Business History

Last updated: February 2, 2015

Library Archives
July 12, 2012

The following lists of businesses were copied from the list of sponsors in the Niobrara County High School Yearbook of 1929:
A.E. Johnston (Groceries)
Albany Hotel, Denver, Colorado
A.Y.P. Service Station (Chas. Updike, Prop)
Barnum Motor Company
Berry Electric and Radio Shop
Bishop's Billiard Parlor
Brown's Pharmacy
Castle Cleaners (H.E. Castle, Prop.)
Chadron Creamery Co. (Chadron, Neb.)
City Meat Market (Cordell Bros., Proprietors)
Daniel E. Goddard, United States Commissioner, Dist of Wyoming
Duff's Auto Electric Service (Duff Hollon, Prop.)
Edw. M. Arnold
Fairmont Cream Station (Paul McConaughey, Manager)
Frank A. Barrett, Attorney-at-Law
Garden Billiard Parlor (George "Barney" Miller, Prop.)
Garden Theatre (W.T. Porter, Prop.)
George Earl Peet
Hampshire Sheep (John Robert Ord, Breeder)
Hanford Cream Station (Mary Carroll, Operator)
Helen's Hat Shoppe (Mrs. Helen Teakell, Prop.)
Henry Hotel (C.A. Schroeder, Prop.)
Highway Garage
Hotel Townsend (Casper, Wyoming)
Irwin-Mills Hardware & Furniture Co.
J.C.Penney Co.
J.G. Spiegel
Lusk Elevator (H.N. Best Prop.)
Lusk Lumber Company (W.B. Street, Mgr.)
Lusk Motor Co.
Lusk State Bank ("Total Resources - $330,000.00")
Lusk Table Supply ("Quality Groceries and Meats...")
Midwest Hardware Co. (George Gibson, Manager)
Niobrara Lumber and Coal Co. (G.C. Davies, Manager)
Rogers Drug Company
Snyder Mercantile Co.
T.E. Phillips (The Frigidaire Man, Harrison, Neb.)
The Lusk Bakery (J.E. Snethen, Prop.)
The Lusk Herald
The Palace Cafe (Chas. Snyder, Prop.)
The Royal Cafe (Elmer Meyers, Proprietor)
The Yellow Dot Service Station (Douglas, Wyoming)
Thos. M. Fagan, Attorney-at-Law
Troy Laundry Co., Casper, Wyoming
University of Wyoming ("Five Colleges on One Campus")
Van Graven Studio, Casper, Wyo. Photography
Burrowes Sweet Shop & News Stand (Mrs. Ivy Burrowes, Prop.)
Hugo F. Payne (Farm Machinery & Implements)
Vera's Beauty Shop (Inice Boon, Prop.)

Lusk Free Lance
January 8, 1931
Green Drug Company Moved; Will Be One of Best Stores in State

With painters and carpenters working hard and as fast as they can, the Green Drug company will soon be located in their new quarters, the building owned by Mrs. Nina Baldwin, and formerly occupied by the Bishop & Montague billiard parlor.

Things were generally strewn about the new home early this week but with the completion of redecorating the interior and cases and getting them into place, it won't be but a few days until this will be one of the finest drug stores in this part of the state.

A beautiful design of linoleum has been laid in the main portion of the store, and the ceiling and walls have been redecorated. All fixtures are undergoing a treatment of varnishing. A huge up-to-date fountain is in transit and is expected daily. This will be on the south side. The arrangement of the store will be such that patrons will be able to shop with greatest of ease and convenience.

Mr. Green, while in the height of the upset, was so busy that he hadn't time to give us copy on an ad for this week but he said he'd be ready to "talk turkey" before long. The moving from the former location, one door south, was begun shortly after New Year's day.

Lusk Free Lance
January 15, 1931

If Dame Rumor hasn't deceived us, the building recently vacated by the Green Drug company, generally known as the Demmon building, will become the home of a Skaggs grocery store in the near future. Although nothing definite has been given out, it is understood that the building was leased this week, and that the new company expects to open for business sometime in February. Skaggs stores are operating in many localities in this state, and for a time last year it was reported that a local store of this chain would be opened, but this failed to materialize.

Lusk Free Lance
January 15, 1931
Dr. G. D. Murphy Now Located in Quarters Over Green Drug Co.

