Obituary Details

Jacob "Jake" J. ZumBrunnen III

(04/06/1858 - 12/15/1940)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 12/24/1970

30 Years Ago - December 19, 1940

J. J. ZumBrunnen

J. J. ZumBrunnen, Pioneer of Wyoming since 1888, died December 15 at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. W. Christian.

The Lusk Herald
December 19, 1940

Funeral services were held on Thursday morning, December 19, at 11 o'clock at the Peet Mortuary with Rev. M.H. Marshall of the Congregational Church in charge, assisted by Rev. D.J. Clark of Crawford, a former pastor of the deceased for many years. Selections rendered by a mixed quartet composed of J.M. Hungate, O.P Harnagel, Mrs. H.J. Templeton and Mrs. Edna Decastro with Mrs. J.P. Watson accompanying at the piano were: "Star of the East," and "The Unclouded Day."

Interment was made in the Kirtley cemetery. He was carried to his last resting place by his six grandsons, Victor ZumBrunnen, Leslie ZumBrunnen, Warren Bigelow, and George, John and Bruce Christian.

"He has fought a good fight, he has finished his course, he has kept the faith."

The Lusk Herald
December 19, 1940
The Kirtley Section

The death of Mr. J.J. ZumBrunnen last Sunday marks the passing of one of Kirtley's oldest pioneers. Altho Mr. ZumBrunnen had been making his home in Lusk with his daughter, Mrs. James W. Christian, he maintained his legal residence here. Last November he came to the Kirtley Hall to cast his vote for president. Mr. ZumBrunnen was a well read man, always interested in public affairs.

He came to this community in 1889 and homesteaded. For many years his home contained the Kirtley post office. We extend our sincere sympathy to his sorrowing relatives.

The Lusk Herald
December 26, 1940
Jacob J. Zum Brunnen

Jacob J. ZumBrunnen was born April 6, 1858 at Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, the son of Jacob and Susanna ZumBrunnen, natives of the Canton of Bern, Switzerland, who emigrated to America in 1852. He passed away December 15, 1940, at Lusk, Wyoming after a brief illness of only a week, having reaching the age of 82 years, eight months and nine days.

Mr. ZumBrunnen received his elementary education in the schools of his native state, then studied three years at the Northwestern Evangelical Theological Seminary, and later two years at a Teachers' College at Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He followed the profession of teaching for several years, and in 1883 he moved to Montgomery county, Iowa and took up the vocation of his choice, farming and dairying, which he followed the remainder of his active years.

He came to Wyoming in 1888, then a territory, and to the original Laramie county, and filed on a homestead some 25 miles northeast of Lusk, the first land to be taken up in that locality for miles around, and moved his family to this new land the following year, where he established the home and built up the ranch which he still owned at the time of his death. He had reaped many fine crops of grain from its soil, succeeding where other had failed, because of his scientific methods, for he made his farming a profession. He was indeed a pioneer, and has seen and helped this untrod wilderness of 1888 grow into a community of fine ranches and substantial homes that it is today.

Mr. ZumBrunnen was married at Monroe, Wisconsin, December 27, 1882, to Ida J. Williams, who died at Kirtley, Wyoming, January 6, 1896, survived by her husband and six small children. His second marriage on December 17, 1896 was to Eva L. Whipple, who preceded him in death, passing on in April of 1934. To this union two children were born.

Surviving are seven of his children, Roy Leslie of Kirtley; Thos. Park of Salisbury, N.C.; Clara Nell Christian of Lusk; Dorcas Maud Bigelow of Harrison; Stanley Arthur of Newcastle; all six children of the first marriage, and Edna Adelaide Ammons of Denver, Colo; and Walter Henry, of Lewisburg, Kansas, the children of the second marriage, and one step-son, Ray Whipple, of Casper, Wyoming. The oldest son, Jacob Lee, a railroad engineer, was killed in an explosion at Sheridan, Wyoming in 1911. Besides the surviving children there are 28 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, one brother, Ed ZumBrunnen of Huron, S.D.; and two sisters, Miss Clara ZumBrunnen and Mrs. Lena Rote, both of Monroe, Wisc.

Mr. ZumBrunnen's life had been a long and useful one, filled with righteous living, good works, toil, faith and contentment. His most outstanding characteristics that will long be remembered by those who knew him, were his unfailing optimism and cheerfulness. He took life as it was measured out to him, made the best of it and never complained. He knew all the hardships of pioneer life in the West, but his determination, courage and industry achieved for him a true success. He was ever keenly interested and active in all community enterprises, and ready to give of his time and effort for the advancement of any worthy cause. He was a staunch Christian and a Bible student, and worked untiringly in the Church and Sunday School which he helped to organize at Kirtley and maintain throughout the long period of is residence there. Never a neighbor's need in sickness and sorrow that Mr. ZumBrunnen did not hear and heed the call to help, and often in the early days performed the services of nurse, undertaker and minister.

From July 1898 to July 1906, he carried the mail thrice weekly from Lusk to Kirtley, over roads that at the best were only wagon tracks, and often impassable in winter, requiring the trips to be made on horseback, but in the eight years he never missed a trip. He was appointed by Governor Kendrick as Commissioner of the State Farm Board, a position he held for four years. He served as clerk of the district school board at Kirtley for ten years. He served several terms as postmaster of Kirtley. He was affiliated with the Woodmen of the World, Pacific Jurisdiction.

After the death of his wife in 1934, he retired from active life on the farm and lived with his children. At the time of his last illness he was making his home with his daughter, Mrs. J. W. Christian in Lusk. He will be greatly missed by a host of friends, both new and old, for his friends are numbered by his acquaintances. It can be truly said of him that the world is better for his having lived.

Images & Attachments

Photo, found on Find a Grave website, courtesy of photographer Madeleine "Yvonne" Knori Brown
Photo, found on Find a Grave website, courtesy of photographer Madeleine "Yvonne" Knori Brown
Photo, found on Find a Grave website, courtesy of photographer Madeleine "Yvonne" Knori Brown
Photo courtesy of photographer Chuck James, located on Find a Grave website
Photo courtesy of photographer Chuck James, located on Find a Grave website

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