Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Message 1912

In 1912, G. H. Broyles was the pastor of Lithia Baptist Church. My grandmother, Mattie Blanche Nace Ruble, received this little card with a photo of him pasted on the cover.

Inside was printed his Christmas message:

In December 1912, Grandma would have been married, living in Roanoke, and six months pregnant with her second child—my mother.

When she was younger, she received this carnation vase as a Christmas gift at Lithia Baptist Church.

The candle holder beside the vase was also hers, as was the smaller vase in the background. I don't know if they were Christmas gifts or not.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Spence Connection

My Great Grandma Nace went by her middle name Frances. Her first name was Sulmena/Sulmenia/Sulmana (depending on which source you consult). She came from the Big Island area of Bedford County, across the mountains from where she spent most of her married life. Update: She came from near Big Island, in the Charlemont section of Bedford County. Her family moved to Buchanan when she was 15.

Her maiden name was Spence. Her parents were Andrew F. Spence and Mary Lucy Goff, who were married on December 19, 1849. Lucy was the daughter of Archibald Goff of Bedford County. Jefferson Goff provided surety for the marriage bond.

She had two sisters and six brothers. 

The Spence names on the "Births" page are hard to read:
  • John Henry Spence Born De  24 1850
  • Edward [Lott?] Spence Born Feb  10 1853
  • William [G?] Spence Born Feb  3 1855
  • Mary [?]Spence Born De 5 1859
  • Alexzander [?] A. Spence Born June 8 1863
  • Selmenia F. Spence Born De 14 1864
  • Daniel [might be David?] M. Spence Born June 12 1867
  • Lucie Jane Spence Born De 9 1869
  • Walter F. Spence Born July 9 1875
  • one infant Boy Born Apr 11 1858
I've tried Googling many of the Spence names but haven't had much luck. I'd love to know more about Andrew Francis  Frederick Spence. Who were his parents? Where did he come from?
Update: He came from Orange, County, New York; he was a stone mason. And his name was actually Andrew Frederick Spence, not Andrew Francis Spence as I'd heard for years.

The Spense family apparently originated in Scotland. I found the following information on the Internet several years ago but neglected to note the URL:

Although the family name Spence is found in Ireland for centuries, it is ultimately of Scottish origin, having been introduced into Ireland by Scottish settlers. The name is classified as being of occupational origin, that is, derived from the trade or profession pursued by the initial bearer. In this instance the surname Spence is derived from the Middle English "spense, spence", a derivative of Old French "despense", denoting "an official in charge of provisions or a larder". Variants of the surname Spence include Spense, Spencer, and Spenser.
The Scottish Spences of Wormsington were a sept of the clan MacDuff and standard bearers to this clan. Today, this name is numerous in Counties Antrim and Down and rarely found in the rest of Ireland. One of the earliest references this name or to a variant is Scottish in origin and a record of one Roger Dispensator (Latin for Spenser) who witnessed a charter by the Bishop of Moray in 1202. However, research is on going and this name may have been documented even earlier than the date indicated above. John Spens was bailiff of Irvine in 1260. . . .
According to this online article, there were Spences in Virginia in the 1600s, particularly in Westmoreland County; the same article and this genealogy thread also notes the family origin:

The family of Spens (or Spence, Spense) is of very high antiquity in Scotland, descended from a younger son of the Earl of Fife, and carried on its armorial bearing the lion rampant of the Clan MacDuff to denote descent from that ancient house[2]. The name was sometimes rendered as "de Spens", or "of the Spences". Both the Scottish "Spens" and the English "Spencer" carry the meaning of steward. [Source: John Wayland, 1930: Virginia Valley Records: "The Spence Family", p 366.]

There's a lengthy thread on Rootsweb devoted to the Spence family, and  a reference on Rootsweb to a "Francis Spence, age 23" who arrived in Virginia in 1635. 

The earliest Bedford County Spence that I can find online (on the Rootsweb Spens/Spence DNA page) is "Burwell Spence born 1763 Bedford Co Virginia, wife Rebecca Puckett, resided Carroll Co VA." There's also a "James Spence, born abt. 1766 VA, married in Bedford Co VA, Eleanor Milam." Another site lists James Spence as born in 1770 and marrying Eleanor (b. 1774) on October 1, 1785, which would have made him 15 and her 11 when they married, so I'd guess one or more of those dates is wrong. (Another site says they married in 1794 and had no known children.) How either connects to Andrew Francis, I don't know. 

