Historical Details

Eutsler, Charles A. Family History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 11/16/2020


by Bertha Eutsler Dryer

Charles A. Eutsler was born June 20, 1861, at Peoria, Stark Co., Ill. In 1866 his parents, Andrew J. Eutsler and Eliza R. Eutsler, moved with their six children to Ottawa County, Kan.

This was frontier country and the Indians were making raids far and near, killing settlers, burning their property and driving off their livestock.

In 1868, a band of 50 men were organized as scouts under Gen. George A. Forsythe. They were mostly settlers of the vicinity, a few being Civil War veterans. Their object was to drive out the Indians responsible for the raids. Andrew J. Eutsler joined this group. In September 1868, they chased a band of Indians to the Republican River near the Kansas-Colorado border. The scouts were surrounded in their camp by another large band of Indians. The scouts managed to reach an island in the Arickaree, a branch of the Republican River. They held off the Indians for nine days. When their leader Roman Nose, was killed, the Indians started to withdraw. In the meantime, two men had slipped out and managed to reach Ft. Wallace, more than a hundred miles away. Help was sent out at once. On the ninth day, when they reached the island, they found some of the men dead, others severely wounded and all without food.  The last days they had lived on the flesh of their dead horses, but it had become so badly spoiled it could not be eaten. Five of the scouts had been killed, many others wounded, some severely. The survivors were taken to Ft. Wallace.  After this battle, the government sent in more troops to help control the Indians. In 1905, a monument was erected at the island to honor the men who fought there. The island was named Beecher's Island in memory of Lt. Fred H. Beecher who died there.

In spite of Indians and the many hard­ships of pioneer life, Andrew J. Eutsler stayed with his land. He raised a large family here and helped to develop the country.  He never quite recovered from wounds received in the battle with the Indians. He died Feb. 10, 1882 at the age of 49.   Mrs. Eutsler kept the family to­gether until all were able to manage for themselves.   She lived her last years in Tescott and died there in 1910.

Charles Eutsler and Millie L. Husted were married Dec. 21, 1880, at Lincoln Center, Kan. Millie was born Jan. 25, 1865, at Bowling Green, Ohio. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Husted moved from their Ohio home in 1879 and settled in Ottawa County, Kan.  After their marriage, Charles and Millie lived near Bluffton, Kan., which was later called Tescott. Here three of their sons were born, James Arthur, Edward Claude (Ted) and Thomas Earl.

Charles had long been interested in the trail herds going through from Mexico and Texas to Wyoming. He finally joined one of these drives and made several trips to Wyoming and Montana. On one of these drives, while delivering cattle to the Kee­line Ranch, he met George Keeline and re­mained to work for him. The Keeline Ranch was located on the east side of the Platte River about three miles from Glendo. This area is now under the waters of Glendo Dam.

In 1889, Mrs. Eutsler and the boys came to join Charles. He met them at Wendover which was then the end of the rails.  For a time the family lived at the Harry O'Hara place and Charles continued to work for the Keeline Ranch.  In the early nineties when the Keelines left the Platte, several of their cowboys remained and settled near. Charles Eutsler filed on land which he thought included the Keeline buildings, which he bought. He discovered that his land was a very short distance south. He moved the buildings but it was impossible to move the old stone chimney, so it stood sentinel there until a short time before the water was turned into Glendo Dam in 1957. Win Davis and Price Martin filed on the west side of the river. The Bennetts, Grandpa Jim Bennett and sons, George, Charley and Henry, were on the west side also.  To the east, Ed Covington
set­tled on Broom Creek where the Keelines had established a line camp.

The Keelines still had cattle on the open range to the north and east. Charles Eutsler continued to work for them, riding after their cattle to keep them turned back to the open range when they drifted in among the fences of the homesteaders along the river.   Mrs. Eutsler and the boys kept things going on the homestead.  The boys were young and their mother worked outside with them and they in turn helped her with the housework. This proved valuable train­ing for them in later years. Earl and Ted often handled cooking jobs with round-up crews and lambing and shearing camps. Leo and Jing used their cooking skills in the armed services.

The family increased with four more sons and two daughters, Charles Theodore, John William (Joe), Bertha, Pearl, Leo Roy, and Charles Harold (Jing). They had many hardships but there were good times also. 

There were neighborhood dances with people coming many miles on horseback or with lumber wagons. The fish were plentiful in the river and neighbors gathered for a fish fry.    The men caught fish with large nets and they were cooked on campfires.

In March 1901, a measles epidemic struck the Eutsler family.  The entire family were stricken and they were cared for by Miss Clara Doyle, a teacher who was boarding with them, and friends, Nute Dupes and Henry Bennett. Arthur and Theodore died from complications during this time. They were buried in a churchyard cemetery on Horseshoe Creek about three miles southwest from Glendo. This cemetery is still in use by the town of Glendo.

School for the children was a problem. Most of the time the boys rode horseback for several miles, crossing the river. Often three months was the length of the school term.

