submitted by Neal Carter, Sept. 28, 2007


John J. Vance departed this life this morning between the hours of 8 and 9 o’clock after an illness of nine weeks. The condition of the deceased has been so often reported in the JOURNAL as being alarmingly low that the sad news of to-day has been generally anticipated. The first symptoms of his disease manifested themselves soon after returning to the city from his farm, in Sweetland, where it was feared he had over exerted himself in digging a well. It took the form of Bright’s disease but it was apparently attended with a complication of ailments, he complaining greatly in his last days of a suffering in his stomach. He died at the residence of Mr. Burtner on Third street.

Mr. Vance was born in Newville, Penn., March 4th, 1823. He came west in 1845 and took rank among the most esteemed of our old settlers. He was a cabinet maker by trade and for many years had a shop with his brother, R. I., on the Avenue between Second and Front streets. The firm used to raft their timber across the river from Illinois, and their work was known and valued for its honest material and skill. On discontinuing his trade deceased purchased a farm in Sweetland, which he personally worked during the Summer, passing his winters in the city. He married early in Muscatine but his wedded life was soon clouded by the shadow of death; he remained so true to those early vows during the many years passed in widowhood that to the many unacquainted with that early chapter in his history, he was classed with the sturdy bachelors of the city.

Deceased was not a member of a religious society, but he was a close and studious attendant at the Presbyterian church, and it is believed accepted its faith as his own. He was also an honored member of the order of Odd Fellows. But higher than all, he was an upright man, a good citizen, a true friend. He had a few intimacies, but …… bound to these limited friendships by bands of steel.

His brother, R. I. Vance, of Sweetland, survives, and there are other relatives living in the west, and owing to the arrangements being made for their attendance at the funeral, the date of the service could not be had on our going to press. It is thought that the funeral will be held at the Presbyterian church and be conducted under the management of the Odd Fellows.

LATER – The funeral has been appointed for Wednesday, Dec. 13th, at 2 p. m. from the Presbyterian church.

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