Bio-Pen Pictures

of the firm of Spencer & Covel, real-estate agents, No. 36 Santa Clara Street, is one of the pioneers in that business in San Jose, having engaged in it more than fifteen years ago. He was born and raised on his father's farm, of 160 acres, in Henry County, one and a half miles from Lewisville, Indiana, in 1824. His parents were R. L. and Mary (Nelson) Spencer, his father a native of Connecticut, and his mother of Cincinnati, Ohio. Mrs. Spencer's father was a native of England, who had settled in Cincinnati when there were but four houses there, one of them a block house, into which the families had occasionally to retire on account of the Indians. The subject of this sketch received his education in a hewn-log school-house in Lewisville, Indiana, until the age of fourteen years, when the family removed to Louisville, Kentucky. From there they removed to Helena, Arkansas, where his father died from exposure incurred in rescuing passengers from the Sarah McFarlane, a steamboat sunk by the steamboat Danube, in 1839. The family then removed to a farm, which the subject of this sketch managed until he enlisted in the army for the Mexican War, in 1846. He now draws a Mexican War veteran pension, as a member of Company K, First Arkansas Cavalry. He was engaged in the battle of Buena Vista. Returning to Indiana, after the Mexican War, he there remained until 1856, when he came to California by way of Panama. He went at once to the Siskiyou mines, where he mined for four years. From there he came to Santa Clara County, in 1860, and engaged in farming, teaming, mercantile business, etc., until, in 1872, he engaged in the real-estate business. In 1873 he sold a half-interest in his business to his present partner, in which they have continued up to the present time.

        Mr. Spencer was married, in 1851, to Miss Cynthia Conway, a native of Indiana. They have had four children: Henry C., now resident of San Jose; Mary E., now deceased, the wife of A. N. Ranger, of San Jose; Emma, deceased, the wife of G. Borgstream, of San Francisco; Carnot R., now employed by Spencer & Covel. A granddaughter, Genevieve Ranger, now resides with Mr. Spencer, on the Alameda, near Stockton Avenue. He is President of the San Jose Gravel Mining Company, the mine being located in Nevada County.

        Mr. Spencer is a member of the Garden City Lodge, No. 142, I. O. O. F.; also of the San Jose Council of the American Legion of Honor; is a Republican in politics, and in favor of tariff protection.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.

Pg. 642-643


SANTA CLARA COUNTY The Valley of Heart's Delight