Ellsworth E. Lonabaugh (May 27, 1861 - June 29, 1938)

The Lusk Herald
June 30, 1938


Early Day Lusk Attorney Passed Away at Sheridan

Funeral services for E.E. Lonabaugh, widely known attorney and financier whose influence in the state's industrial development since territorial days has become a by word through Wyoming, were conducted from St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Sheridan on Saturday with the Rev. Donald G. Smith officiating.

Death came to Mr. Lonabaugh Wednesday afternoon at 4:23 o'clock , in his home. He was 77 years of age. At his bedside were his wife, Mrs. Marie J. Lonabaugh, and his son, Alger Wellman Lonabaugh, who had practiced law with him for 16 years.

A heart ailment was the cause of death, Dr. W.H. Roberts, the attending physician announced. Mr. Lonabaugh had first suffered a serious illness last November, but had practically recovered when he was stricken again two weeks ago.

He succumbed just slightly more than a year after the fiftieth anniversary of his admittance to the Wyoming bar. On May 27, last year, he was feted at a banquet by attorneys and jurists from all corners of the state

Pioneer Attorney

He was admitted to the bar at Cheyenne on May 27, 1887--three years before Wyoming became a state---and in the stirring half-century since that time he aided materially in the transition of Wyoming from a frontier outpost to a growing commonwealth of the west.

After practicing law in the hard-shooting town of Lusk, then located on the Texas Trail, he moved to Sheridan in1890, where he served as a prominent citizen until his death. And living 44 of the 48 years he lived in Sheridan, he occupied the same law suite at 172 North Main street in the building constructed by himself and Judge W.S. Metz in 1894.

In addition t being associated with the late Judge Metz in the legal profession, Mr. Lonabaugh was also associated with the late Peter Kool and others in the development of coal mining and other industries. He was also one of the largest ranch and livestock owners in northern Wyoming, and was responsible for the building of many extensive irrigation systems in northern Wyoming.

Born in 1861

Ellsworth E. Lonabaugh was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, on May 27, 1861. After being educated at Sharpsburgh Academy and qualifying himself for the teaching profession, he decided to cast his fortunes with the young west, and so came to Denver in 1883.

Railroading first attracted him, and he entered the services of the Union Pacific Railroad. However, he started his study of law during that period with a Denver attorney, and he continued his legal studies in the law office of John C. Baird after he had moved to Cheyenne in 1885.

Two years later he was admitted to the bar and he opened his practice in the frontier town of Lusk. In 1890 he moved to Sheridan, where he gained a place as one of the leading members of the bar int he state.

Coal Interests

In 1902 he interested E.M. Holbrook of Chicago in the possibilities of the Wyoming coal fields, and as a result the Monarch mine was started. A few years later, associated with Mr. Holbrooka and Peter Kool, he began accumulating the lands which were to become the large Kool mine. He also assisted in opening the Crosby mine near Kirby, Wyo., in 1907, and in the same year purchased for John B. Kendrick the land on which the Acme mine was to be located.

Mr. Lonabaugh was, during this stretch of very active years, also closely connected with the development of reclamation, and was identified with the 30,000 acre Hanover canal project in the Big Horn basin.

His activities continued to be varied until his death, as, in addition to his legal profession, he was a rancher., stockman, and large property owner. Nevertheless, he found time for politics and was a republican leader in the state throughout several decades. He was a delegate to the republican national convention at Kansas City in 1928, and served on the committee on resolutions.

Other Businesses

In addition he served as chairman of the board of directors of the Bank of Commerce, since the bank was organized, and was interested in a number of other businesses. As an attorney, he had represented the Sheridan Flouring Mills, Inc., for more than 20 years, and was also counsel for the Sheridan County Electric company and the Holly Sugar corporation. He was also a former president of the Sheridan County Bar Association.

Mr. Lonabaugh was also the founder of the Wyoming-Montana Livestock Association.

His fraternal affiliations included the Masonic lodge and the Elks lodge and in the Masonic lodge, he was a member of the Consistory, Commendery, and Shrine.

His recreation was golf, and he was one of those instrumental in building the Sheridan Country club. He served for many years as director and a number of terms as president of the Wyoming Golf association.











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