Marva Vance & Thomas SJ Andersen

*James Wesley Vance

*James Wesley Vance

Male 1861 - 1947

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  • Born  1 Dec 1861  Alpine, Utah, Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    Died  23 Mar 1947  Alpine, Utah, Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I1  JW Vance Ancestors
    Last Modified  3 Jun 2012 

    Father  Major *John Wesley White Vance,   b. 26 Oct 1830, Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 2 Jun 1867, Sevier Utah Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother  *Rhoda Freestone,   b. 24 Dec 1844, Huntsville, Harden, Ohio, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Apr 1924, Alpine, Utah, Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  17 Nov 1859 
    Family ID  F1  Group Sheet

    Family  Lilly Florence Darnall 
     1. Marva Vance,   b. 18 Feb 1904, Alpine, Utah, Utah, USA Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jul 1979
    Last Modified  28 May 2012 
    Family ID  F1123  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    James Wesley Vance
    James Wesley Vance.bmp
    Grandma Marva's father

  • Notes 
    • Important people of Utah; family records of Lilly Vance Willis, Family records of Paul W. Vance;
      Lilly V Willis and Paul W Vance are children of James Wesley and Lilly Florence, those records are in James Wesely Vance and Lilly Florence Darnall descendents.

      James Wesley Vance, Bishop of Alpine, Alpine Stake, Utah Co. Utah, was born December 1, 1861 at Alpine, the son of John W. Vance and Rhoda Freestone. Thomas J. McCullough, was his Uncle and the Bishop. He was ordained an Elder December 16, 1883 by David Adams; ordained a seventy December 6, 1884 by Abraham H. Cannon and became a member of the 67 Quorum of Seventy.
      His father John Wesley Vance came to Alpine from Tennessee as a young man 22 years of age in the year 1852 when the few families comprising this little settlement were living in dugouts. His mother Rhoda Francis Freestone, was a plural wife and a woman of strong character. She was most courageous in those early days of poverty and hardship and met bravely every adversity. Of necessity she was frugal and industrious and these traits were instilled into her children. Her family consisted of James Wesley, a daughter Rhoda Francis and a baby boy George Frank who passed away during a diphtheria epidemic when 18 months old.
      James W. Vance always lived a life worthy of emulation, for he seemed to have inherited all the fine qualities of his ancestors. When he was only five and one half years of age his father was shot and killed by the Indians June 2, 1867 at Twelve Mile Creek, Sanpete County, Utah, where he with others had been sent to protect the Saints from the Indians. Though only 36 years of age Major Vance left a family of two wives and nine little children, six were under six years of age. This tragedy was felt by the entire settlement but most keenly by the wives and children who must now face the hardships of a long life ahead without the protection, love and help of husband and father.
      After his death, sister Rhoda Vance moved with her children to a little log house on the lot where her son James later built the comfortable adobe house in which all his children were raised and which a son Van bought after James lost it. Now grandson Gary Devereaux (2004 restored and embellished) lives in it.
      Being bereft of husband and father, the devotion between this son and mother was more than ordinary. Increased poverty and hardship naturally followed and much responsibility rested on the young boy. He found it necessary to herd cows on the hills at an early age to assist his widowed mother. When only fourteen years old he drove a herd of cattle to Southern Idaho for his uncle James Freestone and saved the money to help build their home.
      While his schooling consisted of three or four months during the winter seasons he took advantage of every opportunity to improve his mind and talents. His service in the Church began early and extended through all the active years of his life. He was a worthy recipient of the Priesthood in his youth and when 24 year of age was called to be the president of the ward Y.M.M.I.A. This position he held at three different times. For a number of years he was also a Ward teacher and a Sunday School teacher.
      In 1890 he received a call for a mission to the Southern States. During his absence his sister Francis and her husband Julius C. Beck cared for the farm and lived with his mother. He labored principally in the State of Kentucky, returning in 1892.
      February 22, 1893 in the Logan Temple he was married to Lilly Darnall, a beautiful young girl possessing qualities of love, kindness, sympathy and understanding, whose acquaintance he made while on his mission. They became the parents of seven children, five sons and two daughters.
      In April 1893 just a few weeks after their marriage, James Wesley was set apart as first counselor to Bishop Albert Marsh in the Alpine Ward and served for 14 years. In 1895, in addition to his other duties, he was called to fill a special mission in the Utah Stake. In Jan. 30, 1907 when bishop Marsh was released and the position filled by Benjamin Fullmer, James was retained as first Counselor for another seven years. Then on December 21, 1913 he was ordained Bishop of the Alpine Ward by Apostle George F. Richards and for fifteen years directed the affairs of the Ward with honor and trust.
      Aside from his ecclesiastical duties he worked untiringly in various civic positions. Being an excellent penman he was called to act as City Recorder for several terms, Secretary of the Alpine Irrigation Co., the Alpine Mercantile Co., the Cattle Range Co. and the Alpine Dairy and Exchange Company. He was President and Board member of various concerns and was a member of the Alpine City Council, Precinct and City Justice of the Peace and served as Mayor of the City in 1912 and 1913.
      All these duties made great demand upon his time and he was truly a public servant. He was one of the successful farmer of the community and his hours of labor were long and hard in order to keep up his home and public work.
      He was a very strick father. Everyone must go to Sunday School and Church so on Sunday morning he started to call the children early.
      His married life was happy and congenial but covered a period of only 23 years with his beloved Lilly, for on April 29th, 1916, after several months of intense pain and patient suffering she was called to leave him and six children. Paul was then a baby just ten months old. Their second son John Wesley had on Dec. 3, 1907 lost his life by accidental drowning while skating on a nearby pond. The sorrow caused by these sad experiences can be realized only by those who pass through them.
      Bishop James Vance and his family were not content to yield to circumstances but sought to control them and they carried on without a complaint. The responsibility of the household affairs and caring for the young baby rested chiefly on the daughter Lilly who was then in her sophomore year in high school. While it was anything but the easy life she did her part heroically.
      In the latter part of 19125 Bishop Vance received a call for a short term mission to California. His counselors, Edward W. Burgess and Earl M. Devey carried on the affairs of the Ward during his absense and he filled an honorable mission.
      On March 8th, 1927, the happiness of having another worthy companion was his when sister Louise Heidel, a convert to the Church in Germany, became his wife. They were married in the Salt Lake temple. She filled a long felt need in their home and was loved not only by the family but by every member of the Ward. Loved for the purity of her soul, her kindness, her unselfishness and her desire to live every principle of the gospel she knew to be true.
      In July 1928, Bishop James Vance was honorably released from his position as Bishop after 35 years of continuous service --20 years as Counselor and 15 years as Bishop. At the time of his release he was selected as one of the members of the first High Council of the new Alpine Stake.
      In about 1939 he was seized with an attack of Sciatic Rheumatism and for more than four months suffered the most excruciating pain. He was tenderly nursed back to health and all were thankful to have his life spared for a few more years.
      One of the happiest days of his life was on Dec.1, 1941, his 80th birthday. It was a lovely occasion when every living member of his family met in Mesa, Arizona to do him honor. He enjoyed Their expressions of love and appreciation and as he looked on their beautiful faces the trials and sorrows of his younger years seemed to fade away.
      No doubt his long life and youthful appearance can be attributed to the fact that he never defiled his earthly tabernacle. The Lord was kind to him in his last illness for it lasted only a week and he suffered no pain. When the end came march 23, 1947, he simply went to sleep. His children were kind and thoughtful in his declining years and too much praise cannot be given to his lovely wife, who gave twenty years of her married life to his comfort, never neglecting an opportunity to make his life more pleasant. As some of the children have expressed it, "If Mother could have had the privilege of choosing one to take her place her choice would no doubt have been Aunt Louise."
      So faithful and righteous a man was James Wesley Vance that brother Clifford Young, while speaking at a conference in Mesa Arizona, made the remark that in the Alpine Stake, Alpine, UTAH, there was a Bishop he had in mind that accepted without question, the principles of the Gospel and sustained wholeheartedly the general authorities of the Church and that strove with all his ability to live the Gospel by precept and example. He then said his name was James Wesley Vance, Bishop of the Alpine Ward, Alpine Stake, Utah.
      The family of James Wesley Vance can well be proud of the name they bear and can cherish the memory of a father and grandfather who never let pass from his lips of an unclean story or ever used words unbecoming to a latter Day Saint as an outlet of anger. He leaves them a name free from scar or blemish--a heritage greater far than any earthly possession.


