Historical Details

The Name's The Same at Lusk

Courtesy of Library Costlow Collection, 05/10/1962

Cheyenne - Wyo. State Tribune
May 10, 1962

'The Name's The Same' at Lusk

Mark us down as old fuddies if you will, and say it's none of our business - Still, we're glad somehow the name is going to remain the same at Lusk.

The Niobrara County seat town has decided against the idea of changing its name from Lusk to Rawhide, which is enjoying a fleeting bit of glamour as the title of a popular television show.

Rawhide, we suppose, originated in the same area since only a few miles from Lusk are located the Rawhide Buttes. These got their name in an interesting fashion according to historians.

A very early day wagon train was moving up the Platte Valley during the 1840s and came across a band of Indians. One of its members had been boasting that he was going to kill the first Indian he saw. Since this was before the day of the Indian wars that raged across the Plains form the 1860s until the 1880s, the Indians were proceeding to ignore the emigrants but the fellow who had made the boast was reminded of it and he felt it was necessary to carry it out, so he shot one of the Indians.

Whereupon the latter surrounded the wagon train and threatened to massacre its members if the culprit were not handed over to them. Which he was, to save the lives of the emigrants; and the Indians proceeded to not only kill but also to skin him. From that incident Rawhide Buttes got their name.

Lusk itself was the old Running Water stage station on the Cheyenne-Black Hills stage line, which is a pretty colorful name in itself, except that when the town was laid out on land that had belonged to a rancher named Lusk it was named for him. It has remained that way ever since; it sounds pretty good to us, and we hope it stays that way.

And who knows - maybe somebody'll come up with a tee-vee show named "Lusk" and then everybody will be happy.

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