Donald Lee Taylor





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

(January 15, 1925 - May 20, 1954)


Lusk Free Lance
May 27, 1954


Rites Held Sunday for Attorney Donald Lee Taylor, Auto Accident Victim; Interment in Lusk Cemetery

Services for the late Donald L. Taylor popular young attorney, who was killed in an automobile-truck accident late last Thursday night, May 20th, were conducted from the chapel of the Peet Funeral Home at two-thirty o'clock, Sunday afternoon.

Mute testimony to the esteem held for the deceased were the myriads of floral tributes. The chapel overflowed with friends who came to pay their last respects. Organizations attending the rites in groups included Harmony Lodge No. 24, A.F. & A.M.; Wieten-Dupes Post No. 4, American Legion; Lusk Lodge No. 1797, B.P.O. Elks; and the Lusk Drove No. 64, B.P.O. Does.

Rev. Jacob Nein, pastor of the Congregational Christian Church of Lusk, officiated at the services. A male quartet composed of Rex Yocum, Dale Bardo, Lee Johnsonbaugh and Dan Christian sang "O, Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go," "My Jesus as Thou Wilt," and "Crossing the Bar." Mrs. Dale Bardo presided at the organ.

At the chapel, "Chuck" Vaughan and Raleigh Gagstetter of Wieten-Dupes Post No. 4, American Legion folded the American flag that was placed over the deceased's coffin. The flag was presented to the deceased's family.

Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery where Harmony Lodge conducted its ritualistic rites. Bearing the remains to their last resting place were Wm. G. Watt, Wheatland, Wyo., Thos. O. Miller, Don Heath, Robert C. Templeton, Lafe Culver, Sr., Max T. Bird, Coye Jennewein and James Griffith, Jr., all of Lusk.

Donald Lee Taylor, the eldest son of Mrs. and Mrs. Don C. Taylor of this city, was born January 15th, 1925, at Lusk, Wyo., and was thus 29 years old at the time an auto collision took his life Thursday night, May 20, 1954.

He attended the Lusk public schools graduating from Lusk High school in the spring of 1943. Although he had many interests, including music, he excelled in athletics, lettering four years in both basketball and football and one year receiving the trophy as the most outstanding athlete of the year.

Shortly after graduation he entered the United States Army in August of 1943 to serve 30 months during World War II. Most of this time was spent on the European fronts with the 297th Engineer Combat Battalion. He participated in five major battles, including the Battle of the Bulge, was wounded and received the Purple Heart. He also received the Bronze Star citation and two unit commendations. His discharge came January 15, 1946 at Camp Carson, Colo., as a private first class.

On July 5th, 1946, he married Janie Noah of Lance Creek, his high school sweetheart, and they moved to Laramie where he entered the University of Wyoming. By continuous and hard study he completed his A. B. degree and went on to receive his law degree in August of 1950, and in February, 1951, passed the Wyoming State Bar examination.

Don first established a practice at Edgerton, but in September moved to Lusk to open a practice of law. The following January, he became associated with Attorney Thomas O. Miller.

Active politically, Don participated in the Young Democrats organization on the University campus, and on coming to Lusk was shortly named Chairman of the Niobrara County Democratic Central Committee, an office he has since held. He was also a member of the Wyoming Democratic Central committee.

Besides serving as city attorney for Lusk, he was just completing a term as commander of the Wieten-Dupes Post No. 4, American Legion, and had served a period as adjutant of the same organization, and secretary of the Lusk Commercial club.

Don was a member of the Lusk Congregational Church and had participated in its present building plans. He was a member of Harmony Masonic Lodge No. 24, being raised to the degree of a master Mason on April 24th 1951. He also was a member of Lusk Lodge No. 1797, P.P.O. Elks, and the local Civil Air Patrol. While attending the University of Wyoming, he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity and the Potter Law club.

Surviving besides his wife, are two daughters, Janis Lee, 6, and Cynthia Susan, 2; his parents, two brothers, Alfred and James, and his paternal grandmother, Mrs. Lydia Taylor, all of Lusk.


Out-of-town Relatives and Friends Here To Attend Taylor Rites


Many friends and relatives of the late Donald L. Taylor came from distant points to attend last rites held Sunday afternoon. Among the relatives were Mrs. and Mrs. R. A. Noah, Sr., Benevides, Tex., Mrs. and Mrs. Tom Compton, Gary and Sherry, Iowa Park, Tex., Mrs. James Hewitt, Fort Worth, Tex., Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Noah, Jr., Nancy, Kathy and Anne of Midwest, Wyo.; Martin L. Taylor, Seattle, Wash.; Mr. and Mrs. C. N. Taylor, Sheridan, Wyo.; Mrs. Loretta Schipporeit and Marilyn Gay, Alfred Taylor, all of Laramie, Wyo.; Thomas Costlow, Thermopolis, Wyo.; Mr. and Mrs. Bud Sorenson and Larry, Newcastle, Wyo.

Among friends here were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Thomason, Casper, Wyo.; Jack Thomason, Newcastle, Wyo.; John Trenholm, Casper, Wyo.; "Barney" Cole and Tom Carroll, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Mr. and Mrs. Jim Fagan, Tom Fagan, Laramie, Wyo.; Ed Halsey, Newcastle, Wyo.


Thon Book No. 7
Donald Taylor Killed in Car Wreck May 20


Donald Lee Taylor, 29, prominent Lusk attorney, was killed instantly about 11:25 p.m. Thursday, May 20, when the car he was driving ran into the left side of a truck about one mile south of Lusk on U.S. Highway 85.

