Historical Details

Sims, Albert N.

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 01/29/2021


as told by Cecil Sims

Albert N. (Bert) Sims was born April 18, 1866 in Wyoming, Ill. It was in 1884 at the age of 18 that he came West to South Dakota; and then to western Nebraska a year later. In 1891 he spent some time in Man­ville, Wyo. working with his brother, Louis (Lou) Sims, who had a ranch southeast of Manville called the "Old Woods Ranch", where he raised cattle. Bert Sims also worked at a ranch located on Walker Creek, which is northeast of Douglas, Wyo.

Two other brothers of Albert Sims were also located around Manville at this time. They were Millard Filmore (Fil) Sims, and Ansel (Bay) Sims. The brothers owned a livery barn and a small store in Manville and they also owned sheep.

Albert Sims went back to Wilbur, Nebr. where he married Della M. Rogers June 15, 1898 and they made their home there for a short time. On Oct. 8, 1901 their first child was born, a son named Cecil.

The Albert Sims family moved to Manville the first of the year of 1902. Cecil was three or four months old. Albert Sims helped the minister who was known as "Preacher Hughes" build the Methodist Church in Manville. "Preacher Hughes" had a son named Otis Hughes. After the church was completed the Albert Sims family and the Hughes family made a trip to California by wagon. Here the Sims family stayed for three or four years. Cecil can remember being in San Francisco immediately after the big earthquake of 1906 and visiting his mother's sister and her family who had lost their home in the disaster and were living in a tent.

While living in Santa Cruz, Calif. two more children were born to Albert and Della Sims. Edna Elizabeth was born Nov. 5, 1906 and Gladys Mae was born Oct. 29, 1908.

In about 1909 the Sims family moved back to Manville where Lou Sims was in the horse business. Lou and a second cousin, Roy (Peg) Baughn trailed a rather large bunch of Indian ponies from the Rosebud Indian Reservation to Lou's ranch where a lot of them were broken to ride and were sold.   The Simses also raised their own horses and had some Thoroughbred stallions.

Because of the hard winters Albert Sims got a place on Twenty Mile Creek which he thought would be a better place to winter stock, which it was. However, the first winter there was a bad one. Everything snowed under -- sagebrush and all.  There was no chance of hauling feed from the rail­ road and the family ran out of some staple foods.  Fil Sims made snowshoes and walked five miles down the creek to the nearest ranch, the Old Bob Spaugh place which is now owned by Harry Manning. Ray Valentine was there managing sheep for himself and Ras Baughn.  When they finally got a load of shelled corn through on a bobsled, it was too late. They lost about half of their sheep, from which they derived 50¢ a pelt.

The first living quarters at the Twenty Mile ranch were a little log cabin, a sheep wagon and two tents. With Fil's help, Albert Sims built a frame house, which still remains as the living quarters for the ranch. Bay Sims eventually sold out his interests and went to California. Fil Sims stayed at the ranch for a while. They owned sheep.

Later on, he and his son-in-law, Oscar Bartholome, owned a hardware store in Manville for a number of years.

Lou Sims brought the horses out from Manville to Twenty Mile, as they were much easier to winter. He built a log house close by the Albert Sims home.  (The log house was later used as a schoolhouse for Albert Sims children.) Lou and his family made their home there for a while, letting the place south of Manville go. They raised and broke-out saddle horses to sell and always had one or more men to build fences and break the horses. For added income one spring, Albert Sims worked for Ad Spaugh when he needed extra help and Della Sims cooked for the lambing crew. The country was full of range cattle and horses, and in the summer there would be three or four round-up wagons come through. You had to watch your stock or they could get away from you!

Lou and Albert used to take the horses from Twenty-Mile to Newport, Nebr. to sell them. Later some were also taken on to Des Moines, Ia. to sell. "Rock" and Howard Baughn helped with the handling of the horses during shipment to Newport.

Lou Sims moved his family near Woonsocket, S.D. where another brother, John Sims was located. Albert Sims and his family stayed in Newport for about three years. While living there another daughter, Delberta, was born Oct. 24, 1914. They, then, left Newport coming back to Manville where they stayed for a while before going back to the ranch on Twenty Mile. They repaired the old fences and built new ones. Albert bought more land which had to be fenced. More cattle were purchased and later another bunch of sheep was added, which were kept for a number of years. The coyotes eventually got so bad they sold all of the sheep and ran only cattle.

In about 1916 Cecil Sims and Leo Eusler worked for Ad Spaugh, lambing at the TJ ranch where Dutch Shorty was foreman.Thefollowing year they worked for the Govern­ ment poisoning prairie dogs. Leo later joined the Army and was sent overseas.

