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One of the representative agriculturists in Nowata county is W. M. Hancock, who is residing on a ranch five and one-half miles southeast of Lenapah. He was born in Lebanon, Missouri, on the 8th of December, 1860, and received his education in the common schools of Jasper county, putting his textbooks aside at the age of eighteen years.
He then engaged in farming with his father, E. H. Hancock, who was a native of Randolph county, North Carolina, removed to Laclede county, Missouri, in 1857, and subsequently to Jasper county in 1866. In 1881 he came to Oklahoma, then Indian Territory, with his wife, Levina Louallen, also a native of North Carolina, and they located at Vinita, Craig county, where the father engaged in farming.
W. M. Hancock preceded his father to Oklahoma by two years. He remained on his farm in Newton county for the next two years and then moved to Coowescoowee district, where he has since farmed.
Twenty-one years ago Mr. Hancock purchased his present home, which is situated on the Verdigris river, the house located among a veritable forest of elm, pecan, black walnut; oak and hackberry trees. He and his wife own three hundred acres in all and they raise wheat, oats, corn, cattle, horses and mules.
At the present time Mr. Hancock has but fifty white-faced cows and he is planning to raise hogs on an extensive scale in the near future. His wheat averages about twenty-five bushels to the acre, and his corn forty bushels to the acre. He paid for his first piece of land with corn at thirteen cents a bushel. The Hancock ranch is one of the show places of the community. The land has been brought to a high state of cultivation and a fine modern two-story house and outbuildings have been erected upon it. Mr. Hancock is one of the progressive farmers in Nowata county and his prosperity is the result of his intelligent labors.
In 1885 was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Hancock to Miss Maggie Ironside, a native of Lawrence, Kansas. Her parents were Shawnees and came to the territory in the early ’70s. To the union of Mr. and Mrs. Hancock four children have been born Luuella is the wife of Hal Gaffney and the mother of three children. Robert, Beulah and Margaret; Jessie married Sam Bolsh and lives at Wymer, she has one son, who makes his home with Mr. Hancock; Robert, twenty-eight years of age, is married to Pauline Nelson and they have two children, Helen and William; and Nellie, the youngest child, is living at home.
The religious faith of the family is that of the Baptist church, and Mr. Hancock gives his political allegiance to the republican party. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and holds membership in Lodge No. 116, of Lenapah. He is one of the public-spirited citizens of Nowata county and his aid may always be counted upon in the furtherance of any movement for public development and improvement. He is a stanch advocate of good roads and was an influential factor in the building of the first steel bridge in the county, on the road running through his farm. Mr. Hancock is a man of large stature, with a most pleasing personality, and his friends in the county are legion.