Joseph "Carl" Conrad Bruch
The Prayer Vigil for Carl J. Bruch, age 100, was held March 7, at the Bader Funeral Home in lusk, Wyo. Officiating was Father Shea of lusk.
The Funeral Mass was held March 8, at the St. Leo's Catholic Church in Lusk. Interment was in the Lusk Cemetery.
Mr. Bruch died March 4, at the Niobrara County Memorial Nursing Home in Lusk.
He was born June 22, 1893, at Carroll, Iowa the youngest of 12 children, to Anton and Bernadina Bruch. In 1894 the family moved to Elgin, Neb. and in 1906 they moved to Sturgis, S.D. In 1910, Carl and his three sisters, one brother and his parents homesteaded the land now known at the Bruch Ranch. Carl lived there until he entered the nursing home in 1992. Carl said that he and his family homesteaded in Wyoming because in south Dakota the family would have had to travel 60 miles from town to procure homesteads.
Carl married Mary M. McCarthy on June 22, 1935 in Casper, Wyo. Mrs. Bruch died in September of 1991.
In an interview shortly before his 98th birthday, Carl told what he had enjoyed most about living in Niobrara County was "the hard work." He said part of the kitchen in the Bruch house was the homestead house for John Evers and Carl remembered having dances in that room in younger years. "The fellow who built the house played the fiddle for us," Carl said.
Carl was active in the operation of the ranch, running sheep and Hereford cattle along with farming.
Carl served as one of the first organizers/directors of the Niobrara Rural Electric Association and was instrumental in helping bring electricity to the area in the late 1940's. He continued to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for 13 years.
Carl built one of the first wagons for use in the Legend of Rawhide Pageant in 1946. This wagon was used in every presentation until the Pageant was discontinued in the early 1960's. His wife, Mary, said people told Carl when he was done, that his wagon was "much too Fancy. It was too nice. Settlers didn't have that nice of wagons."
When Carl first arrived in Niobrara County, there was not a Catholic Church, so services were held in the Odd Fellows Hall. In 1912, the first Catholic Church was built in Lusk with Carl and Bill Bredthauer building the stone arch in front of the Catholic Church which now houses the Niobrara Southern Baptist Church.
Carl was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mary; 11 brothers and sisters; and one daughter, Eileen Bruck Young.
Survivors include three sons, John and Chuck of Lusk, Wyo.; Joe of Trenton, Mo.; 10 grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and numerous other relatives and friends.
Memorials may be made to the Lusk Ambulance Service or the donor's choice.
Bader Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.