SAMUEL SPENCE, merchant and American Express Agent, Junction, was born in the city of New York February 8, 1836, and is a son of Samuel and Deborah W. (Stimost) Spence. He, a native of Scotland, was born September 22, 1788. He learned the carpenter's trade in Scotland, and worked at the same there and at St. John, New Brunswick, and also in New York City. He was also for a time engaged in navigation. He came West to Pulaski County, Ill., in 1838, and here died in 1852. His wife, subject's mother, was born in St. John, New Brunswick, December 28, 1796, and died in Pulaski County, Ill., March 11, 1859. She was the mother of twelve children, three of whom are now living — James I., Mrs. Helen S. W. Newsom and Samuel Spence, the subject of this sketch. His early life was spent at home, assisting to till the soil of the home farm, and receiving a limited education in the schools of Pulaski County. At eighteen years of age, he left home and embarked on his career in life by working on the Ohio River, continuing the same for two years, and engaged in clerking for different individuals in the mercantile business until 1870, when he engaged as a book-keeper and operator for the Illinois Central Railroad Company. He is at the present time engaged in the mercantile business at Mound City Junction, doing a large and lucrative business. He has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Nancy Murphy, a native of this county. She died January 26, 1863, leaving three children, of whom but one is now living — Clara O., born February 18, 1859, now the wife of M. F. Perks, a stockdealer of Villa Ridge, Ill. His present wife was Sarah A., daughter of John W. and Sarah (Berget) Richards. Mr. Spence is the owner of a farm containing 120 acres. He is an active member of the A., F. & A. M., a Republican in politics, and has held the office of Justice of the Peace for several years.
Extracted 02 Nov 2014 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V - Biographical Sketches, page 335-336.