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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
W. H. Vanstane, honored as a veteran of the Civil war and well known as one of the successful and representative farmers of Blue Mound Township, was born in New York City, July 28, 1845, and is a son of Wellington and Frances (Cunningham) Vanstane, the former for many years a professional musician, well known throughout the eastern states. He came to Missouri from Boston and bought one hundred and twenty acres of land near Utica, bringing it from raw prairie land to a high state of cultivation. He became well known and highly esteemed throughout his section of the state and his death, which occurred in 1889, was deeply regretted by his many friends. His wife passed away in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1856 and is buried in the Mount Auburn cemetery.
W. H. Vanstane acquired his education in the public schools of Boston, attending until he was fourteen years of age, at which time he began the study of music. He continued at this until he was eighteen and then enlisted in the United States navy to serve for the remaining years of the Civil war. When hostilities ceased and he had received his honorable discharge he came with his father to Missouri and assisted in the operation of the family homestead for fifteen years thereafter. At the age of thirty-five he began his independent agricultural career, purchasing a farm of eighty acres two miles south of Utica. This property he improved and developed along progressive lines until 1891, when he sold it and moved to his present farm, which he had purchased a year or two before. He has one hundred and sixty acres, all under cultivation, his fields yielding abundant harvests as a result of the care and labor which he bestows upon them. He has made substantial improvements from time to time and has a comfortable residence, substantial barns and outbuildings and all the accessories of a model farm. He engages in mixed farming, keeping twenty-five head of cattle, fifteen horses and fifty swine, his stock-raising interests constituting a valuable source of income.
Mr. Vanstane married, at Tenney's Grove, Ray county, on October 18, 1874, Miss Pauline G. Fortune, a daughter of Rev. Williamson D. and Mary B. (Long) Fortune, the former for ten years probate judge of Ray county. He also was a veteran of the Civil war, serving through that conflict in the Forty-fourth Missouri Volunteers and obtaining his honorable discharge as captain. He was for some time justice of the peace and a prominent and popular man in the public affairs of his community. He died March 15, 1909, at Tenney's Grove, having survived his wife since 1863. Mr. and Mrs. Vanstane became the parents of twelve children: Archibald L.. who died at the age of nine years and is buried in Utica cemetery; William A., a farmer in Blue Mound township; Harvey E., who is a bookkeeper in Butte, Montana; Clarence L., who serves as bookkeeper in the internal revenue department in Kansas City; Bernice P., who is engaged as a music teacher; Emma, who became the wife of Milton Rice, of Dawn; Walter, who is engaged in farming in Blue Mound township; Ellsworth R., who is a graduate of the Chillicothe Normal School and is now engaged in farming; Horace A., operating a valuable property in Blue Mound township: Harry A., who is assisting on the home farm; Cecil M., a graduate of the State Normal School of Maryville; and Virgil, a graduate of the Dawn high school.
Mr. Vanstane keeps in touch with his comrades of the Civil war through his membership in the Grand Army of the Republic, in which he has been active and prominent for many years. He is a republican in his political beliefs and has been called upon to serve in various important local offices, including those of township judge and director of the school board. He is a man who has made good use of his opportunities and has forged his way to the front. He has encountered obstacles and difficulties, but has overcome these by honorable and determined efforts and is numbered among the substantial and noted citizens of Livingston county.
Since the above article was written, Mr. Vanstane has passed away, his death, which occurred on January 31, 1913, occasioning deep and widespread regret to all those, who through closer contact had learned to esteem him for his many high qualities of heart and mind.