Obituary Details

Charles "Charlie" Fielding Hitschew

(12/13/1881 - 10/11/1968)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 10/17/1968

Charles Hitschew, Longest Area Resident, Dies in Douglas Thursday

Charles F. (Charlie) Hitschew, 86, of Lusk, the man who may have lived in this area of Wyoming longer than any other individual, died Friday morning in Douglas. Mr. Hitschew had been a resident of Wyoming continuously since his birth in Cheyenne, on December 13, 1881. Funeral services were held from the Peet Chapel in Lusk Sunday afternoon.

He had been confined to the Michael Manor Nursing Home in Douglas for the past two months.

When he was a young boy, probably in 1884 or 1885, the Hitschew family moved from Cheyenne to near the head of Lance Creek. Later, in order that the Hitschew children might have an education, his mother, Mrs. George Hitschew, moved to Manville, and his father operated a ranch some six miles north of Keeline.

Mr. Hitschew claimed that he witnessed the last killing of the Johnson County War between the cattlemen and the sheepmen. He told The Herald, at the time of Wyoming's 75th Diamond Jubilee in 1965, that in the fall of 1892 in what is now Niobrara County, but then was Converse County, he was cleaning up meadow land on the Horseshoe Ranch some eight miles north of Keeline. He heard a shot, looked up and saw a horse circling on a nearby hill. He and a fellow worker caught the riderless horse and found a man shot dead. Meanwhile the killer, Mike Shonsey, together with a witness went to Lum Barber, Deputy Sheriff in Lusk, and reported that the dead man, Dudley Champion, had pulled his gun first and that Shonsey had fired in self-defense.

Mr. Hitschew also said that he recalled the Battle of Lightning Creek. In fact he says that he was only about ten feet from Louie Falkenberg, the Deputy Sheriff from Newcastle, when Falkenberg was shot in the leg. The Battle of Lightning Creek which took place near the west central edge of Niobrara County on October 31, 1903, was the last battle in this region between the Indians and the white men.

Mr. Hitschew laid out the plot of Lost Springs. He recalled the great hopes for Lost Springs. Today it is Wyoming's smallest incorporated municipality with a population of five.

He and Lillian Howard were married October 1, 1903, and were the parents of four children.

Funeral Services

The Rev. Fred Bolinger of the First Baptist Church of Lusk officiated at the services. Casket bearers were Bill Nuttall, Clarence Mason, Dan Dielman, Wilbur Wright, Kenneth Wright and Earle Townsend.

Mrs. J. P. Watson was organist and accompanied Mrs. A. F. DeCastro and Mrs. Dean Glandt as they sang "Beyond the Sunset" and "The Old rugged Cross."

Survivors include two daughters, Mrs. Edith Kahler and Mrs. Alice Randolph, both of Douglas; two sons, Charles F. Jr. of Sunnyvale, Calif., and Leonard of Lander; one sister, Mrs. Hazel Milhoan of Bossier, La.; 11 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren.

Charles is buried in the Lusk Cemetery, under the name Charles F. Hitshew, which is also the name on the gravestone.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Howard, Elizabeth (03/10/1890 - 05/06/1975) View Record
Obituary Howard, Robert (11/30/1858 - 04/17/1935) View Record
Historical Charles Hitshew has Lived in This Area Longer Than Anyone View Record