OUR SPENCER FAMILY HISTORY
updated by Staci Vriese, January 2007
Hiram was born in Hartford, Connecticut on 21 Feb, 1795. So far, I have received probable information that his parents were Ebenezer Spencer and Elizabeth (Betsey) Little of Hartford Connecticut. (Note: I am cureently researching this connection.) Hiram's first wife was Amanda Goddard (Godard, b.25 Sep 1794 in Granby, Hartford CT). It seems that Edward Spencer was their first child, born around 1817 in CT. Sometime by 1820 they moved to Suffield, Portage County, OH (not to be confused with the Hiram Spencer of Mantua, Portage County!!!) and around that same year, in Ohio, Edwin is born.
1820 Census- Suffield, Portage County, Ohio lists Hiram Spencer, with one son under 10 years of age, 2 adults age 16-26, a girl age 10-16 and a woman 16-26. I am not sure who the other older people are, but I think son Edward is the one under 10.
1830 Census- still in Suffield, this time with 2 boys under 5, and 2 boys ages 5-10, he is about 30 something, and there is a girl age 5-10. His wife is also 30 something. The boys on this census are probably: Edward, Edwin, Edgar and Edmond and the girl is Sophia.
Then, 1833 a son, Egbert is born and it is the last child I can find. (There is also a rumour that they had a sister named Eliza- but it is unknown which side of the family an "Aunt Eliza" came from..... ) His wife died shortly thereafter (childbirth?) and he marries a woman named Clarissa Meacham on 14 December, 1837 in Portage County.
1840 Census- Suffield- there are 4 boys and a girl. By this time Edward (see below) is in Michigan. The children listed on this record are probably refering to Edwin, Edgar, Edmond, Egbert and Sophia Spencer. All the ages fit nicely. Clarissa is his younger, wife. On July 4th, 1842, Edwin Spencer marries Angeline Hurd in Portage County.
1850 Census- Suffield- This census of course is more revealing with Clarissa, Edmond, Edgar, Egbert, - and the new names of Amanda Elizabeth, Harry, Mary E and Hannah(children from his new wife, Clarissa).
1860 Census- Suffield- Hiram is 65 years of age, born in Ct, with wife Clarissa, Elizabeth, Mary E and Anna Medora (Hannah).
At some point Hiram moves to live near his son Egbert near Rushville, Illinois and dies there in December 1869 and is buried at the Palm Cemetery in Woodstock. Most of the children remove to Brown County, Illinois and Edward eventually takes the Oregon Trail out West.
EDWARD H SPENCER
It seems I have finally broke through the brick wall with research into this ancestor's past. It has always seemed to complicate things that his first born son called him Edward H on some of his records, that Edward's original records in Michigan said Edward H., but on the marriage certificates and on all documentation in Oregon he goes by Hiram E. Spencer. Some researchers had Hiram Edward, and I had even seen Hiram Edwin on occasion. (But, as it turns out- Edwin was his brother...) Perhaps to him, the name Hiram sounded more fitting to a pioneer than Edward. Or, he wanted to be remembered by his father's name. One can only guess, but since many people go by their middle name, this is not unusual.
According to census records and his headstone, Edward H Spencer was born in Connecticut, in 1817. (The 1900 census stated he was born in January of 1816 in Illinois- the January part might be right, but the rest seems full of errors). Also, I have seen some trees put his birth date to Febuary 2nd. So far no birth record has been found to confirm any of this. According to his son, his first wife was a Lucinda. They had a girl named Mary Lucinda around 1841, and a boy, Aden Clary Spencer on December 2nd, 1843 in Eaton County, Michigan. (Aden was born in Battle Creek, according to his civil war records.) There is a marriage record in Portage County,Ohio that says that Hiram E Spencer married Mary Richards on June 19th, 1838. This Mary must be Mary Lucinda (same as their daughter's name) . Edward's wife, Lucinda died sometime after the birth of Aden. Afterwards, Hiram moved the remainder of his family to Illinois and remarried.
1840 Census-Walton Township, Eaton County, Michigan lists an Edward H Spencer (over 20 and under 30) and a wife (over 20 and under 30). Sometime shortly after they married in Ohio, they moved to Michigan. Did they follow her family there?
1841 - BLM Land Patent for Hiram E Spencer of Eaton County, Michigan.
His second wife, our ancestor, and the one he would travel to Oregon with in 1860, was Mary (Ellen) Elizabeth Schick (Shick), from Ohio. They were married on 2 November 1848 in Knoxville, Knox Couny, Illinois. On the marriage certificate, her name is Elizabeth Shaw. (Shaw was herfirst husband's last name.) They had the following children: Frances Ellen, Hiram Alfonso, Olive Isaline, Martin Eugene, John O., Frederick Loland, Alice Isabelle, Edward and Tom. (Some born in Illinois, Iowa and Oregon)
1850 Census Maquon Township, Knox County, Ilinois (9N3E) Hiram E Spencer listed with wife, Mary E., and children: Mary L and Aden C and Frances.
The 1850 Census is where the breakthrough information came to trace him back. The 1850 Knox County, Illinois census also lists an Edwin Spencer, in Chestnut Township- right next to our Hiram E Spencer. I traced this Edwin Spencer to Brown County, where he also had both parents born in CT, and eventually to the brothers Edmund, Edgar, and Egbert. They are all the children of a Hiram Spencer of Suffield, Portage County, Ohio (not to be confused with the Hiram Spencer of Mantua, Portage County!!!).
1855 - Knox County, Illinois (Maquon Township 9N3E) Personal Property Tax list has an H.G (prob.E....)
