Historical Details

Larson, Anton Family History

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

By Lucille Larson Shoults

Anton Edward Larson and his wife, Ethel Florence Larson, were two of the early day settlers of land in Niobrara County, Wyoming.

Anton (Tony) Larson was born on a small farm north of Crawford, Nebraska. He was born November 10, 1888 to Carl and Ida Larson. His parents came to America from Sweden at the age of eighteen. They were married here in America. They lived for a time on the farm north of Crawford and then Carl Larson homesteaded some land west of Harrison, Nebr. He worked for the railroad sometimes having to leave the family for long periods of time. When the children we e ready for school, they moved to Harrison. Ida Larson cooked for the hotel to help support the family of eight.

When Tony Larson graduated from the Harrison schools, he then attended the Methodist University of Grand Island, Nebr. for two years, returning to Harrison to teach school.

Ethel Florence Fogelman was born to Jerome and Carrie Fogelman on Dec. 23, 1892. She was born in a sod house on a farm between Hoxie and Jennings, Kansas.

When Ethel was a girl of eight, she, with her family, a sister, Edna and a brother, Lloyd, moved to Cripple-Creek, Colorado. There her father worked in the gold mine with his brother, Oscar Fogelman.

A few years later, Jerome Fogelman contacted typhoid fever and died. Ethel and her family returned with his body to Kansas. After his death, they lived in Phillipsburg, Kansas where Ethel grew to womanhood. When Ethel was ready for college, Carrie Fogelman moved the family to Ottowa, Kansas where Ethel attended the University of Ottowa.

Ethel came to Harrison, Nebr. to teach her first school in 1912. She met Tony Larson and in September 1915, they were united in marriage at the family home in Ottowa, Kansas.

The couple returned to Harrison and then moved to the homestead five miles no­rth of Van Tassell, Wyoming.

Tony had filed on his homestead in 1912 just before their marriage, Ethel filed on an adjoining homestead. They lived six months in one small house on his homestead and the other six months in a small shack on her homestead. This was one of the provisions in the homestead law. When they proved-up on the homesteads, they had to make a trip to Douglas, Wyoming by train. Douglas being the county seat at that time.

The young couple taught schools in Niobrara County for a number of years. Ethel drove a team and buggy - taking the school children with her and taking them home after the school day was over. Tony drove a wagon taking his school children to school also. Some days the snow was too deep and they made the trip by horseback. These were long days, starting with milk­ing the cows at day break and milking cows in the evenings and always the endless chores of building fires in the coal stoves before they could cook their supper.

When they had been married several years they adopted a baby girl and named her Olive Mae Larson. She died a year later in December, 1917. She is buried in the Van Tassell cemetery. A little wooden marker, made and carved by Tony Larson still marks her grave. Three other daughters were born to the Larsons.Gayle Irene Larson was born at the ranch. When she was a young woman she married Gilbert Bernbeck. They resided in Lusk, Wyoming where their two children, Con Edward Bernbeck and Mary Ethel Bern­beck were born. When the children were of high school age they purchased a ranch near Veteran, Wyoming (Goshen Hole). They lived on this ranch until a few years ago when the Bernbecks sold their ranch and built a house just out of Torrington, Wyoming where they live at the present time.

Lucille Doretta Larson was born to Tony and Ethel Larson at Harrison, Nebr.

She grew up on the ranch and attended school in Van Tassell graduating from the Lusk High School. She married Rex E. Shoults of Jay Em, Wyoming.

A third daughter, Doris Jeane Larson, was born to the Larsons at Harrison, Nebr. She was raised on the ranch, also attending Van Tassell school and graduating from the Lusk High School. She attended the U.W. for two years. She married William Alfred Taylor of Lusk, Wyoming in 1949. Doris Jeane was killed in an automobile accident in 1952. She is buried in the family plot in the cemetery at Lusk, Wyoming.

In 1949 Rex and Lucille Shoults enter ed into a partnership with Tony and Ethel Larson and in December 1952 the Shoults' with their small son, Ronald Rex Shoults, moved to the ranch where they have lived since that time.

Tony Larson still commuted to the ranch from his home in Lusk at the corner of 5th and Oak. He remained active in the ranch until his illness in January, 1963. He passed away in June 1963. He is buried in the Lusk Cemetery. His wife Ethel still lives in the family home in Lusk, Wyoming.

In 1970 the ranch which presently consists of 5,500 acres of deeded land was purchased by Rex and Lucille Shoults. They run the ranch in partnership with their son, Ron Shoults. Ronald graduated from the U.W. in 1973 with a degree in Bachelor of Science. He has decided to make a ca­reer of ranching.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Larson, Anton (11/10/1888 - 06/03/1963) View Record
Obituary Larson, Ethel (12/23/1892 - 10/22/1976) View Record