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William Henry Spencer, Jr
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Birth: 1840
Death: Oct. 3, 1890

He was called Will. He married the daughter of President John Tyler and his wife, Julia Gardiner, Julia Gardiner Tyler, b. 15 Dec 1849; d. 8 May 1871 after child birth. She is buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, VA.

According to Mrs. Flora S. Clark, Spencer Genealogy, Albany State Library, Albany, NY, there was a second child; however, this is not confirmed by E. Hancock, Office of the Curator, The White House, Washington, DC, in a letter dated 29 Dec 1982. See below: "Dear Captain Spencer: We have recieved your letter of December 20 requesting information on William Henry Spencer. Unfortunately, we do not have much. The only source of information we have is Burke's Presidential Families of the United States of America. Julia Gardiner Tyler was the 11th child of John Tyler. William H. Spencer and Julia Tyler were married on June 26, 1869 at the Church of the Ascension, NY, NY. Apparently, Julia died giving birth to their only child, a daughter, on May 8, 1871. The daughter, Julia Tyler Spencer was born May, 1871. She and her first husband George Fleurot had a daughter, Fanny Fleurot born in 1893. Fanny died unmarried in 1921. Julia Tyler Spencer Fleurot later married W. Durant Cheever. They had no children. According to the source, there are no direct descendants of Julia Gardiner Tyler and William H. Spencer. Since Julia Gardiner Tyler was born after John Tyler had left office, Spencer was not a White House occupant or visitor. Therefore, we would not have any records that would indicate his relationship with the Tylers. There are still Tyler descendants living in the family home, Sherwood Forest, Charles City County, Virginia 23030. Perhaps they may have information on the Tyler Family History. Sincerely, Ellen Hancock, Office of the Curator "Of all Julia's postwar experiences nothing elated her quite so much as the marriage of the nineteen-year old Julie to William H. Spencer in 1869; and nothing broke herso decisively as the young bride's death in childbirth at the age of twenty-one on May 8, 1871. Little is known of Will Spencer's background or of his courtship with Julie save that he was an impecunious, debt-ridden young man who wrote insipid love letter to his intended. But Julie loved him and that was what mattered. They were married in the Church of the Ascension in New York City on June 26, 1869, exactly twenty-five years to the day after Julia's wedding there to John Tyler. Following their marriage, they moved to "Tuscarora", York, NY, where Spencer had a mortgaged farm. Not surprisingly, Julia packed her newly wed daughter off to her new home with the reminder that she must 'do your duty in society. . .You should not hold back when an occasion presents itself worth your exertions". To encourage this exertion and to instruct Julie further in the nuances and ramifications of her social duties, Julia visited the young couple at Tuscarora, in 1869. The three of them also vacationed together at Saratoga Springs in the summer of 1870. Then, without warning, Julie died in May 1871, following the birth of a daughter, Julia Tyler Spencer, nicknamed "Baby". No death in the family struck Julia so powerfully--not even Margaret's or John Tyler's. She was absolutely crushed. She spent the restof her life mourning Julie while she provided a home for andraised "Baby" Spencer as her own child. For several years she loaned Will Spencer (as he was called) money, made good his bad debts, and settled his overdue notes (one of them for $2,650). Will, in turn, wandered aimlessly to the silver mines of Colorado and the citrus groves of California, and back again, in search of fame and fortune. He found neither, and Julia was that much the poorer. In the mid-1880s, he disappeared from the family's sight forever". P. 536-537. "Julia was able to employ a governess at Sherwood for seven-year old Baby Spencer, p. 453. "in the house on Grace Street the aging First Lady raised Baby Spencer to young womanhood" p. 551 "Julia and Baby Spencer often visitied Pearlie and the Major at Madison, their home near Roanoke, in the years that followed", p. 552. "I think I would never care to leave it for I do love farm life. But there is death in the ague and fever for me and for Baby Spencer too. .." p. 552 On Wednesday morning, the tenth (10 Jul 1889), she asked Baby to go for Dr. McGuire at his office. The young girl left her grandmother with a chambermaid and set out on the errand. During her brief absence, at about 11 A.M., Julia suffered a stroke. When Baby returned she found Room 27 crowded with hotel employees. . .Baby immediately had telephone messages sent to several physicians". . ."At her bedside were Baby Spencer and three Richmond ladies who were old friends of the formerFirst Lady." After services, . . ."was taken to HollywoodCemetery and buried beside her distinguished husband and herbeloved Julie". The following was found in the references: William H. Spencer to Julia Tyler, n.p., n.d. (early June 1869);Mrs. John Tyler, Wedding Invitation to Marriage of Julia Tyler to William H. Spencer, New York, June 26, 1869; Card: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Spencer, at Home, Tuscarora, Jul 5, 1869; Julia Tyler Spencer to Julia Gardiner Tyler, Tuscarora, NY, Jun 27,1871; For the subsequent unprofitable (for Julia) financial relations between Julia and the wandering Will