William Spencer

William Henry Spencer (1856 - 1947)

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William Henry Spencer
Born in Payson, Adams, Illinois, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 23 Dec 1880 in Hannibal MOmap
Descendants descendants
Father of and [private daughter (1880s - unknown)]
Died in Onida, Sully, South Dakota, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 3 Jan 2020 | Created 4 Mar 2014
This page has been accessed 202 times.


William Henry Spencer was born 14 Jul 1856 on a farm in Adams County, Illinois, the son of of Jane Elliott and Samuel Moses Spencer.[1]

William married Sarah Jane Evans on 23 Dec 1880. William and Jennie made their home on a farm near Payson, Illinois until 1882, when they moved to Dakota Territory with their infant daughter, Zelia, settling first in Hanson County. In the fall of 1883, he and a brother staked out claims near the station of Gorman in Potter County. The following spring the land was surveyed and the family moved to their new home. Their son Roy was born there that summer, the second white child born to the permanent settlers of Potter County.[2]

In 1895, the family moved to Sully County on the site of the old town of Fairbank, where William engaged in ranching until the time of his death, 14 March 1947.[3]

William participated in civic affairs. He served as postmaster at the general store he ran in Fairbank and once ran for the state legislature losing to a Hughes County man.[4]

A granddaughter recalled that he saddled up on his horse to celebrate his ninetieth birthday.

Three of his favorite songs, "Wonderful Peace", 'Safe in the Arms of Jesus", and "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" were played at his funeral.[5]


  1. Unsourced obituary
  2. Unsourced obituary
  3. Unsourced obituary
  4. Loose notes passed down as family history
  5. Unsourced obituary

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with William:

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Categories: Ranchers | Sully County, South Dakota | Payson, Illinois