William Spencer

Search Form

William Spencer was born in 1797 (or perhaps 1799) in Cheraw, Chesterson Co. SC.  He married Margaret Dixon Montgomery on April 23, 1823 in Monroe Co., Mississippi.

Culled from From These Hills:  A History of Pontotoc County, ed. Callie B. Young (1976)

He and Margaret were early members of the Monroe Mission Church in Pontotoc Co., Mississippi.  The mission had been established in 1823 by Rev. Thomas C. Stuart as a mission to the Chickasaw nation prior to the time when the land had been ceded and opened up to settlement.  Church records show that they were admitted into membership on June 30, 1832.  He was baptized on July 1 and their children (unnamed) are baptized on July 8.

William is listed as one of the witnesses to the transfer of deed of land to build the school. (Others include James Perry, the interpreter, James Hodges, Henry Love and king Ish-te-ho-to-pa), p. 43.

Note that he, along with Robert Montgomery and James Gideon are listed as neighbors to the Rev. Thomas Stuart on the 1837 State of Mississippi Census.

At this point I am unsure whether the following information pertains to this William Spencer; however, much of what we know about Spencer is in accord with the following account (e.g. his association with the Monroe Mission) which can be documented from reputable sources.

The online genealogies at popular websites seem to be particularly confused about William Spencer and may in fact conflate two or more William Spencers.  Caution is required!




Excerpted from

W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi


The JUDGE WILLIAM SPENCER HOME is the next home on the Chickasaw trail deserving mention.   Judge Spencer was a native South Carolinian who came to Chickasaw country about the time Rev. T. C. Stuart opened his mission at Monroe.  He first resided in that neighborhood and was a ruling elder in Monroe Presbyterian Church soon after the organization in 1825.  He attended a presbytery at Unity, a country church five miles east of Tupelo in 1833.  His grandson, Holly, who is an elder in the Pontotoc Presbyterian Church, attended a presbytery in the same church in 19833.


In 1850 Judge Spencer bought this house from John A. McNeal which was built in 1836.  It is a one story structure.  The lumber that was used in the house was hand hewn and whipsawed from lumber cut on the place.  The shutters and doors are made by hand and one of the mantels, built in 1836, is hand-carved.  Set on a hill midst old oak trees, the house has a mellow and attractive appearance.  It is in an excellent state of preservation.


It was raided by the Yankees during the War between the States, and an interesting incident of the raid is told:  The Bissingers, who came to Pontotoc from Philadelphia, lived during this time at the old Richard Bolton place, about an eighth of a mile up the trail to the end of the road.  One day Mr. Bissinger went down to the Spencer's in a great state of excitement and told that the Yankees were coming.  In his hand he carried a can of gold, which he and Mr. Spencer buried.  After the surrender Mr. Bissinger dug up his gold and found it to be a can of sugar.


After the war A. H. Spencer, son of Judge William Spencer came home to look after the family; Tom had been crippled and Robert had been killed at Vicksburg.  In the 1870's A. H. bought the place from his father and owned it until his death, December 5, 1913.  In his will the home was left to Holly Spencer.  Judge Spencer was one of the first probate judges of Pontotoc County.


Excerpted from: 

W. P. A. History of Pontotoc County, Mississippi

Chapter IV:  FLORA
Historic Trees

THE SPENCER OAKS on the Spencer place, are a little more than a mile southwest of Pontotoc.  Three generations of the Spencer family have occupied this old home,  and each of them has appreciated the majesty, comfort, and sentiment attached to oak trees.

 The Spencer place is near the Old Chickasaw trail that led from the southwest in a northwesterly direction to the Chickasaw bluffs.  The trail followed a ridge route that terminated in the level stretch of flatwoods and was a favorite route of the Indians because of the shady dales it passed through and the close proximity to spring water in the adjoining hollows.


As the region was delectable to the red man, it was also esteemed by the white successors to their beautiful country.  The homes of our first settlers were built along this ridge, but the Spencer home alone shelters the posterity of the original settler.  Storms and fire have wrought less disaster in this section than any part of Pontotoc.  Vandalism and commercialism have also resisted the urge to ravage and destroy in this general neighborhood and, besides the Spencer Oaks, there are some fine specimens of oak, hickory, chestnut, and walnut trees to be seen in the immediate vicinity.  (Holly Spencer, Pontotoc, Miss.)



