Beulah Woman Named ‘Western Woman of the Year’

Local News

Cowboy poetry is a simple narrative: two lines of rhymed verse. But these poems, when read together, tell a part of the Peace Garden state’s tale.

KX News is proud of North Dakota. That’s why we’re introducing you to one of our natives, born to work one of the oldest professions in the world: storytelling.

Fran Armstrong grew up on the Fort Berthold reservation riding bareback, but Beulah is where she considers home. She raised her three kids here, after all, not to mention her five grandkids, 11 great-grandkids and her beloved horses.

“You know, there should be hub-bub and noise, and kids around, and all of that,” she explained.

She was a school teacher for 34 years, 31 in Beulah.

She shared, “I think I was meant to be a teacher because as a child being the youngest, I learned to read before I went to school. We were a reading family. My mother would read to us. At night in those long winter months, when it’s cold and the nights are long, she’d read and read, and she’d get hoarse from reading. And we would say ‘Lies noch mehr!’ That means ‘Read some more!'” Armstrong laughed.

She’s been a ‘scribbler’, as she calls writing since she was in grade school. But in the late ’80s, she published her first book of cowboy poetry, a true calling for Armstrong.

“The cowboy movement started with Bill Lowman out in Medora. I went out there that first year, 1987, and on the way home, I wrote a poem that I think was always in my heart. By the next year when we had the poetry gathering, I had my first book published, The Hills of Home.”

Her second book quickly followed.

“It’s little anecdotes and poems, I was just looking through and thinking, ‘Gee this is really cute’,” she giggled.

“Nothing like feeling good about what you do, right? Anyway, that’s called, Shhhh! The Teacher’s Coming. And the picture on the front cover, the editor of the Beulah Beacon at the time was a friend of mine, and her son was in my room so I staged this thing. And I’m telling you this so you know I didn’t just let children run around across their desks.”

And just a couple of weeks ago, she was recognized for all of her work. The Montana silver around her neck is a Western Woman of the Year Award.

Fran also owns a cabin, made into a bed and breakfast in Medora. She and her late husband Dean re-built it from scratch years back.

Now she spends her summers making pancakes for her many guests.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

Jaxon Duttenhefer

Thumbnail for the video titled "Jaxon Duttenhefer"

Mr. Basketball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mr. Basketball"

2 New Exec Orders

Thumbnail for the video titled "2 New Exec Orders"

Music at CHI

Thumbnail for the video titled "Music at CHI"

Pebble Creek

Thumbnail for the video titled "Pebble Creek"

Telemedicine

Thumbnail for the video titled "Telemedicine"

Telehealth

Thumbnail for the video titled "Telehealth"

Overpayment Scam

Thumbnail for the video titled "Overpayment Scam"

Hockey

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hockey"

Friday, March 27th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Friday, March 27th, 2020 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Face Masks

Thumbnail for the video titled "Face Masks"

Rent Paid

Thumbnail for the video titled "Rent Paid"

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 3/27

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader 3/27"

United Way

Thumbnail for the video titled "United Way"

Protecting Homeless

Thumbnail for the video titled "Protecting Homeless"

Calls Down

Thumbnail for the video titled "Calls Down"

Community Funds

Thumbnail for the video titled "Community Funds"

Virtual Nursing Program MSU

Thumbnail for the video titled "Virtual Nursing Program MSU"

Cupcake Kits

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cupcake Kits"

Virtual Dance Classes

Thumbnail for the video titled "Virtual Dance Classes"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss

Daily Pledge

More Daily Pledge