Historical Details

Frank Lusk Rolling in His Grave

Courtesy of Library Costlow Collection, 04/13/1962


Douglas, Wyoming
April 3, 1962

Dear Editor:

I see by your last issue that you folks down there are about to divorce the name which has stood by you all these years so faithfully, and take unto yourselves another name. (Just like Liz Taylor) But I can't see why you should. Of course, Liz changes every so often for the same reason (publicity) and a few extra coffers in her cash bag, but I had hoped a mere town would have more sense.

If you are going to take on a name for "big town" reasons, why not call yourselves something better known than "Rawhide?" (Or did you say 'Cowhide?') There's no good need of being stingy with yourselves. Spread it on good while you are at it.

I couldn't sleep last night for dreaming about poor old Frank Lusk rolling around in his grave with thinking about losing his only remaining claim to fame. It's no way to treat a fella who can no longer rise up and stand for his rights.

If the people are going to change the name of their towns when they hit their "Diamond Jubilee" age, why we will have to get busy too as we are celebrating our 75th anniversary in July. Think I'll talk to our city Dads and suggest that we re-name ourselves "Cape Canaveral". It would sure be a good drawing card, especially as we have a John Glenn. We could just put a few signs along the roads saying 'Drop by and see John Glenn'. That would not be lying, nope. We got one, and he's a darn nice looking guy too. It would bring us in a lot of nickels and dimes, and I am sure he is patriotic enough to join in the hoax, and he has been around the world, I am told. (On horse back, too. Very unusual.) Now, don't go and say I said he'd been around the world on horse back. I said no such thing.)

I am not advocating that we get rich by practicing any lies. It's not nice.

While they are in the publicity business down that way why not have Van Tassell change its name? It could be called 'Skull' after that skull that used to hang on old man Van Tassell's barn gable. 'Twas there fifty years ago as I saw it. Know about it?

You see, Van Tassell and his hired man were out riding one day about 80 years ago, and they got thirsty, so got off their horses and laid themselves down on the creek bank to get a drink. Old Van got through first, and raised up just in time to see an Indian about to scalp his hired man. He up with his hatchet and cut his head off. Took it to the house, tied the long hair together, and hung it on the peek of his barn, where it hung for many years.

I am sure that folks back east would drive out of their way to see this skull, if it's still there) and if not, they could borrow one likely from some Medic, and hang it there. This might help Van Tassell back on its feet. Getting in a bit of extra publicity and money that way.

And then there's Harrison down aways. (It used to be called Summitt. Changed it to Harrison when that ancestor of our porsent Senator was President.) Yes, I know W. W. H. us only a Representative, but why be so modest as to call him a mere Rep.?)

As I was saying. Harrison has a nice ready built in name all waiting for it. They could call it "Sowbelly" after that canyon down there where a troup of U. S. soldiers nearly starved to death some 75 years ago. All the poor fellas had to eat was that nice salted part of the hog's anatomy mentioned above. They lived through it, or some of them did, to tell about it.

Then there's Hat Creek (Why did they ever call it Hat Creek?) where a couple of General Custer's scouts were murdered while trying to reach Ft. Robinson to get help for the General in his extremity. This could be renamed for those brave boys and a monument put up at the spot where they met their sad end.

Well, so it goes, every neighborhood has its old Indian lore. We could dig up hair-raising tales by the dozens, but don't believe we could change a name everytime a bit of history pops up.

Stories, stories, ad infinitum. Say that's a suggestion for Lusk. Call it, "Ad infinitum" That would take 'em all and please everybody.

L. P. Wilson

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Lusk, Frank (04/27/1857 - 08/06/1930) View Record