Sunday, August 7, 2011


Today's picture was submitted by Betty Hartley. It was taken in about 1910, and shows her grandmother on a horse. The following story was submitted with the photo:

This is my grandmother, Nancy Ellen Baker, Grover King Bond.

She's on her favorite horse, Buttons and wearing a divided riding skirt.  This photo was taken near Cook's Peak, New Mexico, approximately 1910.

On her first day in the third grade, her father deserted the family and she had to quit school and become the "man" of the house.  She took care of the cattle, goats and horses.  Her two oldest daughters had lots of stories to tell about their mama.  They said she could pick up a goat by its horns and toss it over the fence.  I don't know why that was necessary, but I'll bet that certain goat never messed with her again.

She was married off at the age of fourteen.  At the time they lived in a tiny mining town in New Mexico and she said that she thought her only choice in marriage was Grover, or the village idiot, and she made the wrong choice.  (That's a quote.)

Grover was mean to their first daughter and would pinch her to make her cry and then spank her for crying. 

One day, Grover slapped their daughter so hard he tipped her high chair over.  My grandmother reached for the rifle behind the door.  Grover Laughed.  He had removed the gun first.

When she became "with child" a second time, she wanted to go visit her ailing mother.  Jeff would not let her leave.  The Ku Klux Klan came to him and told him that he was to let her go visit, or else.  (This was in Arizona, and its the only good thing I ever heard about the Ku Klux Klan.  No, my grandmother did not know anyone in the Klan.)

She boarded the train with her daughter and never came back.  She was only about 17 at the time.

Her two daughters said she could cowboy with the best of them and could wear a man's hat band for a belt.  After "cowboying" all day, she rode horseback for miles to the dance at the school house, then rode back home, arriving about dawn.

Years later, she married my grandfather, King, who died of tuberculosis.  Many years later, she married Bond, who was killed in a mining accident.

Her mother signed her name with an "X" --- she herself, had a second grade education --- her kids ranged from 8th grade education through high school graduate --- and three grandchildren received college degrees.

And she lived to see a man walk on the moon.


  1. Thank you for sharing her picture and story! :) Zoë x

  2. What an extraordinary woman she was! It is wonderful her story was preserved along with her picture.

  3. It is so amazing how mean and cruel some people can be. And how kind abd durabke others are. What an amaxing women and her offspring are.
    To bad about the rifle (some people DO need to be shot)

  4. Sorry for the spelling, I am on my lap top, did I mention how much I hate my lap top keyboard.

  5. Where times really all that different then?

  6. Love that story. It could almost be made into a movie!

  7. Somebody once said, If you think you have it rough, read a history book.

    Thanks for reminding us all how easy we do have it.

  8. Thank you so much for submitting this photo & story, Betty.

  9. What a gal!

    Really appreciate you including the story with the photo.

  10. This lady was my grandmother too. My birth mother was Mary Daisy Grover. I was adopted at three weeks. I would so like to talk with you. I have done alot of research on Charles Jefferson Grover and have his history back to the late 1700's but my mother's is more difficult to find. I don't know the protocol for sending email addresses, etc. so must rely on your expertise. Sharon Pruhs.

  11. I would like to get in touch with Betty Harley as Nancy Ellen Baker was my grandmother as well. Mary Daisy Gregg was my mother. Would you tell me what info is needed for me to get in touch with Betty. I sent another comment but I don't think it went anywhere. I'm new at this. Thanks, Sharon Pruhs