Governor Albinus Nance






    Albinus Nance, Governor

    of Nebraska, was born at

    La Fayette, Stark County,

    Illinois, March 80, 1848.


    He is the eldest son of Dr.

    Hiram Nance, who for many

    years has been one of the

    most successful physicians in

    central Illinois.


    The ancestors of Governor

    Nance, on his father's side,

    were French Huguenots, and

    were driven from France by

    the religious intolerance and persecutions that followed the revocation of the edict

    of Nantes.


    They came, with many others, to the New World, and formed a prosperous

    community in the State of North Carolina. Their descendants moved north-

    ward and westward, as the frontier settlements advanced, and in 1836 Dr.

    Hiram Nance located in the then new State of Illinois, the "far west" of that



    The Governor's ancestors on his mother's side were of English origin. His

    mother's maiden name was Sarah K. Smith, and she was born in the State of



    At the commencement of the late war the subject of this sketch was too young

    to enlist, but at a later period in the struggle, when less care was observed in

    recruiting for the Union armies, he enlisted in the Ninth Illinois cavalry. At the

    date of enlistment he was only sixteen years old, and it is one of the traditions

    of the family that the young soldier was mustered in contrary to the wishes and

    earnest protests of his parents.


    He continued in the service until the close of the war, and participated in

    the following-named battles:  Guntown, Hurricane Creek, Tupelo, Columbia

    (Tenn.), Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville. In the last-mentioned battle he

    was slightly wounded.


    When the war ended and his regiment disbanded he became a student at

    Knox College, Galesburg, Illinois; taking a part of the classical 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.


    Impressed with the belief that the West would afford a more promising field

    for the employment of his youthful energies, he went to Nebraska in 1871,

    taking a homestead in Polk County. There he devoted part of his time to

    farming, and gave some attention to the profession of law. Finally he removed

    to Osceola, the county seat of Polk County, and soon established a lucrative



    In 1874 his friends submitted his name to the Republican Convention of the

    Thirteenth District for Representative in the State Legislature. The Convention

    was the scene of an exciting content. Seven candidates were in the field, and the

    friends of each aspirant worked with great energy for their favorite. Finally, after

    a number of ballots had been taken, Albinus Nance received the nomination by

    a majority of only one vote. This was the commencement of a remarkable series

    of political victories. His principal opponent before the Convention refused to

    abide by the result, and promptly entered the field as an independent candidate.

    Great efforts were made to defeat the regular candidate, but without success.

    He was elected by about two thousand majority, and during the ensuing session

    of the Legislature made a good record as a member of the House.


    September 30, 1875, he was married to Miss Sarah White, of Farragut, Iowa.


    In 1876 he was one of the delegates elected by the Republican State Convention,

    held at Fremont, to represent Nebraska in the Republican National Convention

    at Cincinnati, and was elected Chairman of the delegation. He was re nominated

    for the Legislature that year, and was re-elected without opposition representing

    the Thirty-fifth District under the new apportionment of 1875. When the

    Legislature convened, in January, 1877, he was elected Speaker of the House.


    The splendid record that he made as a presiding officer prepared the way for

    further honors.


    In 1878, when only thirty years old, he was nominated for Governor by the

    Republican State Convention, and was elected by the usual Republican majority.

    His administration was very acceptable to the people, and in 1880 he was re-

    nominated by acclamation, and was re-elected by an overwhelming majority,

    receiving a larger vote than any other candidate on the State ticket.


    The distinguishing feature of his administration has been an unassuming but

    inflexible determination to execute the laws with fidelity to the best interests of

    the people of Nebraska.


    Governor Nance's second term will end January 4, 1883.








 Source:  Public Men of Today - 1882