Patients of Dr. G. C. Murphy will now find him in his new quarters, on the second floor of the building occupied by the Green Drug Company. Dr. Murphy has the three front rooms and is getting them prepared to receive his large clientele of patients. There will be a reception room, a consultation room and office, and they have all been redecorated and cleaned up in good shape. New rugs arrived today for these quarters, and when everything is properly arranged, they will be most pleasing to his patients.

Lusk Free Lance
January 22, 1931
Lusk Hotel is Leased To Chadron Woman; Is Now in New Hands

In a deal perfected last Friday, the Lusk hotel was leased to Mrs. Mae Walker of Chadron, by Mrs. Hattie Anderson, who has operated this hostelry for the past two years. Mrs. Walker took charge immediately, and is now living with her two daughters, Sally and Carmen in the hotel. The former daughter is a high school graduate and Miss Carmen has entered the Lusk high school Junior class.

Mrs. Anderson expects to go to Denver soon, where she will take a much-needed rest, after which she will enter training to secure the latest methods and styles in beauty work. She has been quite ill most of the winter due to a nervous breakdown, but is improving at this time.

Lusk Free Lance
February 5, 1931

Local carpenters and painters, under supervision of one of the Skaggs System contractors, are just about to complete their work in the former Brown Drug store building on Main street, in preparation for the opening of the O.P. Skaggs store, which will take place on Saturday, February 14, according to Mr. M.M. Morrison, owner and operator of the local institution.

The fixtures have been installed in accordance with the regular Skaggs system of arrangement and are now being painted in white. The front of the building is painted in blue, with the name and other lettering of the sign in white.

The store will be locally owned. Under the Skaggs system, Mr. Morrison as lessee, has been given a franchise on buying power through which he proposes to pass the benefits of high quality goods at lowest prices consistent with good management on to the public.

Mr. Morrison has been connected with Skaggs stores in this state for about ten years, coming to Lusk from Wheatland, where he was employed in a store for the past two years, this venture being the first under his ownership.

He, with his wife and son, Paul, have taken rooms above the store, where they will make their home.

Lusk Free Lance
February 5, 1931
Jess Payne Leaves to Take Charge of Wheatland Firm

Jess A. Payne, for the past two years mortician of the Midwest Funeral Parlors of this city, left Tuesday evening for Wheatland, where he will assume charge of the Copley Funeral Home of that city. In the departure of Mr. Payne, the Midwest organization loses a valuable member. During his residence here he has made a friend of every acquaintance, and has been an asset to the Midwest's store, which greatly regrets his leaving the firm.

The Copley Funeral Home will open for business about the tenth, and will be operated in conjunction with the Copley Furniture company of Wheatland. All newest and most modern equipment will be used, according to Mr. Payne.

The best wishes of Mr. Payne's many friends in this vicinity go with him to his new field, and all hope and anticipate his success and that of the firm with which he has become affiliated.

According to Mr. Payne, his family will remain here until after the end of the present school term before moving to Wheatland.

Lusk Free Lance
February 5, 1931

The most recent addition to the business section of this city will open Saturday, February 7th, when E. E. "Bill" Hutchinson, formerly of Wheatland, puts his shoe repair shop in operation. This business is located in the Goddard building, next door to the Lusk State Bank, and the past week has seen the installation of all new, modern machinery for shoe repair work.

Mr. Hutchinson for several years operated a shop in Wheatland, but sold out to go to California. Upon his return to this state he selected Lusk and decided to locate here. He's a mighty tine fellow to meet and it appears that it won't be long until he has acquired a large following of customers and friends.

The family, consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Hutchinson and two small sons, have taken apartments in the Royal.

Lusk Free Lance
February 5, 1931

Some of the "old home town" boys (that is, from right here in Lusk) stand a chance to be "sittin' pretty" for the rest of their days if things continue to come along in the future as they have in the past two months, - and, of course, it's all because of that liquid gold better known as crude oil.

These men are stockholders of the Nio-Gos Oil company, an organization of residents of Niobrara and Goshen counties, who not long since were notified of a well coming in on their holdings in Texas. This week brought the report of another well coming in, which is free-flowing better than 250 barrels a day. The first was put on pump and is producing around 100 barrels daily.

The holding of this company are located at Oleney, Young county, Tex., about 20 miles south of Wichita Falls, and extend over considerable territory.

The officers are Mr. Moore and John McDonald of Torrington; John Agnew of the Rawhide country; and C. Frank Bautch and H. J. Templeton of this city. Quite a few local people are interested in the company in a financial way.

