Biography of Lemuel Spooner
Riverside County, CA Biographies





LEMUEL SPOONER
West of Riverside, at the base of the mountain, in a locality brought under cultivation more recently than the older settled sections of the district, lies the homestead of Mr. Spooner, who since 1890 has been identified with the material development of this region and has witnessed the transformation wrought through the planting of orange groves upon land once given over to the cactus and the sage brush. The residence erected by himself stands in the midst of a picturesque environment of mountains and foot hills. The grounds present an attractive appearance with cedars and other ornamental trees and with a varied assortment of beautiful flowers. The entire place indicates the thrift and affectionate supervision of the owner, whose personal labors have converted the land from its raw state into a productive property with an alfalfa field and a grove of navel and Valencia oranges in full bearing condition.

Reverting to the history of the owner of the place, we find that Lemuel Spooner was born near Cooperstown, Otsego county, N. Y., September 22, 1827, being a son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Tillou) Spooner and a descendant of English ancestors who settled in New England as early as 1630. The father, a native of York state and a farmer by occupation, moved to Wayne county in 1835 and settled on a farm near Marion, where he died in 1839 and his wife two years later. Of their eight children the sole survivors are Lemuel and his brother Harvey, a resident of Waterford near Detroit, Mich. After the death of his parents Lemuel Spooner was taken into the home of a Mr. Galloway, whom he accompanied to Michigan in 1844 and settled in the village of Howell, Livingston county. There he learned the foundry business, which he followed for some years, but later turned his attention to merchandising and remained a resident of Michigan until 1859. Meanwhile he returned on a visit to New York and at Marion, that state, July 29, 1852, he married Miss Charlotte Pooley, who was born and reared in that place.

Selling out his Michigan holdings in 1859 Mr. Spooner moved to Kansas and for two years engaged in business at Atchison, but at the outbreak of the Civil War closed out his interests in order that he might enter the service of the country. On account of a lame ankle he could not be enrolled in the army, but he was assigned to the quartermaster's department and later was transferred to the commissary department. being in southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas most of the time until the close of the war. On his return to Atchison he disposed of his property there and invested in a farm which he cultivated for four years, having the assistance of his wife, who during his service in the war had remained with relatives in the east. From Kansas he removed his family to Quincy, Ill., while he himself acted as clerk for a brother at Leavenworth, an Indian agent. From Leavenworth he was sent into the Comanche Indian country and remained there for ten years, until the death of his brother. Joining his family at Quincy, Ill., he purchased a mill and engaged in the manufacture of flour until he lost the entire plant in a disastrous fire. Meanwhile he had developed an extensive business and turned out three hundred barrels per day.

After his removal to California in 1889 Mr. Spooner made a brief sojourn at San Diego and then came to Riverside county in 1890, since which time he has owned and improved his present ranch. Here a deep bereavement came to him in the death of his wife, October 4, 1908. Later another catastrophe befell him in February of 1911, when he was thrown from his buggy in a runaway accident and suffered the breaking of one limb near the hip. Notwithstanding the weight of these two misfortunes he impresses a stranger as being well preserved for his age. Tall and erect, his shoulders are not yet bowed by the burden of the years, while his fine mind shows no trace of the infirmities incident to age. His only child, Margaret, is the wife of Clinton Pooley, of Buffalo, N Y., and also of Riverside. There are two beloved grandchildren, Margaret and George Pooley. In religion Mr. Spooner is identified with the Riverside Congregational Church. His first presidential ballot was cast for General Zachary Taylor, but after the disintegration of the Whig party he allied himself with the Republicans at their organization and in 1856 he supported John C. Fremont for the presidency. Up to the present time he has supported all Republican candidates for the presidency and has been stanch in his allegiance to the party principles.

From:
History of Riverside County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by Elmer Wallace Holmes
And other well known writers
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1912


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