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Saturday, October 13, 2018

William W. Lance - G.A.R., Bishop Post

Rev. William W. Lance had two different assignments as pastor of St. Paul Methodist Church in Defiance.  It was probably during his first term from about 1886 - 1890 that he joined the Bishop Post of the G.A.R.

As a young man of about 20, William enlisted in the 132nd Infantry Regiment, Ohio, Company F, and soon after was named principal musician of the company along with one other man.  His pension listed him as a drum major, one who would use the drums to synchronize marching or to send communications from officers to men in the field. In this regiment, however, it is doubtful that these services were much needed.

The 132nd was a Hundred Days unit, formed at Camp Chase in Ohio, on May 15, 1864, of three National Guard units.  On May 22, they marched to Columbus Ohio, where they jumped on a train to Washington, D. C. to set up at Camp Albany.  On the 30th of that same month, they took a steamer from Alexandria right to the White House where they remained on picket duty until June 11.  The unit was then ordered to Bermuda Hundred, battles that were taking place around Richmond, Virginia.  By August 27th, they were headed back to Columbus where they were mustered out on September 10.

After the war, according to the 1870 census, William was a student in Delaware, Ohio, perhaps studying theology there.  He lived with the George Howard family while attending college and eventually married Cynthia A. Howard, who was not enumerated with the George Howard family, but could have been relation.  The marriage occurred on October 19, 1871.

In 1880, Wm. W. Lance, 38, minister of the gospel, and Cynthia A., his wife, 28, were settled in Dunkirk, Blanchard Township, Harden County, Ohio.  Children Hoyt, 8, and Roy, 3, were now a part of the family.  Due to his position in the church, the Lance family resettled many times throughout Ohio.  William could not be located on the 1890 Veterans' Census.

From about 1886 - 1890, Rev. Lance and his family resided in Defiance, Ohio.  They lived in the E.R. Mallett residence on Jefferson Street.  After 1890,he moved to Sydney, Ohio and in 1907, Wauseon.

The Lance family resided at 149 West Crocker Street, Fostoria, according to the 1900 census.  On this census, a conflicting date of 1846 was given for William's birthdate as compared to an earlier source using 1844.  He was 56 and a minister of the gospel, while his wife, Cynthia, cared for their expanded family:
May, 19; Winifred, 17; Ralph, 13; and William W., 7.  The family also had a domestic servant, Callie Shrall.  The older two children, Hoyt and Roy, had probably gone out on their own.

A newspaper article that appeared in a Defiance newspaper reported that their daughter, Winifred Lance, had married, much to her father's consternation.  

Defiance Crescent News, April 26, 1902

 In about 1908, Rev. Lance returned to Defiance for a second round as pastor at St. Paul's Methodist.  One source said it was a time of great progress "during which the church was enlarged, redecorated, and otherwise improved, at an expense of $36,000, no indebtedness."  In the 1910 census, they were settled on Wayne Street in Defiance.  William, 62, pastor of a church, and Anna C.(Cynthia), 56, rented a home with just William W. Jr., 17, in residence with them. Cynthia reported that she had six children, but only five were living at the time.

Reverend William W. Lance died on October 16, 1918, of pneumonia while in Celina, Ohio.  His obituary appeared in the Van Wert Bulletin on October 17, 1918.

Fountain Cemetery, Fostoria, Hancock County with wife, Cynthia Anna

Cynthia then moved in with their oldest daughter, May, in Indianapolis where they were enumerated for the census in 1920 on Johnson Street.  May, 38, was a music teacher and her husband, Ralph L. Donnan, 37, was a secretary for the Young Men of America.  One grandchild, Anna J., 4, was at home.  

 Cynthia lived just one more year, passing away on December 30, 1921. 

(This is part of a series on Civil War veterans of Defiance County who were part of the G.A.R., Bishop Post, that headquartered in the city.  Formed in 1879, the post was named after a local man, Captain William Bishop, Company D, 100th Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Army who died as a result of wounds received in battle.  The veterans' photos are part of a composite photo of members that has survived.  If you have other information or corrections to add to the soldiers' stories, please add to the comments!)

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