Lusk Founding

Last updated: July 7, 2016

The Lusk Herald
December 8, 1927

The Founding of Lusk by Meda Bump

The first white man to traverse the territory which Lusk now occupies was George D. Newton. In 1776 he walked from Deadwood, South Dakota, to Cheyenne.

The town of Lusk was originally called Running Water, deriving its name from the small stream that runs through the town.

Fred Morris owned the land first, moving on it in 1886. Cornelia Stillman, of Parkman, Ohio, and Frank Lusk were married in 1854, in Cleveland. Mr. Lusk died in 1863. The family then moved to what has become the town of Lusk. Their old home is the first building south of the Armory. Mrs. Lusk was selected county superintendent shortly after the formation of Converse county. She was founder of the Congregational Church here, although a member of the Christian Church. She was an important factor in politics here.

In 1886, the Cheyenne & Black Hills stage coach line, which had been running since 1870, was running six and eight horse coaches during the gold rush. Abalay & Sanderson had the first stage coach, which they sold to Luke Voorhees. He sold it to Russell Thorp, Sr., who passed it on to his son, Russell Thorp, Jr., who gave it to the Lusk Lions Club as a relic in 1927.

The telegraph line, which went from Fort Laramie to Cheyenne through the following places: Rawhide, Hat Creek, Fort Robinson and Fort Meade, was the only means of communication then. The first telephone was in 1890. The railroad was put in in 1886 and the first automobile was in 1906.

What is now used as a potato cellar was then used as a refuge for the women and children during attacks by the Indians.

The first store was established by Ellis Johnson in 1883, and was in the building that James Mayes now occupies. Mr. Kinsella's store was the first hotel used here. The school house first stood where the Courthouse now stands. It was then purchased by Hawthorn for a residence when, in 1926 the school district purchased it from Mr. Hawthorne, and is now using it for a grade building.

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Debbie Sturman, Director
425 South Main Street, P O Box 510
Lusk, WY 82225-0510
Phone: 307-334-3490
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