ANDREW JACKSON QUANCE. Having made his stake in life as a Western Kansas farmer and rancher, Andrew Jackson Quance retired to a comfortable town home in Scott City in 1912. Some of his early experiences read like those of other pioneers, but through them all there has been evidenced a dominant note of thrifty enterprise and belief in the future which kept Mr. Quance above discouragement when discouragement was the rule and carried him over the period of adversity into the years of plenty.
Mr. Quance came to Scott County in 1886. A significant fact is that he came in company with three other men, but is the only one of the quartet still living in Scott County. That indicates perhaps the proportion of settlers who came out during those hopeful years of the '80s and who actually remained during the hard times that followed. Of the many hundreds who sought homes on the western prairies of Kansas in the early days, it is perhaps conservative to state that not more than one out of four came through the fire of adversity and bore the heat and burden of the day long enough to realize the dream of good fortune.
Andrew Jackson Quance was born in Erie County, Pennsylvania, February 22, 1854. His father, Francis Quance, was born in England, came to the United States after his marriage and located in Erie County, Pennsylvania. His wife was Susan Osborn, whose parents also came to the United States from England. Francis Quance lived the life of a farmer, and died during the present century at the age of seventy, his wife having passed away when about sixty-five years old. Their children wore: Charles, who became a Union soldier and gave up his life as a sacrifice to the country; Lafayette, who died in Erie County, Pennsylvania; Andrew J.; Francis, of Erie County; and William, also living in that section of Western Pennsylvania.
Andrew J. Quance had the rugged and picturesque environment of Western Pennsylvania as the scene of his youthful experience, and he secured his education in the country schools. He was reared as a farmer and on attaining his majority he left home and moved to Illinois. He worked as a farm hand, then became a renter, and altogether spent about eight years in Warren County, Illinois. The small proceeds of his efforts as a farmer in Illinois he brought with him to Western Kansas.
He shipped a wagon and team over the railroad to Garden City, and from that point drove into Scott County. He was a stranger to everybody in this section. At the old postoffice and hamlet of Saratoga he met Ira Wolf, who followed the business of land locating. Under the guidance of Wolf he and his companions found their first claims. Mr. Quance selected as his location the southeast quarter of section 21, township 19, range 31. He built a half dugout and half sod house, with board roof, containing a single room. It was on the 10th of March he arrived in this region. After the house he put up a sod and board stable, and dug a well, finding water at a depth of only thirty-three feet. He also broke out some land the same year.
He had brought with him from Illinois only a small store of money, and by the time the improvements bad been completed and he had brought his wife to his prairie home he had only $2 left. He realized that something had to be done, and in order to secure the bare necessities of existence he sought work elsewhere. He did not find it until after the 4th of July. He did freighting from Garden City, and continued in that work off and on until the railroad reached Scott City. Afterwards he was given an occasional job of plowing land, did the improvement on several tree claims, and was also a well digger. Through such employment he supported himself and his family until he had proved up the claim. His next act was to get money by mortgaging his land, and he at once invested this capital in livestock and, leasing another tract of land, entered the stock business. The horses on the leased tract supplied him with the extra horse he needed to complete his team, one of his own having died. For three years he remained on the lease, farming and cattle raising, and that give him his first lift financially.
Mr. Quance next took as a homestead the southeast quarter of section 22, township 19, range 33, and again went through a similar experience of improvement. However, his home was a frame house instead of a soddy. These items tell only the bare outline of the whole story. He and his family practiced the severest economy, and what they could not buy they did without. This heroic struggle started them up the hill of prosperity, and each succeeding year has put them a little further along the road. They raised grain with considerable success, but his chief profits came from the buying of stock, cattle and horses. Out of his profits he invested in other lands.
When Mr. Quance first entered the arena as a land buyer he paid $80 for his first quarter section. The next two cost him $250. Another cost him $125 and still another came to him through a trade of some old cows. For the next quarter he paid $250, then $500, and his last purchase of a quarter section cost him $1,800. These accumulations altogether represented nine quarter sections, and he sold them in 1909 at $20 an acre.
In the course of the same year he relocated in Scott County, in Beaver Township, near Pence. He bought the McNeal farm and ranch of two sections. It was a place of splendid improvements, including a commodious residence of thirteen rooms, a large barn 44 by 44 feet, and under his ownership another complete set of improvements has been added. This ranch Mr. Quance devotes to horse and cattle, keeping a high grade of Galloway cattle and has the Percheron horses.
As one of the early settlers of Valley Township Mr. Quance aided in the organization of school district No. 10, and assisted in building the first school house, a frame structure. He continued on the board of directors all the time he lived in that community with the exception of about one year. He was also township trustee at different times. In politics he became affiliated with the republican organization as a young man, and voted that ticket even during the '90s, when nearly every one else in Western Kansas was a populist. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and his family are members of the Christin Church.
In Warren County, Illinois, December 25, 1878, Mr. Quance married Miss Effie W. Parish. She was born in 1855, one of a large family of Preston Parish. Mr. and Mrs. Quance are the parents of four children. William is a ranchman near Pence in Scott County, and by his marriage to Grace Lennahan has three children, named Vera, Neva and Bertice. Ira and Asa are both progressive young farmers on the home ranch. Bertha married Harley Hodson, of Valley Township, Scott County, and she has two children, Myrna and Leon.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
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