The Peeks at the Past

"What is past is prologue."

Since 1886, The Lusk Herald has recorded the story of Niobrara County. Following are bits of that story. (All misprints and typos in this section are in keeping with the original printing.)

100 YEARS AGO –September 9, 1921

  • TheOhio Oil company struck oil on one of the Union Oil company’s leases, which had been obtained from Otto Rhollf. This well is located on Section 32, Township 36, Range 65. Just how large a well it is has not been determined, as it was capped as soon as oil was struck. But the finding and capping of these wells goes to show that as soon as the companies are ready, Lusk will have a real oil field.
  • A terribly destructive fire occurred at the Joe Hubbard ranch at Young-woman on September 1st, shortly after noon. The little boy, Russell, built a small fire not far from one of the hay stacks. The flames quickly spread to the hay stack with the result that all their hay, grain, barn, garage, hen houses, and sheds were a complete loss, as they were not covered with any insurance.
  • Mayor Baker has appointed Marshall J. D. Lorenzen at truant officer and Superintendent asks the support and co-operation of the parents in keeping the children in school.
  • Friday evening brought most of the teachers home from Douglas, where they attended institute. They report a vary fine session.
  • Our neighboring city, Keeline, is going to have a community fair on Sept. 21st.

75 YEARS AGO –September 12, 1946

  • Fire of undetermined origin caused considerable damage to the house occupied by the G. L. Pfeifer family, Wednesday evening, shortly after seven o’clock. The residence is the property of Mr. Lea Weible of Cheyenne and is located on Elm street directly across the street east of the Grade School. At the time the Pfeifers were working in their garden in the west part of town, where they are fixing up a home. The fire was discovered by the daughter of Mrs. And Mrs. John Boatright, neighbors, who saw the flames through the window. Mr. Boatright immediately turned the garden hose on the blaze and had it well under control by the time the Fire Department arrived. Mrs. Boatright ran to the William G. Watt home to telephone in the alarm. Mrs. Jerry Urbanek happened to be at the Watt’s, so she and Mrs. Watt drove as fast as possible over Lusk’s torn-up streets to where the Pfeifers are erecting their new home and brought them back. The fire started on the back porch and defective wiring is the only cause that can be found that might have started the blaze. Considerable damage was done to the woodwork and walls in the kitchen, as well as the porch, also to the walls and several windows were broken out. It is understood that the loss was covered by insurance.
  • Thieves broke into the Merit Cleaners Sunday night stealing a small amount of clothing, but leaving the cleaning establishment much disarranged. Clothing was thrown on the floors, some taken to the basement and strewn around, as though they thieves were searching for certain objects and certain sizes. Just what was taken has not been determined, but Clem Burge, proprietor, says that all loss is fully covered by insurance. Men’s clothing items, apparently, were the only ones taken. Sheriff D. A .Shoopman is working on the case. Entry was made into the shop by a rear window.

50 YEARS AGO – September 9, 1971

  • C.H.S. 65-member Tiger Marching Band and eleven cheerleaders will compete in University of Wyoming Band Day festivities this Saturday. The band will compete in the annual marching and maneuvering contest, and be one of forty bands performing during halftime activities at the Cowboy’s opener against South Dakota. Cheerleaders from schools represented by bands are invited to join the UW Pepsters on the field to help cheer the Cowboys to victory over the South Dakota Coyotes. A trophy will be awarded the school whose cheerleaders best show ability and spirit during the game.
  • and Mrs. Fred Hansen shared the spotlight at the reception given for them Sunday to celebrate their 50th Anniversary with Mr. and Mrs. James Lee, a daughter of the Hansens. The Lees, who are celebrating their 25th Anniversary, were surprised with a cake of their own as part of the reception.
  • The Fire – That Almost Was. Wednesday morning as The Herald staff was busily and hurriedly preparing for the final press run all havoc broke loose as smoke begin to pour from a light fixture in the front office. Ideal situation for a front page story (reporting right at the scene) – but they blew it. Very efficiently the cause of the smoke was found and remedied leaving this news editor again faced with no big front page news story. Must confess – we at The Herald would rather have a shortage of news than the obligation of reporting a disaster in our community. And so with that consolation, and the thoughts of a brighter, more newsier tomorrow we put The Herald to bed.

25 YEARS AGO –September 11, 1996

  • A little more than a year after they resigned their nursing positions at the Niobrara County Memorial Hospital, four former nurses have had their day in court. Last Friday, a U.S. District Court jury in Casper agreed with the nurses’ accusations that the hospital board failed to follow its own rules for investigating employee complaints. The jury awarded the nurses a total of $877,627 in damages. The jury decided the hospital board failed to follow its own rules for investigating the nurses’ allegations that their supervisor told them to perform procedures without using sterile methods and to alter patient records in a way that could constitute Medicare fraud. The trustees’ actions put the nurses in the position of either breaking the law or disobeying supervisor Vicki Winney’s orders, both causes for termination. The verdict announcement came after nearly 17 hours of deliberations which began last Wednesday night. The trial took just two weeks to complete. Current hospital administrator Gary Robertson could not comment on the case and neither county attorney Bod Pfister nor defense attorney John Fenn returned calls to the Lusk Herald prior to press time.
  • The Niobrara Sportsman Club will host its first pistol and trap competition on Sept. 21. The event will begin at 10 a.m. at the Niobrara Sportsman Club sporting range three miles east of Lusk. The club plans to make this an annual event.

"If you don't see it in The Herald it didn't happen."