Perhaps someone reading this blog can provide information. Meanwhile, I'll do a separate post about the Goff connection.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

More about William Nace, Jr.

I've posted previously about William M. Nace, Jr., but I keep finding more information. Thanks to the Lecompton Historical Society, another article on William is available online:

From the above article, we know William's middle name—MacDowell—and that he owned a historic piece of property. A post on the Lecompton Historical Society's website gives us a look at this property that William Jr. owned:

Fort Titus, home of pro-slavery leader Henry Titus, has been called the "Birthplace of the Civil War." Pictures of the replica of the Fort Titus cabin (the original was burned by the free-staters) are posted here and  here and here; from them, we can get a glimpse of the land where William later had his distillery. 

This article provides us with information about Nace ancestors' military service: the first John C. Nace was a captain in the Revolutionary War; William Sr. fought in the War of 1812. 

And William Jr. himself was involved in the Civil War. Unlike his brother John C., who was in the 22nd Virginia, William fought for the North. (You can find info about Price's Raid here.)

I wonder what William's family back in Virginia thought about his Union sympathies.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Robert Nace

Like his brother Matthew, Robert Nace was also missing from the settlement of his father's estate. Where could he have been?

On a hunch, because William Nace Jr. and Matthew were in Lecompton, Kansas, I did a bit of Googling. I didn't find much—no evidence of a marriage, no death date, etc.—but I did confirm that he was indeed in Lecompton. I found this picture of the Rowena Hotel posted on the Historic Lecompton website:

The accompanying description mentioned Robert Nace:
So, Robert was the respected proprietor of a saloon. I Googled for more information and found that the Lecompton Historical Society's Bald Eagle, Vol. 12, No. 3, Fall issue had an article titled "Hotels of Lecompton 1855-1861." In the article was indeed a mention of Robert Nace:

"Mr. Nace is a native of Old Dominion" identifies his home state—Virginia. Had to be the right Robert!

Another issue of the Bald Eagle (Vol. 20, No. 4, Winter) had another story about the Rowena on pages 2 and 3—and another mention of Robert Nace.

The LHS Newsletter Archive
Volume Twenty, Issue Number 4
Originally Published in Lecompton, Kansas : Winter 1994
Digitally Archived August 2006

