Obituary Details

William "Curley" C. Criswell

(01/04/1842 - 12/08/1929)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 12/12/1929

W. C. Criswell, Old Resident, Answers Call

Resident of Lusk Since 1885 Passes Away at Hospital in 87th Year

Death again invaded the fast thinning ranks of the pioneers who came to this part of Wyoming in the eighties, when William C. Criswell passed to his reward last Sunday morning, after an illness lasting over a long period.

Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon from the Baptist Church, with Rev. Farrar officiating, and interment was made in the Lusk Cemetery, with the Derk J. Wieten Post of the American Legion honoring him with a military funeral.

"Curley" as Mr. Criswell was familiarly known by hundreds of friends, came to what is now Niobrara county in the spring of 1885, a year before the present town of Lusk was founded. He came from somewhere in Nebraska, and started a saloon in the tent town of Silver Cliff, which was located on the north side of the mining hill. With the coming of the railroad and the establishment of the town of Lusk on its present site, Mr. Criswell came to the new town and in partnership with a man named Danks, erected the building just south of the Henry Hotel, now owned by P. P. Brown, and started a saloon under the name of Criswell & Danks. This building was later turned into a dance hall and ran for many years. This is the building which has been used for the past two seasons for loading out turkey shipments for the eastern markets.

After retiring from the saloon business, Mr. Ciswell went into the cattle business and had quite a nice ranch, which he sold several years ago and retired. He was comfortably fixed until the failure of banks after the boom wiped away his modest fortune which he had laid away for old age. His wife, a most estimable woman, passed away about six years ago.

Mrs. Criswell was born in Pennsylvania on January 4, 1842, and was 87 years, 11 months and 3 days old at the time of his death.

During the Civil War he made several attempts to enlist, but was rejected. He finally was allowed to enlist on March 31, 1865, at Camp Chase, Ohio, as a private, after serving only a short time.

The local post of the American Legion endeavored to assist Mr. Criswell in securing some recognition in the way of a pension and took the matter up with various officials at Washington, but his service in the Union Army was not of sufficient length to make it possible, as the law required that service must have been 90 days or more.

"Curley" Criswell has been a familiar figure in and around Lusk for almost forty-five years. His health has been failing for the past several years, and in the past few months he has been confined to his bed. Only a few weeks ago he realized that his span of life was nearing the end, and asked Constable Frank DeCastro, his friend for over forty years, to kill his dog, as he feared his pet would not be properly cared for after he had departed.

Rev. Farrar conducted the services at the Baptist Church, the arrangements being in charge of the Peet Mortuary. The local Legion post had charge of the military services at the grave, Commander Frank A. Barrett officiating, with a firing squad and taps.

Pallbearers were Ralph Olinger, Jurd Lorenzen, Sherd Hitshew, Geo. Saffel, John Reisberg and Fred Root.

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Obituary Criswell, Amelia (05/15/1848 - 06/04/1923) View Record
Cemetery Record CRISWELL, WILLIAM C. "CURLEY" View Record
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