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John Joseph Boesl
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Birth: 1858
Munich (München), Germany
Death: Jun. 5, 1934
Dawes County
Nebraska, USA


John J. Boesl Came to Fort Robinson in 1876 -- Saw Crazy Horse Killed by Soldiers

John J. Boesl homesteader and "old-timer" in this section of Nebraska, passed by his last reward early Tuesday morning of this week following a brief illness. His death occurred at the home of his brother in law, John Saxton, in the northeast part of Crawford.

Funeral services were conducted from the First Methodist Episcopal church in Crawford Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock by Rev. John H. Bishop, pastor of the church, and the body was taken to Allen, S.D., his old home for burial that afternoon. Mrs. Harold McDowell was the soloist at the funeral, accompanied by Mrs. John H. Bishop at the piano.

Saw Crazy Horse Killed

Coming to Fort Robinson in 1876, ten years before the town of Crawford was founded, Mr. Boesl saw many of the stirring events during the Indian Wars. He was present on that fateful day in the spring of 1877, when the famous Sioux chief Crazy Horse, met his death at the hands of a soldier at Fort Robinson, while trying to escape from the guard house. Standing nearby he saw the thrust that ended the life of the famous chief, which was the means of ending the conflict between the Redmen and the whites in this section. His graphic account of the occurrence has been told in person to the publisher of the News, as well as other historic events which _____________ (Can't read words) the early settlers.
____________________ (Can't read words) Mr. Boesl _________ (Can't read words) government deplored for the incident which historians have agreed did not give lustre to the American Army, which took part in the operation.

Known As "Zither Dick"

Mr. Boesl was known to everyone in this section as "Zither Dick" due to the fact that he was an expert player of that instrument, anf furnished music on many occasions for the pioneer dances in this region. He still played the instrument and on many public occasions demonstrated his ability when requested to do so. At the old settlers picnic held in Crawford last summer, he was declared the oldest settler in Dawes County, when he registered during the session.

John Joseph Boesl was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1858 and died in Crawford, Nebraska, June 5, 1934, at the age of 76 years. He came to America with his parents when 7 years of age and lived at Leavenworth, Kansas until he was 15 years old. At that time he came to Fort Robinson, Nebraska, a pioneer military post, with a company of soldiers.

He was united in marriage to Caroline E. Sartow (Mistake in Obit it was Coraline Saxton) in 1886. To this union 13 children were born. His wife preceded him in death 13 years ago. Seven children have also passed away. They made their home at Fort Robinson until he entered the United States Indian service at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where he served as "Boss Farmer" for 36 years, until his retirment in 1926. Since that time he has lived on his original homestead on Cottonwood Creek in Sioux County, north of Crawford, and with his children in Crawford.

Three sons and three daughters, 8 grandchildren, and one great grandchild survive. The children are; George H. Boesl, Wakpala, S.D., Andrew S. Boesl and Mrs. Myrtle Wordeman, Martin S.D., Mrs. Lloyd West, Mike and Etta Boesl, of Crawford. One brother, William Boesl of Omaha, is also living. All the children were present at his bedside during his last sickness.


John Joseph "Zither Dick" Boesl was the son of Joseph Boesl & Theresa Maduska.

He married Coraline Augusta Saxton August 29, 1886 at Fort Robinson in Dawes County, Nebraska. Together they had 13 children.

They also worked on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation along with Cora's two brothers, Alva & Charles Saxton.

He was also quite possibly the last man to have seen Crazy Horse killed.

Family links: 
  Coraline Augusta Saxton Boesl (1870 - 1921)
  Willie E. Boesl (1887 - 1888)*
  Tressie M. Boesl (1889 - 1891)*
  George H. Boesl (1890 - 1948)*
  Luella J. Boesl (1891 - 1891)*
  Etta Mary Boesl (1892 - 1968)*
  Mabel O Boesl West (1894 - 1961)*
  Myrtle Boesl Wordeman (1896 - 1977)*
  John H. Boesl (1898 - 1918)*
  Mildred Boesl (1904 - 1904)*
  Albert Lewis Boesl (1911 - 1976)*
*Calculated relationship
Inestimable Gift Cemetery
Bennett County
South Dakota, USA
Plot: Grave 22 Row A2 & B2
Created by: cataholic4ever
Record added: Apr 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 35980416
John Joseph Boesl
Added by: cataholic4ever
John Joseph Boesl
Added by: cataholic4ever
John Joseph Boesl
Added by: cataholic4ever
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- D. Barber
 Added: Jun. 15, 2016

- Janice Dean LeMaster
 Added: Jan. 5, 2014

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