 1   1398 1398 McCLUSKY      SARAH                    2    F                                                         MS
 2   1399 1399 ALEXANDER     JOSEPH M             42   M                  FARMER                     NC
 3   1399 1399 ALEXANDER     CLARINDA           38   F                                                         SC
 4   1399 1399 ALEXANDER     MARION               18   M                   FARMER                     AL
 5   1399 1399 ALEXANDER     WILLIAM              16   M                   FARMER                     AL
 6   1399 1399 ALEXANDER     JANE                      14   F                                                        AL
 7   1399 1399 ALEXANDER     MARY                    11   F                                                        AL
 8   1399 1399 ALEXANDER     LUCY                      9    F                                                        AL
 9   1399 1399 ALEXANDER     MARTHA                7    F                                                        AL
 10  1399 1399 ALEXANDER     JAMES                   4    M                                                      MS
 11  1399 1399 ALEXANDER     ROBERT               1/12 M                                                     MS
 12  1400 1400 McDONALD      WILLIAM              30   M                   FARMER      150       SC
 13  1400 1400 McDONALD      LOUISA                 28   F                                                       SC
 14  1400 1400 McDONALD      MARY                    3    F                                                        MS
 15  1400 1400 McDONALD      HOSEA                  1    M                                                       MS
 16  1400 1400 NEIGHBORS     LUCINDA              18   F                                                       SC
 17  1401 1401 HIGTOWER      WILLIAM               35   M                    FARMER                  GA
 18  1401 1401 HIGTOWER       JANE                      30   F                                                       GA
 19  1401 1401 HIGTOWER      HARRIET                11   F                                                        AL
 20  1401 1401 HIGTOWER      JAMES                     8    M                                                       AL
 21  1401 1401 HIGTOWER      TEMPE                     6    F                                                        AL
 22  1401 1401 HIGTOWER      MILDRED                3    F                                                        MS
 23  1401 1401 HIGTOWER      MARY                    2/12 F                                                        MS
 24  1402 1402 HOUSE              LEVI                      45   M                       FARMER                 GA
 25  1402 1402 HOUSE             DELILAH                35   F                                                        GA
 26  1402 1402 HOUSE            GEORGE                 13   M                                                         AL
 27  1402 1402 HOUSE             ELIZABETH            12   F                                                         AL
 28  1402 1402 HOUSE             JASPER                     6    M                                                       AL
 29  1402 1402 HOUSE            TAYLOR                    2    M                                                       MS
 30  1403 1403 SPENCER       WILLIAM                53   M                   FARMER    1,100     NC
 31  1403 1403 SPENCER       MARGARET           46   F                                                        SC
 32  1403 1403 SPENCER       ROBERT                  18   M                FARMER                    MS
 33  1403 1403 SPENCER       WILLIAM                16   M                FARMER                    MS
 34  1403 1403 SPENCER       THOMAS                 13   M                                                     MS
 35  1403 1403 SPENCER       ABSALOM              10   M                                                      MS
 36  1403 1403 SPENCER       MISSINIAH              8    F                                                       MS
 37  1403 1403 SPENCER       SUSAN                       5    F                                                       MS
 38  1403 1403 SPENCER       FLORENCE              3    F                                                       MS

 39  1404 1404 RUTH              ELIZABETH               54   F                                                        SC                            X
 40  1404 1404 RUTH             STARLING                 14   M                                                      AL

Interesting Note:  The Sarah McClusky at the top of this census page is the family of Frances Cornelia ("Fannie")  McClesky (daughter of Eusebius McClesky), who married Thomas Evans Montgomery.

Excerpted from "Father" Stuart and the Monroe Mission, by E. T. Winston (Meridian, 1927)

From Chapter IX "Romantic Sketches"

JOHN A MURRELL—One of the most noted outlaws and blood-thirsty murderers that ever lived was John A. Murrell.  He originated the saying that "dead men tell no tales," and heartlessly put into effect his favorite maxim upon those who were so unfortunate as to become his victims.

Murrell had a genius for organization, and among his practices he used the "mantle of Christ to serve the devil in."  Itinerant revivalists were common in those days, and it was a favorite practice of Murrell to worm himself into the good graces of some isolated Christian community, secure permission to conduct a revival, which he proceeded to do with all the unction and fervor of the old-time revivalists, while his cut-throat companions committed their depredations in the neighborhood, stealing negroes, household goods of value, or sought out hidden hoards of wealth while the people were gathered at the meeting place to hear the word of God preached by the high-priest of Satan, to it—Murrell.

Now "Father" Stuart was entirely guileless and unsuspecting in his nature.  So when a soft-spoken stranger approached him with an offer to conduct a revival of religion, he readily assented to the proposition.

But of course the matter was laid before the church session, and the stranger introduced to the elders.  They were about to grant the desired permission when "Judge" William Spencer, who had been peering at the rambling revivalist for some time, decided that he didn't "like his looks," and so interposed an objection.  The offer was declined.

Later Judge Spencer received a letter recalling his attention to the revival incident and commending him for his good sense and honest purpose in preserving the integrity of his church.  The communication was signed by John A. Murrell.  (54-55).


Contact us via email