About Samuel B H Vance
Samuel B. H. Vance, (1814 – August 10, 1890) as a Republican President of the New York City Board of Aldermen in 1873-74, briefly became Acting Mayor of New York City between the death of the elected Mayor William Havemeyer on November 30, 1874 and the inauguration of his elected successor, William H. Wickham on January 1, 1875.
He was born of a distinguished family in Pennsylvania and served as a Captain of Volunteers in the Mexican-American War of 1846-48. In 1854, Vance began participating in a series of firms making gas and electric lighting fixtures in New York City, twice succeeding company presidents who had died. He was elected to the New York City Board of Education in 1860, and to the Board of Aldermen in 1871 and was then chosen to be the latter's President on January 7, 1873, leading in turn to his one-month tenure as Acting Mayor in December, 1874.
In 1885, he was one of three commissioners appointed by the New York Supreme Court to study surface transportation on lower Broadway between Union Square West (15th Street) and The Battery (what is now New York's Financial District). The commission recommended that, because of increased traffic and commercial density in this area, the Broadway Surface Railroad Company be granted a franchise to start and operate a horse (rather than cable) drawn line along this route. (While a horse-drawn line did start in 1885, a traction cable was installed eight years later.)
After leaving a full day of work on Friday, August 8, 1890, Samuel Vance sought several days of rest at his home in Douglaston, Long Island, but died shortly after midnight on Sunday, August 10, 1890, at the age of 76. His widow, born Augusta Blanche Hay, died in Sayville, Long Island on Wednesday, June 19, 1901.