Kansas had been opened as a territory in Au-
gust, 1854. The center of the government organized
at Fort Leavenworth at the United States Army Base.
After a year of seeking an appropriate place for a
capital, Lecompton, K.T. was chosen. There were
few dwellings there, so investors hurried to the town
to build hotels and houses. The territorial government
would soon meet there in addition to the U.S. govern-
ment offices, so good accommodations were a neces-
The need for a lavish hotel in which the govern-
ment officials could be quartered was of great impor-
tance because many of them would be from the east
and accustomed to a more elaborate standard of
living than was available on the newly organized
frontier. As aresult, Aristides Roderigue organized a
group to invest in such an undertaking. The group
selected a plan for alarge stone hotel. As there were 
no stone masons in the area, Roderigue went to St.
Louis, Mo. to find some. There he engaged Mark
Migliario to go to Lecompton to build the hotel, and
his brother Constantine soon joined him, as he too
was a skilled stone mason. They were both Italian
immigrants and soon decided to make Lecompton
their home on a farm west and south of town, and later
built a large stone house where they lived the rest of
their lives, and it is still inhabited.
The hotel building was started in 1857 and com-
pleted in 1858, was to be 45' by 90', have 9 rooms on
the second floor, lIon the third, 5 on the first,
besides an office and a large dining room. There was
also aseries of work rooms down in the lower level.
It was to be heated with stoves, lighted with lamps or
candles, and have outdoor plumbing. There were to
be seven cisterns in the basement which would be
pumped into a large tank on a scaffold on the west
side as the water source. 
The exterior of the hotel had 4 entrances on the
east, south, and west. The south entrance had a large
flat rock inlaid in the ground that served as a porch
that led to the beautiful double entrance glass doors
and across to the west side. Also carefully cut small
stones were inlaid in the area that framed the doors.
The east side of the building had along" strip" stair-
case that led from the street directly up to the door
which also had alarge glass section in it.
Three huge chimneys rose above the roof and
accommodated all the stoves in the building, even the
kitchen stove. There was a steep staircase on the
west side of the building, that provided access to the
second floor and care for the water tank. There was
also an entrance on the west that opened to the
kitchen area and was a place to receive groceries and
other merchandise.
S.D. Hemingway was the first proprietor, Charles
Montandon was in charge of the saloon then in one of
the lower rooms in the basement, as was a barber and
repairman. The Kansas Stage Company's Office was
in the hotel, and stages left daily for all parts of the
Territory, and it also made connection with Missouri
River Steamers and the Hannibul and St. Joseph
When the Rowena Hotel opened for business, it
was considered the most lavish hotel west of the
Missouri River. It was very comfortable and had a
competent staff. The Territorial officers preferred to
stay there. On Jan. 2, 1859 there were fifty-four
guests registered at the hotel and the next day only
25. This was at the time the legislature was to meet,
and they were adjourning the meetings to Lawrence,
wanting to avoid Lecompton and her reputation for
favoring slavery.
The Rowena had been financed by a group of
people who promised to pay $500.00 each. Mr.
Leamer and Robert Stevens had participated in that
investment. In 1858when the Free State Legislature
voted to move to Lawrence, the federal officers
voted to remain at the Rowena, going to Lawrence
only when they had business to transact. The Rowena
had been doing well until then, but after that it started
losing money and needed the investors to come forth
with their money. Mr. Leamer signed the $8,000 note
but none of the others did. After the hotel failed
Leamer stepped forward again and paid the whole
$8,000 plus $2,000 to pay other expenses. None of
the other participants helped. 
In addition to that the chef had ordered groceries costing over $500.00
which he also paid.
Entertainment became an important part of the
activities at the hotel. A large saloon was under the
supervision of Robert Nace a former native of the
"old dominion," so he was amply able to conduct the
saloon in a quality way. Hemingway had recently
erected in the Rowena Hall two of Brunswick & Co.'s
celebrated marble "bed Billiard" tables and that also
attracted customers.
The dining room was aplace for entertainment
and conversation. In 1858 when James Denver was
appointed Territorial Governor, and the territorial
legislature was in session, the place was full to over-
flowing. A guest entered, very excited over news he
had just been told, that gold had been discovered in
neighboring Colorado. During the discussion, a group,
primarily legislators and U.S. government officials,
decided to organize a small wagon train and send
them to Colorado to a place in the Rocky Mountains,
where they would stake out claims for their backers
and also to plat a town there, as that was still a part
of Kansas Territory. A caravan was put together and
left from the Hotel. It traveled west for several weeks,
finally arriving at the site ofthe gold discovery. Upon
investigation it was found that all desirable claims had
been taken. However, the group staked out a town
and platted it before leaving. The government needed
that done, as so many people were going there to
settle and some organization was essential. They then
left for Lecompton. On their last day of the trip they
conceived the idea of killing all varieties of wild game
they could get, clean and skin it, then upon their
arrival at the hotel, give it to the chef to prepare a big
dinner for that night and invited all their promoters to
a wild game feast, perhaps to try to compensate for
the lack of gold claims. This was done, and at the
feast that evening, they were discussing what to name
the new town, and couldn't agree. Just then Gov.
Denver entered the room, and several enthusiastically
yelled, "Call it Denver. "It was met with loud cheers,
and it was so named. That is how the big city of
Denver, Colorado was platted and named. So the
results of the trip were a city well planned, a wonder-
ful meal, and a city well named.
In January, 1859, the hotel keepers made prepa-
rations for the multitude of people who would come
to the territorial land sale. They came from all over the
east, south and west to buy land for farms or for
homes, so the hotels were always over crowded.
But what eventually happened to Robert? Did he go to Denver with the multitude? The Denver Public Library posted a list of the "Fifty-niner's Directory, Colorado Argonauts, 1858-1859" in which Robert Nace, while not listed, was mentioned:
WYNKOOP, Edward W., came with the Lecompton Party 1858, and a street in Denver still bears his name. He was a member of the Denver City Town Company, and lived here, but was also a resident of Arapahoe Village in this year, and later. In the diary of Jackson, published by Hall, he is said to be one of the proprietors of that place. In 1859 he was a friend of Bliss, and in the noted duel between that pioneer and Dr. J. S. Stone, on Mar 5, Wynkoop was his Second. (See under these names, also see files RMN of date.)
The following record from Arapahoe County Land Records, Liber D, p. 275, old, gives a little information: Edward W. Wynkoop, partner of Robert M. Nace of Lecompton, Kansas Territory, grantors, Sep 5, 1859, to Jerome Kunkle of Rising Sun, Jefferson County, Kansas, consideration $400” (here follows description of lands or lots), “all their goods and chattels, mortgaged,” the grantors acknowledging paper in Dauphin County, Kansas. This was recorded in Denver Feb 15, 1860: Mr. Wynkoop did not withdraw from the community at this time, for there is a mention in the Colorado Republican and Rocky Mountain Herald, Aug 24, 1861 as follows: Married, in this City, Wednesday, Aug 21, 1861, at Mr. Wakeley’s on Larimer Street, by Rev. Mr. Kehler, Lieut. Edward W. Wynkoop and Miss Louisa M. Brown, both of Denver. Later it is stated in the paper of Apr 15, 1882 (or near that date) that “Ned Wynkoop, a pioneer of 1858, is visiting friends in Denver, and is much surprized at the City’s growth.” This was quoted in the reminiscent column of the Rocky Mountain Herald, Apr 17, 1926.

