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Posted On:
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Y.C. Nance - Sept. 2, 1916-Nov. 11, 1966
Y.C. Nance - Sept. 2, 1916-Nov. 11, 1966
The Civic Leader

Y.C. Nance was born in Enterprise, Ala., he was the oldest of J.E. and Mamie Gilley Nance’s nine children. He moved to Union Springs in 1950 from Wetumpka, Ala., where he had taught Adult Farm Education, and became Extension Service Agent for Bullock County. He held that job until his death.

During that period, farming was the No.1 industry in Bullock County, particularly among blacks. Mr. Nance showed farmers in Bullock County the latest techniques for planting, growing and harvesting crops and raising animals. He was hands-on. It was not unusal for him to work alongside the farmers, helping them slaughter and preserve cows and hogs for food and plant and plow their fields. He even picked cotton with them. He was inducted into the Extension Service Memorial Chapel Sept. 16, 1991.

Mr. Nance was also a civic leader, who was extremely involved with the schools. He helped organize the first Quarterback Club and Band Boosters Club at Carver High in 1959, the school’s second year of existence. He served as president of both organizations as well as the PT, for several years. Under his leadership, the Quarterback Club was able to purchase new uniforms for the fledgling football team, and the Band Boosters Club purchased instruments and the school’s first band uniforms.

In 1964 Mr. Nance headed an effort that led to the construction of Thornton-Foster Stadium, currently the home of the Bullock County High Hornets football team. The Quarterback Club wanted to sponsor an exhibition baseball game featuring the Indianapolis Clowns. However, the game would have been played at night and Carver’s field was not lighted. The only lighted field in Bullock County was Pugh Stadium, which at that time was used by whites only.  Mr. Nance went to the Board of Education and sought permission to use Pugh Stadium. His request was rejected, however, as a compromise a lighted stadium was built for Carver.

Mr. Nance is best remembered for his involvement with the youth of Union Springs and Bullock County. He brought organized youth baseball to Bullock in 1959 when he formed a Little League team. He quickly expanded the program to include Pony League and Babe Ruth League age teams. Mr. Nance sold barbecue dinners and concessions during games to help buy equipment, but he frequently ended up using his personal finances to support the teams.

The teams that he formed created a ripple effect throughout Bullock County. Other communities such as Aberfoil, Blues Stand, Great Hope and Hardaway also organized teams and many spirited rivalries were formed. His teams also played outside of Bullock County, traveling to Tuskegee, Clayton and Wetumpka to compete. At that time, his baseball program was the only form of organized recreation for black youth in Bullock County.

Mr. Nance also served as Scout Master of Troop 87 of the Boy Scouts of America.

Mr. Nance graduated from Alabama A&M College in 1939. Two years later, he married Ruth Whitehurst, also from Enterprise, who still resides in Union Springs.

Mr. Nance served in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was stationed in France and rose to the rank of sergeant. He joined Wayman Chapel A.M.E. Church shortly after moving to Union Springs and served on the Stewards Board for several years.

Mr. Nance was the father of three children, Sue Nance Hawkins of Daytona Beach, Fla., Orlando Tyrone Nance (deceased) and Roscoe Nance of Herndon, Va.