Irma Williams Hancock McGuire was an avid cowgirl and true horsewomen. Irma was able to portray her true love of the western life through the colorful stories she shared with her children, grandchildren and friends. She was able to paint a picture in my mind of a horse crazy, tow headed little girl climbing up on a horse with no saddle or bridle. When Irma was nine she rode for several miles in below zero weather to find a Dr. to help her sick brother. This is one of the many stories she shared with her captive audiences.
Her education included a Catholic school in South Dakota, schools in the Shot Gun Butte area west of Pavillion and the Red Canyon School House.
In 1926 Irma married Sam Hancock, they began their ranching lives together in the Red Canyon area. Five children were born to Sam and Irma; William, Arminta, Edna, John and Patricia. Irma was a true ranchers’ wife, she milked cows and sold cream to help supplement their ranching income. One of Irma’s many talents was shoeing horses…..in fact she shod horses until she was in her nineties.
After Sam’s death in 1965 Irma began a new career, she became an outfitter guiding hunters and fisherman horseback. Also, Irma did day work for neighbors riding and helping with cattle work. She enjoyed helping her grown children on their respective cattle ranches.
In 1972 Irma married Jerry McGuire, they moved to rural Riverton, Wyoming raising and showing Morgan horses. In 1979 she was chosen as the Old Timer’s Rodeo queen at Lander, Wyoming. The announcer said that day “After Irma, God broke the mold.” At the National competition in Las Vegas for Old Timer’s Queen she was selected Ms. Congeniality. Irma won various awards for her horsemanship while showing her beloved Morgan horses. Irma left a tremendous legacy, her extreme love of horses, her tough determined cowgirl attitude, her strength and her love of the outdoors. She truly spent her lifetime “in the saddle.” Irma never met a horse that was too tough for her.