      Blessing given to Elder James Wesley Vance (before his departure on a mission to the Southern States ) by Elders John Henry Smith, Heber J Grant, and Abraham H. Cannon the latter being mouth; Salt Lake City, Tuesday, April 8th, 1890

      Brother James Wesley Vance, in the name of Jesus Christ and in the authority of the Holy Priesthood, we set you apart to a mission to the Southern States, whereunto you have been called by the voice of revelation through the servants of God, and we bless you that you may be preserved in your journeys to this place and in your labors among the people, that no harm may befall you, neither in your body nor in your spirit; that the Lord will give His angels charge concerning you, that you may be able to resist the temptations by which you are surrounded and the snares which th adversary lays in your path, and that you may be warned from time to time by the whisperings of the Spirit concerning the dangers which threaten you; and if you follow the dictates of that Spirit you shall be enabled to escape the same, and to bear a faithful testimony to the people where you are sent to labor may be left without excuse in the day of judgment; that you may warn them of the dangers which threaten them through the judgments of God upon the wicked, and that you may be the instrument in the hands of our Father of gathering someones soul to a knowledge of the truth and administer unto them the ordinances of the gospel. Be exemplary in all your walk and conversation, avoid the very appearance of evil, banish from your mind every impure thought, keep your body free from every sin and pure and holy, that the Spirit of God may dwell therein in peace, that you may have joy in your labors and be guided in all things by The Holy Spirit, that you may not go astray, but by your example as well as your precept bring souls unto the Lord.
      We bless you with all your former blessings. We reconfirm them upon your head, and say they shall be yours, and every blessing that your hear can desire in righteousness, if you are faithful; and we do so in the name of Jesus Christ,

      DAD ( Written for his funeral)
      The curtains of the night were As soft as twilight gloom
      When a kind and all wise Father' In wisdom called Dad home.

      His work was done - a life well lived No pages for regret
      Each rocky road or won success, He faced and humbly met.

      Dad never asked for riches Nor reached out for acclaim
      But only that his children Should bring honor to his name

      He spent his life-all golden years In gathering gems of truth
      His wisdom guided riper years, Inspired those of youth.

      We'll miss his kindly counsel And his tender leading care
      For our worries and our burdens He was much too prone to share.

      Dad never stooped to anger But in kindness day by day
      By precept and example Pointed out the better way

      "Judge not that ye be not judged" Was his motto and his creed.
      And his heart and hand was ready To help others in their need.

      May we be his humble children Resolve through jeweled tears -
      Prove our tender love for Dad By living golden years.

      May we follow in his footsteps And teach our Children too
      The way of life, the Gospel truths That he would have us do

      We know he's not so far away We'll feel his presence near
      God softly snuffed the candle Because the dawn is here