I visited this place as a kid probably a school field trip, I really don’t remember. I went to school in DeSoto, TX all 12 years and graduated there. It was only a few days ago that I remembered this place, looked it up on the internet, and sure enough it’s still there. The gates are locked so I had to photograph it from the street. They do tours, I would love to take some photos up closer and inside and around the property. Wow oh wow wouldn’t I :) Photo taken 7/29/08.
Historic Nance Farm, circa 1850s, is located at 1325 Greenbrook Drive in DeSoto, Texas. It is the oldest and finest preserved Antebellum Southern Upland Plantation Farm complex in North Texas. In 1976 the Texas Historical Commission gave Nance Farm a State Historic Marker realizing its importance to the community.
Otway Bird Nance (1805-1874) brought his wife and six children from Illinois in 1851 and purchased 620 acres from Peter’s Colony. Over the next few years he acquired quite a bit of wealth and property in the area. He farmed and raised
cattle, sheep. and horses and had two to four domestic and farm-working slaves until the end of the Civil War. Nance Farm remained in family ownership until 1951 and at one point was owned by the City of DeSoto.
The home sits on 2 1/2 acres in a residential area. The farm complex structures are very simple and plain – probably constructed by O.B. Nance’s slaves and family. The main home seems to have started as a one-pen log cabin and shortly progressed to a dogtrot then the second floor was added. A very large detached kitchen that also served as quarters for the domestic servants was attached to the house in 1898 – it serves as a dining room and kitchen for the house today. Originally a root cellar lay in the spot where the detached kitchen now sits. Several early out-buildings still exist. There is a barn and curing shed from the 1850s and a carriage barn from the 1880s – now converted to a den – and an early limestone well. There is also an elevated water tower and a windmill from the turn of the century on the property.
Descendants of Otway Bird Nance lived on the farm until the property was sold in 1951. It was owned by the City of DeSoto in 1974 and received a historical marker in 1976. The City sold the property in 1981. After years of private ownership, the farm became subject to foreclosure in 2007. On July 9, 2007, the City of DeSoto once again became the proud owner of Nance Farm.