Open main menu

SPENCER, a township of Worcester county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., about 11 m. W. of Worcester. Pop. (1890), 8747; (1900), 7627, of whom 1614 were foreign-born; (1910, U.S. census), 6740. Area, about 34.1 sq. m. The township is served by the Boston & Albany railway and by inter-urban electric lines. The Richard Sugden Public Library, founded in 1889, had 12,000 volumes in 1908. Bemis Memorial Park and the Samuel Bemis Monument were dedicated in 1901 in honour of the first settler of Spencer. There are three other public parks. Among the township's manufactures are boots and shoes, woollens, muslin underwear, wire, and wooden and paper boxes. Spencer was a part of the Leicester grant; was first settled in 1721; was the “West Parish of Leicester” in 1744-1753; and in 1753 was incorporated as a township, under its present name. In one house in Spencer were born Elias Howe, jun., the inventor of the sewing-machine, and his uncles, William Howe, inventor of the “Howe truss” bridge (see Bridges), and Tyler Howe (1800-1880), inventor (in 1855) of the spring bed; in 1909 a memorial was dedicated to these three inventors.

See Henry M. Tower, Historical Sketches Relating to Spencer, Mass. (4 vols., Spencer, 1901-1909).