Helen Willson

Photo courtesy of Anne Willson Whitehead, author of Willson Brothers Running Water Ranch: The Homestead Cabin Story
Photo courtesy of Anne Willson Whitehead, author of Willson Brothers Running Water Ranch: The Homestead Cabin Story

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

(August 20, 1845 - June 29, 1927)

The Lusk Herald
June 30, 1927

Miss Helen Willson Dies at Wheatland Services Saturday

Word was received in Lusk Wednesday evening to the effect that Miss Helen Willson had passed away at the Wheatland hospital at 4:30 that afternoon.

Miss Willson a few weeks ago fell from a chair, breaking her hip. She was taken to the Wheatland hospital for treatment and there a few hours previous to her death suffered a stroke of apoplexy.

The deceased is a sister of Messrs. George and gene Willson of Manville.

It is understood that interment will be made in the Lusk cemetery, possibly Saturday, but as yet definite funeral arrangements have not been made.

The Lusk Herald
July 7, 1927
Funeral Services For Miss Helen Willson Here Friday

Funeral services for Miss Helen Willson, who passed away at the Wheatland Hospital last Wednesday, June 29, were held at the community Church in Lusk, on Friday, July 2, interment being made in the Lusk Cemetery. Rev. H. H. Koontz officiated at the services, and paid a touching tribute to the life and works of this most estimable woman, whose passing is mourned by a host of friends who admired her for her rare qualities of refinement and culture and her keen mental characteristics.

The active pallbearers were Robert Burhoop, Lee Stoddard, Tom Harris, harvey Keefer, Chris Joss and Lee Miller. The honorary pallbearers were D.E. Goddard, A. A. Spaugh, Tom Black, Harry Card, J. A. Manorgan and Ed M. Arnold.

Helen Willson was born at Como, Whiteside County, Illinois, August 20, 1845. When about 14 years of age she went to Salem, Mass., to live with her uncle, Rev. Edmund B. Willson, where she attended the public schools. She graduated from the Normal school in Cambridge and taught for several years in Massachusetts, later returning to Como, Ill. She also taught in the schools of Sterling, Ill., not long after the close of the Civil War. About the year 1878 she returned to Cambridge, Mass., and took up kindergarten work, in which she was very successful, and continued teaching for many years.

In the summer of 1883 she made her first visit to Wyoming, coming by the old stage line from Cheyenne to Rawhide Buttes, and from there on to Running Water Ranch as best she could.

She was greatly interested in the mountains and plains and wide expanses of this wonderful country, and returned here frequently to visit during the many years since that first time.

The beginning of her last visit was two years ago, the 14th of last January, coming from Sterling, Ill., where she had spent some time visiting with friends and relatives.

While visiting her sister-in-law, Mrs. Annie Willson, in Guernsey, about five weeks ago, she met with an accident, which fractured her hip-bone. She was at once taken to the Wheatland Hospital, where all that was possible was done to aid her recovery, but a stroke of apoplexy, brought on by the injury, terminated her life on June 29, 1927, and she was laid to rest in the Lusk Cemetery July 2, beside her brother, Edmund.

She is survived by her two brothers, George L. and Eugene B. Willson, to whom she was always a most devoted and loving sister.

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