Charles William Pfeifer

Charles and Margaret Pfiefer
Charles and Margaret Pfiefer

(September 23, 1875 - December 1, 1952)


The Lusk Herald
December 4, 1952


Charles W. Pfeifer, 77, Dies At Home Near Keeline Sun. Night

A chapter of the history of Niobrara County closed Sunday night in the death of Charles W. Pfeifer, 77.

He is the last of those still living here to have been associated with the operation of Jireh College, 1908 to 1920, and the home where he died looks out onto that prairie that was once the little community of Jireh.

A former county superintendent of Niobrara, Mr. Pfeifer through the years has been closely associated with the schools and churches and served them in many capacities. And while he saw schools and churches built to serve the growing population of the Jireh and Keeline area, he also lived long enough to see economic change that again reduced the populations of that area until schools were consolidated and churches removed.

Mr. Pfeifer died at 12:15 Sunday night of an illness that has caused him failing health for several months. but he chose to remain at his home under the care of his wife and family.

Funeral services will be conducted from the Peet Mortuary Thursday afternoon at 2:00 o'clock with the Rev. Jacob Nein, Congregational pastor, officiating and burial will be made in the Lusk Cemetery.

BORN IN INDIANA
Mr. Pfeifer was the son of Peter and Fredricks Pfeifer, born Sept. 22, 1875 near Salamonia, Ind. He was the youngest of six children, and grew to manhood in that community. He married Margaret Louisa Atkinson Dec. 26, 1899 at the home of her parents with the ceremony being performed by Rev. Lewis Pfeifer, a brother of the bridegroom, and only one of the family still living.

Early in life Mr. Pfeifer identified himself with church activities, being brought up in the Lutheran Church, but early joining the Methodist Church. After coming to Wyoming he was active in the Christian Church at Jireh under whose supervision was established the Jireh College. Later as the Church situation changed, he was active in the Congregational Church of Lusk and Keeline.

As a young man Mr. Pfeifer first started his career as a teacher in the public schools of Indiana and after marrying continued in that profession and farming in Jay County, Ind.

It was in 1908 that a combination of ill health and an interest in the new Jireh community brought him to Wyoming. He with a brother of Mrs. Pfeifer, Daniel B. Atkinson, came to the Jireh area to homestead and build a house on the Atkinson homestead. It was to this house that both families moved the next spring, Apr. 1, 1909, and lived until a house could be erected on the Pfeifer homestead. Mr. Atkinson was soon to become president of Jireh College and Mr. Pfeifer served on the board of trustees until the college closed in 1920.

In 1916 he bought the present home place just two miles east of the homestead and adjacent to the Jireh site, and has lived there since except for the four years, 1921 to 1925, spent in Lusk while serving as county superintendent, two years in Laramie and a year at Douglas.

Served Community
Mr. Pfeifer served many years on the school boards of the community, in Jireh District 8 and of Keeline District 10, and through the years his influence has been felt in educational circles. He served the Keeline Congregational and Christian churches in many capacities, on the board of trustees and board of deacons, as Sunday School superintendent and teacher.

At the state conference of the Congregational Churches in Douglas in May it was Mr. Pfeifer's relectant task to recommend that because of decreasing population it was best that the Keeline Church be turned back to the Mission Board of the church which had made possible its building.

In countless other little ways he served his community. He was active in the Farm Bureau, served as its president, was on community and county boards for agricultural programs of more recent years. He served as county welfare director for a short time. He was a U.S. weather recorder, kept crop statistics. The old bell from Jireh College was kept at his place until taken in one of the scrap drives of the war. Through the years he attended the little Jireh Cemetery.

Teachers who came to Wyoming from the East during Mr. Pfeifer's term as county superintendent yet have praise for his many courtesies and help that they needed in getting used to western life.

Dec. 26, 1949 at the home Mr. and Mrs. Pfeifer observed thier golden wedding anniversary with the entire family present and many friends calling to wish them well.

At the funeral services Thursday friends and neighbors of many years will attend his casket. Active bearers will be Beryl Fullerton, Emery Gaukel, Neil Grant, Roy Elder, Lee Stoddard and F. Everette Brooks. Honorary bearers will be Charles Gaukel, Melvin Crawford, Ed Tobler, O.P. Harnagel, D.A. Shoopman and James Ringer.

His entire family survives. The three children are Mrs. Norma Lacy of Trout Creek, Mont.; Lavonne Pfeifer of Lusk and Arden Pfeifer at home at Keeline. Mrs. Pfeifer and her son expect to remain on the home place. Mrs. Lacy has been here for three weeks helping care for her father.



