Biography of Sidney Spencer



Berrien County

Online Biographies


Also see [Railway Officials in America 1906]

Among the earliest settlers of Bainbridge who have endured the trials, privations, and hardships of pioneer life, the subject of this brief sketch is worthy of conspicuous mention in this history of Berrien County. He was born Dee. 21, 1802, in Washington Co., N. Y., and is the oldest in a family of ten children. His parents were natives of Connecticut, but moved to Jefferson Co., N. Y., when Sidney was quite young. Sidney remained at home until he became of age, assisting his father on the farm summers, attending district schools winters, but by improving his time he acquired sufficient education to enable him to transact any ordinary business. After reaching the age of manhood he left the paternal roof, and embarked on life’s broad sea to earn an honest livelihood. At the age of twenty-five he secured as a partner and helpmeet to assist him in the rugged paths of pioneer life, Miss Aseneth, daughter of Rev. Aaron (an early Methodist pioneer preacher) and Marion Davis, who were also natives of Connecticut, but emigrated from Massachusetts to Utica, N. Y., when there were but two log houses there. This union was blessed with six children, of whom only four are living, Melissa, born Oct. 4, 1827; Charles A., born May 11, 1830 (took the gold fever in 1851, went to California, remained four years, made enough to purchase a farm on his return, married Elizabeth, daughter of Dexter Dix, and now lives in Benton township); Romelia, born April 24, 1835; William W., born July 3, 1837 (graduated in the law department of Ann Arbor in the spring of 1861., enlisted in the 39th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, August 13th, was appointed sergeant, served under Gillmore in South Carolina one year and a half, thence went to Richmond, where he assisted in the siege of that place, was wounded in battle, sent to Philadelphia, and died in Chestnut Hill hospital, July 4, 1864); Mary Augusta, born July 2, 1838; Rosamond, born Jan. 10, 1842, died March, 1842. After marriage, Mr. Spencer worked at farming in Jefferson Co., N. Y., until 1844, when he moved to Michigan, renting a farm in Hillsdale County; there he remained two years. He then purchased the farm where he now resides, consisting of one hundred and twenty acres, on section 19. Wealth has been no sudden acquisition to Mr. Spencer, but slowly the work has been carried forward year by year, till, in the lapse of time, ease and comfort have been reached. He has lived to see his family all grown, and each provided with a home. One daughter lives in Detroit, one in Ann Arbor, another in Boston, Mass.; the only son living in Benton township. In politics he is a Republican; has been justice of the peace twelve years, besides holding other minor offices. Mr. Spencer is not a member of any church. Mrs. Spencer has been a member of the Methodist Church since 1820, and her father is a minister in that denomination.

History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers.
D. W. Ensign & Co., Philadelphia 1880
Press of J. B. Lippincoff & Co., Philadelphia.

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