Assistant Editor, Montana The Magazine of Western History
Frances Benton Connor. |
Photo courtesy of Mavis Kvernvik
In 1920, Fannie claimed a homestead north of Rudyard and taught school to pay the bills. But unlike most other homesteaders, she moved to Montana at the relatively old age of 54, and while most women homesteaders and teachers were single, Fannie was married. Like many other homestead women, she documented her experience in a diary that she kept during the year 1921—writing entirely in verse.
|Two pages from Fannie Connor's diary|
on the Montana prairie. In perhaps her most poignant poem, Fannie wrote:
Childhood was never, never meant
In such a land as this to be spent
Of grownups too I have my doubts
If they were meant to settle hereabouts
Since grass has value dry or green
Naught but herds of cattle should be seen
Twas a mistake it now appears
For people to make this a home of theirs.
What do you think? Was it a mistake for homesteaders to settle on Montana’s arid northern plains?