Obituary Details

Chris Lauridsen Christian

(04/17/1850 - 08/25/1934)
Courtesy of Wyoming Newspaper Project, 08/30/1934

These articles, published in the Lusk Free Lance, are courtesy of the Wyoming Newspaper Project.

Obituary
Chris L. Christian

Chris L. Christian was born at Verde, Denmark, on April 17, 1850. He passed away at his home in Lusk on August 25, 1934, being aged 84 years, 4 months and 8 days.

The story of Mr. Christian's life is the story of the West, for he was a pioneer of the truest type. Coming to America alone in 1870, when only 20 years of age, he located first at Peoria, Illinois. After a short time there, he secured a team and wagon and pushed on into Iowa, which was then the western frontier of America. There he purchased his first land in Carol county, and was married to Miss Sarah Emma Pace on July 11, 1878. Together, by hard work and noble sacrifice, they carved a fine farm home from the virgin prairie.

But the spirit of the pioneer still called and finally led the Christians westward again. After disposing of his property in Iowa, Mr. Christian came to Wyoming in March of 1890, once again in the van of the frontier movement. He located in eastern Niobrara county, which was then Converse county, and began the building of a ranch home. He held this home until the time of his death, and made his residence there until recent years when he resided at the family residence in Lusk. From 1913 to 1931, Mr. and Mrs. Christian also maintained a winter home in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Christian was one of the early stockmen of this vicinity. He was always vitally interested in cattle, and until the time of his death was actively associated with his sons in the ranch and the cattle industry.

He has been a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for over 50 years, and was a member of Custer Lodge No. 21, of Lusk, at the time of his death.

Mr. Christian was educated in the schools of his native country, Denmark. He received only the minimum requirements of a formal education, because at a very early age he was forced to help in the support of a widowed mother and younger children. But in spite of the handicaps of early poverty and frontier life, Mr. Christian was a well-educated man. Always an extensive reader, vitally interested in the affairs of state and nation, he continued his education down to the day of his death. With no formal schooling, he obtained a good command of the English language, and used it to keep in touch with the happenings of the outside world.

Mr. Christian was by nature a deeply religious man. Reared in the faith of the Lutheran church, he always affiliated with whatever church was active in his community. In Lusk he took an active part, both in influence and in contribution, in the building of the Congregational church.

He was, in the truest sense, a self-made man. Starting life in poverty, with only his strength, his determination and his faith in the goodness of God, he has always been a power for good wherever he has been. Everything he has attained has been by hard effort and indomitable will. His life was long; his accomplishments are many. Richly does he deserve the rest which is his in the Great Beyond.

Mr. Christian's wife preceded him in death on February 26, 1923. Of their thirteen children, two - a son, Rollin, and a daughter, Mrs. Eliza Nicodemus, have also preceded him. Those remaining to mourn his departure are: Mrs. Florence Wormwood, Glendo, Wyoming; Mrs. Nelsena Park, Wilmington, Delaware; Mrs. Elmeta Ekwall, Chadron, Nebr.; Mrs. Mabel Wilson, Chicago, Ill.; Mrs. Jennie Moyer, Henderson, Texas; Mrs. Georgia Johns, Valentine, Nebr.; Miss Amy Christian, Lusk, Wyoming; Mrs. Freda Eshleman, Peru, South America; James H. Christian, Harrison, Nebr.; Ray and Andrew Christian, Kirtley, Wyo., all of whom were present at the funeral services except Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Eshleman.

Besides these children, there are surviving three nephews, Leonard and James Christian, of Hat Creek, and Chris Pederson, of Lake City, South Dakota; one niece, Mrs. Nellie Burke, of Alhambra, Calif.; one sister, Mrs. Mette Pederson, of Odense, Denmark; twenty grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Besides these, Mr. Christian leaves a host of friends who will miss his cheery smile, and his optimistic spirit. His remains were laid to rest beside those of his wife in the Pleasant Ridge cemetery, and though he will be greatly missed among those who are privileged to have known him, he richly deserves the reward which is his.

