Albert Henry Bruch

Photo, from findagrave.com, courtesy of photographer Rick J. Fisher
Photo, from findagrave.com, courtesy of photographer Rick J. Fisher

(February 7, 1889 - July 29, 1981)


The Lusk Herald
August 6, 1981


Albert Henry Bruch

Albert Bruch, Niobrara homesteader, died at the DePaul Hospital in Cheyenne last Wednesday, July 29. Rosary and scripture service were held Friday at the Wiederspahn Chapel of the Chimes in Cheyenne. Mass of Christian Burial was Saturday at the Church of Holy Trinity with the Rev. Thomas Fahey officiating.

Interment was at the Olivet Cemetery. Casket bearers were Charles Bruch, Francis Bruch, Wayne E. Fisher, John Bruch, Anthony Weydeveld and Robert Peel.

Albert Henry Bruch was born on February 7, 1889 at Carroll, Iowa, the tenth of twelve children of Anton and Bernadine Goedde Bruch. The parents had emigrated in their youth from principalities which are now part of West Germany. When Albert was five years old the family moved to Antelope County, Neb. The next twelve years were spent attending Cedar Creek School and in helping the family develop a tract of railroad land near Oakdale into a sizeable farming operation. The family then moved to Sturgis, S. D., in 1906, where Albert worked in a haberdashery and in the family construction business.

In 1910, at the age of 21, Albert began searching for a location to start a ranch. This led him to homestead 160 acres in Niobrara County, east of Lusk. Soon he was joined by his parents, three sisters, and a brother. Their combined homesteads formed a substantial ranch that remains the home for a surviving brother and sister. The following years were spent in building up the ranch, pursuing self-education activities, and in taking on increasing financial interests relative to agriculture and petroleum development in Niobrara County.

An unsuccessful race for the State representative in 1932 launched Albert on a career in State government that lasted until 1965. He served first as chief clerk of the House of Representatives during the sessions of 1933, 34, and 35. He then took full-time employment as a field representative for the State Farm Loan Commission. Late, in 1935, he was appointed assistant commissioner of Public Lands for Farm Loans, a post he held until 1939, and again from 1945 to 1947. Albert managed over 3000 individual loans throughout the state during a time marked by drought, grasshopper swarms, and financial failure. His challenge was finding ways to help client farmers and ranchers save their operations when the usual alternative was foreclosure. He was successful in almost every case.

Albert purchased the Sliver Tip Refinery near Yoder, Wyoming, in partnership with his brother-in-law, Frank Bautch, in 1940. He operated the refinery and its associated service station and bulk plant until 1945, when he re-entered state service. In 1947, he was appointed to the dual posts of membership on the Public Service Commission and the State Board of Equalization. His service on the former involved regulatory decisions affecting the course of utility operations during the rapid expansion of systems following World War II. This led to recognition as president of the Western Region of the National Association of Railroad Utility Commissions and ultimately as chairman of the Wyoming Public Service Commission. During his service on the State Board of Equalization, he was extensively involved in equalizing the taxation of the many classes of property and in implementing new tax legislation in Wyoming. He also managed the annual assessor's school during many sessions.

Albert married the former Josephine Bautch of Independence, Wisc., in 1929. There children were born to the couple: Commander (retired) Charles G. (Gregg) Bruch of Idaho Falls, Idaho; Carla Johnson of Houston, Tex. and Thomas A. Bruch of Greeley, Colo. Albert is survived by the foregoing, along with a brother Carl A. Bruch and a sister Pauline R. Bruch, both of Lusk. An older sister, Elizabeth R. Bruch, who died last November at the age of 104, was one of the state's oldest residents. Albert is also survived by five grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.








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