Obituary Details

Estle Rollo Whitman

(10/16/1883 - 02/27/1964)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 03/05/1964

E.R. Whitman, 80, Dies Thursday in Community that Bears His Name

E. R. Whitman, 80, long time resident of Wyoming and the community which bears his name, died at his ranch home Thursday of a heart condition.

Funeral services were held from the Peet Chapel Sunday with the Rev. Frank Bozart of the Open Bible church officiating. Burial was in the Lusk Cemetery.

Mrs. J. P. Watson was the organist. Mrs. G. L. Pfeifer and Mrs. R. C. Bafford sang "God Will Take Care of You" and "Beyond the Sunset."

Pallbearers were: Dan Jordan, Vernon Chard, Donald Kraft, Dan Christian, Everett Thomas and Paul Percival.

Honorary pallbearers were: Maurice Keel, Sam Thomas, Earle Hales, Joe Klemke, Ray Christian and Arthur Thompson.

Estel Rollo Whitman was born October 16, 1883 at Warrensburg, Mo., the second son of A. V. and Esther Whitman. His early life was spent at Warrensburg where he attended school. November 1, 1906 he and Miss Tina Sprague were married at her family home in Warrensburg. Soon after they moved to Crawford where they resided for several years. Their son and three daughters were born there.

In 1910 Mr. Whitman filed on a homestead in the valley between Harrison and Lusk just east of the S-Bar Hill in what was then Converse County. In 1911 Mr. Whitman moved his wife and children from Crawford to their new home in Wyoming using a hay rack to move the household goods as well as the family.

At that time the community was served by a post office in Nebraska called Arid. When the postal department threatened to (close) the office, Mr. Whitman was asked by his neighbors to apply for the position. He received his commission in 1912, and the post office was operated from the Whitman home until it was discontinued in 1916. Then for some time ranchers got their mail at various places or, as Mr. Whitman said, "Some didn't get any mail at all". In 1923 a postoffice was established at the Whitman home and was called Whitman, Wyo. Mr. Whitman was commissioned postmaster January 10, 1924 with Mrs. Whitman as his assistant.


The Whitman post office was discontinued in 1953 when Mr. Whitman reached the age of 70. In Mr. Whitman's own words, "I had the office for 34 years before they turned me out to pasture, and I don't know any other post office that was started by, ended by, and was named after the same postmaster who automatically worked himself out of a job." In the early days the mail came out on regular days of the week, but the time might have been any time between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. Thus the Whitman home became the hub about which the neighborhood revolved. The neighbors were sure of a welcome and a bite to eat if the time grew late.

Mr. Whitman was an active promoter of the pageant. "The Legend of the Rawhide," playing the part of the old scout, George, for many years. When he decided it was time for a younger man to take over he could always be found among the spectators.

He is survived by his wife; three daughters, Mrs. Elizabeth Seaman of Lusk, Mrs. Esther Gibbs of Casper, Mrs. Hazel Seaman of the Whitman Community; and one son, Milton, also of Whitman; four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren; one sister, Mrs. Elsie Renfro of Warrensburg; three brothers, Armon of Yakima, Wash., Roy of Arlington, Wash., and Homer of Silverton, Ore.

The Lusk Herald

March 5, 1964

Indian Creek Section


The community was greatly saddened by the death of neighbor and friend, Estelle Whitman, at his ranch home last Thursday morning. Mr. Whitman and his son were working in a granery near the house mixing grain when he died. Neighbors were summoned but Mr. Whitman had apparently died immediately.

Images & Attachments

Mr. and Mrs. E. R. Whitman celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1957.
Mr. and Mrs. E.R. Whitman stroll by the Spencer Hospital nursery to get a look at their great granddaughters, Tracy Lee and Sheri Lynn Hladky.
This picture of the E.R. Whitman Family was taken at the homestead, the Whitman Post Office about 1914. The children, left to right, are: Elizabeth, now Mrs. Charlie Seaman of Lusk who operates "The Diner", Esther, now Mrs. Walther Gibbs of Casper; Hazel, now Mrs. Ollie Seaman of Harrison; and Milton, now with Pan American Seed Co., of Hotchkiss, Colo. (Lusk Herald, 1961)
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary McKelvey, Julia (02/26/1941 - 02/02/1993) View Record
Obituary McKelvey, Donald (03/08/1942 - 12/31/1996) View Record
Obituary Seaman, Mary (08/30/1907 - 02/08/1989) View Record
Obituary Seaman, Charles (10/24/1895 - 05/08/1970) View Record
Obituary Seaman, Lela (02/12/1911 - 07/01/1991) View Record
Obituary Whitman, Tina (03/30/1884 - 11/04/1969) View Record
Obituary Seaman, Jasper (04/21/1911 - 10/29/1978) View Record
Historical Whitman, Milton View Record
Historical Whitman, Estle Rollo View Record