Many Come from Distances to Pay Final Respects to Pioneer Resident, Chris L. Christian

Many were the friends of the late Chris L. Christian, who passed away here last Saturday. A large number of them came to this city to attend funeral services on Tuesday. Among them were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Goyer of Cheyenne, Miss Edna Donnelly, of Richmond, Okla.; Mrs. Emma Innis and daughter of Wheatland, Mrs. Merna Luedke of Douglas, and Mrs. and Mrs. Robert Christian of Lincoln, Neb.

C.L. Christian, Pioneer Rancher and Stockman of County, Passes Saturday; Funeral Services Tues.

The scythe of the Grim Reaper swung low upon this community last Saturday morning for the second time within as many days, and claimed Chris L. Christian, another of Niobrara county's oldest and most respected citizens. Mr. Christian passed away quietly at 8 o'clock, August 25th, after an illness of but a few days, having reached the age of 84 years, 4 months and 8 days.

The deceased had been in failing health for the past several months, but was confined to his bed but little of that time. He maintained an active interest in his business affairs until the last, although he was unable to accomplish a great deal, because of his feebleness. His mind, however, was alert at all times, and made up for the physical weakness brought on by his advanced years.

Mr. Christian was a native of Denmark, born at Verde on April 17, 1850. He came to the United States in 1870 when but 20 years of age, making the trip alone. He located at Peoria, Ill., and later moved to Carroll county, Ia., where he engaged in the farming and stock-raising industries.

On July 11, 1878, Mr. Christian was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Emma Pace in Carroll county, Ia., and they made their home in that locality until they came to this state. To this union were born thirteen children, eleven of whom survive.

In 1890 the family came to Wyoming and located in what is at present known as the Pleasant Ridge section of Niobrara county. Starting out with meager means, Mr. Christian built up one of the finest ranches in the county, and even today it is recognized as one of the most valuable ranches in this part of the state. All this came through diligent effort and perseverance, but being of the industrious type, Mr. Christian derived a pleasure from his endeavors, and grew in prominence as a rancher and stockman of the west while he carried on.

He never had retired, although the real active work of the ranch was turned over to his sons several years ago. Mr. Christian devoted his late years to the business end of his interests, and kept well informed on all activities concerning the industries in which he took part. For the past several years he made his home here with his daughter, Miss Amy Christian.

Mr. Christian was a member of Custer Lodge No. 21, I.O.O.F. of this city and for more than fifty years held membership in the Odd Fellow order. He was also affiliated with the Congregational church of this city, and contributed much to its growth since its establishment here.

Mr. Christian also rendered public service of highest quality. He was a member of the city council here several administrations back, and took part in many other community enterprises.

The children surviving him are: Mrs. Florence Wormwood, of Glendo, Wyo.; Mrs. Nelsena Park, Wilmington, Del.; Mrs. Elmeta Ekwall, Chadron, Nebr.; Mrs. Mabel Wilson, Chicago, Ill.; Mrs. Jennie Moyer, Henderson, Tex.; Mrs. Georgia Johns, Valentine, Nebr.; Miss Amy Christian, Lusk; Mrs. Freda Eshleman, Peru, South America; James H. Christian, Harrison, Nebr.; Ray and Andrew Christian, Kirtley, Wyo. His wife, one son and a daughter preceded him in death.

Funeral services, under the direction of George Earl Peet of the Peet mortuary of this city, were held from the Congregational church at 2:00 o'clock Tuesday afternoon, August 28th, Rev. Stuart Anderson, pastor, officiating. A multitude of friends gathered there to pay their last respects to this pioneer, who was so greatly admired by all his neighbors and acquaintances.

Following the services at the church the remains were conveyed to the Pleasant Ridge cemetery, where final rites - the ritualistic ceremony of the Odd Fellow order, were conducted by members of Custer lodge. Interment was made in the family plot, alongside of the remains of his wife.

Pall bearers were Jurdgen Lorenzen, Otis Bump, Arthur Grimes, Frank O. Knittle, R. D. Thompson and Arthur Thompson.

Complete obituary will be found in another column of this issue.

Images & Attachments

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Chris L Christian and Emma Pace Christian (Center) Children Left to Right James Hans May 30, 1884, Andrew Lewis July 28, 1882, Florence May May 22, 1879, Amy Edith Oct. 19, 1880, Nellsena Tabatha (in front of father) Jan 12, 1886, Rollin William (on mother's lap) Feb 17, 1888.
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Gravestone photos courtesy of photographer Chuck James
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