Sunday, February 15, 2015

Sunday Stories: Wilbert Edward Harshfield


Born January 24, 1909 and died July 17, 1961 as a result of injuries received in a car accident north of Sutherland, Nebraska.
Wilbert Edward Harshfield
He was a bachelor and spent his entire life at the ranch with the exception of his years in the Army during World War II at which time he served with the Quartermaster Corps, 330 Engineers, and was stationed in Burma.

After the war he returned to the ranch and was living there at the time of his death.

He was a big, loving, pleasant man, with a twinkle in his eye, and a smile on his face.

He was “Uncle Chum” to his nephews and nieces. He mended our toys, built us stilts and showed us how to walk on them. Encouraged us to cross the creek with them, and then laughed when we tumbled in the water. He loved to tease us kids; and pulling tricks on us like taking our pancakes that we had slaved over making and tacking them up on the screen door for hinges; putting fish worms down our backs. We loved him for it though, and if you couldn’t take a teasing, you were in for it! I do believe that through his teasing, we kids that grew up with him are better people for having had this experience.

Wilbert was gifted in mechanics and music. He understood machinery and its workings. He could fix anything and build anything. It was common knowledge in the Sandhills, “If it doesn’t work, “Fat” can fix it, or build a new one” and he did.

All his nieces and nephews and his host of friends have a special little niche in our hearts for Wilbert “Fat” Harshfield.
Wilbert left his mark on the Sandhills, today as you drive up through the hills, you can see hundreds of trees that this man planted mostly all by hand. These trees not only provide shelter belts, but provide cover for the wild life that he so enjoyed.

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