Lusk Free Lance
December 4, 1952
Charles W. Pfeifer, Pioneer Educator and Rancher of Niobrara County, Dies At Family Home; Services December 4


Friends gathered at two o'clock this (Thursday) afternoon at the chapel of the Peet Funeral home to pay their last respects to Charles W. Pfeifer, who had passed away at the family home near Jireh.

Rev. Jacob Nein, pastor of the Congregational church, officiated at the services. A mixed trio, composed of Mesdames Emerson Bonner and A. F. DeCastro and Donley Unruh, rendered two selection, "Lead Kindly Light," and "Sweetly Resting."

Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery with Beryl Fullerton, Emery Gaukel, Neil Grant, Roy Elder, Lee Stoddard and F. Everette Brooks acting as casketbearers. Honorary pallbearers were Charles Gaukel, Melvin Crawford, Ed Tobler, O. P. Harnagel, Del Shoopman and James Ringer.

A chapter on the history of Niobrara county closed Sunday night in the death of Charles William Pfeifer, 77. He is the last of those still living here to have been associated with the operation of Jireh college, 1908 to 1920, and the home where he died looks out onto the prairie that was once the little community of Jireh.

A former county superintendent of schools of Niobrara County, Mr. Pfeifer through the years has been closely associated with the schools and churches built to serve the growing population of the Jireh and Keeline area, he also lived long enough to see economic changes that again reduced the populations of that area until schools were consolidated and churches removed.

Mr. Pfeifer died at 12:15 Monday morning December 1st, of an illness that caused him failing health for several months, but he chose to remain at his home under the care of his wife and family. First effects of his failing health came last August while visiting with his daughter and family in Montana, he returned home to go to Cheyenne for treatment for seven weeks.

Born in Indiana near Salamonia, Mr. Pfeifer was the son of Peter and Fredricka Pfeifer, born September 23, 1875, and was the youngest of six children. He grew to manhood in that community. Here he was married to Margaret Louisa Atkinson December 26, 1899 at the home of her parents, with the ceremony being performed by Rev. Lewis Pfeifer, a brother of the bridegroom, and only one of the childhood family still living.

Early in life Mr. Pfeifer identified himself with church activities, being brought up in the Lutheran church, but early joining the Methodist church. After coming to Wyoming, he was active in the Christian Church of Jireh under whose supervision was established the Jireh college. Later as the church situation changed, he was active in the Congregational Churches of Lusk and of Keeline.

As a young man Mr. Pfeifer started his career as a teacher in the public schools of Indiana and after marrying continued in that profession and farming in Jay County, Indiana, where the family home was established until a combination of ill health and interest in the new Jireh community brought him to Wyoming in 1908. He with a brother of Mrs. Pfeifer, Daniel B. Atkinson, came to the Jireh area to homestead and built a house on the Atkinson homestead. It was to this house that both families moved the next spring on April 1, 1909, and lived until a house could be erected on the Pfeifer homestead. Mr. Atkinson was soon to become president of Jireh college and Mr. Pfeifer served on the board of trustees until the college closed in 1920.

In 1916 he bought the present home place three miles east of the homestead and adjacent to the Jireh site, and has lived there since except for the four years 1921 to 1925, spent in Lusk while serving as county superintendent, and two years in Laramie and a year at Douglas.

Mr. Pfeifer served many years on the school boards of the community and through the years his influence has been felt in educational circles. He served the churches of Jireh, Lusk and Keeline in many capacities, on the board of trustees, the boards of deacons, as Sunday School superintendent and teacher. At the state conference of the Congregational churches in Douglas in May it was Mr. Pfeifer's reluctant task to recommend that because of the decreasing population it was best that the Keeline church be turned back to the Mission Board of the church which had made possible its erection.

In countless other little ways he served his community. He was active in the Farm Bureau, served as its president, was on community and county boards for agricultural programs of more recent years. He served as county welfare director for a short time. He was U. S. Weather recorder, kept corp statistics. The old bell from Jireh College was kept at his place until taken in one of the scrap drives of the war. Through the years he gave his attention to the little Jireh cemetery. Teachers who came to Wyoming from the East during Mr. Pfeifer's terms as County Superintendent yet have praise for his courtesies and help that they needed in getting acclimated to western life.

On December 26th 1949, at their home, Mr. and Mrs. Pfeifer observed their golden wedding anniversary with the entire family present and many friends calling to wish them well.

Besides his wife he leaves to mourn his passing, three children, Mrs. Norma Lacy of Trout Creek, Montana, who has been with her father for the past three weeks; Lavonne Pfeifer of Lusk, Wyo., and Arden Pfeifer of the family home at Keeline, Wyo., and five grandchildren.








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