning, Scott, Pine River, Merrill, and Texas each pay $1,600 a year for fire protection, while towns like Maine and Harding pay $750 annually and then $350 per hour for the first hour, and $100 for each subsequent hour for actual responses. A fund for equipment replacement has been established and now holds $14,000 according to Emanuel.

Over her many years at Merrill Senior High School, Jane Zander had to become an expert in many fields. At one time the lone secretary in the building, Zander was responsible for scheduling, attendance, records, and anything else that came along; however, the one thing she excelled in was voice recognition. (After all, not every one of those sick calls came from a parent.) Zander started working at MHS in 1951, just after a new wing of the building opened. Since then Zander has seen the new east gym in 1959 go up and a theatre, fieldhouse, and pool this past year, along with hundreds of teachers and thousands and thousands of students pass through the school. The very first year Zander worked at MHS, the students numbered 575, and there were 30 teachers and one counselor. Now as she departs, the school boasts 1,024 students, 70 teachers, three counselors, an assistant principal, and three secretaries in the office. MHS Principal Lanny Tibaldo is sad to see Zander go; he figures he will still be calling on her for some time to answer questions. Zander is looking forward to retirement noting, “The school system has been real good to me.” (And in death Jane was very kind to the community)

The City of Merrill will hold a public hearing next Wednesday to discuss plans to go to an eight district aldermanic system. Currently, the City has nine Aldermen and nine County Board Supervisors; however, reapportionment will eliminate one Supervisor, which has prompted calls to realign and eliminate one Alderman also. This change will also allow the Mayor a potential tie breaking vote on the Council floor.


The activity bus appears to be the first casualty in the MAPS budget process. Board members voted to cut the late bus, which usually transports students engaged in after-school activities. The cut will save the district $13,000, which includes an estimated 3,500 gallons of fuel.

Could the former City Hall building be saved? The City Health and Safety Committee agreed to allow a full hearing in front of the Council to potentially halt condemnation orders. If the Council votes down the proposal, the building will likely be torn down within a week. A firm from Madison has promised to spearhead the project with the help of a $250,000 loan from the state. The building dates back to 1889, and it has stood vacant since City Hall offices were moved three blocks east in 1977. The Merrill Historical Society has campaigned to save the building.