The Mount Ayr Record-News, 1947
OBITUARY - ORIN GILBERT SPENCER.
Orin Gilbert SPENCER was born July 24, 1868 in Piatt County, Illinois, and came to Ringgold County
in 1876 [One report says it was in 1876 but some of his children remember hearing
that he was in his second summer as a baby and had colic all the way] with his
parents, James W. and Malinda (FRANKLIN) SPENCER and settled on a farm near Delphos.
He received his early education in rural schools; attended Mount Ayr high school, and
attended business training at Shenandoah Iowa. He was engaged in mercantile work for
several years, but most of his life was spent farming. The question of a kinship of his
mother to Benjamin FRANKLIN, often asked, was a tradition that she was not sure of.
He became acquainted with his future wife while attending what was called a literary
society which was held in the home community. Rural people made their own entertainment.
The friendship continued to grow. Gallant beaux didn't have high-priced cars nor any
others where they could go miles and miles to hunt entertainment. They went by wagon and
sometimes two or three couples would go together to gatherings, Later came spring wagons
followed by buggies, and there was horseback riding. This didn't hinder courting by any
After marriage July 3, 1890, Orin took a job as a salesman in a clothing store
in St. Joseph after they were married but found that it didn't suit him. In fact, his
health became less than the best at that time, so they moved to a farm near Delphos. He
had learned to be an excellent penman in college and always felt that good penmanship was
Julia inherited 80 acres from her parents which she evidently received
possession of some time before their death and Orin bought an additional 80 acres next
to it. This was in Middle Fork Township and was their home farm. Their children were
Goldia, Gladys, Lyle, Clifford, Letha, Ida and John.
NOTE: Orin died at Mount Ayr on June 7, 1947.
Julia Belle (BAIRD) SPENCER, his wife, was born in 1867,
and died in 1953 with interment beside Orin, Rose Hill Cemetery, Mount Ayr, Ringgold County,
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.
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