Historical Details

Strube, Christina B. Cook

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 01/28/2021


When my father first came to South Dakota it was Dakota Territory. He had a brother who lived out there near Fairburn. He went back to Des Moines, Ia. to visit his sisters and that's where he met my mother. I don't know how long he stayed, but anyway they were married, came back out to Fairburn, again, because he had a home­stead there.  Then before I was born, my mother went back so she'd be with her par­ents, when I was born.

I was married March 29, 1905 at Lusk, Wyo. in the home of friends Mr. and Mrs. Al Reed's, to Edmond A. Cook.

I had two children, Helen Alma born Feb. 24, 1906, at my parents home in Lusk and Edmond Mill, born April 6, 1910, at home in Lusk.

Edmond A. Cook was a rancher. He died at the ranch Feb. 3, 1926. We lived at the ranch and also had a home in town. He had driven stagecoach for Russell Thorp, from the Rawhide Stage Station on north and east of Lusk, when he was just a kid.

At Hat Creek, there was a stage station fixed so they could defend themselves. It is right east of the old Hat Creek Store, now. You can't see it anymore, but I can remember when we first came to Wyoming, they had an underground tunnel to the spring for water. They had a rock and brick fort there because part of it was there yet when we came to Wyoming, and I can remember it past the road there, east.  If that old stage­ coach at the museum could talk, it could tell you a lot of stories.

My life on the ranch, was that of the average person, living on a ranch I guess. Pretty hard struggle, on the start too. I remember lots of blizzards and loosing  cattle in them. The blizzard in '49 was a real hardship. I'll tell ya, it lasted several days. Oh yes, one reason they seem­ ed more severe, I think, is that we didn't have all the modern things that we have now. And that's where I think it was more dif­ficult. Oh it was bad. There were lots of droughts too.

For entertainment, we used to have parties, and we visited back and forth with the neighbors, and that little schoolhouse-­ it's there yet and we used to have dances and parties, and have a lot of fun. Yes we did.

Our closest neighbor was Mrs. Howell, and then the Jensen's. Fred Bryant was a little ways over north. Crinklaws lived there then too. We went to these parties and visits, before cars, with horses and buggy. Yes, sometimes in a sleigh. I never went to parties horseback, but I went to club meetings horseback. It was the Hat Creek club then, same as it is now. Rulo Roberts lived there not too far from us. They still have parties a lot in that part of the country.  We had several dances in our home; it was full--I couldn't tell you how many were there. They lasted all night long. There was a man used to come play our piano. Fred Bryant sometimes played the violin. There were others played too. The piano was the main music.

Sometimes we'd have box socials. Oh, yes, we had quilting bees. We’d go to the parties, and we'd generally stay all night there until it got daylight in the morning to drive home. We'd take sandwiches, cake or pies. I remember the time we had a party there at home, I didn't have a very big coffee pot, so I just cleaned up my boiler good and made coffee by the boiler-full.

Yes we had good times, I think they had
better times then than they have now. They appreciated things more.

Neighbors traded quite a bit of work, but we had lots of fun and enjoyed our­ selves.

My youngsters went one year to a schoolhouse over near Howells. Then we had a teacher come there to the ranch and taught two years. Then they had to go to town to go to school. They rode ponies the year they went to school near Howells.

Originally the Hat Creek Club was not an extension club, but we did join later on. It was just to get together and have a good time and do whatever we were doing that day. We quilted quilts, we pieced quilts, tied comforters, and if we wanted to, sewed for some of the neighbors. We used to go help Mrs. Crinklaw sew. She had a family, I guess it was five children and lots of times we went over and helped her sew, darn socks and sew on buttons.

We didn't have water in the house--we packed it from the hydrant outside, then put it in the boiler to heat it. I had an old washing machine. Well yes, I have washed on a board, too, before we had a washing machine. It was one of those kind like you know, you put your foot on a thing at the bottom.

Earlier, before we had a telephone, our nearest telephone was out northwest of my folks.  DeCastro's folks--they had a tele­phone over there.

