BY JACLYN ROSE –
Born the only girl in a family of four children, Lucille Lance was raised in the town of Hatfield, Arkansas during the early 1930’s. Though times were difficult financially, Lance was too young to understand. “Many of our toys were made in the home by the parent, or the children. Wheels were fashioned to make wagons roll; toy cabinets and tables were constructed. I still have the table that daddy made for me. Momma made clothes for my old dolls. We played games that didn’t require much cost, like kick the can and hide and seek and a sack swing,” explained Lance.
Lance grew up on a small farm where her family raised most of their food and the feed for livestock and Lance learned the value of hard work for every season of the year, whether it be gardening, cutting wood, mending and sewing clothes, or hunting and fishing. “Time was given to help family and friends when needed. In sickness times, my parents gave assistance and often stayed through the night. Momma assisted when called on when a new baby was born, also the country doctor would be present. When a death occurred, men and boys would gather with shovels and other tools to dig a grave. I remember our lives without electricity, telephones, or cars,” Lance explained.
After graduating from Hatfield High School in 1950, Lance was the first in her family to attend college and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education from Harding College and later attended Henderson State University and received her Master’s Degree. Lance then began a teaching career that spanned decades. From 1952 until 1994 she served the students in Polk County, teaching at Hatfield, Acorn and Mena, with the exception of three years in Missouri, teaching second through fifth grades. “I tried to do my best each day, some days I felt like the children didn’t achieve as I had hoped, so I would change the plan of work to help motivate them.
Lance and her late husband, Willard, were married 48 years, lacking one week. “It was a day by day coping with what came, we didn’t decide how long we would be married, we just worked it out together every day,” said Lance. The Lances have two sons, Stephen and Glenn, and five grandchildren. “We always included the boys in whatever activity we had. When they were little and we were traveling, we would sing Jesus Loves Me in the car and they learned verses and had to live by them. They were given an allowance and had to budget that money and we always kept them in music lessons. I think as parents, we need to communicate right and wrong and values and how what they do brings reproach on their parents and the community. I am very blessed and proud of each of my children and grandchildren. My boys check on me daily,” Lance explained.
The Lance family always had a farm with livestock and today Lance still tends to her animals, though her sons do the heavy lifting, she still maintains a garden and cans food from it, she prepares most of her meals and mows her own lawn. She tries to help other friends and families and provides rides to her friends and has been a caregiver when needed. “Most days I’m at the farm checking to see if the cattle are peaceable. I ride in a ranger; the cows know me. The cat at the barn meets me also and rides in the ranger. I ring a cowbell to lead cattle from one pasture to another. I try to keep active and busy. I read, quilt or piece quilt tops at quiet or rest times and I enjoy walking,” said Lance.