Oscar T. Jenkins

(March 6, 1900 - April 13, 1939)


The Lusk Herald
April 20, 1939


Young Man Takes His Own Life Near Bright Thursday

Without leaving an explanation of any kind, Oscar T. Jenkins, aged 29, ended his life by sending a bullet from a 25-20 rifle through his left temple about 1:30 a.m. last Thursday morning at a sheep camp in the vicinity of Bright, north of Lusk.

Jenkins had been employed as a sheepherder by Chris Christensen, well known Niobrara county rancher in that community. On Thursday he had accompanied Christensen to Newcastle to attend to business matters and it was learned after that he had recently applied for a loan and had been looking over a band of sheep, evidently with the intention of buying them. The loan was completed Thursday.

Returning to the ranch Thursday evening Jenkins went out to the sheep camp where he stayed with Orville Whitney. Young Whitney had already retired when he arrived at the camp and when Jenkins came in they talked for some time, Whitney later going back to sleep to be awakened by the report of the rifle shot in the room. He lighted a match and saw the prostrate body of Jenkins on the floor, dressing hurriedly he walked to the Christensen home to notify his employer of the shooting.

After reaching the Christensen home Sheriff D. A. Shoopman and Dr. W. E. Reckling were called, Jenkins still being alive when Whitney went to the Christensen home. The call was received in Lusk about 6:00 a.m. Thursday morning and the men from town hurried to the ranch as fast as possible. Jenkins had passed away before they reached the place, never regaining consciousness after firing the fatal shot. Don Peet of Lusk followed the doctor and sheriff to the camp in the ambulance and later brought the remains to the Peet Mortuary where they were prepared for burial.

Jenkins' personal effects were searched for some clue which would have led him to commit such a rash act but to no avail. He had made his home in this section of Wyoming many years and was well and favorably known. He had filed on a land claim in Johnson county a few years ago and also owned a claim in Weston county, having spent his entire life in Weston and Niobrara county so far as could be learned. A brother, Grover Jenkins, also lives in the Bright community.

The remains were taken to Edgemont, South Dakota, where funeral services were held Saturday of last week and interment was made in the Edgemont cemetery.

Note: If the birthdate, from FindAGrave, is correct, Oscar would have been 39 years of age.




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