Leonard F. "Len" Christian



Photos courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project
Photos courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project

(February 26, 1883 - June 14, 1965)


The Lusk Herald
June 24, 1965


Leonard Christian Was a Product of a Pioneer Eastern Niobrara Family

Leonard Christian, the son of Catherine and Andrew Christian, was born February 26, 1883 in Adair County, Iowa. His parents were sturdy pioneers who followed the urge to go West. When Len was six years old, they moved to Harrison, Nebr. and stayed there until Andrew found a home site in Pleasant Ridge community. In March 1889 he moved his family consisting of his wife, and five children to this sparely settled community. In 1891 another daughter was born.

Hardships were legion in the life of this family. The mother, Catherine, died in 1892. The following year, the baby, Mabel, also died.

Andrew had never asked for an easy life; he asked only for strength to meet each new hardship. With this heritage of determination as their example, the older children cared for the younger. Their duties were lessened when Andrew married Eva Connor, a school teacher in that vicinity.

Len received his education in the schools of Pleasant Ridge.

The starkness of frontier life again revealed itself early in this century to the Christian home. Tuberculosis claimed the lives of a sister, Dora in 1901 and a brother Charlie in 1903.

Now the oldest surviving son, Len remained at home to work for his father. Andrew began to pay him wages, when he became of age. One of Len's favorite stories was that he worked for his father for an entire year without drawing any money from his wages. This was perhaps one of the first indications of the thrift and planning that were to become characteristic of his business ventures.

Len left his father's ranch to work for Tom Bell on the Node ranch. There he received a dollar a day for pitching hay.

On July 6, 1908, he married Flora Cutter of Kansas City, Mo. Their initial residence was Len's homestead at Pleasant Ridge. The foundation was laid for the independent ranching enterprise that he had made his goal.

Three children, Gladys, Garnet, and Catherine, were born to Len and Flora.

In 1916 the Christians moved to the Brush Creek community where they enlarged their ranching interests. Here they remained for nearly thirty years (until 1944) when the ill health of Flora forced the sale. The site is now the home ranch of the Russell Thompsons.

A home in Lusk was purchased by Len, but before the moving was completed, Flora died.

During the 1940's, Len served six terms as county commissioner.




Related Genealogy Entries: 'Leonard F. Christian'

Dorcas Maud Bigelow (March 25, 1892 - July 7, 1988)

Jeffrey D. Bigelow (November 17, 1952 - April 20, 2007)

Warren L. Bigelow (June 13, 1923 - May 23, 1995)

Marjorie A. Blackmore (December 15, 1927 - January 16, 2012)

Montivel A. Burke (July 20, 1885 - December 13, 1967)

Nellie Burke (Date Unknown - October 14, 1957)

Amy Edithe Christian (October 19, 1880 - January 27, 1944)

Andrew L. Christian (July 26, 1882 - March 4, 1974)

Catharine A. Christian (February 8, 1859 - December 18, 1892)

Charles LeRoy Christian (July 14, 1927 - February 22, 2000)

Charles A. Christian (February 9, 1881 - May 16, 1903)

Chris Christian (June 25, 1945 - March 1, 1997)

Chris L. Christian (April 17, 1850 - August 25, 1934)

Clara Nell Christian (October 22, 1889 - October 22, 1984)

Daniel Cris Christian (May 13, 1927 - November 29, 2012)

Dora B. Christian (December 29, 1879 - March 5, 1901)

Dorris Beth Christian (August 2, 1913 - May 5, 1973)

Elsie A. Christian (June 5, 1910 - March 16, 2002)

Eva E. Christian (July 21, 1859 - March 31, 1945)

Flora E. Christian (April 6, 1886 - October 1, 1944)

George Andrew Christian (August 9, 1911 - November 20, 1981)

James Franklin Christian (September 7, 1915 - September 13, 1976)

James H. Christian (March 30, 1884 - January 2, 1962)

James William Christian (April 8, 1885 - October 12, 1952)

John Henry Christian (August 19, 1922 - October 3, 1974)