24 July 1856 - Fillmore Township, Iowa County, Iowa State Census lists H.E Spencer, his wife Elisabeth and children Lucinda, Aden, Frances, Alphonzo and John. Lucinda and Aden were born in Michigan and Frances, Alphonzo and John were all born in Illinois. An "X" is marked under "military" service for Hiram. What is most interesting is that a couple families below on the same census page there is a "Caleb Spencer" (age 70) and wife "Elizabeth" (age 60) with a young woman named Ann (age 20). Caleb was also born in Conneticut, Elizabeth in New York, and Ann in Ohio. (Note that Caleb and his family have been traced back on census records to Shalersville, Portage County, Ohio.)
(Hiram not found on 1860 census probably because they were on Oregon Trail that year....)
1870 Census - Jackson County Oregon. Hiram E Spencer with wife Elizabeth and 6 children.
1872 Homestead File entry in Township No. 39, South of Range No.1 East of Section 10, containing 157 acres. Hiram E Spencer of Jackson County, Oregon states he had resided on that land since the 10th of October, 1866. Papers say he "built a house thereon a dwelling house of frame about 20 by 28 (freh?) In size having windows doors and chimney..." He had plowed, fenced and cultivated about 25 acres of that land. He also built a barn.
1880 Census - Jackson County, Oregon. Hiram E Spencer with wife Elizabeth & 5 kids.
Hiram and Mary Elizabeth crossed the plains in 1860 from Iowa on Captain Lockwood's train, (when their son, Martin Eugene, was only a year old) and they settled on Emigrant Creek, near Ashland. According to their daughter, Alice, "My mother drove an ox team clear across the plains, and my father walked and drove all the loose and lame stock of the train." Alice states that they were on their way to California when their wagon wheel broke down, so there they stayed near Emigrant Creek. In the Spring he took up a homestead of 360 acres between Emigrant Creek and Ashland. (See "History of Alice Isobell Spencer High" for a family account.) They bought a sawmill in 1870/71 on Spencer Creek in Klamath County, which they operated until about 1886. (See Klamath Echoes vol.7) They later owned and operated "Spencer Station", a stage stop between Ashland and Klamath Falls(Linkville). According to "Klamath County History" and "Autobiography by Fred Loland Spencer": "...It was a two-story log structure, 40x60 feet." "Mrs Spencer was short and heavy. Mr Spencer was a large man, a six-footer. He wore white shirts of unbleached muslin at all times. He never condescended to wear suspenders, preferring to depend on a roll of shirt and trousers." Frederick Loland Spencer and Alice Isabelle (High) wrote fascinating accounts of their pioneer life in Southern Oregon and their experiences with the Modoc Indians (see Southern Oregon Historical Society). In all, Hiram and Mary had 8 children: Hiram Alphonso (Tom), John Alaska, Olive Isaline, Martin Eugene, Edward, Frederick Loland, Francis Ellen and Alice Isabelle.
Mary Elizabeth Schick Spencer died in the cold winter of 1890 when the roof of her porch collapsed on her from the weight of snow. Hiram died on 12 October, 1905 at the home of his son in law, Nathan High, in Ashland, Oregon. He is buried next to his wife at the Spencer Creek family pioneer cemetery in Klamath County. (CLICK HERE to link to USGENWEB Spencer Cemetery Transcripton. You will exit this site.)
(Photo: The young woman in this photo is probably Mary Lucinda Spencer, daughter of Edward Hiram Spencer. The old woman in the photograph is unknown. Please contact me if you might know who this is! The photo on the right is Edward H Spencer with his son, Frederick Loland Spencer. Photos courtesy of Julia Woosnam.)
MARTIN EUGENE SPENCER "UNCLE GENE"
(Left to Right: Elizabeth Jane Taylor (Martin's wife), Martin Eugene, Leon Anderson (his son in law: tallest man in rear), pos. Arthur Long and ?
Martin Eugene Spencer's death record reports that he was born in Lydell City, Iowa on15 April 1859; however, "Lydell City" does not exist. Even in ghost town records. Martin Eugene must have been born in "Lytle City", Fillmore Township, Iowa County, Iowa. Fillmore Township is where his family was found only 3 years before his birth on the 1856 Iowa State Census. His family left on the Oregon Trail in spring of 1860, so he must have been only a year old when he came to Oregon. Martin was married on 21 November, 1881 in Jackson County, Oregon to Elizabeth Jane Taylor, "Lizzie". They had the following children: Daniel T., Nellie Lorena (see below), Bertha, William Bayard, Mona, Honey and Major. Martin followed in the footsteps of his family and was a farmer most of his life. According to Oregon Historical Quarterly (Vol 49, 1948 pg 146) Eugene ran the post office at Spencer Station: "Wampus post office was established June 27th, 1808 with Eugene Spencer first and only postmaster....Wampus post office was probably at the old Spencer stage and freight station at the East foot of Hayden Mountain.....Wampus post office was discontinued September 15th, 1911." Martin Eugene died 22 May 1936 in Ashland, Jackson County, Oregon at his home (263 7th Street) of a stroke.
NELLIE LORENA SPENCER(Nellie Spencer at age 19 and her brother Major at age 17. Taken abt. 1901)
Nellie Spencer was born on 19 Nov, 1882 at the Spencer Creek Ranch in Klamath County, Oregon. She married Leon Wilfred Anderson on February 13th, 1901. They had a girl, Esther, and twin boys, one of whom died right after birth, and the other who is still living. Nellie was a member of the Christian Science Church, and "most of her life was spent in the Keno community" (see obituary Aug 24th, 1965 in the Klamath Herald and News.) She spent her entire life in Southern Oregon, where she died on 23 August, 1965 in Klamath Falls, Oregon in a nursing home after a long illness. Nellie is buried in the Keno Cemetery.
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