The Lusk Herald
October 28, 1971
Max T. Bird, Lusk Banker, Dies Sun.
Max T. Bird, 55, executive vice-president of Stockmans National Bank of Lusk, who guided the founding of that bank in 1953 and was instrumental in building it to its present stature, died Sunday night at Niobrara Memorial Hospital about 7:30 of a coronary attack.
He had started a vacation period last week and intended to continue it this week with his wife. However, he had been called back to the bank a day and a half last week when bank examiners arrived and had spent Thursday and Friday at Cheyenne attending an installment credit conference. Saturday he and Mrs. Bird had joined their son, Barton, and attended the Chadron State College football game, and Sunday he and Mrs. Bird had dinner at Silver Spruce Ranch near Glenrock before returning home.
He became ill late in the afternoon and on advice of his physician Mrs. Bird took him to the hospital about 6:45.
Besides the tireless service he had rendered the Stockmans Bank through the years, despite several serious illnesses, he had become endeared to the community at large for his service to it in many capacities, and the flow of concern for his family, as people learned of his death, was recognition of him.
Rather than assuming positions of leadership in the community, he had accepted jobs to support the leadership of others. He was a member of the Congregational Church and for 15 years served as its treasurer and thus on its board of trustees. He had recently been named U. S. Savings Bond chairman for the county. He had been an early member of the draft board, treasurer for countless philanthropic campaigns. He was first vice-president of the Lusk Lions Club having been a member since coming to Lusk in 1947.
A lover of sports, he was commissioner of Pee Wee Baseball in Lusk for a number of years. His most ardent support was probably for the athletic program of the schools, but young people, in other activities, and especially in the 4-H program knew they could count on his help.
Max Bird was born December 5, 1915, at Ireton, Iowa, the son of E. Thomas and Margaret C. Bird. The family moved to Elk Point, S.D., when he was 10. His father, an auto mechanic, was killed when Max was 14, throwing much of the home responsibility upon the youth. Still he graduated from high school there and then began to work as bookkeeper for the Union County Bank. In his early years he had unusual experience in banking, saw the liquidation of the Union County Bank, and had a part in the establishment of new Bank of Union County of which he became cashier, and then was later to go through the organization of the new bank in Lusk.
On March 17, 1945, he married Madeline Scott at Hawarden, Iowa, and they observed their twenty-fifth anniversary here in 1970. They had one son, Scott Barton, who is a sophomore at Chadron State College.
Mr. Bird came to Lusk in 1947 to become cashier of the Lusk State Bank of which he was later promoted to executive vice-president, a position he held until 1952 when he resigned to become affiliated with the new Stockmans National Bank being organized. Mr. Bird was a member of the Masonic Lodge at Elk Point.
Surviving besides his widow and son are his mother, Margaret C. Bird, Sioux City, Iowa; three sisters, Mrs. Emery Chaussee (Birdie), Clear Lake, S. D., Mrs. Joseph Condron (Margaret), Sioux City, and Miss Ruth E. Bird, Denver; one brother, Willard Bird, Warner Robbins, Ga.; and an aunt, Miss Birdie Bird, Elk Point. The father, one brother and one sister died previously.
The funeral service was held this Wednesday morning at 10:00 from the Lusk Congregational Church with the Rev. Robert Boutwell, pastor, officiating assisted by the Rev. Frank Bozart, Edgerton, former pastor here of the Open Bible Standard Church. Music was by Mrs. Gerald Bardo, organist, Timothy Johnson, vocal soloist, and the church choir directed by Russell Olmsted. Mr. Johnson sang "The Lord's Prayer", and the choir "In the Garden" and "Now the Day is Over".
Active bearers were R. C. Bafford, Edgar Boner, Fred Branney, Richard Brashear, Walter Fernau, Henry Meyer, J. H. Shillenn, Henry Wasserburger II.
Honorary bearers were Andrew McMaster, W. L. Magoon, Vernon (Bunny) Chard, Venus Kilmer, Gerald Bardo, Nick Kaan, Sr., Don C. Taylor, Oscar (Moose) Thompson, H. E. Pearson, of Lusk, D. A. Shoopman, Cario, Neb.; Royce Nelson, Torrington; and Paul L. Howes, Jr., William C. Allen, Arnold H. Trautwein, Lee VanDeren, of Cheyenne.
Interment will be made Thursday in Grace Hill Cemetery at Hawarden, Iowa.
A memorial is being established for Niobrara County High School.
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