Owen County courthouse in Spencer
Location of Spencer in the state of Indiana
|• Total||1.26 sq mi (3.26 km2)|
|• Land||1.26 sq mi (3.26 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||561 ft (171 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||2,328|
|• Density||1,759.5/sq mi (679.3/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0443934|
Spencer is located at (39.286848, -86.764225).
According to the 2010 census, the town has a total area of 1.26 square miles (3.3 km2), all land.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Spencer has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,217 people, 1,008 households, and 554 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,759.5 inhabitants per square mile (679.3/km2). There were 1,123 housing units at an average density of 891.3 per square mile (344.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.1% White, 0.1% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.
There were 1,008 households of which 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.4% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.0% were non-families. 40.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.12 and the average family size was 2.81.
The median age in the town was 41.8 years. 20.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.2% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 19.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 47.2% male and 52.8% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,508 people, 1,090 households, and 659 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,984.6 people per square mile (768.5/km²). There were 1,193 housing units at an average density of 944.0 per square mile (365.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.52% White, 0.20% African American, 0.40% Asian, 0.24% from other races, and 0.64% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.60% of the population.
There were 1,090 households out of which 27.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.1% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.5% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.88.
In the town the population was spread out with 23.0% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 26.7% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 83.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $28,664, and the median income for a family was $36,921. Males had a median income of $29,679 versus $21,531 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,843. About 8.4% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.2% of those under age 18 and 8.8% of those age 65 or over.
Spencer, Indiana was named after a soldier, George Spencer, who fought in the Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, 1811, and died on the battlefield after being shot three times. John Tipton, a Tippecanoe veteran and a commander of the Indiana Rangers, was given the honor of naming the town on February 12, 1820, as he writes in his journal: "the Citizens then gave me the honor of naming the new Town which I Called Spencer after my friend George Spencer who fell in the Battle of Tippicannoe."
The Town of Spencer was laid out in 1820 and the first auction for lots took place. The first court house was built of logs and replaced in 1825 with a brick courthouse. That courthouse stood until 1910 when the current courthouse was constructed to replace it. In 1890 a steam driven dynamo was installed in Spencer for carbon arc street lights. Spencer also recently passed Indianapolis as the town with the most married couples with children per capital in the state.
Owen Valley Community High School (OVHS) is located in Spencer with 980 students and more than 100 faculty members. Built in 1971, OVHS is the result of a consolidation of several smaller schools located within Owen County. Owen Valley's mascot is the Patriot, and the school's colors are red, white and blue. The school's yearbook is the Triad, Tri- meaning the three schools that were merged to make Owen Valley High School.
Spencer is also the home of the Spencer PRIDE Festival, an annual event celebrating shared values of both LGBTQ and straight communities.
- U.S. Army General Thomas Alexander McNaught was born near Spencer on September 8, 1826, one of the eleven children of Thomas and Catherine (Bartholomew) McNaught. He enlisted in April 1846 into Company A, 3d Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, and left service in July 1847. When civil war broke out, he enlisted into Company A, 59th Indiana Infantry Regiment and elected captain after raising a company on October 10, 1861, rising in rank to become a brevetted Brigadier General on August 4, 1865 and ultimately taking command of the First Brigade of the Third Division in the Fifteen Army Corps. He took part in the siege of New Madrid, march to Iuka, movement to Milliken's Bend, Battle of Raymond, Battle of Jackson, Battle of Champion Hill, Black River, Lookout Mountain and Mission Ridge, Battle of Vicksburg, and Siege of Corinth. He participated in Sherman's March to the Sea from Dalton to Atlanta and the capture of Savannah . He died on March 10, 1919 and was buried in River Hill Cemetery, south of Spencer.
- U.S. Army Major Horace Meek Hickam was a famous pilot for the United States in the earlier half of the 20th century. The son of a lawyer, Hickam was born in Spencer, the eldest of four children. Hickam's association with aviation began with the United States' entry into World War I. He was involved in the Mexican Punitive Expedition. By the end of his career, he had achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and received a Silver Star. Colonel Hickam was killed in a landing accident at Fort Crockett, Galveston, Texas, on November 5, 1934. His fame as being a pioneering figure in aviation and aerospace science eventually led to the naming of the United States Air Force Base in Hawaii, "Hickam AFB" in his honor.
- U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Dave Allen and Master Sergeant Cindy Greenwell established the Air Force Junior ROTC (AFJROTC) program at Owen Valley Community High School, located in Spencer, in 2005.
- U.S. Army Captain David Enoch Beem was born in Spencer on June 24, 1837, the sixth of twelve children of Levi and Sarah Johnson Beem. He graduated from Indiana University at Bloomington in 1860 with a degree in law, and later admitted to the Owen County Bar. He assisted in the organization of the first company raised in Owen County, and on April 19, 1861, enlisted as First Sergeant in Company H, 14th Indiana Infantry Regiment. Beem was promoted to First Lieutenant in August, 1861, and to Captain in May, 1862. He fought at Rich Mountain, Cheat Mountain, Winchester, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. After three years of service, he left the military in June 1864.
- Helen (Nellie) Artie Tarleton Belles, the mother of former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan was from Spencer. She was born in Indianapolis to Joshua Tarleton Belles, MD and Julia (Reid) on August 20, 1856, the only surviving child of their five children. After her mother died when she was 6, her family moved to Spencer where she spent her childhood. She married her first husband, John Bayliss Hill, an Indianapolis artist, in 1874, a marriage that lasted about a year until his death. She married Maurice Macmillian in 1884 and moved to London, returning to Spencer three years later for a visit. She died on October 26, 1937.
- "Places: Indiana". 2010 Census Gazetteer Files. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-11.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-25.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Blanchard, Charles (1884). Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical. F.A. Battey & Company. p. 665.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Climate Summary for Spencer, Indiana
- Tipton, John (1942) "Owen County Journal, 1820" The John Tipton Papers: Volume 1, 1809-1827, Indiana Historical Bureau. p. 183
- Blanchard, C. (ed.) (1884), Counties of Clay and Owen, Indiana: Historical and Biographical , (Chicago: F.A. Battey & Company Publishers), pp. 880-881.
- Eicher, J.H. & Eicher, D.J. (eds.) (2001), Civil War High Commands, (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3), p. 383.
- "Horace Meek Hickam, Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army Air Corps". www.arlingtoncemetery.net. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- staff (6 August 2010). "Owen Valley High School Air Force JROTC Completes Fifth Year With Awards Ceremony" 84 (27). Spencer Evening World. p. 7. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- staff (16 June 2011). "Owen Valley AJROTC Instructors Receive Honors, Teachers Inman & Wenzel Leaving" 84 (246). Spencer Evening World. p. 4. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
- Gressitt, Alexandra S. (reprocessed) (2 January 2002). "David Enoch Beem documents". Manuscript Collections Department, William Henry Smith Memorial Library, Indiana Historical Society. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- Thorpe, D.R. (2010), Supermac: The Life of Harold Macmillan, (London: Chatto & Windus, ISBN 9780701177485), p. 15.
- Coughlan, R. (9 June 1958). "The MacMillans of Sussex and Indiana: Spirited, forceful U.S. mother shaped character of Britain's leader" 44 (23). Life. pp. 126–140.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spencer, Indiana.|
- Town of Spencer, Indiana website