I was out of town visiting my sister today in our home town Barksdale and Camp Wood which lies 3.5 hours South West of Austin in the Texas Hill Country, after visiting I decided to travel back to Austin passing through a small community north of Barksdale named Vance where I have many fond memories. We would have our Annual Christmas play and other ceremonies at this little church.
WOW! So many years have passed.
Vance was originally called Bullhead, after nearby Bullhead Mountain, but was renamed after a settler (Xavier Wanz) who was one of Henri Castro's Alsatian colonists. Bullhead Mountain can be seen in the picture behind the Baptist Church.
The population of Vance has stayed below 50 persons for the entire 20th century.
The post office closed in 1955 two years before I was born.
Currently only a church, cemetery and scattered dwellings make up Vance, Texas.
The Flying Bull Ranch lies across the Nueces River in front of the Vance Baptist Church. Flying Bull Ranch is owned by the Berry Family out of Corpus Christi who own Berry Construction Company. Flying Bull Ranch is one of the few private air strips used by the family, seasonal recreational hunters and local neighboring ranch owners that make up the city of Vance.
One of the earliest settlers of this area was Henry Wells (1850-1923), who first came to the Nueces Canyon in 1866. He founded the town of Bullhead in 1873. The name was changed to Vance in the mid-1880s. In 1875 a guest in the home of the Wells Family, C. J. Fowler, died and was buried on the family's farm. The land surrounding Fowler's grave became known as Vance Cemetery. Henry Wells often worked as a coffin builder for members of the community. Rancher Z. H. Pannell (1862-1925) donated additional land in 1909 for the cemetery and a church. The Vance Baptist Church was built in 1917, the same year Henry Wells gave more land to enlarge the cemetery. In addition to the graves of Fowler and Wells, the Vance Cemetery is the burial site of many early pioneers of this area. Six Civil War veterans are interred here, as well as Veterans of World War I and World War II. Epidemics of diphtheria and influenza in the early 20th century claimed the lives of many area citizens who are buried here. The Vance Cemetery Association was organized in 1952 and is responsible for maintenance of the graveyard, which is still in use by descendants of pioneer settlers.(1988)
If you are someone you might know is looking for recreational ranches, land, residential or commercial property in Edwards and Real county Joe Wells of Leakey, Peggy Jo Taylor of Barksdale or Bob Ratliff of Austin will be more than happy to assist in Texas Hill Country Real Estate selling and buying.