52 Ancestors, Week 47: Robertson Rambo Finkbiner and his wife Gertrude Blanchard Finkbiner

Gertrude and Bob soon after their marriage
taken at the corner of the house
at Blanchard Ranch in Boulder Canyon.

Robertson Rambo (Rambo was his paternal grandmother’s maiden name) was born in Middletown, PA on 29 Oct 1881.

In 1894, his family moved to  Colorado Springs for his mother’s health.  He was the middle of three boys.

In 1900, he was 18, and has been attending school in Colorado Springs.  “Your Grandad [Robertson Rambo Finkbiner] was very proud of being "Major of Cadets" in hi school. He wanted always to go to West Point but never got there.” (1)

In the 1903 City Directory, Robertson is a bookkeeper, younger brother Nilson is a student, older brother Bayly has Finkbiner Brothers grocery and meats at 1201 N Weber.   Dad, John W is a pastor at the English Lutheran Church.  They are all living together at 309 E Platte Ave.

Somehow, Bob meets Gertrude and they marry in Boulder on 12 Mar 1908.  “We  [Robertson Rambo Finkbiner and Gertrude Blanchard] were married by "Grampa Finkbiner" [Rev. John Wm. Finkbiner] at our mountain home and went to our little house in Colorado Springs same day." (1)

Bayly (named for his uncle Bayly (who was named for his maternal grandmother’s maiden name) is born in 1909 in Colorado Springs.

Bob, Gertrude, and son Bayly in 1910

In 1910, they were living at 579 E Yampa in Colorado Springs.  Bob is a clerk in the County Treasurer’s Office.  They moved to Medicine Bow in 1911.

"We lived there when Bayly was born, then went to Cheyenne for a short time, then on to Medicine Bow, Wyoming where we lived many years. "R.R.F." was instrumental in starting the Medicine Bow State Bank and it was from this bank that both Bayly and Robert got their early banking training.” (1)

Robert Walton (a family name) was born in 1914 in Boulder.  I'm guessing that Gertrude went to Boulder to be with her parents and to have the baby.

In 1918, Bob registered for the WWI draft.  He was a bank cashier at Medicine Bow State Bank

On 7 Jan 1920 they were all living in Medicine Bow: Robert (38), Gertrude (37), Bayly (10), Robert (5).

George Horne (named for a family friend) is born in 1920 in Boulder.  Gertrude must have gone (again) to Boulder to be with her mother, to have the baby.

In 1930 they are still living in Medicine Bow.  Robert (48) is in Medicine Bow, home is valued at $5000, and there is a column asking if they had a radio set.  He did.

Bob, Robert Walton, George, Gertrude, and Bayly about 1930

Oddly, Gertrude (47) and the kids are renting a home living in Cheyenne, (with a radio set), Bayly (20), Robert (15) and George (9).  Gertrude is not working, but Bayly is a salesman in a Dry Good Store.  The only thing I can think of, is that Medicine Bow was so small, maybe Gertrude and the kids lived in Cheyenne for the boys to go to school?

In 1940, Robert (58) and Gertrude (57) were living in Medicine Bow and he was still with the bank. Son Bayly and his wife Olive are living just 4 houses down. Bayly was an assistant cashier at the bank and she was a bookkeeper at the bank.

The three brothers and their families, about 1943.  George served in WW II.
Olive, Bayly, Jessie, Bob, George
Janet, Donna, Ronald

Medicine Bow State Bank Will Close on Dec. 5
The Medicine Bow State Bank will close its doors Dec. 5, 1942, after years of faithful service. It is with regret that the many patrons of the bank received this news but all understand the circumstances that have led to the closing of its doors. Lack of business, mainly through the scarcity of loans which have been taken care of through government agencies has caused the bank to cease business operations. R. R. Finkbiner, cashier, has been named as liquidating agent and will assist customers in transferring their accounts.

The Medicine Bow State Bank was opened on June 1, 1911, with R. R. Finkbiner holding the position of cashier, which position he has held during the thirty and one half years of the bank’s existence. Bayly Finkbiner, son of R. R. Finkbiner, has been assistant cashier for the past several years.

Granddad Bob and Grannie (Gertrude) with their
granddaughter Janet.

Bob (73) died on 5 Mar 1955.

Grannie lived with her sister Bess in the 1960s and 1970s in Boulder.

Sisters: Bess and Gertrude

We would go to visit them every summer.
Grannie and her great-granddaughter Shannon (me)

Gertrude's son Bayly, Gertrude, Gertrude's great granddaughter, Shannon (me)

Gertrude and Bess with the great grandchildren
Gertrude (99) died in November 1980 in Casper, Wyoming in a nursing home.

(1) letter written by Gertrude Blanchard in 1963
Federal Census: 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940
1903 City Directory
Family Photos


  1. Wyoming still has the look of the Wild West in the Medicine Bow State Bank photo. Going to Wyoming to be in the banking industry was business pioneering at its finest at a time when I'm sure it was most needed by the population of the region. A family chapter to be proud of. Gertrude lived long enough to see several generations of her families legacy born and it's wonderful that Shannon knew and remembers her so well.


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