The First Christian Church Building Committee

You may have already guessed this, but I really love digging into history!

On Friday, I wrote about how another member of Rev. Richard M. Gano’s family served on the building committee that guided the construction of the 1891 First Christian Church building in Taylor. (The stained glass window in the picture is one of many beautiful windows in this church.)

Today on the way home from Thorndale we stopped by the church briefly, so I could take a look at the names on the cornerstone. I was able to confirm that Gano was indeed Rev. Richard M. Gano’s brother, John Allen Gano, Jr.

The cornerstone lists all the members of the building committee. The list is almost a “who’s who” of early Taylor history. Here are the names as listed (along with expanded names where I’ve been able to figure them out):

CP VANCE (Colonel Charles Patrick Vance)
JA GANO (John Allen Gano, Jr.)
C MENDEL (Peter Curran Mendel)
JA SIMONS (James A. Simons)
H BLAND (Howard Bland)
JL McCARTY
JS BROWN (Dr. John S. Brown)

Colonel Vance was born in Kentucky; his father was related to the Vance family of North Carolina (which includes Zebulon Baird Vance, who served as the Confederate governor of North Carolina from 1862-1865; Vance served as governor of the state again from 1877-1879, and then went on to serve in the US Senate from 1879 until his death in 1894).

Vance is called “the father of Taylor” in several articles I found. He’s also related to two other men on the cornerstone– J.L. McCarty married his daughter, Sallie, and James A. Simons was his stepson.

Vance Street in Taylor is named after him.

And… the window in this picture is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. C.P. Vance– the former Mrs. A.D.L. Simons– who died in the same year that the building was completed.

You can read more about Col. Vance here:
https://books.google.com/books?id=FC0EAAAAYAAJ&lpg=PA119&dq=j.a.%20simons%20taylor%2C%20tx&pg=PA118#v=onepage&q&f=false

I’ll be publishing more information about some of the other men listed in future posts!

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