Obituary Details

Anna Costlow

(04/04/1893 - 03/28/1970)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 04/02/1970

Anna Costlow, Area Native, Dies Saturday

Mrs. J. P. (Anna) Costlow, 76, Niobrara County pioneer and one of the county's most well-known and active women for many years, died at the Pike's Peak Manor in Colorado Springs, Colo., Saturday morning. She had suffered a stroke a number of years ago but had returned to active life until the summer of 1966 when she and her husband moved to a retirement home in Wheatland. The following January they moved to Colorado Springs where he died May 5, 1967.

Although she was active in many organizations, her greatest service came through the Lusk Congregational Church of which she was Sunday school superintendent and teacher of an adult class for many years. She helped organize the Wyoming Congregational youth camp at Silver Spruce in the mountains south of Glenrock and served that camp for 22 years, managing the kitchen, buying the supplies, cooking, and transporting young people. The camp was reached only over rugged, unimproved mountain roads for the last several miles, but year after year she made the trip back and forth, sometimes alone in emergencies, when others would not even attempt to negotiate the route. She was also to become the first and only woman to serve the Wyoming Conference of Congregational Churches as moderator, and she also served as state president of the Women's Fellowship of the church.

In Lusk she served as worthy matron of the Order of Eastern Star, noble grand of the Rebekah Lodge, president of the Congregational Circle on at least two occasions.

She was born April 4, 1893, one of ten children to Thomas L. and Torborg Thompson on the homestead 10 miles northeast of Lusk just north of what was to be the Albin Lind ranch. Her parents had come here in 1887 from Story City, Iowa. In 1896 the father took a stone and timber claim in the Kirtley community at the bottom of what is now the S-Bar Hill.

Still later they moved back up and the ridge developing a ranch east of the present Harley Lohr buildings, the land being part of the present Lohr ranch.

She attended rural schools of that area "until they thought she knew enough", as the saying was then, and then attended a business school in Grand Island, Neb., for about a year. She worked for a time at Minatare, Neb., and then returned to Lusk and worked for a number of years at the Cureton Drug Store. She married J. Patrick Costlow on June 17, 1918, while he was home on furlough from the army and after which he was shipped to France in World War I. After his discharge April 30, 1919, he resumed teaching in rural schools, at Sunny Side, north of Van Tassell, and at Van Tassell. When he was later elected to the offices of clerk of court and then county treasurer, Mrs. Costlow assisted in those offices as well as under later treasures.

Silver Spruce Camp

Mr. and Mrs. Costlow moved to Cheyenne in 1929 when he became deputy insurance commissioner. It was while there that she helped in the organization of the youth camp at Silver Spruce and took youth from Cheyenne. The Costlows returned to Lusk in 1935 and for eight years owned and operated the A-G Grocery with Mr. and Mrs. Don C. Taylor, the women being sisters.

Mr. Costlow became city clerk in 1944 serving until 1955, and she assisted in the office much of that time.

Surviving are two children, Thomas J. Costlow of Colorado Springs, and Mrs. Rew (Katherine) Bixby, Glendale, Calif.; a brother Arthur Thompson, Lusk, and a sister, Mrs. Don C. (Ethel) Taylor, Lusk. Another child, Anna Patricia, died in infancy, and four brothers and three sisters died previously. There are four grandchildren -- William Patrick Bixby, and Mrs. Jean Bixby Hennesy, Glendale, Calif., and Judith Costlow now with the Peace Corps in Bolivia and Kathleen Costlow, a junior at Colorado University at Boulder. There is one great-grandson, Michael Patrick Hennesey, Glendale.

Services Tuesday

The Rev. Frank Bozart of Edgerton, formerly of the Open Bible Church of Lusk, officiated at the funeral services which were held from the Peet Chapel Tuesday afternoon.

Mrs. Gerald Bardo, organist, accompanied Mrs. G. L. Pfeifer and Mrs. Edna Fullerton as they sang "Abide With Me: Mrs. Pfeifer, soloist, sang "The Holy City."

Casket bearers were Bob Fancher; Dan Christian, Walter Fernau, Max T. Bird, Gerald Bardo and Cecil Kaan.

Honorary bearers were C. E. Marvin, Menno Kaan, Harry Fernau Sr., Ray Christian, Earl Peet and Otto Klemke.

The Niobrara Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star also conducted services.

Burial was in the family plot of Lusk Cemetery.

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Witzenburger, Eleanor (05/18/1918 - 02/23/2005) View Record
Obituary Costlow, Jesse (03/07/1888 - 05/05/1967) View Record
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Cemetery Record COSTLOW, ANNA View Record
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Obituary Costlow, Anna (12/06/1923 - 12/09/1923) View Record