Historical Details

Baughn, Erastus and Jennie -Pioneer Days

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


(1892 - 1935)

by Tessie Valentine

One of the oldest and most prolific families of Niobrara County, Wyoming, is that of Benjamin Franklin and wife, Phoebe Jane Baughn, who came to Manville, Wyo. with their three sons, Erastus, Harry and Carl in 1892, as the following article taken from the Lusk, Wyoming newspaper of that day shows:

Mr. Benjamin Franklin Baughn of Nebraska, father of Erastus, Carl and Harry arrived in Manville, March 24, 1892. There were three families now on the road with their stock and would take claims just as close to Manville as possible.  The ones that came by covered wagon were Grandma, "Phoebe" Baughn, Erastus, Carl and Harry (Bub) Baughn.   Jennie, wife of Erastus, and three children

Tessie, Merle and Howard came by train.

This particular history pertains to the Erastus Benjamin Baughn family of whom at this writing there are descendents extending to the fifth generation from Erastus and his wife Jennie. The following item was taken from the May 27, 1935 issue of the Lusk Herald:

Erastus B. Baughn was born in Wyoming, Stark County, Illinois, on Jan. 20, 1867, and passed away at his home in Manville, Wyo. May 27, 1935, being 68 years, 4 months and 1 day old.

When quite young he moved from his boyhood home in Illinois to Tobias Nebr., where he grew to manhood and here he was united in marriage to Jennie Howard of Tobias, Dec. 20, 1886.

Moving from there to Manville in 1892, this country then being new and undeveloped, he has engaged in many enterprises and has always stood for the upbuilding of the community, and was a very public-spirited citizen, and also a very kind and helpful neighbor.

When a young man he united with the Baptist church, but there being no Baptist church in Manville he and his wife Jennie united with the Methodist Church of Manville.

Besides his wife, eight children survive him, as well as 18 grand­ children and one great-grandchild.

The children are: Mrs. Tessie Valentine and Sidney, of Shawnee, Wyo.; Mrs. Merle Allsup and Curtis of Manville; Howard of Kansas City, Mo.; Roscoe of Harrison, Ark.; Mrs. Nita Lashmett of Holly, Colo.; Mrs. Lola Lewis of Brighton, Colo; one brother, Carl, of Manville; one sister, Lillie Finicle of Riverside, Calif.; and other relatives.

The Matriarch of the family, Jennie Howard Baughn, born Feb. 14, 1866, daughter of Bradford and Rebecca Howard with Erastus contributed much to the development and culture of the community as the following article indicates:

Mrs. Jennie Baughn, wife of Erastus, started teaching school in Manville, 1893 
and continued teaching off and on until 1898.     The first schoolhouse was made of rock and stucco, located in the west part of Man­ ville.  Later the school was moved to a new frame building.  Mrs. Baughn taught all eight grades with 30 to 40 pupils.  The last year the school was divided into two rooms. She then taught lower grades and Mr. McName taught the higher grades.

In 1902 Erastus Baughn built the large nine room house which still stands north of present Highway 20. This house was made of logs that were brought in from the timber in surrounding mountains and sawed square and extended to the eaves.It is one of the oldest houses in Manville.

 While living in this home one son, Curtis, was born.  He and the other children grew to man and womanhood here, while sharing many activities with the young people of the town.

Merle, a daughter, was married in this house in 1911 to James w. Allsup.

It now belongs Bette Alexander and husband Oscar, granddaughter of Erastus and Jennie Baughn.

In the late 1890 and early 1900, "Rass" as he was generally called, ac­cumulated several bands of sheep. This was in the days before fences and they could be seen grazing in open country all around the area.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Baughn, Jennie (02/14/1866 - 06/28/1952) View Record
Obituary Baughn, Erastus (01/20/1867 - 05/27/1935) View Record