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Posted by Shane Murphy 
January 02, 2013 05:43PM
John Hance was born about 1840 at "Cowan's Ferry" on the French Broad River. His father, Greenberry (I believe) was married three times. John was one of three children from the first marriage with Elizabeth James. John went on to become famous as Grand Canyon's first settler, guide and story teller.

At the time of John's birth, his family apparently lived on/owned a 50 acre farm somewhere near Cowan's Ferry. In 1852, according to John's younger half-brother George Washington Hance (who once claimed birth in Swinesville, TN), the family relocated to Phelps County, Missouri. John would have been about 12 at the time.

I'm interested in John's childhood near Cowan's Ferry. John is listed in the 1860 census as having attended school. I'd like to know anything about the schools John might have attended or where I could find records pertaining to his youth and education.

I'm also interested in the history of Cowan's Ferry, and Greenberry's family; apparently his father was a Hessian soldier who never went home. I plan to visit the area in latter March and would like to do as much research as possible beforehand.

I would welcome comments on the Hance Family and whatever details might exist of Cowan's Ferry.