At the time of the accident Taylor was alone in his 1954 Dodge car and going north. A 1949 International truck driven by E. J. Kufeldt, 30, of Scottsbluff who was accompanied by John Webb, 33, of Gering, had just left Lusk to return to Scottsbluff and was headed south. According to the testimony given at the inquest held in Lusk Friday morning, the tractor was going south at a speed of about 40 M.P.H. The men testified that Taylor was going north at a fast rate. As the vehicles approached the truck driver first dimmed his lights and Taylor dimmed later. The investigation of the accident and testimony shows that the truck was on its side of the highway and that the Taylor car hit the heavy tractor approximately in the middle.

Either at the initial impact or soon after Taylor was thrown from the careening auto, he was thrown into the west borrow pit and the auto went into the east borrow pit. Taylor was located 200 feet from the point of the initial impact. E. L. Lindahl, M.D. Niobrara County Health Officer, testified at the inquest that there were "multiple injuries sufficient to cause death instantly."

The 1954 Dodge was considered a total loss. The International tractor was damaged on the left side as a rear wheel had been shorn off and much other damage done. The tractor was owned by the Consumers Cooperative Association of Nebraska. Neither occupant of the truck appeared injured but Webb reported a bump on the head.

The tractor was in this vicinity because one of the Associations oil tankers had broken down approximately 5 miles north of Lusk. Two tractors were driven here and one was used to replace the one which had broken down. The other tractor was used to take the men back to Scottsbluff. Instead of going directly home the men came to Lusk to eat and then left for Scottsbluff.

The last time Donald Taylor was seen by most local residents was when he was in charge of flag dedication ceremony of the new Niobrara School buildings Thursday afternoon. The ceremony was conducted by Wieten-Dupes Post No. 4 of the American Legion and Taylor, the organization's most recent past Commander, presided over the ceremony.

SUNDAY FUNERAL
The funeral was held from the Peet Chapel in Lusk Sunday afternoon and interment was made in the Lusk Cemetery. The Rev. Jacob Nein of the Lusk Congregational Church conducted the services. A male quartet composed of Lee Johnsonbaugh, Dan Christian, Rex Yocum and Dale M. Bardo sang "O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go," "My Jesus, As Thou Wilt," and "Crossing The Bar." Mrs. Dale M. Bardo provided the organ music. Harmony Masonic Lodge conducted interment ceremonies. The services were attended by a very large crowd. Casket bearers were: Thomas O Miller, Don Heath, Robert Templeton, Lafe Culver, Sr., Max Bird, Coye Jennewein and Jim Griffith Jr.

Out of town relatives attending the ceremonies included: Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Noah, Sr., of Benvedes, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. Tom R. Compton of Iowa Park, Texas; Mrs. James Hewitt of Fort Worth, Texas; Mr. and Mrs. R. A. Noah, Jr. and children, Nancy, Katherine and Ann of Midwest, Wyo.: M.I. Taylor of Seattle, Wash.; Mr. and Mrs. C. N. Taylor of Sheridan; Loretta and Marilyn Schipporeit of Laramie; Mr. and Mrs. Bud Sorensen of Newcastle and Thomas Costlow of Thermopolis.

LIFE STORY GIVEN
Donald Lee Taylor, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Don C. Taylor, was born at Lusk January 15, 1925, and was thus 29 at the time an auto collision took his life Thursday night, May 20.

He attended the Lusk Public schools graduating from Lusk High School in the spring of 1943. Although he had many interests, including music, he excelled in athletics, lettering four years in both basket ball and football and one year receiving the trophy as the most outstanding athlete of the year.

Shortly after graduation he entered the United States Army in August, 1943 to serve 30 months during World War II. Most of this time was spent on the European fronts with the 297th Engineer Combat Battalion. He Participated in five major battles, including the Battle of the Bulge, was wounded and received the Purple Heart. He also received the Bronze Star citation and two unit commendations. His discharge came January 15, 1946 as a private first class.

July 5, 1946 he married Janie Noah of Lance Creek, his high school sweetheart, and they moved to Laramie where Mrs. Taylor entered the University of Wyoming. By continuous and hard study he completed his A.B. degree and went on to receive his law degree in August of 1950, and in February, 1951, passed the Wyoming State Bar examination.

Mr. Taylor first established a practice at Edgerton, but in September moved to Lusk to open a practice of law. The following January he became associated with Attorney Thomas O. Miller.

Active politically, Mr. Taylor participated in the Young Democrats organization on the University campus, and on coming to Lusk was shortly named chairman of the Niobrara County Democratic Committee, an office he has held since. He was also a member of Wyoming Democratic Central Committee.

Besides serving as town attorney for Lusk, he has just completed a term as Commander of Wieten-Dupes Post of the American Legion, and served a period as adjutant of the same organization, and secretary of the Lusk Commercial Club.

Mr. Taylor was a member of the Lusk Congregational Church and had participated in its present building plans. He was a member of Harmony Masonic Lodge No. 24, being raised to the degree of a Master Mason Apr. 24, 1951 and a charter member oF. B.P.O. Elks Lodge No. 1797. While attending the University of Wyoming he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon social fraternity and Potter Law Club.

Surviving besides his wife, are two daughters, Janis Lee, 6, and Cynthia Susan, 2; his parents; two brothers, Alfred and James; and his paternal grandmother, Mrs. Lydia Taylor.








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