Bunt Alter
Bunt Alter

Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

Niobrara County Library - Boynton E. "Bunt" Alter (September 17, 1879 - July 12, 1981)

Boynton E. "Bunt" Alter (September 17, 1879 - July 12, 1981)

The Lusk Herald
July 16, 1981

Boynton "Bunt" Alter, 101 dies

Memorial service for one of Niobrara County's oldest residents, Boynton "Bunt" Alter was held Wednesday afternoon at the Peet Mortuary Chapel with Rev. Frank Blish officiating. Alter who was 101 years, 9 months and 25 days old, died at the Niobrara Nursing Home Sunday, July 12.

Boynton E. "Bunt" Alter was born September 17, 1879, at Wayland, Iowa, the son of James and Amanda Comfort Rider Alter. In 1901 Bunt started work for the railroad, moving westward until he reached Omaha, Nebr. From there he came to Lusk by train. Once in Lusk he worked for several ranches in the area, driving bunches of horses to Montana, trapping grey wolves in the Harney Buttes north of Keeline and helping mark the grave of Mother Featherlegs. Later he worked Copper Belt and Michigan mines.

In 1912 he went to Alaska where he worked for the Whitehorse-Yukon Telegraph Company, running a telegraph line to north of Dawson. He homesteaded 17 miles southeast of Lusk about 1914 and married Anna Louis Hanson in1915. They continued to live on that ranch for many years, nearly losing their lives in the blizzard of 1949. While they were gathering their sheep, the snowstorm struck in full strength. Bunt and Anna barely made it back to the ranch and lost practically all of their sheep. In later years Bunt and Anna moved into a mobile home parked in the Roy Turnbull yard and moved into the Niobrara Nursing Home in 1975. Anna died March 31, 1981.

Bunt was prominent in the Rawhide Community and was a member of the Niobrara County Historical Society. He was very musical and played his violin for many community gatherings and at several Historical Society Roundups.

He is survived by one daughter, Ione Turnbull and her husband Roy, one brother John of Lusk, and granddaughter JoAnn Downing and her husband Tom and two great-grandsons, James and John Downing.

Edna DeCastro played the organ during the memorial service. Mark Lohr sang "Beautiful Isle" and "Sweet Bye and Bye." Active bearers were John Bourret, James Hodgson, Del Alter, Jack Larson, Gene Tyrrel and Ernie Hansen.

Interment was in Lusk Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Niobrara Nursing Home.

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Lusk, WY 82225-0510
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