THOMAS VANCE. - It is a far cry from Maine to California, but such was the call that brought Mr. Vance to the
far west over forty seven years ago. His earliest recollections, however, are of a home in Nova Scotia, his birth
having occurred there, in Colchester county, October 23, 1828. Nova Scotia was also the birthplace of his father,
John Vance, who passed the greater part of his life as a farmer in that country, his earth life coming to a close
when he had reached the advanced age of eighty nine years. Of the parental family of ten children Thomas Vance
was the youngest and is the only one living. As his father was a farmer it is but natural that he should also become
familiar with the calling, and indeed this early training became the ground work of his success in the same line
in after years. In the schools adjacent to his boyhood home he received his educational training, which, with his
experience on the home farm, constituted his equipment for the duties of life that lay before him.
When he started out to make his own 'way in the world farming appealed to Mr. Vance very strongly, in the first
place because it was the only thing with which he was familiar, and in the second place because it was the only
thing that offered at the time he most needed it. Thus it followed that he continued farming in Nova Scotia until
1865, that year marking his removal to Maine. In Aroostook county he settled upon a farm which he purchased and
continued to make his home until the attractions of California could no longer be resisted. March 17, 1868, marks
the day on which he left the Pine Tree state, and his residence in Eureka, Cal., dates from May 15 of the same
year. More fortunate than many who have made this cross country journey he was met by a relative, his brother John
having preceded him to the west and become established in business. As proprietor of a sawmill he was doing a good
business and was able to give the younger brother employment. As soon as the latter became familiar with the business
he was placed in charge of the mill and for over twenty years he continued in this capacity. At the end of this
time he gave up active business life altogether and has since lived retired in Eureka, now making his home at No.
635 Fifteenth street, with his daughter, Mrs. McCullough.
In Nova Scotia Mr. Vance was united in marriage with Elizabeth Miller, a native of that country, who died in Eureka
August 5, 1913. Six children were born of this marriage and of them we mention the following: John died when four
years old; Mary Jane died when two years of age; James E. was accidentally drowned in Humboldt bay; Cassie, Mrs.
Jenson, passed away in Eureka; William died in July, 1913; and Annie Belle, Mrs. McCullough, with whom Mr. Vance
makes his home, is the only living child. In the loss of wife and children Mr. Vance has indeed suffered deeply,
but his later years are being filled with all of the joy and comfort that it is possible for his only remaining
daughter to bestow. In his religious faith Mr. Vance believes in the tenets of the Presbyterian denomination, and
in his political belief he is a Republican.
History of Humboldt County, California
With a Biographical Sketches
History by Leigh H. Irving
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1915
Humboldt County, CA
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