Lillian Carol Christian (September 15, 1899 - February 8, 1973)

Mabel G. Christian (November 24, 1891 - February 23, 1893)

Mary Ellen Christian (January 5, 1925 - October 19, 1977)

Orpha Ellen Christian (August 2, 1888 - December 22, 1960)

Raymond Elwood Christian (July 8, 1892 - April 19, 1974)

Robert Bruce Christian (October 13, 1924 - October 19, 1978)

Rollin William Christian (February 17, 1888 - August 6, 1919)

Ruby Ellen Christian (May 21, 1927 - May 16, 2013)

Stanford Clark Christian (August 19, 1934 - November 4, 1993)

Mildred H. Clark (May 20, 1888 - September 25, 1966)

Edith Mae Culver (August 31, 1920 - February 26, 2007)

Wayne William Culver (July 23, 1910 - September 26, 1973)

Gwen Elaine Denton (March 7, 1942 - April 2, 2008)

James Christian Disney (November 10, 1949 - November 14, 1949)

Freida Eshleman (Date Unknown - March 6, 1977)

Mary E. Fisher (August 19, 1918 - July 30, 1994)

Vicki Lynn Fuller (October 28, 1947 - October 18, 2010)

Gladys Lenore Hagerman (July 12, 1909 - December 19, 1984)

Lena Henry (August 13, 1857 - March 15, 1945)

Ione Lewis Hruza (July 21, 1917 - April 10, 2002)

Georgia Johns (1901 - June 18, 1953)

Emanuel A. Knori (December 18, 1902 - November 20, 1965)

Ida Evelyn Knori (December 1, 1909 - May 5, 1936)

Alex W. Larson (Date Unknown - April 20, 1950)

Anton Edward Larson (November 10, 1888 - June 3, 1963)

Fred G. Larson (1894 - March 1, 1955)

Benjamin Wieland Lohr (October 7, 1906 - August 18, 1979)

Garnet Lohr (April 6, 1912 - September 21, 1996)

Thomas P. McCullough (January 20, 1901 - July 19, 1997)

Lester Charles Meade (October 1, 1897 - June 16, 1973)

Nelsena C. Park (1886 - July 18, 1959)

Bob D. Phipps (September 29, 1931 - June 2, 1991)

Charles Rodney Phipps (December 25, 1929 - June 19, 1984)

Juanita Phipps (July 3, 1909 - March 9, 1999)

Julian M. Phipps (December 4, 1907 - February 4, 1986)

Tony James Phipps (July 21, 1956 - August 27, 2012)

George Marcus Reynolds (December 13, 1892 - November 2, 1928)

Dora Blanche Schaefer (February 6, 1908 - February 7, 1978)

Lloyd Frederick Schaefer (May 22, 1912 - December 1, 1959)

Charles Theodore Schroefel (October 18, 1878 - August 30, 1948)

Catherine Sheldon (April 18, 1920 - February 26, 2007)

James Alford Sheldon (April 11, 1916 - December 8, 1970)

Lennea Slagle (September 22, 1938 - December 1, 2002)

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Ray Whipple (March 10, 1883 - April 10, 1967)

Charles Henry Wormwood (November 27, 1876 - May 22, 1953)

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Aubrey M. ZumBrunnen (January 12, 1910 - September 29, 1991)

Bama T. ZumBrunnen (May 13, 1880 - June 14, 1964)

Barry Lee ZumBrunnen (April 11, 1952 - September 14, 1952)

Leslie Lee ZumBrunnen (April 22, 1908 - January 9, 1997)

Olive Audrey ZumBrunnen (July 14, 1921 - December 28, 1999)

Roy Leslie ZumBrunnen (September 14, 1885 - January 23, 1972)

Stanley Arthur ZumBrunnen (January 17, 1894 - February 26, 1961)

Veda ZumBrunnen (March 29, 1890 - October 28, 1970)


Related Historical Entries: 'Leonard F. Christian'

From a Pioneer Album - Pleasant Ridge School

ZumBrunnen Family History






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