What became of Robert? Another Nace family mystery. . . .

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nace Settlement

William Nace's property was sold at public auction on August 22, 1863, by his son John C. Nace, the executor of his estate. From the Sale Bill:

Botetourt County Court Clerks Office, September 2nd 1863. This Sale Bill of the personal property of William Nace dec'd was this day returned to said office and admitted to record.
—Teste F. Woltz, Clk
To make a long sale bill short, the following people bought these items. Prices are in parentheses: 

J.C. Nace
1 Double Plow (.25)
 1 Cotter  (1.11)
1 Plough & Tongue (1.70)
1 Dung Hook (1.00)
1 Mattock (1.50)
1 Plow, Wrought Shear (3.00)
1 Hand Saw (3.00)
Saddle Pockets (10.00)
Cart & Harness (30.00)
1 Blind Gray Mare (140.00)

Martha A. Nace
1 Saddle (30.00)
1 Hog (4.00)

Samuel Young
1 Shovel Plough (.45)
1 Cotter & Mattock (2.00)
1 Plow, Wrought Shear (3.45) 

W.J. Nofsinger
1 Plough & Tongue (1.85)
2 Ploughs (6.25)
1 Cast Plow (24.25)
Doubletree & Singletree (3.00)
1 Drawing Knife (1.50)

Lewis Linkinhoker
1 Spade (2.50)
1 Drawing Knife & 2 Augers (.50)

Jaf Roland
1 Harrow (17.75)
1 Cast Plough (23.00)

J.K. Robertson
1 Shovel (7.00)

Peter Shaver
1 Doubletree & Singletree (3.00)

The estate wasn't completely settled until February 1864. Here's a transcription Pat Nace sent to me several years ago:

I know that his oldest son, William M. Nace, Jr., was in LeCompton, Kansas, at this time and that John C. Nace was in Botetourt. But what became of Matthew H. Nace? Apparently he wasn't in Botetourt County when his father died. Where was he?

I Googled and found this:

Evaline Ann Frances Christian was born ABT 1830, and died BEF 1908. She married Matthew H Nace, son of William N [M?] Nace. He was born ABT 1824 in Virginia. She married Robert William Pate ABT 1849. He died ABT 1868. 

Matthew and Evaline had a child, Jennie Nace, born in 1849. (The source given for this is the 1850 Richmond, Virginia, Census.)

Now, where did Matthew meet his wife? Evaline's mother was Saluda Baker (Fuqua) Christian Watson, who was born 02 NOV 1805 in Charlotte County, Virginia, and died 09 NOV 1886 in Lecompton, Douglas County, Kansas. She is buried in the Lecompton West Cemetery. 

Did Matthew go with his brother to Kansas and die about the time his daughter was born? Or—did he somehow end up in New York in 1856 as the head of the failing Nace & Company? If so, did he run away to California—or was he indeed driven to self-destruction—when the business failed? Or was it a different Matthew H. Nace in new York?

