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Flowers left for Albinus Nance
ALBINUS NANCE, Fourth Governor of the State of Nebraska, and in that connection the recipient of the confidence, admiration and highest esteem of the people, not simply of Nebraska, but wherever his most excellent administration is known. If, however, it be but borne in mind that Gov. Nance is a descendant of a long line of noble representatives of a certain Huguenot family, whose members were of the stamp and stuff of which martyrs and heroes are made, and therefore persons of thought, conviction and strength of character, it is not surprising that he should possess the same, which under the more happy regime of present government and liberality of opinion, should bring him into prominence and enable him in his high station to sustain a reputation most brilliant.
The ancestors of Gov. Nance on his father's side were of that number driven from France by the religious intolerance and persecution that followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. With many others similarly situated they came to the New World and formed what became a very prosperous community in the State of North Carolina, their descendants moving North and Westward, ever in the vanguard of progress, as section after section and district after district were located.
The subject of our sketch was born on the 30th of March, 1848, at Lafayette, Stark Co., Ill., and he is the oldest son of Dr. Hiram Nance, for many years one of the most successful physicians and able surgeons in Central Illinois. His settlement in that State dates back to 1836. It was the Far West of that period, and was filled with far more of danger, difficulty and hardship, and demanded more spirit, bravery and self-denial than is conceivable in these days, when the bands of steel pass by the door of the Western pioneer, and thus bring him into almost immediate contact with the great world of civilization. The ancestry of Gov. Nance upon the maternal side of the family was English. The maiden name of his mother was Sarah R. Smith, who was born in the State of Ohio.
At the outbreak of the Civil War Albinus was but a lad of thirteen, but his patriotic soul was fired with loyal enthusiasm, and he chafed severely at the restraint of years that prevented him taking a more able stand in defense of the Union. At a later period of the struggle and when just sixteen years of age, he enlisted in the 9th Illinois Cavalry. The youthful defender and intrepid young soldier was mustered in contrary to both the wishes and continued earnest protests of his parents and friends. But he could know no restraint in this matter, and was determined to follow the stars and stripes, and to defend them if so needed until the death. He continued in the service until the close of the war, and participated as an active combatant in the battles of Guntown, Hurricane Creek, Franklin, Nashville, Tupelo, Spring Hill and Columbia, Tenn. He was one in the line that made one of the most daring and gallant charges at the battle of Nashville, and was slightly wounded in the same.
The necessity for war being passed, Cavalryman Nance returned his saber to its sheath, and when the regiment disbanded returned to his home and became a student at Knox College, Galesburg, Ill., where he took part of the classic course. Soon after leaving college he commenced the study of law, and in 1870 was admitted to the bar by the Supreme Court of Illinois, after passing in the best possible manner a very rigid examination.
Standing upon the threshold of life, the future stretching before him, animated by the grandeur of the prospect supplied by hope and ambition, the subject of our sketch was more fascinated and impressed by the opportunities and inducements held out by the newer country, and pursuant thereto he decided to come to Nebraska, as the most promising of all the States and Territories of that magnificent field. This was in 1871. He secured a homestead in Polk County, devoting part of his time to farming, but the larger part to the practice of his chosen profession; but his experience was such as almost invariably follows--his ability was speedily recognized and his legal work rapidly grew upon his hands, and before long he left his farm to sow and reap in other fields, it once more congenial and lucrative.
In accordance with the decision referred to in the above paragraph, Mr. Nance removed to Osceola, the county seat of Polk County, where before very long he was fully established in legal practice. In 1873 his friends submitted his name to the Republican Convention of the Thirteenth District for Representative in the State Legislature. The counties of Adams, Butler, Clay, Fillmore, Hamilton, Platte, Polk and York sent their delegates, and these gentlemen thus representing the interests of a large body of citizens in those counties, comprised the convention to which his name was presented. There were seven candidates in all, and each candidate had his circle of friends; these were diligent in season and out of season to advance the interests of the several candidates. Naturally a long and exciting contest was speedily commenced, and watched with deep interest by all. In order that the reader may appreciate the position occupied by the young lawyer in the estimation of the people, and the impress his character and ability had already made, we would notice that after several ballots had been taken the announcement was made that Albinus Nance received the nomination, and thus began his political career with a clear sun and a fair sky.
The principal opponent of our subject in the convention, urged by his friends, and spurred on by his own, doubtless, laudable ambition, determined to enter the field as an independent candidate, and the most strenuous efforts were made to defeat the regular candidate of the convention, but without success. The election showed a majority of about 2,000 in favor of the subject of this writing.
In 1876 Mr. Nance was one of the six delegates chosen by the Republican State Convention to represent this State at the National Convention at Cincinnati, and was by his fellows elected Chairman of the delegation. During that year he was renominated for the Legislature, indeed, almost without opposition, and at the opening session of the Legislative body he was elected Speaker of the House. If he had made a reputation and record as a member he more than established it, and added fresh luster in his more advanced position, thus necessarily bringing himself before the people, who at once recognized in him one worthy of additional honors. In 1878 the Republican State Convention nominated him for Governor, and he was elected by a large majority. In 1880 he was renominated by acclamation and with wild enthusiasm, and reelected by a majority greatly in excess of any other candidate on the State ticket.
One of the happiest steps ever taken by Gov. Nance was that of his union in matrimony in 1875, when he became the husband of Miss Sarah White, daughter of Egbert and Mary White, of Farragut, Iowa, who presented her husband with a bright and beautiful little daughter, who bears the name of Nellie.



- Gerhardt Leffler
 Added: Dec. 4, 2004

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