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History of Vance


Vance is at the juncture of the Nueces River and Bullhead Creek, where Farm Roads 335 and 2631 intersect, in far western Real County.

In 1874 Henry Wells moved to the area and was soon followed by others. The community was originally called Bullhead, deriving its name from Bullhead Mountain just to the north. A Baptist church was founded in 1875, and the Bullhead Post Office was established on July 1, 1878. In 1883 the townsite was formally laid out, and in that same year Edwards County was also established. Bullhead served as county seat from September of that year until sometime in 1884, when voters moved the county government to Leakey. In 1886 the town was renamed after Xavier Wanz (sometimes written Vance), who joined Castro's Colony in 1845 and who pursued Indian raiders into the area and recovered a stolen herd of horses in the 1860s. In the 1880s Vance had two stores, a Baptist church, a school, a saloon, and, temporarily, the Edwards county courthouse, but its decline began not long after. Twentieth-century population estimates have been below fifty. The post office was finally closed on January 31, 1955, and by 1985 only the Baptist church and cemetery and a few scattered homes remained at the site.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: Grace Lorene Lewis, A History of Real County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1956). Andrew Jackson Sowell, Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas (Austin: Ben C. Jones, 1900; rpt., Austin: State House Press, 1986). Allan A. Stovall, Breaks of the Balcones: A Regional History (Barksdale, Texas, 1967). Allan A. Stovall, Nueces Headwater Country: A Regional History (San Antonio: Naylor, 1959). John Minton