Historical Details

Amend Family: The Lost Springs Ranch

Courtesy of Family Sources, 10/15/2018

The Amend families and the Giess families were German by Russia immigrants who left Saratoff, Russia for America on June 19, 1893 when living conditions had became unbearable under the Russian Regime. They were among the fortunate ones who left early as they had the consent of the Russians to go to Canada where an 1872 law allowed a homestead of 160 acres for ten dollars, or to America where the Homestead Act of 1862 opened up the Midwest to settlement. After a month’s ship voyage they landed at a Canadian port where they took the railroad to Quebec, Canada arriving July 8, 1893.

Heinrich Amend and Anna Giess were married in Lincoln, Nebraska on January ll, 1900. They lived there for eight years working on the railroad. Their first four children were born in Lincoln: Katy on June 4, 1901; John on October 27,1903; Henry on September 27,1905; and Marie on October 28, 1907. On March 30, 1908 Heinrich Amend declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the United States of America in the District Court, Lancaster County, in the State of Nebraska. He became a citizen on June 24, 1914 at Lusk, Wyoming. Anna became a citizen at a later date.

Heinrich’s dream of owning his own land was finally realized when he moved his family by railroad from Lincoln to Keeline, Wyoming where he purchased a homestead of 160 acres, five miles southwest of the town. He moved his family from Lincoln on the Chicago North Western Railroad. Anna and her small children were the first to arrive at the Keeline depot where they were met by their new neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Bopp, where they stayed for three weeks until a one-room house could be built on the homestead. The journey from Lincoln took Heinrich several days longer since he came on the immigration car with their household goods and livestock. His late arrival caused much concern for Henry, age 3, who cried those several days thinking he would never see his father again. April 2,1908 is the official arrival date of the Amends to Wyoming and they remained for the rest of their lives. After moving to Keeline, Fred and Emma were also born. On May 10, 1909, a General Land Office shows an additional application by Heinrich Amend for 160 acres in Section 26 was made at $1.25 per acre plus ten dollars for filing fees and six dollars for the commission. A patent for these homestead rights was granted for 320 acres on January 17, 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson.Forty acres were later purchased for $200 in 1942. This final addition brought the total acres of Heinrich Amend’s place to 360 acres.

Henry Amend and his siblings attended the Prairie View School and he worked on his parents’ homestead as a young boy. In 1927, Hank, as he was better known, helped to drill one of the first wooden rotary drilling rigs in the discovery of the huge Lance Creek Oil Field. He married Gladys M. Sims, daughter of Albert and Della Sims who owned the Twenty Mile Ranch north of Lost Springs. Gladys was a school teacher, having attended the University of Wyoming for two years prior to their marriage on May 31, 1930. The young married couple went into ranching with the Sims family for about three years. They applied for and received their brand, the Double D, or as it is also known, the Lazy S Bar, on August 27, 1931. The brand was for left rib cattle and left hip horses. The earmark is a notch on the bottom of left ear cattle.

The dry years of the 1930s forced Hank to seek his former employment in the oil fields. They lived in Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming. While working in these states they were constantly moving with the drilling rigs. They continued to follow the oil field work during the Depression and before the war. Hank and Gladys had been saving their money for a ranch and in 1938 they purchased the Harry B. Card ranch one mile south of Lost Springs, Wyoming. The historic ranch had gone into receivership, and Frank Barrett, a Lusk attorney, made the sale. The two main buildings of the ranch were: a huge two-story barn which measures 30 feet by 80 feet and a long log bunk house and cook house combined that was used by men who worked the ranch. The barn was built in 1918 for the many teams of horses that were used in haying the meadows. The original Lost Spring is located below the barn and is the head of Lost Creek, which rarely flows except for the spring.

Gladys’ brother, Cecil Sims of Manville, wintered his cattle on the newly purchased ranch for a while, but in 1941 Hank had purchased enough cattle to stock the ranch. They quit the oil field work and moved into the log house until a two- story house could be moved into the ranch from the town of Lost Springs.

Hank and Gladys continued to increase their land by purchasing adjoining property. The purchases included early day homesteads of such people as James Brink, Walter Galbraith, Moses Galbraith, William Bohenkemper, Albert Brink, W.R.Bridgroom, Delford McGrew, Raymond White and others. In 1959 the Heinrich Amend homestead was also purchased. In 1987 the Engebretsens purchased the adjoining Wilmer and Twinkle Baars’ place. The land now lies in both Niobrara and Converse Counties.

Hank and Gladys had three children: Mae Ann, born in 1932, and married Robert Manning on February 11, 1951. They purchased the Twenty Mile Ranch from her grandmother, Della Sims, in 1952. Marvin A. was born in 1941. Marvin was killed in an auto accident in July 1970. Mary A., born in 1945, married Charles Engebretsen on September 5, 1965 and they have two children. Merritt and Lisa Engebretsen live in Casper with their children, Kassondra, Jessica, Austyn, and Christopher. Marlisa lives in Veteran with her husband Shawn Hall and twins, Harrison & Jadyn.

Chuck and Mary presently live on the Lost Spring Ranch at Lost Springs.

Gladys Amend passed away in 1963, and following Hank’s death in 1970 the original brand was transferred to Mary on May 11, 1971, and to Charles E. and Mary A.Engebretsen on May 14, 1971.

Mary served as Wyoming State Cow-Belles President in 1986-1987.

The Engebretsens have been Wyoming Stock Growers Association members for over 30 years. Chuck was elected to four consecutive five-year terms as WSGA Executive Committee for Converse County and served a two-year term as Wyoming Stock Growers Association Region III Vice-President. Chuck is currently serving as the treasurer of the Converse Tourism Board and Mary is the 1st Vice-President of the Wyoming
Pioneer Association.

By Mary Alice Amend Engebretsen, used with permission.

Images & Attachments

Original barn built 1918
Hank Amend with son Marvin 1943
Hank and Gladys Amend, 1946. Photos courtesy of Mary Alice Amend Engebretsen

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Amend, Heinrich (05/14/1879 - 07/29/1958) View Record
Obituary Amend, Anna (06/09/1879 - 04/07/1947) View Record
Obituary Amend, Gladys (10/20/1908 - 05/17/1963) View Record
Obituary Amend, Heinrich (09/09/1905 - 12/18/1970) View Record
Obituary Barrett, Frank (11/10/1892 - 05/30/1962) View Record
Obituary Manning, Robert (11/07/1929 - 02/12/2006) View Record
Obituary Baars, Twinkle (01/20/1917 - 11/24/2006) View Record
Obituary Sims, Della (05/25/1875 - 01/27/1961) View Record
Obituary Sims, Cecil (10/08/1901 - 05/13/2002) View Record