Obituary Details

Helen Willson

(11/30/1894 - 09/24/1979)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 10/04/1979

Final Rites

A service for Helen McFarlane Willson of Lusk was held last Friday at Peet Mortuary, with the Rev. Frank Blish officiating.

Minerva Watson was the organist and Joy Kaltenheuser was the soloist. The songs were "Lord's Prayer" and "How Great Thou Art."

Burial was at Lusk Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Gerald Bardo, Blake Ford, Harry Brown, Merle Hahn, George Dixon and James Willson.

Mrs. Wilson, 84, died a week ago Monday at the Niobrara County Nursing Home.

Mrs. Willson was born to A. E. and Mary Jane McFarlane one-and-a-half miles west of Lusk at the site of the Deadwood Cheyenne stage station. Later, a tent town stood there when the Silver Cliff mine was in operation.

The Great Western Mining and Milling Co. was owned by Helen's father and Hugh M. McFarlane of Chicago.

When the mine was abandoned, the tent town site became the property of Helen's father and it was here that the family lived for many years.

When the old stage station house was torn down, part of the lumber and several doors were used in the construction of an Elm Street house where Helen and her husband lived for many years.

While living there, she tended a beautiful garden.

The schoolhouse where she first attended school stood on the site of the present Courthouse. She was graduated with the Class of 1914.

She was an author of pioneer history including "Reminisces of the Founding and Growth of Lusk," and article on "The Spanish Diggings," and a paper on "Historical Sites of Wyoming."

She also was a teacher, newspaper reporter and clerk, and she was a charter member and past president of the PEO Sisterhood of Lusk.

She was married to Joseph C. Manning in 1917, and he died in 1923. They had one son, Joseph Astin.

On Aug. 16, 1927, she married Glen I. Willson, and they had one son, Robert Rae.

Mrs. Willson is survived by her son, Robert; a half-sister, Kathleen Hunter of Torrington, and a half-brother, Dr. Claude McFarlane of LeGrande, Ore.; five grandchildren, Joseph and Diane Manning and Brandon, Reede and Gregg Willson; and numerous nieces and nephews, including Frances Louthan, Mary Jane Weber, Dorothy Dobson, Gary and Bob Willson, both of Lusk.

She was preceded in death by her husbands and three brothers, Jack, Archie and Ralph McFarlane.

The family prefers memorials to the Niobrara County Nursing Home or the Niobrara County Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

The Lusk Herald
September 27, 1979
Helen Willson

Lifelong Niobrara County resident, Helen Willson died Monday at the Niobrara County Nursing Home. She was 84.

Mrs. Willson was born on a small farm about a mile and a half south of Lusk.

A service will be held Friday at 3 p.m. at Peet Mortuary.

Images & Attachments

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

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