Business Details

Hotels: Ranger Hotel

302 South Main, Lusk, Wyoming

The Lusk Herald, February 14, 1919

The Deuel corner has been sold for a  hotel site. Seeing the demand for a fist class hotel in Lusk, Messers. John Agnew, R.C. Ord, Alex Beck, Albert Rochelle, J.L. Hall and others have associated themselves with Mrs. Frank Deuel for erecting a modern hotel which will coast $250,000 . The new structure will be built of reinforced concrete and brick, 100x125 feet, five stories in height. The hotel will face the east. There will be 216 rooms with private bath, telephone system. Elevators will be installed for the accommodation of the guests. Alex Beck of Omaha will have the contract for the construction and work will be started about April 1st.

The Lusk Herald, September 5, 1919
The reinforced concrete work is now up on the four stories of the new Ranger hotel, the wooden casings in which the columns were molded and shaped have been removed, and preparations are now under way for closing the building in. The scaffolding and timbering which was in use on the several floors while the frame was going up have been cleared away, giving the structure a skeleton-like appearance at the present time. The transformation will come rapidly, once the closing-in process begins. The high tower which formerly stood on Third street front of the big building and which held the rigging for the hoisting of materials to the upper floors, has been removed to the center of the building. It has now been furnished with two elevators instead of one as originally used, its capacity being thereby doubled, the up car always carrying a load as the opposite elevator descends. The clearing of the debris from this large building has progressed with the smoothness which characterizes all the Beck & Sons operations, and the competition of the building may be looked forward to in the proper time.


The Lusk Herald, June 17, 1921

Radium Sanitarium Coming to Lusk Means Big Boost

At a conference held in Chicago May 21-23 and 24, attended by Edwin L. Brown of Lusk, John W. Agnew and B. Ursin of Omaha, and Dr. E. Stillman Bailey of Chicago, plans were laid for the organization of a company with sufficient capital to take over the Ranger hotel and convert it into a sanitarium and take over the interests of the Lorimer Minerals company in the radium mine, known as Silver Cliff mine. Following the Chicago conference a meeting was held at the Fontenello Hotel, Omaha. The Ranger hotel will be converted into a modern sanitarium and will be equipped with the most modern apparatus for giving radium treatments, and will be known as the parent sanitarium. Dr. Bailey will come to Lusk and superintend the installation of the equipment and will remain here so long as his services are necessary. In addition to the sanitarium branch of the business the company will manufacture and put upon the market radium-active tablets, drinking water and drug water apparatus to  handle this branch of the enterprise there will be established in Omaha an office and distributing station and storage. Additional machinery and equipment will be installed at the mine including a concentrating plant. Dr. Bailey is very enthusiastic about the wonderful possibilities and great future for radium and Lusk.


The Lusk Herald, April 28, 1938


A contract was let by Manager Roy Chamberlain the first part of the week for the completion of eight rooms on the third floor of the Ranger Hotel here, and the work is already under way, the plumbers starting work Wednesday.

The masonry and carpentry was let to the Dean Construction Co., and H. E. Zerbe of Van Tassell received the plumbing contract.

Seven of the eight rooms will be with bath, and the new addition will be modern in every particular. This will make 28 rooms on the third floor, all of which  have been completed and furnished this year. The new rooms will be ready about June 1st.


Image from 1947 Lusk High School yearbook:

Have you? Have you ever been in the lobby of the RANGER HOTEL?

It is undoubtedly true that its fine appointments are more familiar to tourists and traveling business men than to Lusk's home-folks.

Even if you don't need a room, why not step in and see one of Lusk's show places. The RANGER is a hotel to be proud of!

Bob Darrow and Harry Sager are regularly on the staff of folks it takes to operate a busy hotel. And Roy Chamberlain's RANGER is a very busy hotel indeed.


Lusk Free Lance, April 10, 1947

Ranger Hotel Soon to Have Automatic Elevator for Guests

Although it has operated many years and has catered to thousands of guests, The Ranger Hotel of this city, will soon become fully modernized with the installation of an electric-powered, automatic, self-operating elevator service.

A crew of workmen started last Saturday morning, tearing out that portion of the building where the carrier will be located, and up to today (Thursday) have removed all the floors and partitions necessary for the installation. The framework is finished and the shaft is now ready for the final closing-in work of plastering, etc., and when this work is completed, actual installation of the cages and mechanism will begin.

