George Gibson Jr.

George Gibson Jr.
George Gibson Jr.



(September 22, 1900 - March 1, 1960)


The Lusk Herald
March 10, 1960


Funeral For George Gibson, Man Who Meant Much to Community, Held Sat.

Funeral mass for George Gibson, who died March 1, was held at St. Leo's Catholic Church at 10:00 a.m. Saturday with Father M. J. McBrien officiating.

Active pallbearers were: John Mueller, of Hot Springs, Glen Cates and Charley Astler of Cheyenne, Richard Pfister Jr., Arthur Keller, James Barrett, Arthur Dalgarno and George Mordock. Honorary Bearers were: Don Richardson, C. E. Marvin, Oscar Bostrom, Earl Manthe, Frank Chambers, Andrew McMaster, Dick Dempter, Menno Kaan, Cecil Stark, John Agnew, C. W. Irwin, Richard Pfister, Sr. J. B. Griffith Sr. and Roy Chamberlain.

George Gibson, Jr. was born September 22, 1900 to Anna Marie Mueller and George Gibson, Sr. in Hot Springs So. Dak. The senior Gibsons were pioneers in that area of the Black Hills. In the beautiful setting of the Black Hills Mr. Gibson spent a happy childhood. All his life he liked to tell stories, and he was at his best when he was telling of the happenings of those early days in the southern Black Hills.

When World War I broke out George couldn't resist the call to the colors and quit high school, lied about his age, and joined the army. He was only 17 and the legal age was 18. He served along the border of New Mexico in a medical detachment. After his discharge on January 5, 1920 he returned to Hot Springs and to high school where he later was graduated. During his high school days he was recognized as an outstanding athlete and won awards for his debating skill. During his early years in Lusk he was called Hot Springs High Gibson.

He attended Northwestern University one year. In recent years he adopted the University of Wyoming as his own and would go to any length to see a University of Wyoming football game.

He came to Lusk in 1923 and during the 36 years of residence here left an indelible mark on the community and its people.

Ethel Arnold and George Gibson were married January 10, 1929. They were the parents' one daughter, Georgeann.


Success in Business
Mr. Gibson came to Lusk to close out the Austin-Elquist-Slack Company and had intended to stay only a few months. He liked Lusk and after a period he, Dick Dempster and Don Blum bought the company which was then located in the building which is now occupied by Niobrara Motors.

In the summer of 1933, the Midwest moved into more commodious quarters when Mr. Gibson purchased the Snyder Mercantile Company building.

The Midwest Skelgas Company was established in 1929 and was one of the first dealerships to be set up in the United States.

Until a few years ago Mr. Gibson was also the owner of the Sheridan Hotel at Gordon, Nebr. and at the time of his death was a partner in the Hotel Washakie at Worland.

During his years in Lusk he was the hub of community activity. If there were a community activity, more than likely George started it; but even if he didn't he would work tirelessly to see that it went over. He was such a strong member of the Lusk Lions Club that last Thursday night that organization cancelled its regular program out of respect for him.

The American Legion occupied a special soft spot in his heart. He served the local post as commander and was Department vice-commander in 1937. In 1949, as general chairman of the State Convention, he was largely responsible for a never-to-be-forgotten convention.

During recent years he worked at the promotion of B.P.O. Elks events.

Floats and parades were more than just a hobby with him. They were serious business and he paid close personal attention to every detail. He never was known to have made a mediocre float or worked on a poor parade. His were all productions. The late Keith Rider, writing in the Douglas Budget, said this about one of his last great floats: "In years gone by, we have attended some of the most famous parades in the nation, but can't remember any float that surpasses the Showboat George and Ethel of the Midwest Hardware in Lusk had in the Wyoming State Fair Parade."

While George's interests were wide in the promotion of the community, his favorite was doubtless "The Legend of Rawhide" pageant. He helped from the start and his efforts encouraged others.

Perhaps his crowning achievement came just before the 1959 presentation when he engineered an Indian rifle hoax the news of which spread from coast to coast and even overseas. His primary reason for promoting the hoax was to advertise the Pageant. He was also working to see if a national celebrity could be enticed to come to this year's presentation just before his death.

At the time of his death, Mr. Gibson was a member of the Wyoming Natural Resources Board. He was appointed to the position in 1955 by Gov. Milward Simpson and took great pride standing by his guns whenever he felt the welfare of the people of Wyoming were concerned.

He is survived by his wife, Ethel; daughter, Mrs. Jim Ryan; two sisters, Mrs. Mable Schwaner of Scottsbluff, Mrs. Tom Gee of Worland, and three granddaughters.




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Arthur Pfister (October 27, 1900 - December 9, 1900)

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Hannah Jane Pfister (January 25, 1839 - June 1, 1919)

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Martha Elizabeth Pfister (March 17, 1892 - December 13, 1974)

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Richard Gene Pfister (March 30, 1931 - September 14, 2005)

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Rita Wise (February 13, 1933 - October 30, 1995)

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Related Historical Entries: 'George Gibson'

Legend of Rawhide

Veteran History by George Flint

World War II - Ray Taylor remembers






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