Obituary Details

Hans Gautschi

(05/14/1883 - 04/26/1966)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 04/28/1966

Hans Gautschi, 60 Year Resident Dies, Monday

Hans Gautschi, 82, for over 60 years a stalwart resident of this area of Wyoming, died of cancer in a Scottsbluff Hospital Monday night. He had been seriously ill for sometime. Funeral services will be held from the Peet Chapel this Thursday at 2:00 p.m.

The Rev. James Davis of the Congregational Church will officiate at the service. Masonic services are being held at the cemetery.


Out of recognition of Mr. Gautschi's years of service to the Lusk business community most Lusk businesses will be closed during the services Thursday afternoon. Business will reopen following the burial in the Lusk cemetery.

Mr. Gautschi was born to Jacob and Eliza Gautschi, immigrants from Switzerland, May 14, 1883 in Chicago, Ill. He was educated in the Chicago schools and pursued a special course in mechanical engineering by attending night classes at Lewis Institute. Later he completed professional training by correspondence.

In 1905 he came to Wyoming as engineer of the Copper Belt Mine Company which had extensive interests in the Rawhide Buttes and Muskrat Canyon area. He was later named Superintendent of the mines.


While he was working for Copper Belt, Edwin Hall Sr., President of Company, had a one-cylinder automobile shipped from Chicago for more efficient transportation between Lusk and the mines. Mr. Gautschi was also in charge of the vehicle and thus became the first person to operate a car in what is now Niobrara County.

In 1909 Mr. Gautschi returned to Chicago, and there he and Jennie May Gager were married on New Year's Eve, Dec. 31, 1909.

In 1914 Mr. Gautschi resigned his position with Copper Belt and opened the Economy Store at Manville. In 1918 he admitted R. F. Burhoop to partnership. The store prospered during the oil boom days but as the oil activity ceased and the banks closed the Economy store too was forced to close.

In 1930 Mr. Gautschi opened Gaitschi's Standard Service Station which he and his son, Harold still operate.


Mr. Gautschi quietly served as curator and even janitor of the Lusk Museum which was built on the rear of the Standard property by the Lusk Lions Club in the 1930's from the time it was built until just recently. The displays are largely his work. Only limited funds have been spent on the museum since it was built by W.P.A. labor, for he just took care of most everything. He was something of a self-made expert on Indian artifacts and western history. For many years he followed the hobby of rock hunting and polishing.

Besides his unassuming devotion to the museum, a one man historical society, he was perhaps the most faithful member of the Lusk Lions Club and for many years served as treasurer.

He was devoted to the Mason Lodge being the only man to have served as master of the Harmony Lodge of Lusk and Roosevelt Lodge of Manville. He was master of the Lusk Lodge in 1914 and of the Manville Lodge in 1921 and again in 1923. The Lodges were consolidated in 1934.

Mr. Gautschi had an intense loyalty for the community of Lusk, its businesses and endeavors. He was a constant one-man promoter of buying and trading at home and using products produced here.

Mrs. Gautschi died in September 1962 and a son, Charles in October 1932.

Survivors include a son, Harold L. of Lusk; a daughter, Mrs. Willard Merritt of Westport, Wash.; two grandchildren, Navy Lt. JG Charles Gautschi, now stationed in Livarno, Italy, and Mrs. Mike Goold of Laredo, Texas. Mrs. Merritt (Frances) arrived here April 16 to be with her father.

A memorial has been established in Mr. Gautschi's name for the new Masonic Temple.

The Lusk Herald
May 5, 1966
Funeral for Hans Gautschi Held Thursday

Funeral services for Hans Gautschi, a long-time, respected resident of Lusk were held last Thursday with the Rev. James Davis of the Congregational Church officiating. Masonic graveside services were held at the Lusk Cemetery with C. E. Marvin as master.

A quartet of James Wilson, Gerald Bardo, Dale M. Bardo and Lee Johnsonbaugh, sang "Saved by Grace" and "Nearer My God to Thee". Mrs. Gerald Bardo was organist.

Pallbearers were C. E. Marvin, Mike Cork, E. L. McKnight, William (Scotty) Jack, Lafe Culver, Menno Kaan.

Survivors include a son, Harold of Lusk; a daughter, Mrs. Millard Merritt of Westport., Wash; two grandchildren, Navy Lt. (JG) Charles Gautschi of Livarno, Italy, Mrs. Mike Goold (Lorraine) of Laredo, Texas.

Mrs. Gautschi and one son, Charles died previously.

Among the out-of-town friends here for the service were: Mr. and Mrs. Mike L. Cork, Denver; Mr. and Mrs. E. L. McKnight, Loveland, Colo.; Mr. and Mrs. William Jack, Fred A. Brown, Coye Jennewein, Eldon Holbrook, Casper; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Chambers, Boulder, Colo.; Hugh A. Doughtery, Rapid City, Mrs. Esther Thompson, Dubois; Thomas O. Miller, Cheyenne; Mr. and Mrs. Fred T. Price, O. M. Rasmussen, Burt R. Jones, Dave Cronk, Torrington.

Images & Attachments

Hans Gautschi
Hans Gautschi Gets 50-year Masonic Pin
Jennie May and Hans Gautschi, 1909
Jennie May and Hans Gautschi, 1960

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