Obituary Details

Herbert Edward Sabin

(08/31/1891 - 02/15/1982)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 02/25/1982

Memorial Service for Niobrara homesteader

Memorial service was held here Friday for Herbert Sabin, a Niobrara homesteader and longtime community leader. Mr. Sabin, 90, died in Fort Collins, Colo., Feb. 15 after fighting a lengthy battle against cancer.

Herbert Edward Sabin was born August 31, 1891, in Windsor, Wis., the third of six children of Samuel Wells and Ernestine Espenette Sabin.

In 1900 his father moved the family to Geddes, S.D. where they operated a farm and a livery stable. Herbert especially enjoyed the opportunity of driving customers to nearby towns and guiding the local doctor and lawyer on sage hen and pheasant hunts in the fall.

Following his graduation from Geddes High School in 1910, the family sold the livery stable and farm, loaded their possessions in an immigrant railroad car and headed for Wyoming. In the Node area Herbert, his father and sister Ruth homesteaded. In order to make a little money, Herbert worked for Tom Bell Cattle Company. He stacked hay and worked cattle from as far north as Hat Creek to the headquarters east of Node.

In 1915 and '16 he attended the University of Wyoming, but was forced to return to the ranch because of his father's failing health.

During World War I he served in France as a blacksmith and gunsmith. Following his discharge he again joined his parents on the family ranch raising seed potatoes, Poland China hogs and purebred shorthorned cattle.

In the 20's he served as a county commissioner for one term, but retired from politics to spend more time on the family ranch.

On June 6, 1928, in Ashland, Neb., he and Esther Waybright were married. They worked together on the ranch at Node for 40 years until failing health necessitated their retirement.

In 1931 Herbert was appointed to the State Board of Agriculture and served on that board through 1936. He served on the school board for the old school district No. 5 at Node for 15 years.

When a rural electric association was still a dream Mr. Sabin was elected to the original board of directors and played an integral role bringing electricity to the farms and ranches of Niobrara County.

In 1954 Herbert Sabin received the N.B. Skelly award as one of the nation's outstanding rancher-farmers. As much as this award meant to him, he expressed on many occasions his most sincere feeling that the recognition was not his alone but something which should be shared with his friends and neighbors, especially with two men who at one time worked for him and later established successful farms of their own: Gilbert Bernbeck and Jim Shane, and with Si West, extension agent, ardent supporter and enthusiastic friend.

One of the accomplishments in which Herbert took particular pride was his introduction of crested wheat grass to Wyoming. He was the first person in the state of Wyoming to plant and commercially raise it. He enjoyed driving down the roads seeing how the farms, ranches and highway departments had used wheatgrass to help stop wind erosion.

Mr. Sabin built a national reputation with his Corriedale sheep and participated for years with outstanding exhibits of both sheep and wool in many shows and sales.

He also found time to lead 4-H clubs for over 30 hears and derived great pleasure in the progress of the members of his clubs.

Herbert and Esther Sabin were active in the Farm Bureau for over 50 years and were members of the Congregational Church. When ill health forced their retirement from the ranch, they moved to Lusk. Here he spent much time caring for his garden and yard and shared the fruits of his labors with his many friends. When no longer able to maintain their own home they moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado.

Following the death of his wife, July 10, 1980, Mr. Sabin moved to the home of his daughter and her family. He was a delightful story teller and kept the grandchildren, neighbors and friends enthralled with his stories of his early life much as he had been regaled with stories by his grandfather during his youth. "He was an active participant in family activities and spent his last year attending Elderhaus, a loving day care center for the elderly. This was his 'club' and had many wonderful, caring friends that participated in the activities, fun and talk sessions. He never missed a day until his health failed after Thanksgiving," said his daughter.

"Even at the hospital he was the delight of the nurses, doctors and fellow patients." He died at the Poudre Valley Hospital.

The Rev. Frank Blish officiated at the memorial service held at the Congregational Church here. Music was provided by Jane Bardo, organist and Joy Kaltenheuser who sang "How Great Thou Art" and "Amazing Grace."

Interment was in the family plot in the Lusk Cemetery.

Memorials were established to Elderhaus, retired citizen care, 605 S. Shields, Ft. Collins, Colo. 80521.

Mr. Sabin is survived by his daughter Mary Shoop of Ft. Collins; a son Samuel of Ithaca, N.Y.; eight grandchildren; and brother Donald of Tempe, Ariz.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of Joshua Brackett's Eagle Scout Project

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Sabin, Esther (05/18/1897 - 07/10/1980) View Record
Obituary Sabin, Ernestine (10/31/1863 - 04/13/1949) View Record
Obituary Sabin, Samuel (12/02/1861 - 06/25/1936) View Record
Obituary Sabin, Samuel (07/23/1931 - 03/09/2019) View Record
Historical Node, Wyoming View Record