Historical Details

Jassmann, John George Sr.

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 12/17/2020


by Amelia Jassman Anderson

John George Jassmann was born in Odinsey, Russia, Dec. 25, 1875 to Christian and Catherine Jassmann.    His nationality was German and Russian. He grew to manhood living in Russia, Romania and Germany.

When John was 23, he came to America landing on Ellis Island in New York Harbor in the spring of 1898. A minister helped him get a job picking cotton in the cotton fields of Tennessee. That same year, in the fall, he went to Tripp, S.D., where he worked for several years on various farms. After John had been in America for a couple of years working in the cotton fields and various farms in South Dakota, he earned enough money to send for his mother, Mrs. Christian Jassmann and half brother August Buckholz  from Romania. These were the only relatives John had left in Europe and he never ever had any desire to go back to the old country again. John's mother made her home most of the time with him, and his half brother took up a homestead north of Lusk about 30 miles on Buck Creek. "Gus" Buckholtz was known for many years as the "Watermelon King" of Niobrara county, raising water­ melons and selling them for a livelihood. Here is where he met his bride Emilia Buckholz and they were married in January 1905 at Tripp S.D. His bride was born and raised in South Dakota.    They con­tinued to live there, working on farms for a few years and three of their eight children were born here.  They were: Christian, Elsie, and Harold Jassmann.

In the spring of 1909, because of ill health of John, caused by bad water in South Dakota, he and his wife Emilia and three children decided to come to Wyoming and take up a homestead. They traveled by box-car train with their few belongings (wagon and a team of horses) as far as Harrison, Nebr. and from there they traveled to Wyoming with a team of horses and a lumber wagon.

They homesteaded in 1909 in Niobrara county 12 miles northeast of Lusk in what is known as the Divide Community. Here is where they worked and farmed and raised cattle and also sheep for many years and acquired more land until they had a sizeable ranch.

In December of 1909 their first son was born in Wyoming (William Jassmann). A big Wyoming blizzard was raging outside when he made his appearance without any doctor. Four more children were born to John and Emilia. These were: Sophia Jassmann Klemke in March 1911; Kathryn Jassmann Jugler and John Jassmann, Jr. (twins) in November 1912 and Emilia Jassmann Anderson in February 1916. On this homestead the children were all raised and educated.

Father had an old German Bible which was always read in the evenings to the family by the kerosene lamp while mother would do the patching on clothes. Father only had three months of education, but could read and write in Russian, Germann and English.

Our first school was in 1914 held in a granary building on the ranch and the teacher was Nellie Barker Cornell and we also had Sunday School there. Then sometimes later a one room building was moved in about three quarters of a mile from our ranch home where we attended school, always walking back and forth. Helen (Cook) Strube and Edith (Anstice) Updike were two of our first teachers. Later we went to school at Node, Wyoming and finally ending our education at Lusk.

About this time, the sons decided to change the spelling to "Jassman".

In October, 1932, the oldest son, Christian Jassman and Emma Paige of Manville, Wyo. were married and moved to a nearby farm which was known as the Schroer place which father Jassman pur­ chased. To this union four children were born; Helen Mae, (Jassman) Moriarty living in Story, Wyo.; Mary Ann Jassman) Hart now living at Buffalo, Wyo.; David Ray Jassman living in Lusk, Wyo.; and are now living on a farm seven miles north of Lusk, owned by Elizabeth Bruch.   Judith Valorie (Jassman) Lamb living in Torrington, Wyo., later Christian married Wilma Mahan in March 1961.

The next daughter, Elsie Jassman, and Juluis Buckholz were married in Dec. 1926. They are retired and living in Hendricks, Minnesota.  Elsie and Juluis Buckholz have eight children; Harvey, a pharmacist living in Hendricks, Minn.; Donna (Buckholz) Durham living on a farm at Wagner, S.D.; Donald, serving in the U.S. Army for 29 years; Richard, living near Henricks, Minn. on a farm; Arlan, living on the farm on the home place; James lives in Sioux Falls, S.D.; Eleanor (Buckholz) Johansen living on a farm in Wagner, S.D.: Robert, a civil engineer working for Honeywell in Minneapolis, Minn.

Next, Harold Jassman was married to Velma Brownaf of Keeline, Wyo. in 1937. To this union one child was born, Larry Blaine Jassman now living in Bird, Ore  In July, 1953, Harold (Hap) Jassman was married to Opal (Lawlis) Jassman from Hill City, Kan. and now are living in Casper, Wyo.

Son, William Jassman and Maxine Burkholder of Lusk were married in Feb. 1934; to this union four children were born: Robert William, pastor of a church in Brooklyn, Ind.; Richard Neal, living on a farm at Keeline, Wyo., Carol Renee Cowger, at present living in Tokyo, Japan. William Jassman passed away August, 1963, and was buried at Lusk, Wyo. Maxine married again and is living in Buckeye, Arizona.

Sophie Jassman and Henry Klemke of Lusk were married in March, 1937, and moved five miles north of Lusk were they own and operate a ranch, raising cattle. One daughter by a former marriage, Phyllis (Klemke) Gaubel, lives in Norwalk, Conn.

Kathryn Jassman and Ernest Jugler of Deadwood, S.D. were married February, 1934 and four children were born to them: George Wayne lives in Lusk and works for the state highway department ; James Walter, lives in Ranchester, Wyo. and works on highway construction; Wanda Lee (Jugler) Hardman lives in Casper, Wyo. and works for the Loren and Coole contractors; Gene Larry lives at Shawnee, Wyo. and works at the oil pumping station; Sheriff Ernest Jugler passed away Dec. 31, 1951, and is buried at Lusk.    Kathryn Jugler lives in Lusk and is now caring for mother Jassman for three years.

Next, John Jassman, Jr. and Dorothy Robinsen were married October, 1940.  They lived on a farm eight miles northeast of Lusk, later moving to town. One son was born to them, Jerry John Jassman, who lives in Lusk. Dorothy passed away November, 1968, and was buried in Lusk.

Later John married Roberta Kennedy and they have one child, John Wayne. They are living in Lusk and he also operates his ranch north of Lusk.

Emilia Jassman was married to F. Gaylord Anderson of Hat Creek, Wyo. in November, 1938, and they live on a ranch on Young Woman Creek north of Lusk 20 miles. One son was born to them, Andrew John Anderson, born in 1946, who married Barbara Ann Buckley of Boston, Mass.   He served in the U.S. Army from Nov. 1969 to Nov. 1971. They are living near Colorado Springs, Colo.

In the early days, John and his wife Emilia had many hardships, droughts in the 30's, grasshoppers and blizzards and cowboys always cutting fences and trying to run the settlers out of the country, but they stayed and continued to work and and prosper until 1945, when ill health forced John to retire, so he and his wife purchased a house in Lusk, which was the old Congregational parsonage and moved to town.

Father John passed away Aug. 22, 1949 at his home at the age of 73 years. For several years the ranch was operated by William and John Jassman, sons of father John. Mother Jassman still kept the home, L-J ranch and died on April 20, 1972.

Chris Jassman died May 5, 1976.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Jassmann, John (12/25/1875 - 08/22/1949) View Record
Obituary Jassmann, Amelia (12/14/1882 - 04/20/1972) View Record