Obituary Details

Mabel Pearl Austin

(11/24/1894 - 01/31/1976)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 04/01/1976

Services for Mabel P. Austin, 81, were held at 3 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church in Newcastle February 5.

Mrs. Austin died January 31, in a one car accident some 15 miles south of Newcastle on the Morrisey county road. Driver of the car was Mrs. Royce Keller of Newcastle. Mrs. Keller and two youngsters in the car were not injured. The car slid off the slippery road and fell into a dry creek bottom.

The Rev. Richard Plants officiated at the services with burial in the Greenwood Cemetery under the direction of the McColley Funeral Home.

Mrs. Austin was born Sept. 24, 1894, in Gothenburg, Neb., the daughter of T.O. and Anna Olson. She attended schools in the Gothenburg area and after graduating from the eighth grade, she taught school during the winter and attended Custer College in Broken Bow, Neb., during the summers.

On Sept. 15, 1915, she married Roscoe C. Austin in Gothenburg. She continued to teach in Nebraska until 1918 when they moved to a homestead south of Newcastle. She taught at the Gibbs and Black School for two years and was a substitute teacher at the Morrisey school.

She was active in the ranching with her husband.

Mr. and Mrs. Austin moved to Edgemont to retire in 1965. After the death of her husband in 1974 she moved to Newcastle where she lived with her son Raymond. She was a charter member of the Busy Bee's ladies club, a Weston County Homemaker's Club. She was one of the first 4-H leaders in the county and composed the lyrics for the national 4_H song, "I'm looking over a four leaf clover."

She is survived by two sons, Ray of Newcastle and Fred of Whittier, Calif., three daughters, Phyllis Hansen and Frances Gaskill, both of Newcastle. and Myra Smallwood of Cheyenne; one brother, Walter Olson of Gothenburg, Neb., 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, one brother and two sisters.

A memorial has been established to the Cancer Fund and persons wishing to contribute may do so at the McColley Funeral Home.

By Myra Smallwood

A Pioneer Mother-really-She was made of the stuff that nourished this growing nation, and gave us the vision to reach the stars. She once said that from teams and wagons to rockets putting men on the moon was too much to assimilate in one lifetime.

She made a "Home" in a homestead shack; opened the door to all who came, and saw to it that there was something for them to eat.

Our Mother ground the wheat for our morning meal, and baked the daily bread. She planted the potatoes and dug them, and fed us rhubarb when it was red.

We protested the cod-liver oil, and fussed about the greens, but under her look we ate them-along with cornbread, rice, and beans,

She saved the eggs and sold them, along with cans of cream; and dried the corn, and made the pickles, along with jars of jam.

She sewed before a window-to keep an eye on us-and turned out shirts and skirts and coats and bloomers, from flour sacks stamped "Wyoming's Best!"

She soothed our bumps, and dug out cactus, and talked our fears away.

She would smile at us and say: "Well, tomorrow is another day."

We carried the coal, and hauled the water, and boiled the sheets in the boiler, along with soap she had made.

She took everything that came her way from calves in the kitchen to owls in the chickens, and "Well, tomorrow is another day."

She was very firm about what was right, and equally firm about what was wrong:

We learned to think our own thoughts; laugh our own laughs; cry our own tears; and to bridle our own minds that we could firmly guide them along the path we had chosen to follow-

Like the Good Earth, she was always there.

Perhaps the greatest Tribute we can say is that anyone-who had a need-was never turned away by Our Mother.

Images & Attachments

Photos used with permission of Michael David, photographer at


Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Austin, Roscoe (09/02/1894 - 09/24/1974) View Record
Obituary Hanson, Caleb (07/27/1993 - 07/16/2005) View Record
Obituary Hanson, Phyllis (09/24/1922 - 02/14/2010) View Record