Contract for installing the elevator has been let to the Otis elevator company, with branch offices in Denver, according to Roy Chamberlain, owner and operator of the ranger.

He stated today that the installation crew is now putting in an elevator at Rapid City, and when finished there, the local job will be next in order. It is expected the crew will be here within two weeks or a little longer. Chamberlain states that about a month will be required for the installation of the cage and operating apparatus. 


The Lusk Herald, November 28, 1957


Mr. and Mrs. Roy Chamberlain, owners of the Ranger Hotel in Lusk for the past 22 years, have sold that business to the Hidalgo Oil & Gas Co. of McAllen, Tex. The new owners will take possession January 1. Mr. Chamberlain traveled to McAllen  to complete the transaction November 11.

Actual management of the hotel will be done by Bentsen Development Co. which handles several interests for Hidalgo including another hotel in Texas.

The Ranger Hotel has been improved and developed to the extent that it is considered one of the outstanding hotels for its size in the nation. It gained the attention of Hidalgo officials through a third person from Dallas, Tex. who was impressed by the hotel in travels through here. Edgar Bentsen of the firm was here November 11 looking over the property.


Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain will continue to make their home in Lusk from where he will continue the business of oil and uranium interests . Mr. Chamberlain does feel that release from the detail of operating the hotel will give him considerably more time to devote to two important offices he now holds. He is president of the National Association of Governing Boards of State Universities and Allied Institutions and expects to give considerable time to that office. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Wyoming.

Mrs. Chamberlain, who has been active in the operation and engagement of the hotel, is serving a second term as president of the Wyoming Federation of Republican Women's Clubs, and as such has many obligations both in the state and on the national level to fulfill.

The new management of the Ranger plans to keep the staff of employees. Mr. Chamberlain does not plan to continue operation of the Ranger Buick Garage, but no further decision has been made regarding that business. Neither have plans been made concerning the present vacant business space on the ground floor, formerly occupied by Olinger's Clothing.


Mr. Chamberlain purchased the Ranger Hotel effective January 1, 1936 from the Hendrie estate interests of Denver, and furnishings from the managers, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Runge. At that time only the ground floor and second floor with 40 rooms were completed. In the summer of 1937 Chamberlain started in small projects to complete the third floor. Then five years ago the top floor was completed and the elevator installed.

From 1938 to 1942, the Ranger Coffee shop, noted throughout a wide area for its fine food, was operated by the Chamberlains.

Then the past summer has been the extensive project of remodeling and modernizing the lobby and rearranging the garage to provide drive-in hotel facilities for all kinds of weather.The work has just recently been completed.

That the general public may see in detail what has been accomplished, both in the current remodeling project and during recent years, Mr. and Mrs. Chamberlain are planning an open house and "Thank You" party early in December.


Though the Ranger was constructed in 1919 and 1920 during the oil boom, it was not opened until April 1928. Meanwhile it had been purchased under tax title by the Hendrie interests of Denver and it was that firm which completed the first two floors and put it into operation. 

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Runge became the first managers, operating the hotel until Mr. Chamberlain purchased it.

The importance of the hotel opening in Lusk is revealed in news stories in the files of The Lusk Herald. "It was a gala day in the history of Lusk," said The Herald. Governor Frank C. Emmerson flew from Washington D.C. to speak at the opening and his address and the ceremonies were carried over radio station KOA at Denver. Over 500 people attended the event with civic and commercial delegations being present from Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. 


The Lusk Herald, April 7, 1960


Monroe Bixler of Harrison has made a  business arrangement whereby he takes over ownership of the Ranger Hotel. The change was effective April 1.

The transaction also includes the operation of the Silver Spur Cafe which Mr. Bixler was leasing to Mr. Powell. Mr. and Mrs. Bixler operated the Silver spur for 14 months prior to leasing it.

While it was an entirely separate transaction, Mr. Bixler has also sold his interest in the Sage Motel and Village Barn in Harrison to William Powell of Harrison. 

Images & Attachments

Image from 1956
Image from 1947 Lusk High School yearbook


Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Historical Quilt Squares - Ranger Hotel View Record