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Frank L. Senff

“Not honored less than he who heirs is he who founds a line.” This sentiment from our American Quaker poet applies aptly to Frank L. Senff, one of the pioneers and builders of Johnson County, Wyoming, whose untimely death on July 22, 1892, at the age of fifty-three, in the full maturity of his physical and mental powers, when his influence for good in his community was at its heights, caused universal regret. He was a native of Germany, born on November 19, 1839, and there he grew to manhood, received his education and learned his trade as a cutler. When he was twenty-four years old, feeling cramped by the crowded condition of labor and the obstacles to aspiration in the Fatherland, and hearkening to the voice of the New World offering each workman what his special craft demands, each brain a ready market for its wares, he embarked his hopes in the venture and came to the United States, landing at Philadelphia and there living and working at his trade for a period of five years. At the end of that time he removed to Chicago and in that city started an enterprise in cutlery on his own account, which he conducted on an expanding scale for fourteen years, then sold to seek a home in the farther West. This business is still in vigorous progress and all the industries with which he was connected in the state of his last adoption are flourishing and healthy. When he came to northern Wyoming, in 1882 he stopped at Pine Bluffs near Cheyenne, long enough to get together and fit up wagons for the transportation of himself and his belongings across the territory, and arriving in April of that year on the banks of Little Piney Creek, he took up a ranch near the mountains. But soon after not liking the location he purchased the rights which had accrued In the ranch he now occupies and used his right of preemption in connection therewith and thus secured a desirable home, which he continued to occupy until his death. The ranch is on Big Piney Creek, fourteen miles north of Buffalo, well located highly improved made very productive by skillful cultivation and has an enviable name throughout all the countryside for its genuine and generous hospitality. The next year after his arrival his family joined him and they inaugurated an industry in cattle raising which is still in prosperous and progressive activity and has grown to great dimensions. The ranch consists of 720 acres of deeded land and has attached a large acreage of leased land. It is now under the direct supervision of Mr. Senff’s widow who has carried on its work successfully and skillfully since his death continuing in her way and as far as she can, the public spirit and interest in every good enterprise for the advancement of the county which distinguished her honored husband and made him one of the most esteemed, as he was one of the earliest and most useful, citizens of his portion of the state. On November 20, 1864, in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mr. Senff married with Miss Pauline Roesiger, his companion and helpmate to the close of his life. She was a native of Germany and came to America when she was quite a young woman, with friends of her family, making her home with hr aunt until her marriage. Nine children blessed their union all of whom are living and prospering in various lines of active usefulness. They are: Frank R., now engaged in mining at Dawson, Alaska; Arthur, who has a ranch adjoining his mother’s; Mildred now married with J. G. Corslett and living at Sheridan, Wyoming; Fred, engaged in the pursuit of ranching, also in Wyoming; Lena, now a popular teacher in the schools of the state of Washington; Agnes, married to W. F. Sonnamaker, and living on Prairie Dog; Harry Ernest and Edel, all belonging to the family household. The family are Lutherans in church connection as was Mr. Senff. He was also a Republican in politics, but while taking an active interest in the welfare of his party, always sincerely loyal to its principles and policies, he was not an office seeker or a bigoted partisan. His love for his adopted country was genuine and fervent and where the interests of his community were concerned he forgot party and every other narrowing affiliation, in his broad and substantial patriotism. The name of this family is a household word throughout its section of the state, standing high in public and private regard wherever known as a synonym for all the best elements of Progressive American citizenship.

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