FRANK VANE, a retired business man, has been a resident of Oneida since 1857. His father, Frank Vane, lived in Montreal, Canada, and was a farmer by occupation. The maiden name of his wife was Mary Brooks. She died when about sixty-five years of age, and he at the age of forty-four. They were the parents of three children, namely: Frank; Mary, deceased; and Joseph, a resident of Cleveland, Ohio.
Frank Vane, the subject of this notice, was born near Montreal, Canada, December 29, 1828, was brought up on a farm, and was educated at the common schools in the French language. When eighteen years old, he went to Upper Canada, and there worked in the woods in the lumbering business for one year. He was early thrown upon his own resources because of the death of his father, which occurred in 1840; but his experience in early life, which he then considered very severe, was in reality what made him a successful man. After the year spent in the woods of Upper Canada, he returned to his old home, his mother having married again, her second husband being John Provo. Remaining at home until 1849, he then removed to Troy, N.Y., and the same year to Canastota. In 1857 he removed from that place to Oneida, where, as previously stated, he has resided ever since. Upon his arrival in Madison County he engaged in cutting timber and in lumbering for a considerable time. Subsequently he worked on different farms, and in this way succeeded in getting together some money, with which he made a start in life for himself.
Having but little knowledge of the English language, it was necessary for him to acquire it; and many a night was passed by him in its study. At length he decided to learn the trade of carriage-maker, and served an apprenticeship of three years at Canastota, when, having fully mastered every detail of the business, he went to work in the same place, remaining there some time, and afterward went to Munnsville, where he remained from July, 1856, until March 14, 1857. He then removed permanently to Oneida, and was engaged at his trade until 1861, when the Civil War caused him to lay down his tools and take up arms in defence of his adopted country. Having considerable knowledge of military tactics from his connection with a military company for some years, he began recruiting a company, which was one of the finest bodies of men in the service. It was known as the Oneida Independent Cavalry. Mr. Vane became Second Lieutenant of this company, was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant, and served until June 14, 1865. His company, which was a most remarkable body of men, was in constant demand for special duty, and was a component part of the Army of the Potomac. The individual members were variously employed, but always where special bravery or unusual intelligence was required. Some of them served as staff officers, others as special messengers, others, as bearers of special despatches on the field of battle and at other times when there was less danger. Lieutenant Vane had an unusually varied experience in the army, and knows much about war in all its phases, having witnessed and participated in all the principal battles of the Army of the Potomac.
When mustered out of the service, he returned to Oneida and resumed work at his trade, but soon realized that his health and endurance had been much weakened, and that his former splendid physical constitution would no longer stand the strain of hard work as before the war. He therefore reluctantly abandoned his trade, and in 1866 bought a billiard hall, later engaging in the hotel business. Being a popular and successful landlord, he made money in the latter business, and in 1887, sold out, and has since lived in the main a retired life.
Mr. Vane was married in 1876 to Frankie Saltsman, a daughter of Peter W. and Mary (Fox) Saltsman, who soon afterward died; and he then married Mary Saltsman, a sister of his first wife. Politically, Mr. Vane is a Republican, and is an intelligent observer of the tendency of the parties which from time to time strive for the suffrages of the American people. Fraternally, he is a Mason, belonging to Oneida Lodge, No. 270, to Doric Chapter, No. 193, and to Rome Commandery, No. 45. He is a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, belonging to John R. Stewart Post, No. 174. Few men, if any, are more highly respected by the entire community than he, not only for his success in business, but also for his excellent character as a private citizen, his splendid record as a patriot soldier during the War of the Rebellion, and his attention to the necessities of the old soldiers since the war came to such a happy conclusion for the people of the United States and the world at large, preserving, as it did, the liberties of the individual, and extending so materially the blessings of liberty to a large number of human beings long held in cruel and unjust bondage.
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