Historical Details

Larsen, Chris Ranch History

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 12/15/2020


by Katrine Mariegard

Christen Larsen came to Wyoming from Fremont, Nebr. He filed on a homestead three miles southeast of Manville in the spring of 1908 and received the patent April 1914. It is where the Norman (Shorty) Lamb place is now located. After filing on a homestead Chris Larsen returned to Fremont and brought the family; his wife, Marie, and 4 children, Ernest 7, Agnes 5, Elizabeth 3 and Henry 4 months.

The first summer they lived in a tent and hauled water about a mile. One day it rained and hailed. Ernest sat on a corner of the tent until the storm was over.

They moved to Manville for the winter as they couldn't live in a tent, so Ernest could go to school. Papa worked in the blacksmith shop as he was an apprentice blacksmith from Denmark.  The next spring Chris Larsen had a well drilled and a house built.

Mother stayed in Manville until afterI, Katrine Anna Larsen, was born.  They had a hired girl, Miss Delane, until mother was up and around. Then the family moved back to the homestead and lived there from that time.

A badger dug into the chicken house and killed most of the chickens he had and dug himself in as it was built in the bank.They dug him out and that really took some digging.

Feb. 22,1912 a baby girl was born, Mary Helena Larsen. Agnes, 9 years old, took care of the baby and mother. Mother didn't have any milk so Agnes had to fix some rice water with a little sugar that she fed the baby.     Mother warned Agnes to be real careful and not choke the baby to death as she carried her down a steep flight of stairs that were 'similar to a step ladder. It was warmer downstairs be­ cause that is where the stove was located.

There was a raging blizzard and mother wouldn't let Ernest go out to do the chores and milk the cow.  It was so thick you couldn’t t see from one building to the other. She was afraid he might get lost or buried in the storm. After the blizzard let up, Ernest rode the horse back to Lusk and brought papa home. At that time, papa was working the blacksmith shop in Lusk; where he continued to work for several years.

In May 1912, we had terrible blizzard and range cattle drifted up along the fences and froze to death. They were piled up like flies, a couple were right back of our barn and was there a terrible stench.

December 1913, Grandpa Christen Andersen came out from Fremont Nebr. to visit and look for a homestead site.

We were planning to celebrate Christmas. When papa was closing the gate into the place the team ran away. They ran over the pump and out into the pasture scattering some goodies he had in the springwagon around.  The folks went out with a lantern to catch the horses. It was very dark and foggy, you couldn't see your hand in front of your face.   Mother became confused in her directions and thought north was south until she came to a certain fence that she knew was on the north side of the pasture. Mother thought she had been going south but got her directions straightened out.    They managed to catch the horses and come home.

Christen Andersen filed on a homestead in 1914 and received his patent in 1919. Grandpa built a small house on his home­ stead then sent for Grandma, Marie Andersen. Their homestead was a little over a mile from my folks homestead.

Christen Larsen received his naturali­ zation papers March 20,1914.  In April he received the patent for his homestead.

June 17, 1914 Rosa Christine Larsen, a baby girl, was born to them. Grandma took care of the baby and mother this time.

Ernest was working with a gas engine that we used to pump water with and grind feed, when somehow he got a leg broken. Agnes was sent after Dr. Christensen in Manville, who came and set the leg and put a cast on from the waist down. He was in bed four months when the doctor took the cast off and said he was to walk on crutches. Then one day when he was getting out the- door he fell and Agnes was sent after Dr. Christensen again.   He said the leg had been rebroken and he would have to be taken to the hospital. A stretcher was made and Ernest was taken to Douglas on the train. At Douglas hospital surgery was performed to set the leg, so Ernest was in a cast 14 months. His leg healed and didn't give him any more trouble.

Ernest and Agnes rode a horse to school and sometimes walked. After there were more children in school we drove a team in bad weather, but in nice weather we walked be­ cause they had to have the horses to work in the field.

As soon as we were big enough to handle a pair of lines, everyone of us had to work in the field, so there were runaways with the horses quite frequently. They had a goodly number of horses.

In the summer of 1916, the folks went to Fremont, Nebr. to visit some friends and bought their first car, a Studebaker with a lot of brass that we had to keep polished. It was only driven when the weather and roads were dry. We really thought it was great.

The folks decided to start what was known as the Chris Larsen Dairy and sell milk from house to house in Lusk. Each of the older children taking a turn at deliv­ering milk. This was for five or six years. We hand-milked between 18 and 20 cows.

Everyone had to pull his own weight.

Feb. 15, 1920 Hans William Larsen, a baby boy was born.

The folks bought several pieces of land and kept expanding the place all the time.

Some of the land they bought was homesteaded by Christen Anderson, Dale Slagle, Molley Rassmusen and Shorty Reeves.

April 5, 1921 Agnes married Arthur Stocken and they lived on his homestead nearer Lusk. Ernest went to work in Lance Creek not too long after this and as each one of the children grew up they left home to make their own way.

Aug. 4, 1923 Nellie Louise Larsen, a baby girl was born.

In 1927-28 the folks built a basement barn in the hillside 80' x 36'. We hauled sand for this from the "77" Hill with teams and wagons, we would use four up on a wagon and had to double up getting up the hill.

The "77" Hill is four miles north of Manville. We picked up rocks on the hill side to put in the cement to strengthen it. That took a lot of time and hard work. Half of the basement was used for milk cows and the other half for horses. The barn was used for hay and feed.

As tractors and other more modern equipment came on the market, they bought these things, too. They raised wheat, rye, barley, and other grain.    They raised alfal­fa and crested wheat grass for hay.

Jan. 2, 1935 the Chris Larsen ranch house burned to the ground.  Mother was taking care of her grandaughter, Alice Hirsch, Rosa's three month old daughter, who was probably responsible for saving their lives, because when mother got up to take care of her, mother discovered the fire, so they rousted everybody out and there wasn’t' t anyone burned.  They bought a house at Jireh that was moved on to the ranch by Foster Jackson.

In 1938 a large grainery with more than 1,000 bushels of rye· and other feed burned to the ground. It was real dark and Rosa couldn't understand this reddish light.

She's the one that discovered the fire. They took chains and put around some of the hay ·stack and pulled them over away from the fire so as to contain the fire. The superintendent from the Manville school had been to something in Lusk and saw the fire on his way home and stopped to help and give what assistance he could.

In 1940, Rosa had her leg broken in an accident with a team and sweep in the hay­ field.  She was taken to Lusk where Dr.Walter Reckling set the leg and put it in a cast. It healed without trouble and was al­ right.  This happened on her 25th birthday. What a birthday present!

Chris and Marie Larsen managed to ac­ quire a sizeable ranch with everybody working together. In January 1943, they sold their ranch holding to Norman and Margaret Lamb.

After selling the ranch they moved to Lusk and then to Grants Pass, Ore.

Christ Larsen and Marie Andersen were married May 31, 1900 in Denmark.    They were the parents of nine children; Ernest, Agnes, Elizabeth., Henry, Katrine, Mary, Rosa, Hans and Nellie. Chris and Marie Larsen passed away in Grants Pass, Ore.  Six daughters and one son   survive:  Agnes Kieves,  Buffalo, Wyo.; Elizabeth Fosher, Torrington, Wyo.; Katrine Mariegard, Torrington, Wyo.; Mary Philbrick, Midwest, Wyo.; Rosa Hirsch, Torrington, Wyo.; Nellie Kathka, Napa, Calif.; Hans William Larsen, Douglas, Wyo. Two sons, Ernest and Henry previously died.

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Record Type Name
Obituary Larsen, Christ (07/09/1875 - 12/08/1949) View Record