Obituary Details

Clarence Waldo Erwin

(11/26/1880 - 07/31/1971)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 08/05/1971

Prominent Citizen C. W. Erwin Dies at 90 in Cheyenne July 31

Clarence Waldo Erwin, 90, Lusk banker since 1924, died July 31 in a Cheyenne nursing home where he had spent the past year. Funeral service was held at the Peet Mortuary Tuesday morning at 11:00. The Rev. Dean Addington of St. George's Episcopal Church officiated. He was entombed in the Erwin Mausoleum at the Lusk Cemetery.

Mrs. J. P. Watson was chapel organist. Casket bearers were A. F. DeCastro, Harry Fernau Jr., Dale Fullerton, Gene Lenz, C. E. Marvin and Robert Templeton.

Honorary bearers were Roy Chamberlain, Andrew Christian, Fred Hansen, C. E. Hollon, Otto Klemke, Harry Lyon, William Miller, Richard G. Pfister, Alfred Taylor, Otto Vondra, J. P. Watson and Glen Wilson.

He was the oldest continuous banker in the State of Wyoming serving 59 years. At the time of his death he was President Emeritus of the Board of the Lusk State Bank which he organized in 1924.

Survivors include two daughters, Ruth, Mrs. Harold Newton of Sheridan, and Virginia, Mrs. Wood Fanning of Laramie; three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Memorials to St. George's Episcopal Church would be appreciated.

Following is the life story of Mr. Erwin written by Mrs. Newton:

Clarence Waldo Erwin was born in a sod house 9 miles west of Fairbury, Nebraska on November 26, 1880. He is of Irish, English, Scotch and German descent. He is the only surviving member of this family.

He lived in Lincoln and in Omaha, Neb., before moving to Wyoming. He attended school in Lincoln but quit his formal education when he became an apprentice in the banking business at an early age.

His first job was with the City National Bank in Lincoln where his first pay check was $10.00 for six weeks. He was increased to $10.00 a month. His salary was $25.00 when be became the bookkeeper.

Then he moved to Omaha where he worked at the City Savings Bank with a beginning salary of $75.00 a month.

At the age of 24 he was appointed a State Bank Examiner for Nebraska, holding this position for four years. At that time he was the youngest examiner ever appointed in the state of Nebraska.

It was in this period of his live that he married Mathilda Skyberg of Luverne, Minn., on July 12, 1905. Six years later the family moved to Worland, Wyo. Their daughters were Ruth, age 6, and Virginia, age 1. Mr. Erwin bought stock in the First National Bank in 1912 and became its president.

His activities included serving as mayor for two terms; first president of the "Alfalfa Club" and member of the school board for many years. He is a member of several Masonic bodies, including the Kalif Shrine in Sheridan of which he was life member.

Early day Worland residents recall the activities of the first owners of the new gasoline automobiles in Washakie County. W. W. and Charlie Worland staged impromptu races for the enjoyment of all concerned.

In May of 1924 Erwin sold his interests in Worland and moved to Lusk. There he organized the Lusk State Bank with the opening on May 26, 1924. He and his daughter Ruth who had just graduated from Worland High School were the original office staff. The officers were president, Lawrence Johnson; vice president, R. J. Hoffman; cashier, C. W. Erwin. The directors were H. J. Templeton, Glen I. Willson, John F. Harkin and P. P. Brown.

The May 22, 1924 issue of The Lusk Herald carried a fine story on the new bank. "The Lusk State Bank, in opening here, has shown its confidence in the people - let us reciprocate with hearty cooperation in supporting it! With a platform as pledged by those inaugurating and financing this new institution and such men governing its management, we predict a prosperous future for the Lusk State Bank - an institution that will serve the people, restore lost confidence and be a real asset to the community!"

Mr. Erwin's community service included presidency of the Lusk Lions Club as well as presidency of the Board of Education of former District 1 for several years. (It was during this period that Mr. Erwin promoted the purchase of the property by the school district where the new high school was later to be located in west Lusk-Ed.)

In 1931 five men met to organize the Lusk Country Club. They purchased 80 acres west of town and this group, with other interested men, built the beautiful course which boasts being one of the sportiest in the state. Mr. Erwin and C. E. "Blondie" Marvin were the only two living members of this original planning committee.

Early in the Second World War he was appointed county chairman of war bond drives and he continued to be chairman of sales of U.S. Government Bonds in Niobrara County. He has been honored many times for his service in this capacity, including a handwritten letter from General Dwight Eisenhower, a prize possession.

He was a member of St. George's Episcopal Church and served on the Vestry Board. In 1945 he was appointed by Bishop Hunter to be treasurer of the Trustees of church property for the State of Wyoming.

In 1937 at the State Banker's Convention in Sheridan, he was elected president of the Wyoming Bankers' Association.

Mrs. Erwin died in 1958. A memorial was given by the family for the completion of the Parish Hall which joins St. George's Church in memory of Mathilda Skyberg Erwin.

The family home was for many years located at 502 S. Linn, but was sold recently to the Alfred Taylor family. The beautiful planting on that property are a tribute to Mr. Erwin's love of gardening.

Images & Attachments

C.W. Erwin

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Erwin, Mathilde (06/27/1882 - 05/30/1958) View Record
Obituary Newton, Ruth (06/08/1906 - 09/06/1987) View Record
Obituary Erwin, Chester (11/30/-0001 - 02/19/1949) View Record
Obituary Erwin, James (11/30/-0001 - 07/03/1951) View Record
Obituary Erwin, Ida (11/30/-0001 - 07/03/1951) View Record
Historical Erwin, Clarence W. View Record