Historical Details

Fosher, Harold and Vernal

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


Harold A. Fosher was born Oct. 3, 1898 at the farm house near Lander on Squaw Creek. When he was four years old his folks moved to Lander to be near school for his brother, Allan. Here the boys learned to love fish­ing and hunting. The creek ran past their kitchen door, so they lived along its banks. A cut willow pole, a piece of string and a bent pin often sufficed for a hook and line. Many nice fish were had at the supper table from their efforts. One was so large Harold could not hold it off the ground to take home, so he dragged it along. Then it was that he earned a good pole, line and a real fish hook.

Early school days were enjoyed at Lander.

When Harold was 13 years old, his folks moved to Bassett, Nebr., where Harold finished the 8th grade.

In 1914 they came back to Lusk, Wyo. as the drouth in Nebraska rendered it impossible to remain there. They homesteaded six miles south of Manville. After two years of high school in Manville, school was not too reliable and so Harold went to work at custom work. He freighted to Lance Creek during the early days of the oil boom 1917-

18 and worked for Ray Baughn. Many long, cold, tiresome trips were made.  One night when it was bitter cold he had to take a double load of casing to the field and walked all the way to the field. It was 20 miles. When the casing was unloaded the driller offered Harold a can of beans he had warmed on the manifold of the rig engine. Harold walked back and forth eating his lunch and the beans froze in the bottom of the can before he could eat them. Another time he was making a night trip when his rough lock failed to hold on “77" hill.  The 
wagon ran up on the wheelers and wagons and all slid to the bottom of the long hill.

We picnickers were not too far away and ran to help. He hitched the lead team on to the rear of the wagons and pulled them off the wheel team. The horses got up and in a short time were ready to resume their journey. They we.re not hurt badly, only skinned a bit and sore and lame. But riding that wagon to the bottom was a hair-raising experience for any one, to say nothing for a young boy.

Harold drove the supply wagon when the first telephone line was run from Manville to Casper. It took four months, but he made many friends on that job.  Many years later when Harold, with a large crowd of other men, gathered in Lusk looking for a job on a project coming up from there, a man climbed upon the back of a truck bed and surveyed the crowd.  Then came the call, "Wag," come here. Then Harold recognized the man, his old telephone boss. They had a nice reunion and Harold was the first to get a job. He was called "Wag" because he drove the supply wagon.

In 1926, Harold and Vernal Lamb were married at Hot Springs, S.D. Vernal had been teaching for several years.  She was to teach the following year in Manville, Wyo. The years slipped away fast and in February 1928, our first child was born, a boy. We named him Dean. We continued to live on his folks' ranch and rented land to farm and run our cattle. In late February we bought our first new car, a Ford runabout. We were so happy.  It was such a good car for its day.

In October 1930, our second son was born, Raime. A few days later Harold purchased a portion of our present ranch. The spring of 1931 we moved to our new home where we lived for 30 some years. The 30's as many know, were hard years. We, like most other folks, barely made a go of things, but we were happy, we worked hard, went little and had little, but were together and had a home and tried to be a friend to man. Our doors were always open to the needy, sick or unfortunate. Many a time we set places at our table when the fare was meager, but all were welcome. We all chatted and ate and had fun.    An extra bed was always ready for the unexpected.

The original place we bought was made up of the Chauncy Onion, Bill Brooks and George Brooks places.  Later we added the Baughn 80 A, and the Thorow 8OA. In the fall of the late 30's we bought the William McDaniels section which lay south of us.

Our boys, at a young age, each started a nice herd of Registered Hereford cattle. As time wore on and their and our herds grew, we needed more pasture, so in early

40's we purchased the land east of us.  This land area was made up of; Leige Wanker, Mrs. Margurite Spaugh and and her mother's home­ stead, Lillian Hughes, Miss Spaugh's,  A A. Spaugh's Desert Claim, Orman King's home­ stead, and the Paige homesteads.  This gave us room to breathe again. We then bought a sizable band of sheep and ran them for several years until we could see our way clear on the land and late in 1948 we sold all of our sheep. We ran only cattle until I bought a few ewes when I decided to quit teaching again.

I had taught the first year we were married, then took a leave of absence until Dean was a senior, then teachers were short so I went back and taught a number of years. Later Harold's health was not too good and I retired again and stayed home with him on the ranch. We leased the land and just lived on the ranch and did as much as we pleased.  Soon it was evident we needed to be closer to a doctor, so in the fall of 1964 we moved to our house in Lusk. We had purchased Harold's father's place when he passed away.  We kept our cattle and still have cattle run on the ranch for us.

Harold's health continued to fail and on Oct. 28, 1966 he passed away and was laid to rest in the Lusk Cemetery.  He had held many positions in the county during his lifetime. He worked for the A.S.C. office for years and served on the Manville school board a number of years. He was a Director of the Federal Land Bank for years and was a Deputy Assessor for over 20 years in the west end of Niobrara county.  He was a 4-H leader for 11 years and was county 4-H leader for one term when we did not have a county agent.  He had a part in the Rawhide Pageant several times. Harold loved people and loved to visit and work with them. Harold was a past Patron of the Eastern Star, and an Elder in the Church of Christ for years, this office he held at his passing.

I was active in civic work for many years.I was in charge of school lunch program in the county for years, in its early life here. I was past president of two Extension Clubs in the county and I was chosen "Mother of the Year" in the county in the 30's and offered a trip to Washington, D.C. but due to health reasons, I was unable to go. I still have the gift sent to me by a lady from Latavia who had planned to meet me there. My alternate brought them to me. I was a 4-H leader for 11 years. I coached many champion demonstrations during that time. I was adult education counselor for a time. I am a Past Matron of the Eastern Stars and have taught an adult Sunday class for several years. I have been a junior class teacher for over 20 years, in the Church of Christ in Lusk.

I now live alone in the home in Lusk. My health has not been too good the last few years, but I feel that is all behind me now and I am much better. I enjoy sewing and do much of it. I have a yard, garden and flowers which I love to share and enjoy.

In June 1966 we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary sponsored by our two sons and families in our home in Lusk. We were honored by friends from several states and relatives. Over 150 guests called.

Our son, Raime and family now live on the home ranch. They moved here in March 1971. They have three sons and one daugh­ter.   They love ranch life.

Dean, our oldest son, and family live in Cheyenne, Wyo.  He is employed by the State Highway Department. He is chief appraiser for the State. Dean earned his A.R.A. Degree in Appraising and last January received his degree as a M.A.I. These are much help to him in his work.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Fosher, Harold (10/03/1898 - 10/28/1966) View Record
Obituary Fosher, Vernal (12/03/1902 - 03/09/1998) View Record
Historical Foshers - Recollections from Vernal Fosher View Record