A HISTORY OF THE CENTENNIAL GROUP, comprising the Gregory, Johnson, Vance, and Steen Families, 1937. Source document at the Daviess Co. Museum.


THIS BROCHURE is presented under the sponsorship of the Centennial Anniversary Committee appointed a year ago to arrange for a special observance of the coming to Daviess County, Indiana, of the Gregory, Steen, Vance, and Johnson families from Union South Carolina, in the year 1837, just one hundred years ago.

 This observance is held in connection with the Steen-Arthur Reunion, which for many years has been celebrated as an annual event, bringing together also many old-time neighbors and friends in a happy home-coming.  We therefore extend to one and all a most hearty welcome on this momentous


Comprising the Gregory, Johnson, Vance, and Steen Families

 In the year 1837 there lived in Union District, South Carolina a man who was known as Colonel Gregory.  He was a man of high standing in the community, and of unquestioned character.  He was the owner of a large plantation, and being a planter depended on slave labor as was the custom in that section.  He owned a colony of slaves, and naturally was a stanch defender of Slavery as an institution.  His children were now grown up, married, and rearing families of their own.  And having inherited some of the traits of their forebear, began to feel the urge of independence.  There was no more land to be had in Carolina, and for some time there had loomed up before them on the distant
horizon, the flattering prospect of the great and growing North-West Territory.  Fabulous stories had come to them concerning this new land of opportunity: the fertility of the soil, its wonderous productiveness, and the offer of this choice Government land almost for the asking.

 Their interest was directed especially to the new State of Indiana which had been admitted as a Free State where slavery could never exist.  This feature especially appealed to them, though Col. Gregory's children had grown up under the influence of slavery conditions.  It was this desire that impelled them
to seek homes for themselves and their families in Indiana.  And after a period of preparation, they set out overland with all their belongings destined for Old Post Vincennes, Capitol of the North-West Territory, and seat of the Government Land Office.  The caravan arrived after weeks of painful travel,
and their choice led them finally to settle in southern Daviess County, where they established their homes, and reared their families.  Here they became a part of the community wherein their lot was cast by the hand of Providence as we believe.

 This is now the year 1937, and the cycle of one hundred years has passed. All these have gone to their reward, and another generation has come.  Yes, other generations, even to the sixth.  We celebrate in their honor this Centennial Event.

 It has been thought a brief historical sketch of the four families who made up this honored company might be a fitting tribute to their sacrificial service in the upbuilding of this section of the country.


III. CAMPBELL VANCE married Lettie Gregory, and lived at Glendale on a farm. Here they reared a family of six children as follows:

1. Issac Vance, born in South Carolina, Nov. 28, 1929.  He married
Jane Horrell, who bore him:

a. Campbell Vance, Feb. 20, 1851, and married Hattie Watson, who bore him
Edith Vance.

b. Lettie Vance, born Oct. 1853, married David M. Geeting, a prominent
educator, for several years State Superintendent of Public Instruction in
Indiana.  Their children were: Wella who married; and Nola who died in

c. Lucinda Elizabeth Vance, born Jan. 27, 1856, married Henry Harrison
Burbank, and bore him Walter, and five other children, who died bery young,
and are buried side by side in Union cemetary.

d. Sarah C. Vance, born Feb. 15, 1860, married James Boyd, also an educator
note, in New Albany schools.  Their children were William and Nellie Boyd.

e. John Watis Vance, born Sept. 10, 1865, died at the age of near ten

f. Mattie J. Vance, born Sept. 30, 1868, and died in infancy.

g. Susanna Vance, born Dec. 26, 1870, also died in infancy.

h. Wm. Isaac Vance, born Nov. 30, 1873, married Edith V. Killion, and to
were born: Harold Eugene, who married Lillian Barber, and to them were born
Barbara Jane, Oct. 29, 1923; Kenneth Lew, born Apr. 29, 1927; Pricilla
born Aug. 30, 1933; Lenore, Feb. 16, 1902, married Vern Wright Ruble, and
them were born Eleanor Jane, July 24, 1924, and Harriet Ann, born July 30,
1930; Donald Horrall, who married Virginia Lee Robinson; and Letty Rose,
Feb. 28, 1906, who married Howell Ellis.

2. George Vance married Lydia Ann Palmer.  He was a farmer near Glendale
many years, later moving with his family to Washington.  His children were:

a. John Martin Vance married Julia Walters and had George and Chester

b. Mattie Vance married Frank Chapman and bore him Anna and Arthur Chapman.

c. Oliver M. Vance married Mary J. Keith of the Sugarland neighborhood, and
their only child was McKinley Vance.  Oliver M. conducts a farming
and has for many years been engaged in various public enterprises.

d. Perry Vance was twice married, first to Jennie Jacobs, then to Mattie
Denigan.  His children: Earl, Great Falls, Mont.; Ralph, City Clerk,
Mishawaka, Ind.; Russell and Emmett, both of Mishawaka.  Mattie Vance and
children at home, 1851 E. Calvert St., South Bend; Frank Vance of Detroit;
John Vance of South Bend, Ind.

e. Ezra Vance married Carrie Johnson and had three children: Anna who
Ralph Stafford and bore him three children; Norma who married Russell
and had one child; and Ruth who married Wallace Singleton.

f. Etta Vance married S. H. McBride.  They reside in Terre Haute, Ind.

g. Cora Vance married James T. Cunningham, and lives near Maysville, Ind.

h. Hattie Vance died unmarried.

i. Emily Vance died unmarried.

3. John Vance married Sarah Smith at Hudsonville, where he established a

a. Rolla Vance married Dora Hughey Ennis.

b. Flora Vance married George Osman.

c. Other children are Lottie, Ettis, George, and Mattie Vance.

4. Herriet Vance married Amory M. Ragsdale a farmer and blacksmith east of
Glendale, and bore him Anna Ragsdale who married Edward Dorsey and had,
and Monroe Dorsey who married a Miss Edwards.

5. Martha Vance married John Cosby a farmer and agent, and lived four miles
south of Washington.  Their children were: Laura, Emma, Anna, Cassius,
and Richard.

6. Elizabeth Vance married Jesse Horrall, (or Harrell) and lived on a farm
south of Glendale.  Their children were:

a. George C. Horrall who married Nancy Naomi Steen who bore him: Bertle
Sebastian, Jesse Cambell, Austin Eathie, Ezra Jabob, Josephine Alcedora,
Liew, Benjamin Watis, Ada Nellie, and Frank Otis Horrall.  They lived in
Missouri on a farm.

b. Sarah Horrall married David Burris.

c. Anna Horrall married Wm. Comer Wilson, and bore him Thomas and Marie

d. John Horrall married Dora Baldwin and had Frank, Clifford, Harry, and


Without his knowledge or consent, the families interested in these historical sketches wish to extend their heart-felt thanks to the Rev. Elijah A. Arthur of Crawfordsville, Indiana, for almost entirely to him are they indebted for all the facts contained therein. He devoted largely both of his time and means to the end that such might be put in this form so they could easily be preserved for future generations.  The families take this method of expressing to him, in a small way, the gratitude due him for this work
of love.
Keyboarded by: Lauren McNiece
Submitted by: Joe Wallace    mcwallis@pullman.com
Date: 20-Sept-1998