From the Wells vs. March case in Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, Vol. 30, available as a Google e-book, here is a Matthew H. Nace's letter to his business partner:

This probably isn't the Matthew H. Nace from Botetourt. [UPDATE; It is. See] It is surely a coincidence that this Matthew H. Nace has a brother W. M. and a father who was alive in 1856. There were a lot of Naces in Pennsylvania and Maryland as well as in Virginia, and Matthew and William were common names in the mid-1800s. [But our Matthew Nace is the one who wrote the above letter.] 

So—the unsettling questions is this: Whatever happened to Matthew H. Nace? Anybody know?


Friday, December 17, 2010

Wm. Nace Inventory

After William Nace had died in the spring of 1863, three men—Joseph Robinson*, Madison Waskey, and Joel Booze—were appointed by the court to inventory his possessions. Although much of his personal property was left to his widow, Martha Lackland Nace, some items would be sold at auction in August.

What he owned at the time of his death tells us a good deal about his life:

William Nace Deceased Inventory

Am appraisement of property of Wm. Nace Dec'd on the 30th day of May 1863 made by Joseph T Robinson, Joel Booze & Madison Waskey. Appraisers appointed by an order made at May Court 1863 after being duly sworn.

  • 100 Acres Land $37 1/2 per Acre 3750.00
  • 9 Hogs 72.00
  • 1 Bay Mare 400.00
  • 16 Sheared Sheep 160.00
  • 4 2-Horse Plows 24.00
  • 2 Double Trees & 4 Single Trees 3.00
  • 2 Steers 100.00
  • 1 Silver Watch 50.00
  • 1 Saddle & Blanket 30.00
  • 1 Secretary 50.00
  • 1 Medicine Box 10.00
  • 1 Wardrobe 30.00
  • 1 Bureau, Looking Glass, & Lamps 26.00
  • 1 Lot of Bed Clothing 200.00
  • 16 Sheets 80.00
  • 5 Pillow Cases 5.00
  • 21 Towels 12.00
  • 2 Willow Baskets 10.00
  • 2 Pair Sheets   40.00
  • 1 Lot Jars & Demi-Jars  10.00
  • 1 Iron Kettle 8.00
  • 1 Tea Kettle & Oven 6.00
  • 1 Lot Pots & Ovens 5.00
  • 1 Pair Standards & Candle Mould 3.00
  • 1 Shot run & Powder Flask 10.00
  • Amount Bonds 732.43
  • 1 Cart 30.00
  • 1 Wagon 75.00
  • 1 Buggy & harness 250.00
  • 1 Bay Horse 500.00
  • 2 pair Plow Gear 20.00
  • 1 Harness 10.00
  • 8 Shovel Plows & 2 Coveter [Coulter?] 10.00
  • 1 Cow & Calf 60.00
  • 1 Grey Horse 10.00
  • 2 Riding Bridles 6.00
  • 1 Negro Man 800.00
  • 1 Table 8.00
  • 9 Windsor Chairs 18.00
  • 1 Clock 2.00
  • 3 Feather Beds & Bedding 225.00
  • 9 Bed quilts 100.00
  • 18 Table Cloths 90.00
  • 6 Pair Pillow Cases 6.00
  • 7 pieces Toilet 7.00
  • 9 Counter Pins [Panes?] 90.00
  • 1 Walnut Chest & Table 20.00
  • 1 Copper Kettle 30.00
  • 1 Cooking Stove & Furn. 45.00
  • 1 Safe 3.00
  • 2 Brass Kettles 15.00
  • 2 Small Tubs 1.50
  • 1 Lot Dinnerware 100.00
  • Amount Money on hand 560.00
  • 1 Pair Saddle Pockets 10.00
  • Swingletree & 2 Lock Chains 10.00

And the money is left in the hands of Mrs. Nace.

—Joseph F. Robinson, Madison Waskey, Joel Booze

We the above named appraisers have fairly and impartially appraised the property above to the best of our skill and judgment this 3oth day of May 1863.

Botetourt County Clerks Office June 8 1863
This inventory of the real & personal property of William Nace dec'd was this day exhibited in said Office and admitted to record.
Test, F. Waltz, Clerk

*In one place Joseph's middle initial is T; in another, it's F.