History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families Page: 740
740. HI6TORY OF TEXAS.
His death occurred in 1865, and the mother
now resides with her daughter. Mr. and
Mrs. Morris have three sons: Edwin T., born
February 12, 1887; Earl L., in 1889; and
Jessie H., in 1892. Both Mr. and Mrs. Morris
are members of the Baptist Church. The
former also affiliates with the A. F. & A. M.,
Bastrop Lodge, No. 244, and was the youngest
member of his lodge for two years.
HW ILLIAM OLIVER SPENCER, a
/ successful farmer of Williamson
county, is a son of William and
Rachel (Brooks) Spencer. The grandfather
of our subject, Moses Spencer, was born and
raised in New York, and after marriage located
on a farm near Albany. His land was
taken from him, however, by Van Rensselaer,
who obtained a grant from the British Government,
and he lost his entire possessions.
With a family consisting of a wife and one
child, the father of our subject, he then emigiated
to Pendleton District, South Carolina,
where lie remained until after the Revolutionary
war, in which he served as a private
soldier during the entire struggle. Late in
the last century the family located in Barren
county, Kentucky, where William Spencer
grew to manhood, having been born in 1771.
He was married there to Lorania Snow, and
they had three children, all of whom are now
deceased. The wife also died. The father
then moved to Illinois, locating near the Indiana
line, where he married the mother of
our subject, a lady of Irish birth. The family
continued tu reside in Illinois until 1854,
when the mother died, and the children having
married and left home, the father went to
live with a daughter in Iowa. He died there
in 1857. Mr. and Mrs. Spencer were/the
parents of seven children: Betsy, deceased;
William 0., our subject; Jane A., John M.,
James B. and Rachel, deceased; and Thomas
C., a resident of Livingston county, Illinois.
Mr. Spencer was a farmer by occupation, a
Whig in politics, a Baptist in religious faith,
and was a prominent man in his community.
He served many years as a Justice of the
Peace. During the war of 1812 he lived on
the Wabash river, and by personal request of
General Harrison, then Governor of Indiana,
remained at home and took charge of the
mills of that section.
William Oliver Spencer, the subject of this
sketch, was born in the then Territory of Illinois,
in what is now Lawrence county, September
2, 1810. In 1824 he moved with
his parents to Fulton county, west of Illinois
river, where he grew to manhood, and was
there married. From 1838 to 1851 the family
resided in Washington county, near Fayette,
Arkansas. In 1847 they came on a
prospecting tour to Texas, remaining in Bastrop
about one year, and in 1849 returned to
Arkansas. In 1851 they sold their possessions
in that State, and again came to Texas,
remaining in Bastrop until after the wife's
death. Mr. Spencer then purchased 553 acres
of land at his present location, three miles
above the present site of Liberty Hill, and
was one of the earliest settlers in this part of
the county. For several years after locating
here, Liberty Hill was without a post office.
One day General Rusk, a prominent figure in
early Texas history, camped a short distance
from Spencer's home, with a body of rangers.
He was invited to supper at the latter
house, and after the meal Mr. Spencer stated
his desire to have a post office located. in thia
part of the county. As General Rusk was A
member of Congress and Chairman of the
Post Office Committee, he sat down and be,
"I 0 0~
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Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families, book, 1893; Chicago. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/m1/790/ocr/: accessed February 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .