Nebraska Authors

Ruth P. Van Ackeren

Born 1905-05-13 Norton, KS (USA)

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

Omaha, NE (USA)
Calvary Cemetery

Van Ackeren was author and co-author of two important books about the 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 Bartlett 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 Ackeren 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

Norton, KS
Sandhills, Nebraska
North Platte, NE
Omaha, NE
Lakeside, NE

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Journalism
  • Nonfiction


History--Sandhills; Bartlett Richards; Short Stories; Biography; Lawrence Bixby; Ranching History; Cattle Industry


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.
Bartlett Richards: Nebraska Sandhills Cattleman. with Bartlett Richards, Jr., 1980.

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Ruth P. Van Ackeren

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)