Used with permission from photographer Milan J. Bosch.
Used with permission from photographer Milan J. Bosch.

Niobrara County Library - Anna Bell "Ann" (Gantz) Rider (October 13, 1879 - April 8, 1970)

Anna Bell "Ann" (Gantz) Rider (October 13, 1879 - April 8, 1970)

The Lusk Herald
April 23, 1970

Mrs. Ann Rider, Early Resident of Sioux Dies

Ann Bell Rider, early resident of Sioux County, died at Hemingford on April 8 at the age of 90.

She was one of twin daughters born to John T. and Joanna Gantz on October 13, 1879 at Fairfield, Iowa.

In her early years she moved with her family to Omaha, where she received her education and where she was first employed as a professional dressmaker and later as a bookkeeper and cashier in downtown Omaha.

On September 8, 1904, she married Warren A. Rider of Fairfield, Iowa. They made their home on a farm near Fairfield until 1906 when they moved by immigrant car to the still wild, young country of Wyoming. They settled on a homestead in the Golden Prairie District northeast of Cheyenne. Settlement of this land was in its early stages and she watched the birth of the little town of Burns and was the first person to make a purchase in its small new store.

She was proud of having been one of the first women to vote in the United States, Wyoming being the first state to have women suffrage.

She and her husband each drove a wagon many miles over Wyoming prairie roads to the nearest town, Cheyenne, for supplies for their homestead.

In 1911 the Riders purchased a ranch in Sioux County 30 miles west of Hemingford and now owned by Larry Lee of Mitchell. Their ranch was a halfway stop for the cattlemen as they drove herds to market. The drovers knew that here they would find food, water and corrals for their animals and an abundance of warmth and friendship along with food and beds for themselves. The only cost to them was their friendship.

Here on this Sioux County Ranch, Mrs. Rider remained, experiencing the dangers and hardships of great prairie fires, drought and dust storms, milking large numbers of cows, raising large flocks of turkeys and chickens and of course raising and preserving the produce from large gardens.

It was here too that she attended church and Sunday school with others who came from miles around bringing their baskets of food as they spent the entire day together with as many as a hundred like minded Christians.

After the death of her husband on May 19, 1944, Mrs. Rider sold the ranch and purchased a home in Scottsbluff.

She was a charter member of the Golden Age Society and a life long member of the Methodist Church and a member of the Woman's Society of Christian Service in both Scottsbluff and Hemingford, and charter member of the new Women's Society of Christian Service in Hemingford.

In 1967, she sold her home in Scottsbluff and came to live with her daughter, Mrs. Bernice Randall, in Hemingford, where she lived until, because of failing health, she moved to the Hemingford Care and Nursing Home in January of this year. She was in the care home at the time of her passing.

She was preceded in death by her husband, two brothers and two sisters. She is survived by two daughters; Mrs. Robert (Hazel) Hood of Alliance and Mrs. Walter (Bernice) Randall of Hemingford; five granddaughters; Mrs. Vernon (Shirley) Laursen of Redondo Beach, Calif., Mrs. William R. (Barbara) Henderson of Alliance, Mrs. Mildred (Roberta) Laursen of Gering, Mrs. George (Margie) Boardman of Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Mrs. Floyd (Sharon) Gowin of Hemingford; 14 great-grandchildren, and one brother, J. Harmon Gantz of Abilene, Texas.

She was in the truest sense a "Pioneer Mother."

This gravestone photo was found on

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