The Mount Ayr Record-News, 1933
DEATH CLAIMS HON. R. H. SPENCE.
Aged and Respected Lawyer Dies After a Three Weeks' Illness
After an illness of three weeks' duration, Hon. Robert H. SPENCE, oldest member of
the Ringgold county bar and a resident of Ringgold county 62 years, died at his
home in Sheldon Heights at 6 o'clock Saturday morning, October 7. The end came
peacefully and marked the close of a long and useful life.
Mr. SPENCE suffered a
stroke of paralysis Wednesday, September 13, while on the way to Des Moines to
attend to legal business and to accompany his grandson, John SPENCE, that on
his way to Iowa City to resume his studies at the State University of Iowa. His
condition was such that on the advice of his physician he was taken to a hospital
in Des Moines and after a few days in the hospital his wish to return home was
gratified and he was brought by ambulance to his home in Mount Ayr where he
gradually grew weaker until life passed out. He retained his fine faculties of
mind until the end. He was born in Henry county, Illinois, April 15, 1852, and was
therefore 81 years, five months and 22 days old at the time of his death.
At the age of 19 Mr. SPENCE came with his parents to Ringgold county. He was reared
on the farm and early became a teacher in the rural schools; later took up the
study of law and attended the State University of Iowa, graduating from the College of
Law of that institution and being admitted to practice in the year 1875. He
immediately located in Mount Ayr and continued active in practice until within
three weeks of the close of his life.
On April 11, 1873, Mr. SPENCE was united
in marriage to
Mary E. HAVILAND, whose parents were among the pioneer settlers of
Ringgold county, and a few years later death entered the home and claimed the wife
and mother. He was later united in marriage with Margaret C. HERRON, who passed
away February 17, 1917. He is survived by his three daughters, the Misses Maud and
Lottie SPENCE and Alice [Mrs. Orr K. INGRAM], and one son, Clarence SPENCE, all of
Mount Ayr; and five grandsons, Wayne and Robert INGRAM, the sons of Mr. and Mrs.
Orr K. INGRAM, and John, Robert and Billy SPENCE, the sons of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence
SPENCE. Two brothers, Joseph E. and George SPENCE, of New Mexico, also survive him.
The brother Joseph, of Anthony, N.M., visited him a few weeks before he was taken
ill and one grandson, Robert INGRAM, visited him during his last illness, leaving
Friday for his home at Fowler, Colo. One grandson, Wayne INGRAM, who was graduated
from the School of Law of the University of Iowa 49 years after his grandfather was
graduated from the same school, and who began practice with the firm of SPENCE and
BEARD in Mount Ayr, later going to New York City to engage in practice, was also
with his grandfather during his last illness.
During the 58 years he was engaged
in the practice of law in Mount Ayr Mr. SPENCE was borne the deserved reputation of
an able lawyer who conscientiously served his clients, and whose fine legal mind
commanded respect. During the years he was in turn associated in practice with
Capt. R. F. ASKREN, Judge I. W. KELLER, Judge R. C. HENRY, Albert I. SMITH and for
the past twenty years with H. C. BEARD. It was ever his delight to assist young men
and a number of young men who have been successful in the practice of law received
their initial training under the tutelage of Mr. SPENCE.
Probably no citizen of
Ringgold county enjoyed a wider acquaintance than did Mr. SPENCE. A profound
student, he kept informed in regard to national and state affairs, ever manifested
a keen interest in politics and enjoyed personal acquaintance with men prominent in
political circles throughout the nation. While never a candidate for office, except
the office of county attorney of Ringgold county, in which he served with
distinction, he was in attendance at many of the national republican conventions
and most of the republican state conventions during the past half century. For
seven years he served as a member of the republican state central committee,
serving for two terms as chairman of that committee.
1898 ad, Ringgold Record, Mount Ayr IA
FUNERAL SERVICES HELD MONDAY.
Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock at the United
Presbyterian church, being conducted by the pastor, Dr. Jesse JOHNSON. The service
was largely attended by friends who came to pay their last tribute of respect to
the departed and the large number of lawyers in attendance at the service attested
the high regard in which Mr. SPENCE was held by members of the legal profession.
Simplicity marked the funeral service. The absence of music was a departure from
the prevailing custom. Profuse and beautiful were the floral tributes. Following
the services at the church, the funeral cortege passed to Rose Hill cemetery where
the body was laid to rest.
NOTE: Margaret C. (HERRON) SPENCE was born in 1849, and died February 17, 1917 with
interment at Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa.
Transcription and note by Sharon R. Becker, 2008
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold" in the subject line. Thank you.
A - B OBITUARIES INDEX
C OBITUARIES INDEX
D OBITUARIES INDEX
E - F - G OBITUARIES INDEX
H - I - J OBITUARIES INDEX
K - L OBITUARIES INDEX
M OBITUARIES INDEX
N - O - P OBITUARIES INDEX
Q - R OBITUARIES INDEX
S - T OBITUARIES INDEX
U - V - W OBITUARIES INDEX
X - Y - Z OBITUARIES INDEX