Finding Hope-A Homesteader's Story

copyright Guy Swanson

Nick Lambert arrived in the 1880's and homesteaded in Big Canyon, building his cabin at the west end of the canyon where there were seven springs.

A century ago the Revised Homestead Act brought more settlers to Grandview. The Nance family took 40 acres adjoining Three Rivers on the west and a mile North of Graham Road. On September 5, 1917, Hope Nance was born.

Mama felt me coming and sent a girl to run and get Grandma Wilson. By the time she got there, mama was passed out on the floor, and I was squirming on the floor with the cord still attached. For years Grandma Wilson would always say I've never seen someone so blue and so dirty”.

Rainfall was heavy then, 17 to 25 inches a year. “We had the best gardens, we grew potatoes, watermelon, corn, tomatoes, lettuce. We put in 50 or 100 tons of hay in the barn”, Hope says. Property tax rolls in 1917 show that sixty-three families paid taxes on the homesteads of Grandview.

Hope doesn't remember when she started riding her horse, Old Prince. "I would just pull him over to a tree and he would stand there while I climbed the tree and hopped on his back. It was probably quite a sight to see this small and barefoot platinum blonde riding at a full gallop on her Strawberry Roan. She never used a saddle, “sometimes I had a bridle, sometimes not”, she just hung on to Old Prince's mane and steered him with her knees. “I got throwed thousands of times”, Hope says, I w as in a gang, they called us the Rimrock Devils.

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