Historical Details

Roberts, Rulo G. and Lucy (Peggy)

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 12/18/2020


by Leslie J. Roberts

Rulo Roberts, a long-time resident of Niobrara County, Wyoming was born June 3, 1891 to Liss and Mary (Maxfield) Roberts at Crawford, Nebr. Liss came to the United States from Sweden, and changed his name "Knudson" to Roberts. Rulo was the youngest of a family of three sons and a daughter.

He was reared and educated in Crawford where his father owned and operated a blacksmith shop until his death in 1911.

When school was out the year Rulo was 12 years of age, he spent the summer helping with cattle on the Clarence Sheldon ranch (now the Johnson Sisters ranch on Lance Creek) and the following summer he returned to find that Sheldon had sold his cattle and bought sheep.  That summer he helped with the sheep--carrying supplies to the sheep camps.

During the next two summers he got experience breaking saddle horses west of Fort Robinson, and at this time made his acquaintance with George Walker and Charlie Heumier. (Both became Niobrara County ranchers.)    From 1907 until 1911 Rulo work­ed at Fort Robinson driving a six mule team.

On July 2, 1914 Rulo married Lucy Frances McMurtry (known as Peggy) at Brewster, Nebr. Peggy, born Nov. 3, 1894 to James and Mary (Pickett) McMurtry of Brewster, Nebr., was the second child of a family of four.

For several years Rulo and Peggy farmed near Brewster. Two sons, Leslie J. and Kester C. were born to them. Kester died at the age of three months.

In June 1917 Rulo, Peggy and small son, Leslie, left Brewster for Lusk moving by team and wagon and trailing several head of horses. Rulo went to work for Tom Bell on the Box X ranch on Indian Creek.

After the beef was shipped that fall, Rulo bought a relinquishment on a homestead from Frank DeCastro and moved his family on­ to the place. A daughter, Mary Ann, was born here. Rulo drove the school bus· for several years.

In the spring of 1927 Rulo sold the homestead and bought the home ranch, 14 miles northeast of Lusk.  There were no improvements on the place. A house was moved in from Lusk and remodeled; W.W. Edmondson of Lusk built the barn. Other improvements on the ranch were added as the years went by.  In the "thirties." came the grasshoppers and severe drought, but it is recalled that the family always managed to grow a garden. There was plenty to eat and to share with anyone who came by.

Rulo went to Lusk in 1934 and worked for the Foster Lumber Company, Peggy went to work as a clerk at J.C. Penney Co., and Mary completed high school.

In the summer of 1945 Rulo and Peggy bought the Van Tassell property on East Third Street in Lusk, and remodeling took place the following spring.

At the ranch Rulo had one of the first well-pump irrigation systems in the neigh­ borhood. For a number of years Rulo bought and sold cattle, worked part-time at the Lusk Sales Barn, and continued his ranching activities.

Peggy was an active member of the Lusk Congregational Church, the Rebekah Lodge in Lusk, and a charter member of the Hat Creek Club.

On July 5, 1961 Peggy suffered a stroke, while vacationing with Rulo in Salem, Oreg. She died a few days later at the age of 65.

Later, Rulo married Pearl (Langdon)Percy, formerly of Chadron, Nebr. After selling the ranch in 1965, Rulo and Pearl continued to make their home in Lusk.

Rulo died Dec. 2, 1975 at the age of 84 years.  He was buried in the Lusk Ceme­tery beside Peggy.Surviving him were: his wife, Pearl; a son, Leslie and wife, Laverne (Johns); a daughter, Mary and hus­band, Graydon "Bud " Hoblit; seven grand­ children; three step-grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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