Overview Historic Nance Farm is located at 1325 Greenbrook Drive, in the Mantlebrook Subdivision in DeSoto, Texas. Nance Farm was designated as a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark in 1976.
Otway Bird Nance (1805-1874) brought his wife and ten children from Illinois in 1851 and purchased 640 acres from Peter's Colony. Patriarch Otway B. Nance built the milking barn and the home that same year. He acquired more land, and within the next several years, the Nance Farm property had doubled in size.
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The property was owned and occupied by the Nance Family until the 1950’s. Over the next two decades the surrounding land was subdivided into residential lots. In 1975 the City of DeSoto purchased the property and utilized it as a community center. The property was sold back into private ownership in 1981, but was later in jeopardy of foreclosure. By the time the City of DeSoto again purchased Nance Farm in 2007, the size of the property had been reduced to just over two (2) acres.
Though the main house was originally built as a two-story home with a Greek Revival façade, it now reflects a Victorian style with a full-length front porch. The transformation from Greek Revival to Victorian occurred sometime prior to 1883.
The current kitchen and dining room were added to the home as an attached wing; however, it was common practice in the 1850’s to have a detached kitchen and this may have been the case with the Nance Farm house when it was first constructed.
Accessory structures include a windmill, windmill well, bucket well, curing shed, milking barn, and tank house.
With the help of Representative Helen Giddings, the City was awarded a matching grant through the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in 2008. This grant funded the creation of the Restoration Master Plan, and the remaining amount was used fund construction of Initial Phase of the Master Plan.
The DeSoto City Council created the DeSoto, Texas Historical Foundation Board, whose current primary focus is to advise City staff regarding the restoration of Historic Nance Farm