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Texas Ghost Town
Real County, Texas Hill Country

A dispersed rural community
FM 335 and 2631 at the Nueces River
NW of Leakey the county seat
N of Camp Wood & Uvalde
SE of Rocksprings
Population: 20 (2000)

Vance, Texas Area Hotels › Uvalde Hotels

TX - Vance Baptist Church
Vance Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Mary M. Meszaros 2011

History in a Pecan Shell

Vance was originally called Bullhead, after nearby Bullhead Mountain, but was renamed after a settler (Xavier Wanz) who was one of Henri Castro's Alsatian colonists.

1874: Henry Wells became the first settler
1875: Bullhead's first church was established
1878: the Bullhead Post Office was granted
1883: the townsite was laid out and Edwards County was also established. Bullhead served as county seat until
1884, when an election relocated the Edwards County seat to Leakey.
1886: the town was renamed after an Anglo spelling of Wanz's name.

The population of Vance has stayed below 50 persons for the entire 20th century. The post office closed in 1955.

Currently only a church, cemetery and scattered dwellings make up Vance, Texas.

TX - Vance Cemetery
Vance Cemetery & Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Mary M. Meszaros 2011

Historical Marker: ( On RR 335 8 Miles from Barksdale)

Vance Cemetery

One of the earliest settlers of this area was Henry Wells (1850-1923), who first came to the Nueces Canyon in 1866. He founded the town of Bullhead in 1873. The name was changed to Vance in the mid-1880s. In 1875 a guest in the home of the Wells Family, C. J. Fowler, died and was buried on the family's farm. The land surrounding Fowler's grave became known as Vance Cemetery. Henry Wells often worked as a coffin builder for members of the community. Rancher Z. H. Pannell (1862-1925) donated additional land in 1909 for the cemetery and a church. The Vance Baptist Church was built in 1917, the same year Henry Wells gave more land to enlarge the cemetery. In addition to the graves of Fowler and Wells, the Vance Cemetery is the burial site of many early pioneers of this area. Six Civil War veterans are interred here, as well as Veterans of World War I and World War II. Epidemics of diphtheria and influenza in the early 20th century claimed the lives of many area citizens who are buried here. The Vance Cemetery Association was organized in 1952 and is responsible for maintenance of the graveyard, which is still in use by descendants of pioneer settlers.

Vance, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Photos of Vance TX
    We just got back from our second visit to Hill Country and I snapped these two pictures of the Vance Baptist Church and the cemetery (show above). - Mary M. Meszaros, Lititz, PA, September 06, 2011

  • A historical tid-bit on Vance, Texas:
    In February 1905, a bank was held-up in Rio Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina, by two young men, both described as English-speaking. Mr. Allsop, a patent-medicine salesman in Rio Gallegos, said his father-in-law had a ranch near Vance, and that some years earlier he (Allsop) had known one of the bandits, whom he called Brady, at the ranch. He said that Brady had a sister in nearby Punta Arenas, Chile.

    Other writers have identified the two bandits as Henry Thompson and Lewis Nelson, or William Wilson and Robert Evans. Wilson, we know from other sources, was born 17 August 1885 in Texas Wilson and Evans, who were both bandits, were killed in 1911 in a gunfight with the Argentine Frontier Police.

    Source: "Wild Bunch Bank Holdup in Argentina," Daniel Buck & Anne Meadows, National Outlaw-Lawman History Quarterly, vol. XII, no. 3, Winter 1988.

  • I'm passing along this information in the hopes that perhaps one of our readers might know something additional about Allsop's father-in-law's Vance ranch, or about Brady himself. - Daniel Buck, September 02, 2005

  • Vance, Texas
    I lived in Vance for about 10 years. I heard all the stories about one of the men who robbed that bank being buried with his treasure around where our house was. I explored everyday for about 5 years looking for anything out of the ordinary. My great-uncle claimed that he actually located a wealth of treasure but was forced to leave it and never returned for some reason unknown to us. I did locate a fenced off area that was about the size of a grave, metal detectors didn't indicate anything. I did however find a ton of arrowheads.

    The cemetery is pretty old and very interesting to walk through. I am glad you are doing this. Keep Up the Good Work - C Mitchel, December 01, 2005

  • Take a road trip

    Texas Hill Country

    Vance, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Leakey the county seat
    Camp Wood | Rio Frio | Uvalde | Rocksprings
    See Real County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Uvalde Hotels | More Hotels
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