Roswell Spencer House

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Roswell Spencer House
Roswell Spencer House is located in Iowa
Roswell Spencer House
Roswell Spencer House is located in the US
Roswell Spencer House
Location Off U.S. Route 67, Pleasant Valley Township, Scott County, Iowa
Coordinates 41°32′36″N 90°28′1″W / 41.54333°N 90.46694°W / 41.54333; -90.46694Coordinates: 41°32′36″N 90°28′1″W / 41.54333°N 90.46694°W / 41.54333; -90.46694
Built 1850
Architectural style Greek Revival
NRHP Reference # 82002642 [1]
Added to NRHP April 22, 1982

The Roswell Spencer House is an historic property located in Pleasant Valley Township, Scott County, Iowa, United States. The house has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982.[1]


Roswell Spencer was a native of Vermont who headed west in 1830 when he was 29 years old.[2] He initially settled in Greene County, Illinois before settling in Rock Island, Illinois. After he served in the Black Hawk War he relocated to the newly opened lands of eastern Iowa. He became the first white settler in what would become Pleasant Valley Township when he built a log cabin near the mouth of Spencer Creek in 1833.[2] The following year he built another cabin above the mouth of Crow Creek. Spencer was a farmer and an industrialist. He operated saw mills with his partner Stephen Henley on both Spencer and Crow creeks. He established another sawmill on Spencer Creek with John Work in 1837. The following year he and Henley brought down the Mississippi River one of the first rafts of white pine logs from Wisconsin.[2] Spencer entered politics and became Scott County's first treasurer.

Spencer built this house in the early 1850s and a steam-powered flouring mill across from the house in 1856. In the Financial Panic of 1857 he lost all of his property, except for his house. He served as the local postmaster and continued to live in Pleasant Valley until 1862 when he moved to Cedar County, Iowa where he was once again engaged in farming. Spencer returned to Rock Island in 1866 where he worked in the grocery business. He died there in 1876.


The Roswell Spencer House is a two-and-one-half story, Greek Revival structure that overlooks the Mississippi River. The exterior was covered in Wisconsin white pine.[2] It is three by four bays wide with a rectangular-shaped main block. There is a single-story wing on its east side. The house has double hung windows with rectangular surrounds and pediment shaped window heads. The first floor features one-over-one windows and the second floor features six-over-six windows. Medium pitched gable roofs cap both the main structure and the wing. The exterior also features pilastered corner boards, projecting boxed cornices and a plain frieze on the gable ends where double hung windows are located. The front porch has a hipped roof that is supported by Doric columns. There is also a small triangular pediment over the entranceway. The interior features five rooms on the first floor, and four rooms on the second, in addition to a large attic.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Ralph J. Christian. "Roswell Spencer House" (PDF). United States Department of the Interior - National Park Service. Retrieved 2014-10-25.