Mauritz Aronstein, Old Miner, found Dead Near Muskrat Canyon Home
Continual Barking of Old Miner's Little Dog Leads to Discovery of Body
Attracted by the continual barking of his little mongrel dog which had kept constant vigil by the side of his dead master from Monday until Friday night, the body of Mauritz Aroonstein, 76 years old, old-time prospector of the Muskrat Canyon region, south of Lusk, was found last Friday night by Mr. Bruegger, a sheepherder, who at once reported the matter to the coroner at Torrington, the body being found in Goshen county.
It is believed that Aronstein died some time last Monday, February 22. He was seen in Torrington on the previous Saturday, and is believed to have returned to his cabin home on Sunday.
Mr. Aronstein for some time had been subject to fainting spells, believed to have been caused by heart failure. From the evidence at hand, it is concluded that that he went out for a walk, and after reaching the little knoll about a quarter of a mile from his house, he suffered an attack, and lay down, as was his custom, until the spell wore off. When found, he was laying with his head on his arm, as though he had lain down for a nap. When the herder who found him failed in his effort to awaken he walked down to the Wolfe ranch and phoned to the coroner in Torrington. It was dark Friday evening and the coroner did not come until Saturday morning. The body was left where it was found, with the little dog still guarding it.
Dick Klette, Bob Ord, Merle Jewett and several others saw the little dog on the knoll several times during the week, barking in an apparent effort to attract attention, but they paid little attention to the dog.
After the dog had stuck to his post for five days and continued to bark whenever anyone passed on the road, Mr. Bruegger, who was herding sheep in the neighborhood, decided to investigate, and found the body of Mr. Aronstein. A well-worn path around the body of the old miner was mute evidence of the faithful vigilance of Mr. Aronstein's little companion.
The body of Mr. Aronstein was taken to Torrington by the Goshen County Coroner, and plans were made to bury him in the county plot there, he being apparently without funds. On his body was found 76 cents, and no money was found in his cabin. He had a large supply of provisions, which would last him through the winter.
Plans to bury Aronstein in Torrington were changed when a group of prominent Jews of Cheyenne read the Associated Press story sent out by The Lusk Herald, and claimed the body. Now burial will be made in the Jewish cemetery at Cheyenne. Mr. Aronstein was a German Jew, and came to America many years ago.
Little is known of Aronstein's life, other than that he came to this region from Colorado Springs about 26 years ago to work some claims he had purchased in the Muskrat Canyon district. He talked little of his previous history. It is known that he ran a small hotel, or rooming house, in Colorado Springs many years ago, and traded his real estate in that city for the mining claims in Muskrat Canyon. Some say that he bought the claims from a man who "salted" the prospect holes, with gold and platinum ore taken from the Colorado mines. Notwithstanding that he apparently realized that he had been "stung," Aronstein hung on for the balance of his life, trying to retrieve his loss. He claimed to be the only Jewish miner in the world.
From a remark made by Mr. Aronstein to a friend, that "when I die the people will find out who I am," it has been said that he was a member of the German nobility, and came to America as a political exile. This, however, has not been confirmed, but it is understood the Jews of Cheyenne are investigating his early history in an effort to locate relatives.
Around the Aronstein cabin were several bushels of broken arrowheads, spear heads, scrapers and other stone-age implements which he had gathered in his walks over the hills and prairies.
One of the most valuable possessions found inn the cabin was a German Bible, Printed in the 16th century, and undoubtedly of great value. He had had the Bible in his possession for many years, and said that it had been handed down to him by his ancestors.
After finding the body of Mr. Aronstein, the Goshen county coroner empaneled a jury composed of Robert Ord, John Agnew and Robert Wolfe, who rendered a verdict that deceased came to his death from natural causes, some time on Monday the 22nd day of February, 1932.
After the body of Mr. Aronstein was taken away, Mr. Ord took the little dog to his ranch--not that he needed another dog, but he wanted to reward the faithful little animal by giving him a good home.
Mr. Aronstein seldom came to Lusk, and was little known here. However, he always welcomed visitors to his little cabin in Muskrat canyon, and was kindly and hospitable.
Kansas Woman Asks For Aronstein's Dog
The Lusk Herald, March 17, 1932
The little dog which stood watch over the body of its dead master, Mauritz Aronstein, pioneer prospector in the Muskrat canyon district, who was found dead two weeks ago, is very much in demand, and several good homes have been offered to the intelligent little animal.
This week Marshal Jerd Lorenzen received a letter from a lady in Abilene, Kansas, who wanted the dog, and several people in Lusk have been trying to get possession of it.
The letter received from the Kansas woman is as follows:
Abilene, Kans. March 8, 1932
City Marshal, Lusk, Wyo.
Dear Sir:--Would it be possible for you to locate the little dog of which I am sending you a clipping from a paper.
I am very fond of dogs and think this little fellow should have the best of home the rest of his life.
Please let me hear from you at once.
507 N.E. Fourth St.