Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918


Charles F. Spencer

CHARLES F. SPENCER. One of the most prominent among the coal operators of Pittsburg, Kansas, is Charles F. Spencer, under whose able and experienced management a number of the leading coal companies are being conducted. Mr. Spencer has been identified with this line of business all his life, and few men have a more thorough or more intimate knowledge of the industry. He was born in Cherokee County, Kansas, January 14, 1873, and is a son of J. W. and Ambrosia (Favor) Spencer.

The branch of the Spencer family to which Mr. Spencer belongs had its origin in England, from which country the first American ancestor emigrated in Colonial times to Vermont, from whence members of the family have journeyed to many other states. His grandfather, Daniel Spencer, was born in 1810, in Vermont, and went as a young man to Illinois as a pioneer, there following farming and stock raising until his death, which occurred at Centralia, Illinois, in 1883. J. W. Spencer was born at East St. Louis, Illinois, in 1840, and in 1862 enlisted in the Thirteenth Illinois Cavalry, with which he served for three years, principally along the border, his numerous engagements including the battle of Pea Ridge. At the close of his military service he returned to Illinois, but in 1866 came to Kansas and settled in Cherokee County, where for many years he dealt in cattle and farmed. He is now living in retirement at Columbus. He is a republican in politics and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which he has held all the lay offices. Mr. Spencer married Miss Ambrosia Favor, who was born in 1843, in Southern Wisconsin, and died in Cherokee County, Kansas, in 1911. They became the parents of two children: Charles F.; and Lyda, who married Charles Akres, a manufacturer of clay products, and resides at Akron, Ohio.

The graded schools of Cherokee County and the high school at Columbus furnished Charles F. Sepncer[sic] with his educational training, and after his gradution[sic] from the latter, in 1891, he at once embarked in the coal business, in which he has been engaged ever since. He has worked his way to a position of prominence, and as an operator at the present time is president of the Columbus Coal Company, of Columbus; the Spencer-Newlands Coal Company, of Mulberry; and the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company, of Pittsburg. As president of the last-named concern he maintains offices in the Globe Building, Pittsburg. Mr. Spencer is a republican and a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Fraternally, he is affiliated with Columbus Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and he also holds membership in the Chamber of Commerce and the Pittsburg Country Club. Mr. Spencer owns his own residence at No. 1002 South College Street, 1,800 acres of farming land in Crawford County, 240 acres of farming land in Cherokee County, and 200 acres in Oklahoma.

In October, 1896, at Columbus, Kansas, Mr. Spencer was married to Miss Clara Hughes, daughter of Joseph and Margaret (Wharey) Hughes, the former a merchant, now deceased, and the latter now residing with her daughter and son-in-law. Mr. and Mrs. Spencer have been the parents of three children: Harold, a graduate of the Pittsburg High School, class of 1916, and now a freshman at Kansas University, Lawrence, where he will take up the study of mining engineering; Kenneth, a freshman at the Pittsburg High School; and Galen, who is attending the graded schools.


Transcribed from volume 4, pages 1900-1901 of A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; originally transcribed 1998, modified 2003 by Carolyn Ward.

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