Wednesday, shortly after noon, a party of those interested left for Texas to inspect the properties and the outlook for the future. They were H. J. Templeton, C. Frank Bautch, Thurman Godfrey and P.P. Brown of this city and Mr. Reed of Torrington.

Lusk Free Lance
February 12, 1931

The barber shop in the Mayes building, which for the past several years has been owned and operated by Fred Cooper, passed into the hands of George Kuns in a deal completed on Tuesday of this week. Mr. Cooper will return to his native haunts in the Black Hills country, although as to re-entering the barber business he said nothing today.

The barber shop fixtures will be moved into the Milburn building, three doors south of the present location, and there Mr. Kuns will soon be ready to meet his friends and customers. It is believed that a beauty parlor will be established in connection, as Mrs. Kuns is a beauty expert, but this has not been definitely announced as yet.

George is not a stranger here, as he has supplied several times in the Tate shop, but has spent the past year on a farm northeast of Lusk. Friends will regret the departure of the Coopers, and yet will welcome such fine people as their successors.

Lusk Free Lance
March 5, 1931

The George Kuns Barber shop, purchased recently from Fred Cooper, and which was formerly located in the Mayes building, are now in their new home - the Milburn building, just one door south of the Skaggs store. The move took place Sunday, and on Monday Mr. Kuns and R. L. Wonderly were on the job bright and early to meet their old friends and to make the acquaintance of new ones.

Lusk Free Lance
March 5, 1931

Within the next couple of weeks, a new ladies' ready-to-wear store, to be known as The Smart Shop, will be opened in Lusk. The store will be located in the Mayes building, recently vacated by the Kuns barber shop. Men have been busily engaged making repairs and getting the place prepared for the fixtures which are to arrive soon.

Mrs. Elizabeth E. Mayes, former resident and well known in Lusk and vicinity, will manage the new store. She arrived here last Sunday and is directing the work being done by W. W. Edmondson and E.O. Kint. Announcement will probably be made in next week's issue as to the date of the opening.

Lusk Free Lance
March 5, 1931
Local Creamery Praised by State Inspectors; Gardner Urges Full Support of Producers

The Niobrara Co-Operative Creamery was given another ticket as standing in "the top class in all respects" last week when State Food and Dairy Inspector Arlyn Gardner, accompanied by Glen Weeks, assistant inspector, paid an official visit to the local institution for a check-up of conditions.

In an interview with the state officials, we were pleased to learn several things. These men are inspecting the creameries of the state, twenty-seven in number, and of those so far visited, the local concern was credited as paying the highest price to the producers. It has a par excellent product in its Nio-Maid butter, according to the inspectors, according to a recent analysis made at the state laboratories, and they look upon this as one of the fastest growing creameries of the state.

In a statement to us, Mr. Gardner said, "There is no reason why this creamery should not expect the entire production of butterfat for many miles surrounding Lusk. The outlook for its future is better than any institution, age considered, which I have contacted during my work as inspector." He added, "The fact that farmers here are getting several cents above what is being paid in other localities, proves to me that they should give united support to the concern responsible for the present price. It stands to reason that they would not be getting 26 centers per pound for their butterfat when practically all others are paying 20 cents to 22 cents."

Mr. Gardner is one of the state's staunchest supporters of the slogan: "Wyoming Products for Wyoming." He is always ready to protect the interests of Wyoming industry and was partly instrumental in securing passage by the recent legislature of the bill providing a state tax of ten cents per pound on oleo, a better substitute, which now must pay a combined state and federal tax of 17 cents. In this regard he said, "There is no reason why Wyoming should ship in a single pound of outside butter or substitute. Records in our office show that one and a quarter million pounds of butterfat have been sent from this state during the past year, and as many pounds of churned butter or substitute has been shipped in for consumption within the state. As to Wyoming and this product, it can and should be self-sustaining."

Messrs. Gardner and Weeks arrived here Thursday and on that same day a group of old friends of Manager Oscar Haggstrom stopped over here to visit the creamery. They were George Seymour, of the Harding Creamery of Omaha; Mr. Goldtrap of the Goldtrap-Jessen Creamery of Casper; and Joe Alexander of the Judevine Creamery of Douglas. All of these men were guests of Mr. Haggstrom at a dinner that evening at the Royal cafe.

Lusk Free Lance
March 12, 1931

Merlin D. Barnes, formerly in the mortuary profession in this city, but who retired from active practice several years ago, has again entered this field and will become a member of the Midwest Funeral (sic) Home organization.

