Catherine Josephine (Tatman) Fancher

(December 9, 1878 - August 13, 1961)


The Lusk Herald
August 17, 1961


Mrs. Fancher, Kirtley Pioneer, Dies Sunday

Mrs. Josephine Fancher, 82, pioneer settler in the Kirtley community, died in the Spencer Hospital Sunday. Mrs. Fancher had suffered from a heart condition for several months and had been admitted to the hospital two weeks before her death.

Funeral services were held at the Peet Chapel at 2 p.m. Wednesday with the Rev. James E. Davis in charge. A quartet composed of Mrs. Emerson Bonner, Mrs. Samuel M. Thomas, Jr., Harry Lyon, and Dave Wood sang: "Going Down the Valley" and "Beautiful Isle." Mrs. J. P. Watson was organist. Active pallbearers were: Harlan Lohr, Ted Lohr, James Peterson, Chris Jassman, John Hammond, and Harry Sides. Honorary bearers were: Ray Christian, Len Christian, Andrew Christian, Jim Christian, John Siemsen, Art Thompson, C. E. Marvin, and Roy ZunBrunnen. Burial was in the family plot in the Kirtley Cemetery.

The following account of her life was written, with minor changes, by Mrs. Fancher herself.

Catherine Josephine Tatman was born Dec. 9, 1878 at Russell, Kans., the daughter of Thomas B. and Catherine Crimm Tatman. She moved with her parents to Columbus Junction, IA, in the fall of 1879 and resided there until 1892 when with her parents and brother and sister, she came west in a covered wagon to Lander, Wyo.

She met and married Harry P. Fancher in 1896. In 1897 they emigrated in a covered wagon to Lusk and filed on land that has been her home since that time. Mrs. Fancher drove the covered wagon, Mr. Fancher and her brother driving the cattle and horses behind. She was charged by hostile Indians but they left without molesting her. Coming on to Casper, she pitched camp in what is now Casper's main business section. They arrived in Kirtley May 28. She was a true pioneer woman, her home was open house to everyone.

In her community and for miles around, she gave her time and labor freely to aid all in distress. Many babies she delivered into the world she now calls "her children," and many pay her respect for her kindness and love. She joined the Methodist Church in the early years of her life and has lived in the Christian faith that God would take care of her.

She was the mother of ten children, five dying in infancy. Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Florence Vaughan of Casper and Mrs. Ila Paulson of Denver; three sons, Harry of Scappoose, Ore., Floyd of Seattle, Wash., and Frank of the Kirtley community; 19 grandchildren, and 26 great grandchildren.

Out-of-town relatives attending the services included Mrs. and Mrs. Joe Vaughan and Mr. and Mrs. William Harrison and family of Casper; Mrs. and Mrs. J.W. Paulson of Denver; Mr. and Mrs. Harry (Bud) Fancher of Scappoose, Ord.; and Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Fancher and family of Seattle, Wash.








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