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Tag Archives: Indianola

George Francis Spencer

George Francis Spencer was my great-grandfather – and one of the 12 children of John Henry Spencer and Lucy Lodica Elmer – born in Payson, Utah County, Utah Territory on 30 Jun 1870.  George’s father was a member of the Mormon sect.  Imagine how puzzled I was when I first started studying the census records of that time period….more wives and children and confusion than I could count.  It finally dawned on me – my great great grandfather was a polygamist!  Accordingly, in the childhood census records of George Francis Spencer, he is always present with his mother and father AND John Spencer’s first wife  Jerusha Kibbe Brunson Elmer and her 14 children, George’s half siblings.  Whew….Now that we’ve got that sorted out…let’s continue ! 

George Francis Spencer from the collection of Blaine Spencer

Sometime around the time George turned 7 years old, his large family relocated to Thistle/Indianola, Sanpete County, Utah.  This is where he met and married my great-grandmother, Sarah Elsie Gardner.  The Mormon records indicate that they married 22 Oct 1987 – when Sarah was only 15 years old.  However, the 1910 census indicates that they had been married only 10 years – putting the marriage closer to 1900.  Sarah was the daughter of Henry Erastus Stanley Gardner and Mary Rosetta Patterson. 

Sarah Elsie Gardner from the collection of Blaine Spencer

 George and Sarah had five children: 

Earl Francis in 1903; married Margaret “Mollie” Mack; died in Utah County, Utah in 1964;

Mary Lodica “Aunt Marie” in 1905; married first James Patrick Hyland and second Paul Allias; died 1999 in Salt Lake City;

Ernest Richard in 1907; married Mary “Honey” and Cleotha Peterson; died 1960 in Utah County, Utah (my father named after him);

Elmer Bert in 1908; married Peggy Marie Barnett; died in Kerrville, Kerr County, Texas in 1999; and

Pearl Eva in 1914 (my grandmother); married Jose Celestino Montoya; lost her life in a car accident at the age of 34 in 1949. 

It appears that the marriage of George and Elsie might have been a rocky one – on again and off again.  In the 1910 census they are together – in 1920 George is alone with the four older children and is indexed as divorced – Elsie is in another county with youngest daughter Pearl Eva and is living with another man (Carl Persow) – later she leaves Pearl with her father and goes to California where she died young in 1925.  It is assumed that George and Sarah were together until at least 1914, when my grandmother, Pearl Eva Spencer was born.  It is not known if the couple actually divorced or only separated.  Her headstone carries the “Spencer” name – and she is listed as “wife” of George Spencer on his death certificate.  The family story states that George Francis Spencer was a sheep herder – and that Elsie wanted a better life than that could afford her.  The 1910 census states that he was a laborer doing “odd jobs”; the 1920 census that he was a laborer working for the “steam railroad”; and the 1930 that he was a laborer working on a farm.

It appears that George Francis Spencer spent the remainder of his years in Indianola.  In his old age, George Francis Spencer, was wheelchair bound.  His death certificate states that he was “an invalid for 27 years prior to his death.”  He lived in the home of one of his sons – probably Earl Francis Spencer – and he had rooms at the back of that house.  He died in the Utah County Infirmary at Provo, Utah at the age of 73 on 22 Apr 1944.  He had been a resident at the Infirmary for ten months prior to his death.  

George Francis Spencer is laid to rest in Payson City Cemetery in Payson, Utah County, Utah. 

George Francis Spencer - Payson City Cemetery

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Spencer

 

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Richard Henry Spencer

Richard Henry Spencer

Richard Henry Spencer, my great grand uncle, was the oldest son born to John Henry Spencer and Lucy Lodica Elmer.  Richard was born in Payson , Utah County, Utah on 12 Oct. 1862.  Richard spent most of his time growing up in Utah County and then later in Sanpete County .  It was there that he met Annie Harriet Reynolds.  The couple married in Salt Lake City on 14 Feb. 1884 and spent the remainder of their lives living in Indianola, Sanpete County , Utah . 

Annie Harriet Reynolds

They had a very large family:  Richard Leo in 1884; Hannah L. in 1886; Henry Mert in 1888; George Earl in 1890; Mary Ada in 1892; Hattie A. in 1894; Jesse Vord in 1895; Elvareta in 1898; Elmer Ward in 1901; John Edison in 1904; and Eliza Arsula in 1907. 

 From A History of Sanpete and Emery Counties , Utah :

 SPENCER, RICHARD H., merchant, son of John and Lodica, was born in Payson , Utah , October 12, 1862.  The family came to Indianola in 1874, father being called here as a missionary to the Indians, and was appointed bishop, holding the position until his death, August 14, 1891.  Mother died in Utah County , September 17, 1890.  Richard was raised on a farm, and in 1885 and 1886 was superintendent of the Co-Op store.  In 1889 he opened a store of his own, where he carries a general stock of goods needed in a country store and does a good business.  He is also a farmer and sheep raiser, owns 700 acres of land and is making a specialty of thoroughbred Cotswold sheep and doing much in breeding up the native herds.  Was married in Salt Lake City on February 14, 1884, to Annie, daughter of Levi B. and Hannah Reynolds, born in Mt. Pleasant on February 22, 1862.  They have six children:  Leo, Lodica, Henry M., Hattie, Vard and Aurelia.

 The following news snippet was included in Richard’s “Obituary Scrapbook.”  It pertains to his 50th Wedding Anniversary:

INDIANOLA:  Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Spencer, pioneer residents of Indianola, entertained in honor of their fiftieth anniversary at their home in Indianola recently.  They were married in the Salt Lake L. D. S. endowment house February 14, 1884. They journeyed from Indianola for eight days in covered wagons with four other couples that were married the same day.  All the others have since died.  Mr. Spencer was born in Payson, October 12, 1862.  He came to Indianola in 1875 with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John and Ann Reynolds Spencer.  They were called as missionaries by President Brigham Young to labor among the Indians of Indianola.  Mr. Spencer became one of the most prominent farmers and stockmen of the community, and has always been active in civic and L. D. S. church work.  He filled a mission to Great Britain in 1900 and was bishop of Indianola ward several years.  Ann Reynolds was born in Mt. Pleasant January 22, 1861, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Levi B. Reynolds. She came to Indianola with a sister and has made this her home since.  She always has been active in L. D. S. church work, serving 25 years as choir leader.  Of their 12 sons and daughters, eight are living, J. Edison, H. Murt and Vard Spencer, and Mrs. R. D. Tibbs, Indianola; R. Les Spencer, Gunnison ; Mrs. J. R. Seeley, Hazelton. Idaho ; Mrs. J. M. Price and Mrs. J. H. Peterson, Salt Lake ; also 30 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Richard Henry Spencer died at the age of 83 years on 3 June 1946 in Indianola , Utah .  He is laid to rest in the Indianola Cemetery .  I have been told by people familiar with this area that the “old” Indianola Cemetery was at one time owned by the Spencer family.  It lies near an old Indian burial ground and is now nearly eroded to nothing.

Richard Henry Spencer - Indianola Cemetery

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Spencer

 

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