This is a 2020 photo of the northeast corner of East Reynolds and South Kenton streets. This “Look Forward” is from the perspective of Joseph C. Vance Sr., who erected on two lots at this corner in the fall of 1805 or spring of 1806 a two-story log house as a family residence and a small log building, which served as his office. He was appointed in 1805 the first clerk of the Common Pleas Court as well as recorder and auditor of Champaign County.
From this location Vance participated in the birth of Urbana, as Col. William Ward, the city’s founder, placed him in charge of the initial sale of lots in the town, some of the proceeds of which were used to construct the first county courthouse in 1807, a log structure located on the north side of East Court Street.
Vance was born in Virginia in 1859 then served in the Revolutionary War. He moved to Ohio in 1801 first settling in Green County then moving to Urbana in 1805 as noted above. His son Joseph C. Vance Jr. served as Governor of Ohio 1836-38. Vance Sr. died in 1809.
Submitted by the Champaign County Historical Museum, a not-for-profit organization that depends upon donations and dues to preserve, protect, archive and display the artifacts that tell the Champaign County story. The free public museum located at 809 E. Lawn Ave., Urbana, is open to the public Tues. - Fri. 10-4 and Sat. 10-2.