Nebraska Authors

Ruth Van Ackeren

Born Norton, KS (USA)

Died 2002-04-10
Omaha, NE (USA)

VanAckeren was author and coauthor of two important books about history of Sandhills ranching that connect at many points with Mari Sandoz's Old Jules and Sandoz's writing on the upper Niobrara. The books follow the fates of Barlett Richards, his Old Spade Ranch, and Lawrence Bixby, who preserved the Old Spade after Richard's death in jail for collusion with Kinkaiders and manipulation of homesteading regulations.

Van Ackern had a long career as a journalist, and began writing for newspaper publication in the eighth grade, for a publisher who did not know her age.

Places Lived

North Platte
grew up on Lakeside, NE

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Journalism
  • Nonfiction


History--Sandhills; Bartlett Richards; articles; short stories; Biography; Lawrence Bixby; Ranching History; Cattle Industry

Places Worked

Newspaper correspondent
Country school teacher


National Western Heritage Award, 1980 honored in Oklahoma Cowboy Hall of Fame, 1980


Lawrence Bixby: preserver of The Old Spade Ranch. 1995 In HR
Bartlett Richards: Nebraska Sandhills Cattleman. 1980. (with Bartlett Richards, Jr.) In HR

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