John Vance Cheney was an American poet, essayist and librarian. Educated in Geneseo, New York, Cheney practiced law briefly in Woodstock, Vermont and New York City before moving to California with his first wife Abigail Perkins Vance Cheney, teaching music, lecturing, and working as a postal clerk. In 1887 he assumed the position of librarian of the Free Public Library of San Francisco, where he oversaw the openings of the system's first branch libraries and hosted the first west coast conference of the American Library Association in 1891. In 1894 he moved to Chicago, where he served as librarian of the Newberry Library. In 1909 he retired and moved to San Diego with his second wife, Sara Barker Chamberlain.Cheney was a regular contributor to major literary magazines, including The Century, Atlantic Monthly, New England Magazine, and Harper's Monthly. His collected works, written between 1887 and his death in 1922, fill eight volumes.
He married Abbey Perkins Cheney in 1876 and had two daughters, Janet Vance Cheney and Evelyn Hope Cheney .