Jacob Wayne "Wayne" Hammer

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

(March 8, 1903 - April 17, 1970)

The Lusk Herald
April 23, 1970

Wayne Hammer Is Found Dead In Car Friday

Wayne Hammer, 67, of Lusk was found dead about 9:30 Friday morning in his car which was running in a closed garage. He was custodian of the Niobrara Courthouse and had apparently died of a heart attack.

He had left his apartment in the courthouse about 8:30 a.m. to start and warm the car in preparation for a trip he and Mrs. Hammer were going to take to Scottsbluff. Cause of death was given as a heart attack, local authorities stated. Evidently Mr. Hammer had started the car prior to opening the door to the garage in the jail building and then was stricken.

Mr. Hammer's constant companion, a small, brown and deaf dog, Pat, died of asphyxiation from the exhaust fumes.

Mrs. Hammer discovered her husband and notified Sheriff's office.


Funeral services were held Monday at 2:00 p.m. from the Peet Chapel in Lusk. The Rev. Fred Bolinger of the First Baptist Church officiated. Burial was in the Lusk Cemetery.

Mrs. J. P. Watson, organist, accompanied Mrs. G. L. Pfeifer and Mrs. Edna Fullerton as they sang "Rock of Ages" and "The Old Rugged Cross."

Casket bearers were Harold Rogers, Everett Brooks, Roy Johnson, Charles Vaughan, Harry Fernau Sr., and John Goddard.

Jacob Wayne Hammer, son of Mrs. and Mrs. Robert Isaac Hammer, was born March 8, 1903, at Modale, Iowa. In 1907 the family moved to Walthill, Neb., and in 1911 to Lyons, Neb. They homesteaded near Hat Creek, Wyo., in 1925. He was a cowboy and was employed by the JA6 ranch for more than 14 years before moving to Cheyenne where he worked for the Wyoming Hereford ranch for two years. He returned to Niobrara County and worked on the Henry Petz ranch for 13 years. Due to arthritis, he gave up ranch work and moved to Lusk where he was courthouse custodian for the past 15 years.

He married Hazel Leimser, December 21, 1936, at Hot Springs, S.D.

His parents died previously. Survivors include his widow, Hazel of the family home, three brother-in-laws, one nephew and three nieces.

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