Born at Cobourg, Ontario in 1812, he was educated at Cobourg and Toronto, later conducting a foundry and engine manufactory in the latter city. In 1854 he entered the customs service, first as an appraiser at Hamilton, Ontario. In 1870, he was sent to Winnipeg to organize the customs service of Manitoba. He was a participant in the 1878 ceremony to mark the opening of the first railway to Winnipeg. He served as port collector for 11 years until his retirement in 1881, when he was succeeded by William Robert Mingaye. He speculated in real estate and was responsible for construction of the Spencer Block on Portage Avenue. He represented Ward Two on the Winnipeg City Council in 1885 and he served as President of the St. George’s Society for several years. He was a member of the Masons and Holy Trinity Anglican Church. He died at Winnipeg on 6 October 1886 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.
Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Mr. Spencer’s death,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 October 1886, page 8.
“Mr. Spencer’s funeral,” Manitoba Free Press, 8 October 1886, page 4.
A Political Manual of the Province of Manitoba and the North-West Territories by J. P. Robertson, Winnipeg: Call Printing Company, 1887.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 24 October 2022
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