Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
EDWARD A. SPENCER. We are never ready to give up a member of the family or a close friend. It always seems to us that their lives might be prolonged indefinitely, but there is no staying the grim Reaper, whose name is Death when he gets ready to thrust in his sickle and reap, gathering both the flowers and the bearded grain; he does not heed our pleadings or our tears, and the only thing that we can do is to summon our fortitude, suppress our grief and go on with life's every day affairs, not forgetting the lessons in the lives of those with whom we have been associated on the journey and now gone on, leaving us behind.
The late Edward A. Spencer was summoned from earthly scenes in the prime of life, when it seemed that his family needed him, but Fate decreed otherwise. He was a member of one of the best-known families in the southern part of Polk county, just over the line from Greene county on the north, and several of the younger members of this old family have also made their homes in Springfield for a number of years. Our subject was born on a farm, near Brighton, Polk county, Missouri, September 1, 1857, and his life was spent in his native vicinity where he followed general farming for a livelihood. He grew up on the homestead where he worked when a boy, and he received his education in the rural schools of his district. He was a son of Dr. Sebern and Nancy Ann (Tuck) Spencer. The latter was a native of Tennessee, from which state she came to Polk county, Missouri, when a child and there spent the rest of her life, dying many years ago. Dr. Sebern Spencer was a native of North Carolina, and was comparatively young in years when he made the long overland journey from the old Tar state to Polk county, Missouri, where he spent the rest of his life practicing medicine and farming. He was a physician of the old school, was a self-educated man and rarely gifted by nature for the duties of a family doctor. He was very successful in his practice and was one of the best-known physicians among the pioneers in Polk county. He has been deceased many years. He was three times married, our subject being a child of his second marriage, which union resulted in the birth of four children, two sons and two daughters, all living but the subject of this sketch.
Edward A. Spencer was married, December 31, 1877, to Dallas S. Ruyle, who was born on a farm near Brighton, Polk county, this state, April 26, 1858, and there grew to womanhood, and received her education in the common schools. She is a daughter of Alvis and Susanna (Casey) Ruyle. The Casey family was well-to-do and was among the pioneers of the vicinity of Ozark, Missouri. Alvis Ruyle was born, reared and spent his life in the southern part of Polk county where the Ruyles have been a prominent family for three-quarters of a century. He was a son of Aaron Ruyle, one of the first settlers near the town of Brighton, where he became an extensive land owner and had numerous slaves in the early days before the Civil war. Alvis Ruyle devoted his life to farming, owning a place two miles west of Brighton. He has been deceased several years.
Four children were born to Edward A. Spencer and wife namely: Jessie M., George S., Ben E., and Grace E., all living at home with their mother.
Politically, Mr. Spencer was a Democrat. He professed faith in Christ early in life and joined the Baptist church at Slagle, in Polk county, but later in life inclined toward the belief of the Methodist Episcopal church, South, however never joining same, although intending to do so when his last illness overtook him. He suffered intensely for a year but bore it with true Christian fortitude and never complained, and when he was summoned to his reward on September 18, 1911, at the age of fifty-five years, his last words were, "Climb higher, climb higher." He was a man of jovial disposition, never permitted life's common burdens to weight him down, as so many do.
After the death of our subject at his home at Brighton, Polk county, his widow and children removed to Springfield and bought a home on Lyon street, where they now reside.
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