Edna Sims and her husband Beryle Fullerton, worked at the Twenty Mile ranch for eight years. They had an interest in the cattle with Albert and Cecil. There was a very dry year in 1934 and what grass grew, the grasshoppers ate.  Beryl and Edna took their share of the stock over to the Bill Sherman place. Here, there was some hay and green grass around the creek that the grass­ hoppers hadn't eaten. Cecil and his dad sold most of their cattle to the Government for almost nothing.   They kept 27 head of dry cows that Cecil was able to winter on sagebrush and soapweed with about five pounds of cotton seed cake per head per day. Most of these cows calved the next spring and more cattle were bought to build up the herd again.  At this time Gladys' husband, Henry (Hank) Amend also bought some cattle which Albert and Cecil ran for him. Hank was working in Lance Creek in the oil fields at the time.

About 1938, Albert and Della Sims bought a house in Lusk where they made their home. After Albert's retirement, due to poor health, Cecil continued to take care of their cattle and Hank's. By this time Cecil owned the old Charlie Sherman place 2 1/ 2 miles northwest of Manville. He summered on this place and wintered on the Card ranch at Lost Springs which Hank Amend had purchased. Albert Sims was able to lease the Twenty Mile ranch for a very good price.

Albert Sims passed away in Lusk Oct.12, 1943.  His widow , Della, stayed in Lusk for a while before renting her house and spending the summers at Lost Springs with her daughter, Gladys, and the winters in Madera, Calif. with her daughter, Delberta Simpson. In 1952 Della Sims sold the Twenty Mile ranch to her granddaughter and her husband, Mae Ann Manning and Robert Manning. Della Sims passed away in 1961.

Cecil was married to Pauline Whiteaker of Flint, Mich. in 1942. They lived on Cecil's own place year 'round, as Hank Amend had quit the oil field work and was living on his own ranch.  To the Sherman place, Cecil added the Theron Grant place, the adjoining Day place, and the Lincoln 80 acres.  This gave him a total of 1680 acres on which he was able to run about 100 cows and calves, usually selling the calves in the fall.Cecil put all the hay he could, and had to build sheds and windbreaks for the cattle. In the severe winter of 1948-49 he never lost one head of cattle. There was no chance of hauling the hay out from the stacks, so he had to tease the cattle with a fork full of hay to a stack, then pitch the hay out from the stack as far as he could so they could all get some. His hard­ est job was getting the cattle to water as he was watering from a windmill and tank.

There was a huge snow drift, a quarter of a mile long, which passed the tank, and the snow kept blowing over the tank making it difficult to keep a hole open for drinking. The snow and ice kept building up at the side of the tank and he had to dig down to the tank. In spite of his efforts to keep the tank shoveled out, the cattle would end up kneeling to drink. The wind never let up for weeks and it was a long winter.

In 1955 Pauline Sims' parents needed her help because of their health. Cecil sold the cattle, hay and some equipment. He leased the place and moved his family to Michigan where he bought and farmed 120 acres, where they are still living. Cecil later sold his Manville place in 1961 to A. A. (Andy) Nelson who lives there now.

Cecil and Pauline had three children: Marilyn Jean born July 27, 1944; Zaidee Ellen born July 30,1947; and Arthur Ray born June 11, 1949. All of the children were born in Lusk and attended the Manville Grade School.

Edna Sims was married to Beryl Fuller­ ton June 19, 1927 at Douglas. They were the parents of three children. One son Dale on March 8, 1930, and two daughters Della Mae (Coon) Feb. 21, 1935, and Donna Kay Fuller­ ton Jan. 21, 1947. Beryl passed away in 1965.

Gladys Sims married Henry Amend May 31, 1930 at Douglas, Wyo. They were the parents of Mae Ann (Manning) Sept. 2, 1932, Marvin Dec. 22, 1941, and Mary (Engebretsen) June 20, 1945. Gladys passed away in May 1963

and Henry in December 1970.  Marvin was kill­ ed in an auto accident in 1970.

Delberta Sims married Roe Simpson June 22, 1938. They moved to Madera, Calif. in January, 1946 where they are still living. Roe worked as a carpenter and spent many years associated with the County Superinten­dent of Schools. Delberta worked for the high school as the pastry cook. They are both now retired. They are the parents of two children, a son Albert born May 13, 1941 and a daughter Joan March 19, 1945.

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Record Type Name
Obituary Sims, Della (05/25/1875 - 01/27/1961) View Record