Charles E. Vance

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
July 6, 2000

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 421-422

CHARLES E. VANCE is one of the prosperous and success-
ful business men of Moorefield. He is an official in the
Hardy County Bank, has achieved a real constructive
triumph in redeeming one of the run down farms of Hardy
County, and for many years has been in the service of the
Union Tanning Company as woods foreman.

He was born at Upper Tract, Pendleton County, West
Virginia, August 17, 1876. His grandfather, Robert Vance,
came to West Virginia from Mansfield, Illinois, where the
Vance family was a large one. He came to West Virginia
before the Civil war, and in Pendleton County married a
Miss Harman, of a well known family of this state. He
spent the rest of his life in Pendleton County. Benjamin
C. Vance, father of Charles E., was born in Pendleton
County, carefully educated himself, began teaching when a
youth, and completed a record of fifty-two terms of school,
teaching in Grant, Pendleton and Hardy counties before
he retired. He is now living at Fisher in Hardy County
at the age of sixty-eight. While living at Petersburg he
served as a magistrate, and has been an active member of
the United Brethren Church. Benjamin Vance married
Susan R. Lough, daughter of Daniel Lough, a carpenter in
Pendleton County, whose family came from Germany. Mrs.
Susan Vance died at Petersburg in 1918. All her ten chil-
dren are living: Charles E.; Myrtle, wife of Calvin C.
Bensenhaver; Linnie, Mrs. Will Feaster; Bessie, who mar-
ried John Shobe; Kenneth, of Petersburg; Elsie, wife of
B. J. Roby, of Petersburg; Harman, who lives in Montana;
Mary; Chloe, of Norfolk, Virginia; and Leola, wife of
Clarence Emelright, of Winchester, Virginia.

When Charles E. Vance was twelve years of age his pa-
rents left Pendleton County and settled on a farm near
Seymoursville in Grant County. In that locality he grew
to manhood, attended school near Seymoursville, and ob-
tained a part of his education under the direction of his
father. At the age of sixteen he left school and for two
years worked as a farm hand in Grant County, and for
another two years was employed in the woolen mill at
Keyser. He then took up farming for himself at Durgeon
in Hardy County, and remained in that locality for nine
years. He was farming on the shares, and when the owner
of the farm died he had to change locations, and instead of
resuming farming he accepted an opportunity to go to work
for a tannery concern. His first employment was peeling
bark and bossing the bark sheds, but subsequently he was
put in charge as woods foreman, and that has been his
active business responsibility for sixteen years, since 1906.
His individual farming interests are located near Fisher
in Hardy County. It is a grain farm, managed both exten-
sively and intensively as a food producing proposition.
His leading crops are corn and wheat, all of which are con-
sumed on the ground, using the corn for feeding hogs for
the market. Mr. Vance took possession of this land when
it was reduced as a result of years of cropping to a
minimum of productiveness. He tiled the land, enriched the
soil by many successive crops of clover and manure, and
out of the 225 acres he has 135 under cultivation. It is
now recognized as one of the most productive tracts of
land in the county. Its other equipment and improvements
have been greatly added to by Mr. Vance, who has erected
two barns, rebuilt the residence, put up a dairy and ice
house, smoke house and cellar. Mr. Vance is a director and
is vice president of the Hardy County Bank at Moorefield.

In politics he is a republican, and at times has been a
delegate to county conventions and once was a delegate for
the Second District Congressional Convention. His only
fraternity is the Modern Woodmen of America. During the
great war he assisted in the sale of bonds, in drives for
the Red Cross and other auxiliary war funds, and was a
member of the County Council of Defense.

In Oak Grove Church, near Fisher, Hardy County, October
9, 1898, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Vance and
Miss Annie Bensenhaver. She is a daughter of George and
Grace (Bobo) Bensenhaver, her father still living. Mrs.
Vance was born on the farm where she is now living and
where her father was a tenant farmer for a third of a cen-
tury. She is the only child of her father, and was well
educated in the public schools and holds a state certificate to
teach, and spent several years in teaching before her mar-
riage. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Vance are: Grace,
wife of Alfred Hedrick and mother of a daughter, Juanita;
Kenneth Vance, who looked after the farm for his father;
while the younger children are Trixie, Robert, Loring,
Coker, William and Esther.