Barbara (Poeppel) Petz

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

(June 23, 1852 - December 24, 1943)

The Lusk Herald
December, 1943


Following an illness of long standing, caused by the infirmities of age, Mrs. Barbara Petz, pioneer resident of Niobrara County for fifty-seven years, passed away at the Spencer Hospital on the eve of Christmas. She had arrived at the ripe old age of ninety one years and six months, and had been confined to the hospital for about six months.

Mrs. Petz, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Poeppel, was born in Bavaria, Germany, June 23, 1852. Her youth was saddened by the death of her mother when she was but 13 years old. Deciding to come to America, Mrs. Petz saved from the $30-a-year wages she received, sufficient money in three years to pay her passage. She was then twenty-two years old.

Almost immediately Mrs. Petz traveled to Chicago, and it was there that she met and married John Petz, who passed away 33 years ago, at Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he is buried.

The Petz family moved to Omaha in 1872 and lived there until 1886. Both of their children, Henry Petz and Mrs. Thesie Petz McGinnis, were born in that city.

Leaving Nebraska, the family traveled to Wyoming, taking up the homestead which is still a part of the Petz ranch. The original home, which was a two-room log cabin, with dirt floor and roof was located about two miles from the present home site.

The town of Lusk was just being born. The railroad had recently come into the community and there were very few buildings, business and residences being at the time housed in tents. Many were the hardships the little family withstood in establishing their home in the almost wild stretches of Wyoming. About 30 years ago the Dailey ranch was added to the original homestead.

Surviving relatives include her son Henry Petz, and grandchildren Greta and Barbara Petz, and Henry and Thomas McGinnis, children of Mrs. Tresie McGinnis, who died ten years ago, and whose funeral was conducted on December 24th; Sister Norberta, a niece of Milwaukee, Wis., and a brother, John Poeppel of Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin.

A requiem high mass was conducted at St. Leo's Catholic Church Monday morning. Assisting Father Miller, who had charge of the service, were Father Andrew of Douglas, and two other priests. Mrs. Henry Wasserburger rendered organ music. Interment was made in the Lusk cemetery.

Friends who carried Mrs. Petz to her final resting place were Wm. D. Miller, Fred Root, George Gibson, S.W. Boyd, Ed M. Arnold, Roy Johnson, Dan Hanson and W. J. Mill.

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