In 1903, Mr. Eutsler sold his place to Bert and Perry Campbell. The family moved to Manville where they had bought a place on the edge of town. This place was home­ steaded in the early eighties by Nute Allen. There was a good school here and they had room to raise a little grain and potatoes and pasture a milk cow and some horses. It was near enough to open range that they could run some horses and cattle. We had never heard of a school bus.       Everyone got to school the best way he could, usually by walking. The winters were often bad with deep snow.    When it was unusually deep, Mr. Eutsler hitched the team to the bob-sled and took the children to school. He went the long way round and would have a load gathered up by the time he reached the school.   There are probably still some who remember those rides behind old Tom and Jerry.

Children had chores to do in those days.  There was wood to chop and carry in, water to bring from the well, and some had chickens to feed or a cow to milk and care for.    There was no television, but who needed it?  We had plenty of entertainment with taffy pulls, skating parties, sleigh rides, quilting bees, and school and church pro­ grams in winter.In summer there were picnics, ice cream socials and neighborhood ball games. Threshing was done with horse­ power and it took several men and teams to do the job.

In 1908 Ted was married to Clara Spaugh, daughter of Curt and Lizzie Spaugh, early settlers at Manville. They lived on Ted's homestead, three miles west of Manville. They raised their family here and later moved to the Lance Creek area where Ted died in July 1945. Clara later lived in Worland with two of her sons.   She died in 1955 and both are buried at Manville.

Their children are Marjorie (Vroman) de­ ceased, Earl, Charles, Addison, Ida Mary (Whitman), Eliza (FuQua), Anice (Babcock), Lizzie (MoorMan) and Len.

Joe served in the Army in France and with the Army of Occupation in Germany in World War I. After his discharge he filed on a homestead near his brother Earl. In 1921 he was married to Hazel Meeker of Gering. Nebr. They lived on Joe's home­ stead and here raised their family.  Joe died at his home in 1953.  The family sold the place and moved into Manville. Their children are Charles (deceased), Ora Belle (Martin), Harold E. (Ted), Bertha (Sipes), Tom, Dick, Mary (Deuell), Billie May (Armold), Betty (Truman), Nancy Pat and Robert.

Bertha was married to Orval Dryer in 1913.They lived for a time in Fall River County, South Dakota, then moved to a ranch in Niobrara County where they lived for many years.  They raised a family of five boys. In 1956 they retired and moved to Manville.  Orval died in May 1970. Bertha Eutsler Dryer died Dec. 9, 1976.

Their children are William, Don, Orville, Frank and James.

Pearl was married in 1916 to Earl Bowlds.They made their home in Montana near Clyde Park and Livingston. Since their retirement they have made their home in Livingston. Their son, Hal, operates the ranch. Their daughter, Leola McCoy, lives in Livingston.

Leo served in the Air Force in 1917 and 1918,  He was married in 1920 to Hazel Pinkley of Creede, Colo.   They lived around Manville and a short time in Colorado. They settled down on a place some 15 miles north­ west of Manville. They raised their child­ren here.  When they sold the place they retired in Lusk. Hazel died in 1960 and Leo spent his remaining years in the home of his daughter, Catherine, and her husband Claude Thompson. Leo died in March 1962, after a long illness.  Their children are Millie (LaBounta), Leo (Bud), deceased, Fay Landen), Ada (Wampler), Arthur, Catherine (Thompson), and John (deceased).   Leo (Bud) was killed while with the Army in Korea in August 1950.   John was accidentally shot and killed by a hunting companion in December 1950.

Charles Harold (Jing) was married to Jessie Meeker. They both entered the armed forces in 1943.  After Jing returned from the Navy he made his home in Manville. He worked at different places, sometimes as a cook or meat-cutter, a trade he had practiced in the service.  He made his home mostly with his brother Earl. He died in April 1959.  His wife remained in the service doing hospital work until shortly before her death in 1970.

Earl filed on a homestead some 15 miles northwest of Manville on Little Lightning Creek. During the oil boom in 1919 and 1920, Charles Eutsler sold his land at Manville to Billy Spaugh. It was added to the townsite and laid out in town lots. The family moved to Earl's homestead where they built a home. Here they did some farming and raised cattle and some horses. Charles Eutsler died Sept. 4, 1925 at the age of 64 years.

Earl continued to maintain the home here for his mother. She suffered poor health in her later years and spent her last days in a wheelchair. She died Jan. 14, 1939, and was buried beside Charles in Manville cemetery.

After his mother's death Earl sold the place.  He worked at various ranches until he retired in 1954 and moved into Lusk. In 1968 he went to Douglas and died there Dec. 3, 1970. He was buried in Manville ceme­tery.

Images & Attachments

There are no attachments for this record.

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Eutsler, Charles (09/17/1922 - 10/26/1948) View Record
Obituary Eutsler, Millie (01/25/1865 - 01/14/1939) View Record