Historical Details

Fosher Family History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 11/20/2020


by Vernal Fosher

Mathias Armstead Fosher was. born May 2, 1871, near Liberty, Ind. near the old home of Daniel Fosher who was a doctor for the Colonial Army during the Revolutionary War. Both homes are still there and are being lived in today.  Matt came to McCook, Nebr. with his parents when he was 13 years old. Here they farmed and raised livestock.

The Whitmer family also moved from Iowa to the town of McCook. The Whitmer and Fosher children soon became friends and attended the social functions of literary socials and church parties held in the local communities.

Molly Whitmer, born Aug. 1, 1870, and young Matt soon became close friends and were married in 1893. Molly taught school and Matt cared for the farm. The years were hard as the drought was very severe in this area. During the mid-summer of 1896, it was very evident that there would be no crops, and Matt and a friend decided to go to Wyoming to look for work and a new home. Matt had two uncles at Lander, Wyo. and they eventually went there and secured work. Matt worked for his uncle, Abe Fosher, who was very busy in the sheep business. Come fall, Matt sent for his wife, Molly, and their young son Allan, to come by train to Rawlins, Wyo. and then by stage to Lander. They arrived safe and sound eager to begin anew in this new area. Before spring arrived, they had rented a farm out on Squaw Creek west of Lander.

Several years were spent here in the farm­ing and irrigating business. Their son Harold was born here in a small log house on the bank of the creek. Soon the boys were ready for school so this called for a move. They went to Lander and purchased a home on the edge of the city limits. Matt went into the dray business, which trade he followed for several years.

Thomas, their third son was born in 1903. He was a frail child and a childhood illness retarded his health until 1920, when he contracted the flu and never fully re­ covered and passed away in June of that year. He was laid to rest in the Manville cemetery.  Allan served a time in the U.S. Navy and some time in England, but Harold was called to report at about the time the Armistice was signed, so he never saw ser­vice. The boys were at home much of the time until they were married.

Except for three years spent in western Nebraska, the Fosher family lived in Wyoming. In 1914, Matt filed on a homestead six miles south of Manville, Wyo. Here they made their home and did farming, ranching and custom work. Many happy times were enjoyed. Hunting, fishing, picnicking, skating, hik­ing, all were a source of enjoyment. The neighbors would get together and go sage chicken hunting, cook dinner over an open fire and hunt some more, then go home to do the chores and a good night’s rest after a full day of real fun.

Chokecherrying was also a nice repast. Buckets of nice ripe berries, picnic lunch and then a repast of delicious jelly and fruit were a nice reward for a day of work and fun. Fruit in our area was scarce and we were glad to get these delicacies.

The year of 1928 found Dad and Mom Fosher alone on the ranch. The boys had both married and gone to themselves. As the years wore on, the work became too much for them and they had to make a change. In 1935 they sold the ranch and moved to Lusk, Wyo.  There they purchased a home on south Oak Street. Dad followed the carpenter work on a limited scale as his health allowed. Mom was busy with her flowers and her handwork and household chores. Their garden was a source of pleasure to both of them.

Mom had a lingering illness of several years and passed away in August, 1951 in Lusk.  She was laid to rest in the Manville Cemetery beside her son. She was 81 years old.

Dad continued to live alone in the home and care for himself to a great degree. He enjoyed company and his dog.

His only living relative of his family, a sister, Mrs. Beckwith, of Lander, Wyo. passed away in August, 1958 at the age of 87 years, 6 months.

Dad was ill for six weeks in the Lusk hospital. He seemed to have no desire to live longer when his sister was gone and no longer enjoyed life by himself. He was laid to rest in the Manville Cemetery beside his wife and son.

They all loved the wide-open spaces and the wind so brisk and free.  The prairie was home to them. Wyoming their home, the land they truly loved.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Fosher, Mathias (05/11/1896 - 11/11/1966) View Record
Obituary Fosher, Mollie (08/01/1870 - 07/29/1951) View Record
Historical From a Pioneer Album - Matt and Mollie Fosher View Record