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So, this is Dad and Mom. Ray is the son of Conrad Herrmann and Kate Bundock. He is the step-son of Edith Armstrong and Wally Hewitt. ...

Monday, April 20, 2015

My Spencer Branch -Rodolph Spencer

My Spencer branch of my family starts with my great-grandmother, Lilla Florence Spencer. She was the mother of my Dad's mother, Kate Bundock.
Lilla's parents were Rodolph Ambrose Spencer and Emma A Curtiss. Lilla was born in Minnesota and moved with her parents to El Dorado County in the Northern Sierra Mountains of California. It was here, in Placerville, that Rodolph's Aunt Rhoda lived. Rhoda was the sister of Rodolph's mother, Mercy Ann Russell. Since this is the only connection the Spencer's had with the county, I surmise they were partly the reason for the move. Rhoda and her husband, Ira Glynn, were the parents of Rodolph's infamous cousin, Julia Savier.
Lilla lost her mother when she was 9 years old. Her father traveled a lot, so the Curtiss family took her back to Minnesota to be raised by them. I believe that she was particularly close to her Aunt Kate. Lilla named one of her daughters, my grandmother, after her Aunt Kate. 
Rodolph was married 3 times. His first marriage was to Telitha Humphries in Tennessee. According to my aunt, Gail, who had researched our Spencer lineage, Rodolph was injured during the Civil War. Rodolph served for the Wisconsin 22nd Infantry, Company B as a Private. He enlisted in 1862 and mustered out in 1865. 
Aunt Gail had sent for Rodolph's Service records. She had said that he was wounded in Tennessee and that Telitha was his nurse. She believed the marriage resulted from a Florence Nightingale effect. 
Rodolph's marriage to Telitha produced a daughter, Susan. However, the marriage did not last long, and Rodolph and Telitha divorced. I will blog more about Susan in another post.
Rodolph went back to Minnesota, and several years later married Emma Curtiss. They only had one daughter, Lilla. 
Rodolph's third marriage was to Celia Ann Richards. Celia's first marriage to Benjamin Spencer (no relation) produced 3 children - Frank, Leah, and Cora. Some researchers add another daughter - Bertie. I have found no evidence for her as of this post. Benjamin died in 1891, so it was sometime after that when Rodolph and Celia married. 
I still question the validity of this marriage between Rodolph and Celia. I can find no marriage record for them. If the marriage did occur, it would have been for a very short time. The City directories of 1908 and 1912 list Celia as the widow of Benjamin. Celia died in Santa Cruz, California in 1915, which would mean that if Rodolph and Celia married, it probably was somewhere between these years. 
Rodolph's daughter, Susan, did move to California, and it was Susan who oversaw Rodolph's admittance into the National Home for Disabled Veteran's in Yountville, California. It was here that Rodolph spent the rest of his days. He died there in 1912 at the age of 68 and is buried in the cemetery adjacent to the Home. 
That is another reason I question the marriage between Celia and Rodolph. The 1912 City directory for Celia, and the fact that no Widow's Pension from Rodolph's Civil War service was ever granted to Celia, and I know that Rodolph received a Pension. 

Update: Well, that was an interesting turn of events. I decided to do my little last minute research check on Rodolph before adding the photo's and adding this post to the blog. I found the marriage record for Rodolph and Celia from 1891. 
I also found some documents showing that Rodolph (and his brother, John) were members of the Grand Army of the Republic. 
Now, isn't that interesting!

 Some of the card files from Rodolph's Civil War Service.

Rodolph and Telitha's marriage record      

A record of Rodolph's membership in the Grand Army of the Republic

The marriage record of R A Spencer and C A Spencer in Alameda, CA 1891

 Rodolph's Pension Card that reports his death in 1912.

Rodolph's grave marker in the Cemetery at the Yountville National Home for Disabled Veteran's.