ALBERT G. NANCE, who started upon his business career with his farm of one hundred acres and since that time through capable management and carefully directed investment has become the owner of nine hundred and sixty-six acres of valuable land, was born March 17, 1842, on a farm eight miles west of Petersburg just within the county line. His parents were Thomas J. and Catherine D. (Houghton) Nance, the latter a daughter of Charles Houghton. Thomas J. Nance was in early life a resident of Kentucky and came of French ancestry. The family resided in the north of France for many generations and representatives of the name went with William the Conqueror when he made his invasion into England and claimed it as a Norman possession. It was several centuries later before the family was established in America, arriving in Virginia about 1630. Thomas J. Nance, with his parents, removed from Virginia to Kentucky and later came to Illinois, where he died July 22, 1842, at the comparatively early age of thirty years. He had purchased land and he began the development of a farm in this locality and the farm upon which our subject now resides was once the property of his grandfather Nance. The father was the owner of five hundred acres of land at the time of his death and in order to settle the estate two hundred acres of this was sold. He was quite prominent in political circles and was the Democratic nominee for state senator at the time of his death, which occurred in the summer, while the election was held in the succeeding fall. He had twice been a candidate of the office, but had been defeated by John Bennett on account of a temperance speech which he made about that time at Salem and which won him the opposition of all those who were opposed to temperance, However, popular opinion had set again in his favor and he was elected to the state legislature. Later he became a candidate for the senate and he would undoubtedly have been elected had he lived. After his death his cousin Louis Wynne was nominated in his place and was elected. He served as state senator for one term and died in the District of Columbia.
In the family of Thomas J. and Catherine D. Nance were four children, of whom Albert G. is the youngest. Elizabeth married Clinton Wynne and resided on the old home farm west of Petersburg, where she died March 14, 1866. She had two children, one of whom is now living-Mrs. O.B. Carter, of Los Angeles, California. Harriet B. became the wife of Philemon Struble and at her death, which occurred in January, 1873, she left two children. Benjamin Nance, who was the second member of the family, died in infancy July 7, 1839.
Albert G. Nance, the youngest of his father's family, began his early education in the common schools near his home and later continued his studies in the Indian Point school, which was the best institution of learning in the county at that time. He was a student there in 1859-60, and when sixteen years of age he left home, starting out in life for himself. Since that time he has been dependent almost entirely upon his own resources and his career crowned with success has been most creditable because it has ever been in conformity with the strict ethics of business honor.
In October, 1866, occurred the marriage of Mr. Nance and Miss Laura Isabel Osburn, a daughter of Enos and Sarah (Casselman) Osburn. Her father was a native of Virginia and was of Scotch-Irish lineage, while the Casselmans are of German descent. He came to Illinois about 1834 and was therefore one of the pioneer residents of the state, taking an active and helpful part in its early development. At the time of his marriage Mr. Nance took his bride to his farm and has since labored persistently and wisely in the development of his business interests. As his financial resources increased he has added to his property from time to time, making judicious investments until he now owns nine hundred and sixty-six acres of rich land. He inherited one hundred acres, so that he has personally acquired over eight hundred acres. He bought one forty-acre tract at ten dollars per acre, for another he gave ten dollars per acre and the remainder of his land was bought at prices ranging from ten to sixty-five dollars per acre. It is all now worth one hundred dollars per acre, so that it is a very valuable property. Mr. Nance has engaged extensively in stock-raising, making a specialty of the breeding of shorthorn cattle and of horses. He does not rent his land, but gives his personal supervision to its cultivation and improvement and keeps the entire farm in excellent condition, the fields being richly cultivated, while good grades of stock are seen in his pastures.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Nance have been born six children: Carrie B. is now the wife of Charles Goodwin, a resident of Clinton, Oklahoma, where he is engaged in the grain trade. They have one son and one daughter, Albert Nance and Georgie. Thomas J. Nance, the second member of the family, married Alice Curry and resides in Clinton, Oklahoma, where he is now president of the First National Bank. He is prominent in financial circles there and is also the owner of town and country property. He has one son, to whom the name of Albert Nance has been given. Catherine is the wife of George Warnsing and they reside upon a farm near Greenview. They have two children, Laura Marie and Hermina. Harriett B., deceased, was the wife of Harry Shirding, who is connected with the Bank of Petersburg, and they had one daughter, Hattie Shirding, who is now eleven years of age. Horace Greeley married Sudia Purkapile and resides upon the old family homestead with his parents. Louise, the youngest, of the family, is a student in Eureka College at Eureka, Illinois.
Although Mr. Nance was reared in the faith of the Democratic party he is a stanch advocate of Republican principles and is a recognized leader in the ranks of his party. He served in the state legislature in 1874-75 and he has always been found as the champion of every political movement which has for its object the greatest good to the greatest number. He and his wife are members of the Christian church and are people of the highest respectability. He has been and is distinctively a man of affairs who has wielded a wide influence and his championship of many measures has been the support that has led to the success of many public movements in his locality.