Photo used with permission from Donita Graves
(December 29, 1910 - August 25, 1956)
The Lusk Herald
August 30, 1956
John K. Phifer Killed In Tractor Accident
John K. Phifer, rancher near Wheatland and well known man in this area and throughout Wyoming was killed late Saturday night when he was crushed under a tractor on his ranch.
Funeral services will be held from the Congregational Church of Wheatland this Thursday at 2:00 p.m. with Rev. Alan Inglis officiating. The body will be in state at the church from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Thursday. The casket will be closed during the services.
Platte County authorities said Phifer's tractor plunged into a darkened silo pit and rolled on top of him while he was making a trip late at night to help a trucker who was stuck nearby.
Phifer was a Republican candidate for state representative this fall. He had previously served in both the Wyoming House and Senate.
A week before Phifer had received a plaque from the National Flying Farmers at the organization's convention in New Orleans for his advancement of flying in the field of agriculture.
by Donita Graves
Consistory and a Shriner, belonging to Korein Temple of Rawlins, he held membership in the Royal Court of Jesters No. 148. He was a member of the Wheatland Lions' Club and of the Wheatland Chamber of Commerce.
He belonged to the Mountain View Farm Bureau, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, the American National Stock Association and the Platte County Stock Association. He was a supervisor for the Soil Conservation Service.
He was a charter member of and organized the Wyoming Flying Farmers in 1948 and was serving the National Flying Farmers as director of District Seven. He helped to organize two provinces in Canada, Alberta and Saskatchewan for flying Farmers.
To this organization he devoted hours of his effort. At the recent National Convention of Flying Farmers which he attended in New Orleans, he was honored by the presentation of a plaque and a standing ovation of the delegation for his outstanding achievement in promoting flying in agriculture.
He took an active part in Boys' State in which he so thoroughly believed, giving his counsel to the young citizens of tomorrow.
John was a worker in any organization to which he belonged. Not only did he give untiringly of his time and thought to each organization but he was never too busy to give of himself to individuals who were in sorrow or in need of his help.
At the time of his death he was once more seeking to serve his county as a representative to the Wyoming State Legislature. Only recently he had been instrumental in arranging meetings leading to construction of a proposed dam on the McLeod site southwest of Wheatland.
John Phifer was a young pioneer of pioneering parents, but above all else he had great faith, integrity and the courage to be himself and to labor unceasingly for the things in which he believed. His years, though relatively short, were fully and usefully lived and he leaves a heritage of friendship ands service seldom found in a much longer lifetime.
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