Lawrence Hopkins

Lawrence Hopkins

Pre-1940s Ranching

Inducted 2024

Lawrence Hopkins was born in Kenmare, North Dakota, on July 4, 1907. He lived in the Kenmare area as a boy and went to work as a ranch hand at an early age. He married Bernadette Manners in 1928 and they became barbershop/cafe owners in Regan, ND. In the Spring of 1939, Lawrence and Bernadette purchased 80 acres near Regan that Lawrence described as “rock piles and mostly scenery”.

Homesteaders had settled there in 1910, but plowing didn’t work well with the type of land. Lawrence thought “going along with nature” was a better plan and started a cattle ranch.

In 1951, Lawrence built Willow Spring Ranch southeast of Regan in Rock Hill Township and moved his family there. By 1964, Lawrence had acquired 12,800 acres of land, adding the ZX Ranch near Wing. At the peak of his ranching, he had over 3000 head of cattle. He raised Registered Herefords which were often shown at cattle shows by his daughter, Rosemary. In the late 60’s, Lawrence tried his hand at raising long horn cattle which turned out to be poorly timed as the blizzard of 1966 wiped out most of the herd. Never one to give up, Lawrence learned from this experience and went on to successfully ranch until his death November 22, 1986.

Lawrence was an expert rider and always had a horse on the ranch. He was a cowboy in every sense of the word, always seen with cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. He found a sense of spirituality when working with the land and cattle and was most happy when riding among his cattle.

He was a member of the North Dakota Hereford Association for many years and served as its president. He was a charter member and a past director of the Wing Horse Club and was involved in the Wing Rodeo for many years. He belonged to the North Dakota Stockmen’s Association.

Lawrence’s daughter, Rosemary, lives on Willow Springs Ranch and continues to hold the brand of the ZX and Willow Springs Ranches. Grandson, Darrell Oswald owns/ranches several sections of Willow Springs Ranch including the original 80 acres.