About Albinus Nance, Governor
Albinus Roberts Nance (March 30, 1848 – December 7, 1911) was an American politician. He served as a soldier during the American Civil War, and as the fourth Governor of Nebraska.
Nance was born in La Fayette, Illinois on March 30, 1848. He was born to Dr. Hiram Nance and Sarah (Smith) Nance. He was educated in Kewanee, Illinois, until age sixteen. He married Sarah White and they had one child.
At age sixteen, Nance enlisted with the 9th Illinois Cavalry. Nance fought in the American Civil War, from 1861-1865. He served as a private during the war. He fought in the battles of Hurricane Creek, Guntown, Columbia, Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville. He was slightly wounded, during the Battle of Nashville. In 1865, after the war was over, Nance became a student at Knox College. In 1870, he was admitted to the bar in Illinois.
Nance moved to Nebraska in 1871 to homestead and practice law, eventually settling in Osceola, Nebraska. He divided his time between farming and his law practice. He soon gave up farming, for his law practice and large real estate business. In 1874, Nance was nominated by the state Republican Party to run for the Nebraska House of Representatives. During his election, in 1875, Nance married Sarah White. He won the election and served as a member of the Nebraska Legislature from 1875 to 1878, and served as the Speaker of the Nebraska House of Representatives from 1877 to 1878. Nance was also a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876.
In 1878, while Speaker of the Nebraska House of Representatives, Nance was elected Governor of Nebraska. He was only thirty years old at the time of his election, and was known as "the boy governor". Nance and his administration were very popular with the people. His administration was described in The Public Men of Today in 1882, "The distinguishing feature of his administration has been an unassuming but inflexible determination to execute the laws with fidelity to the best interests of the people of Nebraska." Nance was re-nominated for the governorship, in 1880. He won the election, with an overwhelming majority.
After being governor, Nance retired to civilian life. He owned large parts of numerous banks. He eventually retired all together from business life. Nance died in Chicago, on December 7, 1911. Nance County, Nebraska is named after him.