Samuel B. H. Vance
Samuel B. H. Vance, (1814 – August 10, 1890) as a Republican President of the New York City Board of Aldermen from 1873 to 1874, briefly became Acting Mayor of New York City between the death of the elected Mayor William Havemeyer on November 30, 1874 and the inauguration of his elected successor, William H. Wickham on January 1, 1875.
He was born in 1814 to a distinguished family in Pennsylvania. He served as a Captain of Volunteers in the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. In 1854, Vance began participating in a series of firms making gas and electric lighting fixtures in New York City, twice succeeding company presidents who had died. He was elected to the New York City Board of Education in 1860, and to the Board of Aldermen in 1871 and was then chosen to be the latter's President on January 7, 1873, leading in turn to his one-month tenure as Acting Mayor in December, 1874.
In 1885, he was one of three commissioners appointed by the New York Supreme Court to study surface transportation on lower Broadway between Union Square West and The Battery (what is now New York's Financial District). The commission recommended that, because of increased traffic and commercial density in this area, the Broadway Surface Railroad Company be granted a franchise to start and operate a horse (rather than cable) drawn line along this route. (While a horse-drawn line did start in 1885, a traction cable was installed eight years later.)
After leaving a full day of work on Friday, August 8, 1890, Samuel Vance sought several days of rest at his home in Douglaston, Long Island, but died shortly after midnight on Sunday, August 10, 1890, at the age of 76. His widow, born Augusta Blanche Hay, died in Sayville, Long Island on Wednesday, June 19, 1901.
- But could not take his seat without the physical enforcement of a court order displacing the previous Aldermen: see Exciting Scene in the Chamber of the Board of Aldermen, The New York Times, January 2, 1872, page 2, retrieved without charge on June 1, 2008
- HORSE CARS IN BROADWAY; THE DECISION MADE BY THE COMMISSIONERS.FINDING THAT A RAILWAY IS NEEDED AND THAT IT SHOULD BE A HORSE CAR LINE,NOT A CABLE ROAD. The New York Times, Wednesday, March 13, 1885, page 8, retrieved without charge on June 1, 2008
- The Encyclopedia of New York City, edited by Kenneth T. Jackson (Yale 1995, ISBN 0-300-05536-6)
- Obituary of Samuel B.H. Vance in The New York Times of Tuesday, August 12, 1890 retrieved without charge on June 1, 2008
- Miscellaneous articles from the free archives of The New York Times, 1861 to 1901, http://www.nytimes.com for details such as dates and party affiliations
- THE VANCE-ROOSEVELT WEDDING.; MR. JOHN E. ROOSEVELT UNITED TO MISS NANNIE MITCHELL VANCE--SOME OF THE PRESENTS. from The New York Times of Wednesday, February 20, 1879, page 8, retrieved without charge on June 1, 2008 "The marriage of Mr. John E. Roosevelt, son of ex-Congressman Robert B. Roosevelt, to Miss Nannie Mitchell Vance, daughter of Hon. Samuel B. H. Vance, was solemnized at the Collegiate Dutch Reformed Church, Fifth-avenue and Forty-eighth street, yesterday afternoon." The senior Vances were living, according to this story, at a mansion on 30 West 57th Street. Although Samuel Vance was a Republican, the groom's father was a former Democratic New York City Alderman and Congressman (and future Ambassador) who was in turn an uncle of Theodore Roosevelt, the future Mayoral candidate and President.
- For Mitchell, Vance & Company, see New York's Great Industries by Richard Edwards (1884), reprinted in 1973 by Ayer Publishing, ISBN 0-405-05086-0, pages 96–97, free preview retrieved on June 1, 2008 from Google Books at http://books.google.com/books?id=ZJi9P1eCf3MC&pg=PA96&lpg=PA96, according to which Mitchell, Vance in 1884 had showrooms on Broadway and factories on Tenth Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets.
William Frederick Havemeyer
|Mayor of New York City (acting)
William H. Wickham