William F. Spooner, BiographyPorter County biographical sketches . . . .

Transcribed biography of William F. Spooner

WILLIAM F. SPOONER. A prominent and influential resident of Valparaiso, now serving as mayor of the city, William F. Spooner is held in high repute as a man and a citizen and by his excellent character and straightforward business course has fully established himself in the confidence and esteem of his associates and friends. A native of New England, he was born May 25, 1848, in Leicester, Worcester county, Massachusetts.

His father, James Spooner, was born and bred in Ireland. Immigrating to the United States in 1849, he settled in Leicester, Massachusetts, and having subsequently bought a tract of land in that vicinity was there engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1896. HE married Mary Delaney, who was born in Ireland in 1801, and died in Massachusetts in 1886, aged eighty-five years. Two sons and three daughters were born of their union, as follows: Matilda; William F., of this sketch; Thomas, deceased; and Hattie, who died January 5, 1912, was the wife of E. C. O'Neil; Margaret, wife of Thomas J. McCormack, of Spencer, Massachusetts.

Living with his parents until becoming of age, William F. Spooner began his early studies in the public schools of his native town, completing them in Worcester, Massachusetts, at the Holy Cross College. Realizing that the great west offered superior advantages to young men of energy and enterprise, Mr. Spooner, in 1869, went to Chicago in search of remunerative employment, and in 1870 entered the employ of Graham Brothers & Company, manufacturers of toilet soap, with whom he remained until the spring of 1882. Coming then to Valparaiso, Indiana, he purchased the interest of D. F. Skinner in a grocery store, which he conducted for six years. The ensuing three years he was engaged in the manufacture of buggies and carriages, after which he resumed the grocery business, continuing it until the spring of 1902. He has since been more or less employed in the insurance business, with which he is very familiar.

For a number of years Mr. Spooner has been prominent and active in public affairs, serving his fellow men in various capacities. In 1889 he was elected alderman from the Third ward, and served acceptably two years. In 1902 he was elected mayor of Valparaiso, and rendered such efficient service that he has since been re-elected to the same responsible position several times. A Democrat in politics, he is an active worker in party ranks, and is now chairman of the Democratic central committee.

Mr. Spooner married, in Chicago, Illinois, August 16, 1874, Anna Harrold, who was born in Ireland, and as a child came with her parents to the United States. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Spooner, namely: Mabel, wife of Benjamin Schultd, of Valparaiso; J. Leicester, who married Stella, daughter of J. Alvah and Emma Leonard, of Valparaiso; and Aubrey, who died in infancy. Both Mr. Spooner and his wife are members of St. Paul's Catholic church at Valparaiso.

Mr. Spooner was one of the important factors in the establishment of "The Bay City," at the beautiful Sager's Lake, in Valparaiso, in the summer of 1912, which received such an impetus from The Chicago Examiner. The following is an account of one of the little incidents which happened when Mr. Spooner was elected mayor of the city of Valparaiso. He said to the children he would treat them to candy if he were elected and at that election he had to "pony up" about four hundred pounds of candy. The next election he purchased 1000 pounds and this last election he bought about a ton and a half, so it is readily seen that every boy and girl in the city are friends of Mr. Spooner.

Source: Lewis Publishing Company. 1912. History of Porter County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress, its People and its Principal Interests. Chicago, Illinois: Lewis Publishing Company. 881 p.
Page(s) in Source: 559-560

This biography has been transcribed exactly as it was originally published in the source. Please note that we do not provide photocopies or digital scans of biographies appearing on this website.

Biography transcribed by Steven R. Shook


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