Mr. Barnes will serve in the capacity of mortician, along with George Gibson, funeral director, according to announcement made this week.

Mr. Barnes is licensed to practice in Colorado and Nebraska, besides Wyoming. A new Meteor hearse has been added to the equipment of the company, it is understood, and the service in all respects will be of the highest calibre.

Lusk Free Lance
March 19, 1931

Another filling station is in the course of construction in this city, and will be located on the corner, three blocks east of main street, across from the White Eagle station. This new addition to Lusk is being installed by R. D. Thompson, and it is understood will be operated as an independent station. Workmen are busy with the construction begun this week, and it is thought that the station will be ready for operation by the middle of April.

Lusk Free Lance
April 9, 1931

The past week saw the changing of manageship of the Royal Cafe, which, for the past several months has been in charge of Frank Watts. Mrs. Clara Gibson, for the past year and a half operator of the filling station in the west part of town, has assumed charge and is now ready to serve the public with the best of foods and in the finest manner possible. Mrs. Gibson is a very pleasant woman to meet and has already made many friends in her new capacity.

Lusk Free Lance
May 7, 1931

During the past week a business transaction took place whereby Mr. and Mrs. Glen Cates became the owners of the Henry Hotel. The purchase was made from Mr. and Mrs. Pete Brown of the Silver Cliff. The Henry Hotel is a modern, up-to-date hotel and has been under the able management of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Schroeder for the past three years. Their lease holds until September first at which time these good people expect to leave for sunny California for the winter.

Lusk Free Lance
May 7, 1931

Mr. and Mrs. W. M. Best and daughters, Mary Elizabeth and Barbara returned to Lusk Friday after spending the winter in Casper. Mr. and Mrs. Best are here to operate their Pioneer Cabin Camp and get it ready for the tourist season. Glad to have them back.

Lusk Free Lance
May 7, 1931

On Saturday, May 2nd, Mrs. Louise Bowman became the new proprietor of the X-L Cafe. Mrs. Bowman is experienced along this line and will give to the people of Lusk the same good service and good foods for which the X-L has always been noted.

The purchase was made from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Rutledge, who have served the people in this community for the past three and one-half years, during which time they have built up an enviable reputation for the business.

Mr. and Mrs. Rutledge and son expect to leave Lusk as soon as school closes for a real vacation thru Colorado, Idaho and Oregon. They intend to keep on the lookout for a cattle ranch that suits them.

Lusk Free Lance
May 14, 1931

J.M. Himes, who for the past fourteen years has engaged in farming and ranching north of this city, last week opened a plumbing and heating establishment in this city, located in the rear of the Lusk Electric Shop.

Mr. Himes, in opening the business, returns to an endeavor in which he was engaged for more than twenty years prior to coming here. He is equipped to handle all kinds of plumbing and heating work, and has installed the latest type of equipment and tools. He has kept in touch with improvements made in this business all the while he resided on the ranch, and re-enters the business thoroughly equipped as to knowledge.

Lusk Free Lance
June 11, 1931

The Best's Cash Store is meeting its friends and customers in a spic and span new home this week, the move from its former location in the Ranger hotel building taking place the end of the week. They are now at home in the building next to the City meat market, and after being remodeled, redecorated and equipped with newly arranged fixtures, it lends a striking appearance to the passerby. Mr. and Mrs. Best will be glad to greet their old friends and new ones too, in the new location.

Lusk Free Lance
August 20, 1931

A.C. Tibbits, better known to many friends here as "Slim," this week opened a garage on Elm Street, two doors south of the Lusk Lumber company, where he will engage in all kinds of automobile and general repairing. Mr. Tibbits is well known in this city, having been employed at local garages for the past several years. He has equipped his shop with considerable new late-model machinery and expects to add more from time to time. The building is being remodeled, and "Slim" is already busily engaged "fixin" cars in need of repairs. Announcement of his opening may be found elsewhere in this issue.

Lusk Free Lance
August 20, 1931
Open Authorized Chevrolet Sales and service in Remodeled Hitshew Building.

Negotiations, which have been going on for the past several weeks, were concluded last Saturday, when the interests of the Midwest Motor Company, as local authorized Chevrolet dealers, were purchased by the Boyd Chevrolet, Inc., a new Lusk organization, composed of S.W. "Dade" Boyd, Wm. and George Mill. The Midwest Motor Company is headed by Henry Bredthauer.

The Boyd Chevrolet will have headquarters in the Hitshew building, just east of the Henry hotel, which was recently vacated by the Niobrara Motor company. The building has undergone a thorough renovation and considerable improvement has been made including the housing of a large office, sales and display room.

