Fred A. Root

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(September 24, 1885 - June 10, 1949)


From the Tom Weigand Genealogy Collection
December 5, 2006


Fred A. Root, 83, Lusk Pioneer, Dies Suddenly Friday Morning

The sudden death of Fred A. Root, 83, early Friday morning. June 10th, came as a decided shock to friends here.

Mr. Root had been busy the previous day making preparations to leave on a trip to California, but failed to get away that afternoon, and during the evening became very ill and was taken to the Lusk hospital, where he passed away at 6:15 the following morning, from an internal hemorrhage.

For sixty-two years Fred Root has made Lusk his home. He came here as a young man soon after the railroad was built through the new town.

During his youth he rode the range for various cows outfits and his knowledge of cattle made his services in demand by different livestock commission companies in Omaha whom he represented for many years. He was also local representative for the Federal Land Bank of Omaha.


Born in Vermont


Fred A. Root was born in Battleboro, Vermont, September 24, 1865, the oldest child of Benjamin A. and Sarah H. Root. At the age of 10, he with his parents and sisters, Cora and Lena, left their Vermont home and came to Baynard, Iowa, a hundred miles east of Omaha, when that part of their country was still unconquered frontier. Here they lived for five years and it was here that brother Arthur Root was born.

With the settling of Iowa, these hardy pioneers pushed still further to the west, making their home in Sargent, Nebraska, until in 1887 they once again moved west, coming to Lusk with the founding of the town, and here the father filed on a homestead six miles northeast of Lusk on lands later owned by Anthon Hansen.

Mr. Root was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Frank, who died in infancy, and by his two sisters, Cora Root Bell and Lena Root Jones, all of whom are buried in the Lusk Cemetery except his brother Frank.

He is survived only by his brother, Arthur H. Root of Lusk, and several nieces and nephews.

He was a charter member of Harmony Masonic Lodge of Lusk, remaining a faithful and consistent member of the Masonic order for almost 50 years.

Funeral services were conducted from the Peet Chapel on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock, with internment in the Lusk Cemetery.

Judson P. Watson, a long-time friend and legal adviser of the deceased, read the obituary and gave a resume of Mr. Root's life.


Masonic Service


The full Masonic service was conducted, Pastmaster James B. Griffith officiating, Mrs. Edna De Castro and Miss Justin Watson sang "We Shall Gather By The River" and "We're Going Down The Valley", accompanied at the organ by Mrs. J.P. Watson.

The honorary casket bearers were Edward M. Arnold, E.L. McCall, S.W. Boyd, C.E. Scace, Henry Petz and J.D. Lorenzen. The active bearers were Hans Gautschi, Roy Chamberlain, Ben F.Brown, Harold Rogers, John Westley Wolfe and James Hoblit. The Masonic committal service was also conducted at the cemetery.

Out-of-town relatives here for the services were Mr. and Mrs. M.C. Franchinini of Tranquility, Cal., Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Spracklen and Mr. and Mrs. Vern McNare of Douglas, Wyo., and Mr. and Mrs. Fred K. Root of Shoshoni, Wyo.


Thon Book No. 4 - 1949
Fred A. Root, One of County's Oldest Residents, Is Laid At Rest Sunday in Lusk Cemetery; Masonic Rites Held


One of the town's most respected pioneer citizens was laid to rest Sunday afternoon, June 12th, when concluding rites were held for Fred A. Root from the chapel of the Peet funeral home.

Bearing mute testimony of the esteem and admiration in which the deceased was held, were the myriads of flowers placed about the chapel.

Officiating at the services, which were held at two-thirty o'clock was Atty. Judson P. Watson, a close friend of many years' standing of the deceased. Mrs. A. F. DeCastro and Miss Justine Watson sang as duets, "Shall We Gather At The River," and "Going Down The Valley." Organ accompaniment was by Mrs. Judson P. Watson.

Burial was made in the Lusk cemetery where Masonic rites were conducted by members of Harmony Lodge No. 24, A.F. & A.M, of this city and of which he had been a member or more than fifty years.

Honorary pallbearers included Henry Petz, Charlie Scace, Ed Arnold, E. L. McCall, Jurdgen Lorenzen and S. W. "Dade" Boyd. Active bearers were Harold E, Rogers, J. Wesley Wolfe, Don Taylor, Hans Gautschi, James Hoblit and Roy Chamberlain.

Mr. Root had entered the Lusk hospital Wednesday evening of last week and passed away early Friday morning, his death being attributed to complications of old age. At the time of his passing, he was 83 years, 8 months and 17 days of age.

Fred A. Root was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, September 24, 1865, the oldest child of Benjamin A. and Sarah H. Root, his advent into the world a year after the return of his father from three years of service in the Union Army.

At the age of ten he with his parents and his sisters, Cora and Lena left their beloved Vermont home and came to Bayard, Iowa, a hundred miles east of Omaha, when that part of our country was still an unconquered frontier, and here they lived for five years and here his brother Arthur Root was born.

With the settling of Iowa these hardy pioneers pushed still farther to the west making their home in Sargent, Nebraska until in 1887 they took their way once again to the unsettled west coming to Lusk with the founding of our fair city and here the father filed on a homestead six miles northeast of Lusk on lands later owned by Anthon Hansen.

From that day on for sixty-two years, Fred made this his home. Here he lived and here he labored and here he left his undying impress upon the lives of the people of this community. He loved Lusk; he loved the people of Lusk; "twas here he wanted to end his days; twas here he wanted to be laid at rest."

In his youth Fred rode the range for various cow outfits and his knowledge of cattle made his services in demand by different livestock commission companies in Omaha whom he represented for many years. He was the local representative for the Federal Land Bank of Omaha.

He homesteaded on land a mile to the east of the Hat Creek store now included in the Fields ranch.

Mr. Root was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Frank who died in infancy, and by his two sisters, Cora Root Bell and Lena Root Jones, all of whom sleep in the Lusk cemetery except his brother, Frank.

He is survived only by his brother, Arthur H. Root of Lusk and a number of nieces and nephews.

He was a charter member of Harmony Masonic lodge of Lusk, remaining a faithful and consistent member of that lodge for more than fifty years.

Friday, June 10, 1949 while in his 84th year he happily answered the final summons and went to his eternal Home, but his life shall go on and on here in the town he loved so well, here in the hearts of us, his friends, whose lives have been enriched and blessed by the kindly, steadfast spirit of him, our friend.




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