Andrew Faulkner was the postmaster of Hat Creek post office and he had a general store in connection with it.   It was just a big old room. He had supplies and stuff that people could get, canned goods, and things like that. Well, yes, sometimes crackers were in a barrel.

I went to school at Hat Creek, in a school house by the Hat Creek store down on the creek. We had mostly women teachers and they boarded with my folks. When there were eight or ten pupils we thought that was a large school.

My husband built our ranch home. We started out with two rooms and kept adding until it was a pretty good sized house. We used any kind of furniture we could get hold of.  For many years my folks and family came to my place for Thanksgiving Day. Always tried to get together with my mother and father at Christmas. The whole family did.

In early days, I've seen Indians in that territory. We used to have grasshoppers year after year. There were lots of rattlesnakes and I kept a sharp long handled shovel near the kitchen door to kill snakes with. There were lots of nasty little gar­ter snakes, also adders. I had quite an experience, one time. It was in the Fourth of July and my grandson, Eddie Strube, about five or six years old, was there with me.

Ed and Judy had gone to some celebration, and he was playing around and said, "Grand­ma, I'm gonna look under the piano and see if I can see some marbles under there." I said, "All right, Eddie." He came up, "Grandma, Grandma, there's a great big snake under the piano." My gosh, it scared  me half to death. I shut all the doors I could so it couldn't get out of the room, and I pulled the piano out aways, and got on a stool.First I went to the shop for a long handled shovel.   Then I reached over, I jabbed him one, but I was afraid to take the shovel off of him, so I yelled to Eddie to go get another shovel, which he did, and I jabbed that shovel down and it killed him.

I found out he got in the front door in the living room. The old screen door wouldn't shut too tight, you know, and they get warped, and it crawled in. It was a bull snake, but I don't like snakes, and I always killed them around the buildings.

Used to have horses around there. There were people would ride'em, got thrown off, got bucked off. I remember this one particular fella was working for us and he's breaking some horses, and he got on this horse.  I look out, and my Helen, she's standing there, "Mama," she say, "Percy lost his hat."  I said "He did, yea now he's go­ ing after it." Well that's when the horse bucked him off.

I remember when I was a kid, my mother taught me to take a piece of fat pork, tie it around the neck, to keep from having a sore throat. Ickey! Didn't know which was worse, that old greasy pork, or the sore throat.    I always had cough syrup on hand to doctor the family for colds.

I don't remember how Hat Creek was named; it was Hat Creek when we came there. My folks, when we lived at Fairburn, had just a small place and had sheep. My dad was looking for a place with more room.   He heard about this place over here. So he came over and looked at it and bought it. But we didn't come over until the next year. He came over there the next summer and put up the hay on the place. We didn't come over until September. I can remember it just as well as the day we came, I thought it was the most beautiful place I had ever seen in my life. We always called the creek Hat Creek, but I believe it was Sage Creek. We came over in the covered wagon and I can remember just as though it happened yesterday. I rode my pony half way. I'd ride till I got tried, then get in the wagon with my mother. She drove a covered wagon and my brother Dave rode in there.    My daddy had a covered wagon too, with four horses on it.
We had our belongings in that. We brought an old milk cow tied behind the wagon.There was a hired man along. My dad had sheep and he brought the bucks over. My pony was a small spotted red and white Indian pony, pretty little thing. I don't remember how long it took us, but do remem­ber camping overnight on Indian Creek right where the old stage coach crossed the creek. We had to stay in the wagon and mama cooked on open fire stove. I don't know how she done it, but we had our eats. Course she had a lot of bread baked up. I remember we came through Hot Springs.  It'll be 79 years, 8th day of this September, that I landed in Wyoming. The eighth day of September will never slip my memory, I still think of it.

Grandparents:  Kristoph Kappelmann 1826-1912

Barbara Eckhart 1831-1891

Parents:Philopena Kappelmann


His parents: Jacob Mill 1853-1935

Johannes Mill 1819-1877

Katharina Roth 1822-1889

Christina B Cook, Strube - 1885-1974

E. A. Cook 1867-1926

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Record Type Name
Obituary Strube, Christina (05/20/1885 - 12/09/1974) View Record