Historical Details

Erwin, Clarence W.

Courtesy of Our Heritage: Niobrarans and Neighbors, 03/01/2022

By Ruth Erwin Newton (Mrs. Harold F.)

Clarence Waldo Erwin was born in a sod house nine miles west of Fairbury, Nebr. on Nov. 26, 1880. He is of Irish, English, Scot and German descent. He is the only surviving member of this family.

He lived in Lincoln and Omaha, Nebr. before moving to Wyoming. He attended school in Lincoln but quit his formal education when he became an apprentice in the banking business at an early age.

His first job was with the City National Bank in Lincoln where his first pay check was $10 for six weeks. He increased to $10 a month. His salary was $25 when he became a bookkeeper.

Then he moved to Omaha where he worked at the City Savings Bank with a beginning salary of $75 a month.

At the age of 24 he was appointed a state bank examiner for Nebraska, holding this position for four years. At that time he was the youngest examiner ever appointed in the state.

It was in this period of his life that he married Mathilda Skyberg of Luverne, Minn. on July 12, 1905.

Six months later the family moved to Worland, Wyo. Their daughters were Ruth age six and Virginia age 1.

Mr. Erwin bought stock in the First National Bank in 1912 and became its pres­ident.

His activities included serving as mayor for two terms; first president of the "Alfalfa Club", and member of the school board for many years.

He is a member of several Masonic bodies, including the Kalif Shrine in Sheridan, of which he is life member.

Early day Worland residents recall the activities of the first owners of the new gasoline driven automobiles in Washakie County. C. W. and Charlie Worland staged impromptu races for the enjoyment of all concerned.

In May, 1924, Erwin sold his interests in Worland and moved to Lusk. There he organized the Lusk State Bank with the opening May 26, 1924. He and his daughter Ruth, who had just graduated from Worland High School, were the original office staff. The officers were President, Lawrence Johnson; Vice President, R. J. Hoffman; and Cashier, C. W. Erwin. The directors were H.J. Templeton, Glen I. Wilson, John F. Harkin and P. P. Brown.

The May 22, 1924 issue of the Lusk Herald carried a fine story on the new bank. Quoting this paper, "The Lusk State Bank, in opening here, has shown its confidence in the people -- let us reci­procate with hearty cooperation in sup­porting it! With a platform as pledged by those inaugurating and financing this new institution and such men governing its management, we predict a prosperous future for the Lusk State Bank -- an
in­stitution that will serve the people, restore lost confidence and be a real asset to the community!"

Mr. Erwin's community service included presidency of the Lusk Lions Club, as well as the Board of Education, for several years.

In 1931 five men met to organize the Lusk Country Club. They purchased 80 acres of land west of town and this group, and other interested men, built the beautiful course which boasts to being one of the sportiest in the state. C.W. Erwin and C.. E. "Blondie" Marvin are the only two living members of this original planning and working committee.

Early in the second World War, he was appointed county chairman of the war bond drives and he continues to be chairman of sales of U.S. Government Bonds in Nio­brara County. He has been honored many times for his service in this capacity, including a handwritten letter from Gen­eral Dwight Eisenhower, a prize possession!

He is a member of St. George's Episcopal Church and served on the Vestry Board. In 1945 he was appointed by Bishop Hunter to be treasurer of the Trustees of church property for the State of Wyoming.

In 1937 at the State Banker's Convention in Sheridan, he was elected pres­ident of the Wyoming Bankers Association.

Mrs. Erwin died in 1958. A memorial was given by the family for the completion of the Parish Hall which joins St.George's Episcopal Church in memory of Mathilda Skyberg Erwin.

The family home was for many years located at 502 S. Linn, but was sold recently to the Alfred Taylor family.

Mr. Erwin is now living in an apartment at the Ranger Hotel. His daughters continue to come to Lusk frequently to look after Greatgrandad who was 89 years old Nov. 26, 1969.

(Mr. Erwin died July 31, 1979)

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Business Bank: Lusk State Bank View Record
Obituary Erwin, Clarence (11/26/1880 - 07/31/1971) View Record
Obituary Erwin, Mathilde (06/27/1882 - 05/30/1958) View Record