Early Days of Greenbush: Alexander willard


John Web Nance.

Line Divider

John W. Nance was born in Rockingham county, North Carolina, May 15, 1814. He was a son of William H. and Noncy(Lowe) Nance. His father and grandfather, John Nance, were natives of North Carolina.

His boyhood days were passed in middle and west Tennessee. He was married May 24, 1836, to Nancy Simmons in calaway county, Kentucky, near Paris, Tennessee. She was a daughter of Charles Simmons, who came to Greenbush in 1845. In January, 1845, John W. Nance moved from Tennessee to Stoddard county, Missouri. In April, 1845, he moved from Missouri to Illinois, and settled in the town of Greenbush, April 27, 1845. On April 27, 1857, he moved to his farm five miles northest of the village of Greenbush, where his wife Nancy died November 13, 1872. To them were born the following-named children;

Francis Marion, born February 20, 1837; married Alice M. Sorter, December 19, 1861. She died February 13, 1866. His second marriage was to Josie Thurman.

Francis Marion, born February 20, 1838. He was enrolled in Co. H, 83rd regiment, Illinois Vol. Infantry, August 9, 1862, at Greenbush, Illinois, and was mustered in the service at Monmouth, Illinois, August 11, 1862.

In the formation of the company he was elected second sergeant. On the 14th day of March, a863, he was promoted to the office of second lieutenant. This regiment went into camp at Fort Heiman, Tenn., September 5, 1862, within fifteen miles of where Francis M. was born. During the greater part of the time he was in service he was in command of the mounted infantry, whose duty was to hunt guerillas, repair telegraph lines, and protect foraging parties. On one of these trips Egbert Bostwick was killed; he was a comrade who had the love and respect of all who knew him. This company had many exciting skirmishes with the guerillas. February 3, 1863, at Fort Donelson, Tennessee, nine companies of the 83rd regiment with company C., second Illinois light artillery, successfully resisted the attack of Forest and Wheeler with 8000 men. The 83rd regiment moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, in October, 1864; from there to Nashville, Tennessee, in June, 1865, where they were mustered out June 26, 1865. This mounted infantry, while out with scouting parties, became familiar with most of the people living between the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers from Paducah to Nashville. They will be remembered by some of those people, no doubt, to this day. While at Clarksville, Tennessee, F.M. Nance became acquainted with Miss Georgia Alwell. After he was mustered out of the service, he returned to Clarksville where they were married October 26, 1865.

Susan Alabama, born April 3, 1839; married Levi Lincoln, December 3, 1857. He died March 30, 1901.

Mary Jane, born November 27, 1840; married Josiah Smith, March 16, 1865.

Sarah Elizabeth, born July 16, 1842; married James F. Mings. He died November 28, 1898.

Charles William, born August 11, 1844; married Eliza A. Wright, January 15, 1873. He died February 18, 1881.

Nancy Cinthela, born January 16, 1847; married Robert Byram, January 18, 1870.

Martha Washington, born December 4, 1848; married Dr. Emory Stone, February 24, 1876. Her second marriage was to Knox R. Marks, June 1, 1893. John Alonza, born February 10, 1853; married Eliza Smith, October 28, 1877.

Robert Henry, born January 20, 1856. First marriage to Melinda J. Shirley, August 16, 1875; she died September 10, 1879. Second marriage to Ann Shirley; third marriage to Tessie Meadows, June 8, 1904.

Harriet Missouri, born April 1, 1851; died August 11, 1852.

John W. Nance was married three times. His second wife was Mrs. Harriet E. Brooks. This marriage occured January 11, 1874. She died March 22, 1878.

His third marriage was with Mary (Lucas) Crawford, April 20, 1879, at Abingdon, Illinois, where they now reside.

Mr. Nance was by occupation a carpenter in his younger days, afterwards a farmer. In 1850, he went with Dr. Bailey Ragon to Monmouth, Illinois, and joined the Masonic fraternity, Lodge No 37, A. F. & A. M. He now belongs to Abingdon Lodge.

In politics he was a Whig up to 1856, afterwards a Democrat.

In religion he is a member of the Missionary Baptist church.

He has always borne the name of an honest, upright citizen, to which he is justly entitled.

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