Obituary Details

Claude Alvin VanBlarcum

(08/31/1877 - 01/27/1963)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 02/07/1963

Rites Held For C. A. VanBlarcum

Last rites for Claude A. VanBlarcum who died January 27 were held from the Peet Chapel Thursday at 2:00 p.m. and burial was in the Harrison Cemetery. The Rev. Frank Bozart, minister of the Lusk Open Bible Church, officiated.

Pall bearers were neighbors: Dan Christian, Ernest Hales, George Walker, Dan Jordan, Mike Chard and Bunny Chard. Honorary pallbearers were Sam Thomas, Len Christian, Glen Darnall, Maurice Keel, Ray and Andrew Christian, and Art Thompson. Mrs. Lyle Eddy and Mrs. Emerson Bonner sang "Shall We Meet Beyond the River," "Beyond the Sunset," and "The Old Rugged Cross." Mrs. J. P. Watson was organist.

Claude Alvin VanBlarcum was born August 31, 1877 at Warrensburg, Mo., the son of David and Kindred Van Blarcum. His early childhood was spent in Missouri; he then went to a cattle ranch in Montana, returning to Missouri where he married Miss Louise Mae Sprague on February 19, 1903 at Warrensburg. To this union were born four children, two boys and two girls. One of the boys died in infancy; the other son lived to be 14 years old.

He moved to Crawford, Neb. in 1906, worked about Whitney, for a short time and then on a small farm near Crawford. He came to Niobrara County in April of 1911, homesteading in an area known as Whitman. The family and household goods and machinery made this journey from Crawford in wagons.

Mr. VanBlarcum resided here until his death, endearing himself to everyone as a friend, good neighbor, and never failing to be a responsible citizen for all people with whom he came in contact.

A neighbor said of VanBlarcum when he moved in to homestead with his family, and build up his holding: "We did not think he could make it, but he did. Thrift, industry and sticking to it got the job done for him."

Mr. VanBlarcum used to tell a story which illustrates the temper of his steel. He used to trip into the tall country with his friend, the late Ozro Penfield, whenever moose season was in and he could get a permit.

This morning he began the hunt on horseback. The terrain became too steep for the horse to make it. Then he dismounted, left his horse and began walking. In his mid-seventies he found walking and climbing quite breath taking. Unable to walk further, he dropped to his knees and began to crawl. After a short time crawling became laborious. He could crawl no more. His gun felt that he was lugging a ton of lead. He looked up and saw a big moose approaching, said Van Blarcum: "It took every drop of energy and will power to raise my gun, sight and fire."

But he did, hitting the oncoming moose between the eyes, dropping the animal in its tracks. But the moose so suddenly killed stumbled and rolled atop the exhausted VanBlarcum. Penfield had heard the shooting and came to his rescue, rolling the moose off the very tired hunter.

When asked if his experience shooting that moose wasn't shaving life a bit short, his reply was that he just had to get that moose and then added that his wife upon hearing of his close brush with death wouldn't let him go moose hunting anymore.

Surviving are his wife, two daughters, Mrs. Ralph Berg of Lusk, Mrs. Fay Swope of Whitman, two brothers Clyde and Delmar and one sister Mrs. R. A. Corson all of Warrensburg, Mo., ten grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Note: This obituary is entered as published. However, family sources have indicated that his real name is Clauda Alvin VanBlarcum. His Harrison tombstone is incorrect, but there is another smaller grave marker in Harrison with his correct name, which is not pictured here.

This gravestone photo was found on

Images & Attachments

Used with permission from photographer Jim Sheaffer.

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