Spencer, see Fimmer and Weill, Pawnbrokers, to Julia Gardiner Tyler, New York, Feb 14, 1873 (Spencer pawned Julie's jewelry to these people); William Everts to Julia Gardiner Tyler, New York, Jan 24, 1874; S.M. Barton and Co. to Julia Gardiner Tyler, San Francisco, Jul 19, 1875 (Spencer had used Julia's name as surety on personal notes for $200 without her authorization); William H. Spencer to Julia Gardiner Tyler, Lone Pine Ranch, Colorado,Feb 12, 1875; Fort Collins, Colorado, Aug 11, 1875 Ref: Seager,Robert. And Tyler too: A Biography of John and Julia Gardiner Tyler, McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc. New York. No date. Received from Sherwood Forest, Charles City, VA 23030, in letter dated Feb 1983. Obituary: William H. Spencer: A Former Resident of the Valley Dies instantly in Chicago. A dispatch was received at New York City form Chicago, on the 3d instant to the following purport: "William H. Spencer, a traveling salesman, dropped dead at the breakfast table this morning. He had a card in his pocket dated July 27, 1889, reading as follows: I am William H. Spencer, No 334 West Eighteenth Street, New York City". August30, 1890--am now rooming at No. 35 Pine Street, second flat. Should I be taken ill, please send word to Mrs. C. Spencer, No.334 WEst Eighteenth Street, New York; Miss Julia Spencer, care of William Ellis, Shawville Post office, Virginia; Mrs. E.T. Fleutot, care of Monroe and Co., No. 7, Hue Scribe, Paris, France. I am insured in the Metropolitian Life Insurance Company; office, No 2 West Fourteenth Street and Fifth Avenue,New York". "I wish to be cremated when dead, not buried. Be sure I am dead first". William H. Spencer who dropped dead in Chicago, was the son of the old pioneer of the same name who settled at Geneseo in very early days, was a merchant in this village, and was the first postmaster. He owned a splendid estate on the river flats between this place and ____, which he occupied and managed many years before his death. When this event occurred, the property was divided between his three children, William, the subject of this sketch, Joseph, a younger brother, and Fanny a sister. Joseph died in Europe, Fannie married a French gentleman, and William took the management of the estate. He built a residence in a pleasant position west of the old house, and in 1868, was married to a daughter of ex-President Tyler, the child of Mr. Tyler's second wife and brought her to his home. This lady died, leaving an infant daughter, the Julia Spencer mentioned in the telegram. After the death of his wife, he became unsettled and was induced to go to New York and engage in banking and this with speculations in western land proved his finanacial ruin. The fine property here was sold under the hammer, and since then he has been earning his living in a comparatively subordinate capacity. For the past ten years, Mr. Spencer had been the superintendent of Fred Linde and Company, Ne York bankers, and went to Chicago for the purpose of considering a business offer made to _____there, but this he had decided to decline, and was preparing to return to New York to accept a good business position there. He was a second time married in 1879 to Mrs. Caroline Bryant, who survives him. While he lived in this neighborhood he was a pleasing, open hearted gentleman, much esteemed by a large circle of friends and dependents, and a very gentle and sincere regret was felt at his misfortunes. He was a graduate of Yale, and was about fifty years old. He leaves to his widow a policy in the Metropolitan Life Insurance, which is supposed to be of rather limited amount. Major Spencer, his father, died suddenly. Itmay have been of heart disease, as it is staed that disease was hereditary in the Spencer family, and evidently, the deceased gentlemen expected that his own death would be sudden and carried the card above spoken of, in anticipation of such anevent. It is supposed that his body will be cremated in accordance with his wish. Ref: Livingston Republican Newspaper,9 Oct 1890, p. 3. "Yesterday John Tyler, son of President John Tyler, came to Geneseo, NY, and had the remains of his sister removed from the cemetery and taken to Richmond, VA. It will be remembered that she was the wife of Mr. William Spencer, at one time of the largest land of this section, and who possessed the flat between this town and Piffard. It was about 11 years ago when she died and was interred in the Temple Hill Cemetery. Ref: Livingston Republican, 31 Aug 1882 Fleurot/Spencer (married at Cincinnati, OH, 16 Aug 1894, George G. Fleurot to Julia Tyler Spencer, daughter of the late Wm. H. Spencer, of York. Ref: Livingston Republican, 23 Aug 1894, p. 3. "W. H. Spencer enrolled as a student for one year in the Yale Department of Philosophy and the Arts (later named the Sheffield Scientific School). It was a three-year course leading to the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy. Spencer is listed as specializing in Chemistry, entering from Geneseo, New York, with a New Haven, CT, address of 21 High Street. Ref: Letter from Judith A.Schiff, Chief Research Archivist, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT, 06520, dated 2 May 1983. 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Julia Gardner Tyler Spencer (1849 - 1871)
 
Burial:
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
 
Created by: Dana Spencer
Record added: Mar 08, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 25137515
 


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