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 7 November 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 12 February 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. Navy Admiral John Howard Cassady was born in Spencer on 3 April 1896 to William Franklin and Samantha Haxton Cassady. After attending Spencer High School, he went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1918 (Class of 1919). He was married to Sallie (née Dold), having two sons, John H. Jr. and William F. Cassady. During World War II in the Pacific Theater, he commanded the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3), taking command from then Captain Mullinnix, in what is probably the only time in naval history that an officer relinquished command of a ship to another born from the same small town. He commanded the Saratoga until he was promoted to rear admiral in 1944. From May 1952 to March 1954, Admiral Cassady served as the commander of the United States Sixth Fleet followed by Commander in Chief Naval Forces Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean until his retirement in May 1956. He died on 25 January 1969 and is buried with his wife in Arlington National Cemetery.
- U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Henry Maston Mullinnix was born on 4 July 1892 in Spencer to William Francis and Edith Estelle (née Prather) Mullinnix . After attending Attica High School, he went on to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1916, first in his class. During World War II in the Pacific Theater, he too commanded the aircraft carrier USS Saratoga (CV-3) from 7 April until 22 August 1943 when he was promoted to rear admiral and transferred to another carrier division. He was aboard the USS Liscome Bay (CVE-56) when it sank after being torpedoed by an enemy submarine on 24 November 1943, and later declared dead. His brother, Rear Admiral Allen Prather Mullinnix was born in 1898 in Attica, Indiana, and served with distinction during the war with commands of the USS Calvert (APA-32) and the USS Pensacola (CA-24), taking part in the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa, and retiring in 1947. In 1957, the destroyer USS Mullinnix (DD-944) was named in Henry's honor.
- U.S. Army General Thomas Alexander McNaught was born near Spencer on 8 September 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 10 October 1861, rising in rank to become a brevetted Brigadier General on 4 August 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 10 March 1919 and was buried in River Hill Cemetery, south of Spencer.
- U.S. Army Colonel Scott S. Haraburda, a resident of Spencer, is a soldier, engineer, inventor, and author. As a soldier, he commanded the 464th Chemical Brigade and served as the lead logistics support officer in Kuwait to help fix the issues that caused the contingency contracting crisis identified from the Gansler Commission, later retiring in 2010 with the Legion of Merit. The following year, he was inducted into the Central Michigan University ROTC Hall of Fame. In 2001, he earned a doctorate in chemical engineering from Michigan State University. The National Society of Professional Engineers named Dr. Haraburda a Fellow in 2013; and from 2014 until 2015, he served as the president of the Indiana Society of Professional Engineers. As an inventor, he holds two United States patents and seven patent publications.
- U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel 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 on 14 August 1885, 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 5 November 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 24 June 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 19 April 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 20 August 1856, the only surviving child of their five children. After her mother died when she was six, 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 26 October 1937.
- Ernest M. Viquesney was born in Spencer on 5 August 1876, the only child of Alfred P. and Jane (née Lehman) Viquesney. He was a Spanish-American War veteran. In 1928, he built the Tivoli Theatre in Spencer. He was an American sculptor best known for his very popular World War I monument Spirit of the American Doughboy, one of which is located in front of the Owen County Courthouse. Shortly after the death of his second wife, Elizabeth "Betty" (née Sadler), he killed himself on 4 October 1946, the day after the thirteenth anniversary of the death of his first wife, Cora B. (née Barnes), all three buried at Riverside Cemetery in Spencer.
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- Climate Summary for Spencer, Indiana
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- US 6516280, Haraburda, Scott; Rex Masterson & Angelika Clark et al., "Method and System for Electronic Recycle Inventory Tracking", issued 2003
- US 6405579, Tjahjadi, Mahari; Joseph Janssen & George Fischer et al., "Scaleless On-Line Rheometer Device", issued 2002
- US 2002077722, Haraburda, Scott; Rex Masterson & Angelika Clark et al., "Method and System for Electronic Tracking of Packaging", published 2002
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- US 2002077717, Haraburda, Scott; Rex Masterson & Angelika Clark et al., "Method and System for Using Electronic Raw Material and Formula Verification", published 2002
- US 2002077715, Haraburda, Scott; Rex Masterson & Angelika Clark et al., "Method and System for Using Electronic Downloadable Control Plans", published 2002
- WO 0150209, Haraburda, Scott; Rex Masterson & Angelika Clark et al., "Method and System for Monitoring Production Data", published 2001
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Spencer, Indiana.|
- Town of Spencer, Indiana website