Besides being authorized dealers for Chevrolet motor cars, the new organization will carry and has already stocked a complete line of parts and accessories for the convenience of Chevrolet users. Gasoline and oils will also be available. A repair shop will be maintained in connection with the sales service and expert mechanics will be employed to do the work.

Mr. Boyd, president-manager of the concern, is well known to many Lusk and Niobrara county residents. He was engaged in garage business here for several years, leaving in 1923 to go to Glenrock, where he owned and operated a garage business. His confidence in this particular section of the state prompted him to relocate here. Billie and George Mill need no introduction from us, and we join their many friends in extending best wishes for their success in the new and progressive enterprise. They will be glad to meet their friends at the headquarter location.

Lusk Free Lance
September 24, 1931
Foster Lumber Company Assumes Charge of Lusk Lumber Interests

The change in ownership of Lusk's lone lumber yard, effected last week, when the Foster Lumber company took over the business of the Lusk Lumber company, brings to this city new life from that direction and establishes here a part of an organization that covers five states.

The Lusk Lumber went out of existence with the beginning of inventory, started last Thursday, when Mr. George E. Tubbs of Norton, Kans., superintendent of Foster retail yards, and Mr. F. E. Wertz of Brush, Colo., territory auditor for the new company arrived to take over the stock and interests of the Lusk Lumber and start business under the new management on its way.

W. B. Street, who managed the yard under the old firm for more than twelve years, will continue in charge of the Foster interests here. He was paid a high compliment by Mr. Tubbs, who said yesterday: "We are very glad to announce that we will continue Mr. Street as manager of this yard. It is seldom that we do this, as we have plenty of men within our own organization ready to be placed in new territory, but our investigations have convinced us that we do not desire to make a change. We feel that Mr. Street is just the man we want."

With the coming of the Foster Lumber company to this city, an organization with more than a half century behind it is to be welcomed by the citizens of Lusk and vicinity.

Starting with a small yard in Leonardville, Kans., in 1879, John Foster organized the company which yet carries his name. His five sons were taken into the company and since its birth it has grown to an immense concern of sixty-five yards which are scattered over Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming, with this state having eight yards besides the one here.

The Foster Lumber is not a stock concern but is owned entirely by members of the Foster family, with headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. It has built up to its present size through its endeavor to be of real service to those of the territory it covers and wherever it has established a yard, it has prospered. It is known for the backing it has given local civic enterprises and this alone has made it a popular business in many places.

A sincere welcome is extended the new company with wishes for the most of success in this territory.

Lusk Free Lance
September 24, 1931
Independent Refinery Here is Incorporated

Lusk has, during the past week, added what promises to be an asset to its stability as one of the most progressive towns in the state, with the incorporation of the Lusk Oil and Refining Company, which to date is composed only of prominent local business men. Articles of incorporation were filed with the secretary of state at Cheyenne last Friday, and local filing was made with County Clerk Frank W. Chambers on Monday.

The company is headed by J.W. Seegrist, independent local gas dealer, as president, and Don C. Taylor, secretary treasurer, who, with J. Henry Deetjen make up the initial board of directors. John F. Harkin is acting as agent for the new company.

The refinery of the Lusk Oil and Refining company is located about a quarter mile east of this city, and the skimming process is the method used in extracting gasoline and other products from crude oil. With the present equipment, gasoline, kerosene tractor distilate and furnace fuel are the extent of refining possibilities, but it is anticipated by the officers of the company that further refining will be dealt in if and when the demand for such products warrant.

Several thousand gallons of crude have already been run through the plant in five or six tests and the results have been very satisfactory. The still is of 2,000-gallon capacity, and may not be of sufficient size if the orders for its products keep coming in. The company already has a number of orders for gasoline, and other fuels, and these orders are expected to increase steadily.

Large storage tanks are to be installed within the next week or two and if the demand for production becomes too large for the plant to handle, additional stills will be erected and placed in operation. It is understood that the lowest grade of refined material - furnace fuel, is very suitable for road oiling, and a substantial market has already been found for this by-product. The crude being refined here is from the Osage oil field.

The company is capitalized at $50,000 and the par value of the stock is $10.00 per share. No stock is for sale, however, at present, it is understood.

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Debbie Sturman, Director
425 South Main Street, P O Box 510
Lusk, WY 82225-0510
Phone: 307-334-3490
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