Historical Details

Boner, Jess Family History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 11/12/2020


by Izetta Boner

Jess Boner came from pioneer stock and his father, Francis, was born in California in 1856.  The family traveled from Missouri with an immigrant train trailing stock to be sold.  John Boner made several trips back and forth, then decided to remain in Stansbury to raise his family.   There Francis grew to manhood and in 1879 married Susan Cogdill,.

A tragic event occurred in 1882 when a diphtheria epidemic took their two boys, Miles on Aug. 16 and John on the 17th. Jess was born the following September. Another son, Frank, was born in 1883.    Due to Dad's health, they joined a caravan headed for Chadron, Nebr. in 1884.  Five more boys and three girls--Walter, Harry, Roy, Harvey, Jasper, Myrtle, Ethel, Nell--were born there.   Nora, the youngest, came as the family was moving to Wyoming, in a covered wagon and trailing their stock as they had from Valentine.    Here they remained and as the family grew older, filed on land and developed the homesteads into ranches as the years went by.

In 1912 Jess received his first patent on 120 acres, signed by President Taft, on which he built a log house and sheds. On returning one night from visiting Harry's, as they topped the ridge, they saw the house in flames. The cook and her husband saved themselves but everything else was a total loss.  A frame house was built on the same spot, modern in every respect but one - a furnace. Electricity--32-volt engine with batteries in the basement--water in cistern - filled with snow or ice but usually water was hauled eight miles, and a bathroom.

In 1925 Jess and Izetta Renswold, teaching nearby, were married in Casper. She was also from a pioneer family in Nebraska who left Iowa in 1882 by train for Valentine, then came by covered wagon to western Nebraska near Alliance.

Three boys came to bless their home - Ed, Jim and Bob. In spite of the Crash of "29", the depression of the early "30's" when the taxes were not paid one year (no one had any money to buy them), low prices (some sold their wool for 6¢ a pound), blizzards, and droughts more numerous than the good years, we hung on to our land.

Jess ran steers a few years, then switched to sheep which have been the mainstay of the ranch since. Both cattle and sheep are run now, proving that they can graze on the same range. Jess passed away in 1945 when Ed and Jim were in high school and Bob had just passed his 11th birthday.

A partnership was formed in 1945 and the ranch spread as the years went by.

Fences were built sheep tight, sheds and corrals rebuilt and in 1954 a water well 1275 feet deep was drilled at the main ranch.   Hauling water was over.  Much later a new type of Western wheat grass was plant­ed in the pasture, also clover, alfalfa in the meadows and best of all, stock water was piped all over the ranches.

Ed and Polly Green were married in 1951 at Casper. They are the parents of four children - Jessie, Charlene, Karen and Jordy. Jessie and Warren Lauer were married in 1971, now joined by Shannon Bethany in 1973. They live in Laramie where Warren is going to the University. Charlene married Kenneth Haas (a Wyoming Grad of 1973). Karen and Jeff Ketcham of Cheyenne were married in 1974. He is attending the University and teaching in Laramie where Jess recently joined them. Jordy is still in high school in Lusk and is very much in­terested in the ranch.

Jim served his country by taking his basic training at camp Robertson, Calif. in December, 1950.  He was sent to Korea and later, Hokaida in 1951 and 1952. He return­ed to the states on Nov. 24, 1952. He went to the business school at Rapid City and later attended the Barnes Business school in Denver. In 1955 Jim and Betty Gatliff were married in Lusk.  Jim was killed in a car wreck near Rapid City in 1973 and Betty now divides her time between Lusk and California.

Bob also spent two years in the Army, although he was not sent overseas. After several years at Wyoming University, Bob and Ann Scott of Douglas were married in 1959 at Douglas and they now have three sons, Brad, Robby and Jeff.  The boys go to school at Glenrock and are very much interested in athletics and 4-H clubs.   In 1971 Bob and Ann moved in an older house from Casper, added it to the original structure and in combining the two houses they presently have a large, attractive ranch home. Bob is currently rebuilding all the corrals and developing water systems to more adequately accommodate the livestock.

It is almost 30 years since Jess passed away, but Izetta keeps busy. As the boys became older, taking over the responsibility of running the ranches, she went back to Laramie to get her degree.in 1961 and taught school for several years. She enjoys traveling, has seen most of the United States and has had three trips - Canada and Alaska, Europe and once around the World.

She is proud of her boys and knows that if Jess could see the ranches and improvements all the changes that have been made, he 
would be very proud and happy too.

Edgar “Jordy" Boner was killed in a car accident March 13, 1976. Izetta died March 22, 1977.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Boner, Jess (09/25/1882 - 07/21/1945) View Record
Obituary Boner, Edgar (11/03/1957 - 03/14/1976) View Record
Obituary Boner, Izetta (01/04/1897 - 03/22/1977) View Record
Obituary Boner, James (11/07/1928 - 09/28/1973) View Record
Obituary Boner, Bob (07/01/1934 - 12/27/2019) View Record
Obituary Boner, Edgar (01/18/1927 - 07/12/2021) View Record