Newton Ramsey Spencer, editor and proprietor of the Daily Reporter and the Weekly Republican at Greenfield, a former attorney-at-law and for four years postmaster of that city, is a native of Indiana, born at Portland Mills, Parke county, March 6, 1855, son of Robert and Mary A. (Ramsey) Spencer, both also natives of Indiana, the former born in Washington county and the latter in Putnam county. Robert Spencer was educated at the Indiana State University and early engaged in mercantile pursuits at Portland Mills, where he spent the rest of his life, his death occurring on July 28, 1865. He left a widow and three children, the subject of this biographical sketch having had two sisters, Martha E., who married James R. Critchfield, of Waveland, Montgomery county, this state, and Mary M., now deceased, who was the wife of Shelby W. McCormick.
Newton R. Spencer received his elementary education in the public schools of his home village and supplemented the same by a course at Waveland Institute, after which he entered Indiana University, from which he was graduated in 1885with the degree of Bachelor of Arts. For three years thereafter he taught school in Fayette and Henry counties, and served as principal of the schools at Springport and at East Connersville. In the meantime he was studying law in the office of Joseph I. Little and David W. McKee at Connersville and in 1888, at Indianapolis, was admitted to the bar. Thus equipped for the practice of his profession, Mr. Spencer went to Johnson City, Kansas, where for three years he was engaged in practice and where he served on term as prosecuting attorney. In 1890 Mr. Spencer returned to Indiana and located at Greenfield, where he opened an office for the practice of his profession and in 1899 took charge of the Evening Tribune and the Weekly Republican for W. S. Montgomery, and continued in this until his appointment to the position of postmaster of Greenfield in 1902. Upon the expiration of his term of service in the post office four years later, in 1906, Mr. Spencer bought an interest in the Greenfield Weekly Globe and in the Evening Star, with which publication he was connected until 1908, when he sold his interest in those papers and established the Greenfield Daily Reporter. The next year, 1910, he bought from Walter S. Montgomery the Evening Tribune and the Weekly Republican and merged these latter publications with the Reporter, which he has ever maintained as a non-partisan paper, though his weekly edition the Republican, continues to champion the principles of the party of that name. Mr. Spencer is a Republican and served his party as chairman of the Hancock county Republican committee, 1896-1900.
On November 26, 1885, Newton R. Spencer was united in marriage to Viola Banks, daughter of Andrew J. and Viola Banks, of Greenfield, and to this union has been born one child, a son, Dale Banks Spencer, who was born in 1899; was graduated from the Greenfield high school and is not an able assistant to his father in the newspaper office, having a thorough acquaintance with the details of both the office and the printing shop, from paper routes to linotype machines. Mrs. Spencer also is a practical printer and has been associated with her husband's work since the Reporter was started. Mr. Spencer is affiliated with the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
Transcribed from History of Hancock County, Indiana, Its People, Industries and Institutions by George J. Richman, B. L., Federal Publishing Co., Indianapolis, Indiana, 1916. Pages 922-923.
Submitted by Sylvia (Rose) Duda, Laingsburg, MI October 7, 2001.
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