Family Stories

Uel Spencer, Biography

from Book of Biographies, Grafton County, New Hampshire

Uel Spencer, living on his farm on Lord’s Hill, where he is engaged in dairy-farming, was born on his present farm, December 19, 1839.  He is a son of James and Paulina (Brown) Spencer, and a grandson of Aaron  Spencer.

Our subjects grandfather came to New Hampshire from Rhode Island or Connecticut, and was just getting a start in life, when the unfortunate accident occurred, in 1787, which terminated his career.  He was working on a bridge near Pompanoosuc, and slipped and fell into the icy water; the chill that he received was too much for him, and he died from the effects of it.  He had been married a short time to a Miss Flitcher; after Mr. Spencer’s death, she married a Mr. Thatcher, and lived to be over ninety years old at her death.

James Spencer was born in Hanover in 1785, and held chiefly to the occupation of a farmer; when a young man he learned two trades, that of making spinning-wheels, and later that of painting.  From the age of two until he was fourteen, he lived in Bennington, Vermont, his father having died, and in that place and in other localities in Vermont in which he lived he attended the schools.  When about twenty-one he returned from Vermont to his native town Hanover, and made it his home until his death in 1856, at the age of seventy-one.  There were born to him eleven children, four boys and seven girls, seven children by his first wife and four by the second.  Our subject is the only one living of the entire family, in which he was the ninth child.  His mother, who was Paulina Brown before her marriage, was a daughter of Abraham Brown, and was born in the town of Hanover.

Uel Spencer has always lived on the home farm in Hanover; he attended school in the winter months until twenty years of age.  The summer of 1861 he worked out, and in the fall joined the army.  He enlisted October 4, 1861, in the 7th Regiment, N. H. Vol., Inf.; he served two years and four months, and was mustered out February 4, 1864.  He belonged to the southern department, and saw service in Florida and South Carolina, being present at the battle of Morris Island, and at the Siege of Charleston.  He was wounded September 7, 1863, in the foot, and was not able to stand on his foot for a year.  Upon his return from convalescing from his wound, he farmed as well as he could.  His brother had charge of the farm, and he worked for his brother in the summer of 1865; his brother died in the month of November of that year.  Since 1866 our subject has carried on the farm alone.  A number of years ago, when so many sheep were raised in New Hampshire, and a good price was given for the product, he conducted his farm as a sheep farm; the farm consists of 150 acres, and is now devoted to dairying.

Mr. Spencer was married June 3, 1868, in Hanover, to Ruth F. Emerson, who was born in that town, and was a daughter of Moses C. and Sarah S. (Freeman) Emerson.  The parents of Sarah Freeman moved to Alabama, where she lived until she was ten years of age, and they died; she then returned to the two of Lyme, where she lived with an aunt.  Moses C. Emerson was the father of eleven children, six by his first wife, four by his second, and one by his third; of these eleven children, Mrs. Spencer was the second in order of birth.  Moses C. Emerson was a son of Moses and Abigail (Hughes) Emerson, the former a son of Robert Emerson, who married a Miss Watts.  Mrs. Spencer’s great-grandmother Hughes, nee Sarah Freeman, lived to be 101 years old.  She married Nathaniel Hughes.

Four children have blessed the union of Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, as follows:  Myra, James, a member of the Morning Star Grange of Lyme; Kathrina Emerson, a student at the Normal School at Plymouth; and Louise E.  The family’s religious beliefs are embodied in the doctrines of the Congregational Church, of which they are leading members; Mr. Spencer is a Deacon.  Mr. Spencer is a member of the G. A. R., L. D. Gove Post, No. 56, of Hanover Village.  His politics are Republican, and he has served as road surveyor, and as a member of the school committee.

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