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Lucy Ann Spencer – A Life Cut Short

20 Mar

My great grand aunt, Lucy Ann Spencer, did not live a long life. She was one of the daughters born to John Henry Spencer and Lucy Lodica Elmer in Payson, Utah on 23 October 1875. Lucy can be found in only one census record, and that being the 1880 census when she is only 5 years old. She is with her parents John and Lucy Spencer living in Thistle, Sanpete County, Utah. Also in the home is John’s “other” wife Jerusha (remember polygamy among the Mormons). Between the two women there are 11 children in the home ranging in age from 9 months to 17 years.

Lucy Ann Spencer Olsen – from the collection of Blaine Spencer

On October 30, 1895, at the age of 20 years, Lucy married Henry Peter Olsen in Mount Pleasant, Sanpete County, Utah. Henry, born 5 Feb 1876 in Sanpete County was the son of Danish and Swedish immigrants, James Peter Olsen and Margaret Christina Carolina Miller.  

Henry Peter Olsen - from the collection of Blaine Spencer

Lucy’s story is a tragic one. She gave birth to six children – three boys and three girls. None of her boys survived their infancy. The following children were born to Lucy and Henry: John Henry in 1896; Lucy Pearl Lena (1897-1990); James Edgar in 1900; Mary Alice (1902-1991); Annie Ethel (1905-1921); and George Elmer in 1908. The last boy, George Elmer was born 20 Aug 1908. His mother, Lucy Ann Spencer Olsen, at the age of 32, died five days later on 25 Aug 1908. Baby George died the next month on 13 Sept 1908.

Lucy’s husband, Henry Peter Olsen, eventually married again. On 16 Feb. 1910 he married Edna Shepherd. Edna was born 20 Sept 1889 in Lake Shore, Utah County, Utah, one of the daughters of Moses Andrew Shepherd and Rachael Ann Brady.

Edna Shepherd Olsen

Henry and Edna had five known children: Hannah Levender Olsen born 1910; Joseph Peter born 1912; Cleo born 1915; Rex T. born 1918; and Helen Esther born 1919. And again tragedy would strike this family. Barely three months after the birth of their last child, Helen Esther, Edna Shepherd Olsen died at the age of 30 on 22 Feb 1920.

Such heartache cannot be fathomed.

Henry Peter Olsen did remarry; however, I know nothing about his third wife other than her name: Eliza Jane Neilson. It is believed that this couple did not have children.

Henry died of heart trouble at the age of 67 on 5 April 1943. He is laid to rest in the Mount Pleasant City Cemetery with his first two wives, Lucy and Edna, and several of his children.

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Posted by on March 20, 2011 in Spencer

 

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