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Henry Spicer
Kitty Branston
Irvin Harris Thurston
Lydia Ellen Dunham
Henry Spicer II
Anabel Thurston

Rev. William James Spicer


Family Links

1. Ruth Harriet Mott

2. Bertha Cecelia Thorndike

Rev. William James Spicer

  • Born: 22 Oct 1904, Mankato, Blue Earth Co., MN
  • Marriage (1): Ruth Harriet Mott 17 Sep 1935 in St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Menasha, WI
  • Marriage (2): Bertha Cecelia Thorndike 22 Jun 1970 in Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI
  • Died: 26 Jan 1984, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI at age 79
  • Buried: Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI

bullet   FamilySearch ID: 9KZJ-X49. Find a Grave ID: 93962931.


bullet  General Notes:

"Father Bill", as he was affectionately known, earned a degree in Philosophy in June of 1926 from Carleton College and then a Theology Degree from the Episcopal Seabury Theological Seminary in Northfield, Minnesota. His first parish was St. James on the Parkway in Minneapolis where he served from 1929-1933.

He then spent 12 years at All Saints in Appleton, Wisconsin from 1933 to 1945 where all three of his children were born. The family left Appleton at the end of November, 1945 for Syracuse, New York where he was 5 years the pastor of All Saints Episcopal church before returning to Wisconsin finishing his ministry at Trinity Church, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, retiring in 1969.

He was a charter member of The Associated Parishes in 1946, Dean of the Winnebago Convocation in the Dioceses of Fond du Lac while pastor in Oshkosh, and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity by Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois, in 1966.

From the Carleton College yearbook, 1926:
"Bill fairly wallows in philosophy. Ensconced in a chair, with his feet several rods ahead of him, and with a battered pipe lending a bit of the comical to an otherwise earnest countenance, he will animatedly run the whole gamut from Plato to Ghandi. Bill is warm in expressing his own opinions, but entirely sympathetic as a listener, too, with a ready appreciation for the other fellow's wit. A couple years ago Bill flashed on the forensic platform when he helped the sophs win the Stimson debate, and since that time he has had plenty of speaking practice in laying down the law from a Dundas pulpit." (Dundas is a small town a few miles south of Carleton College.) 123


bullet  Events

residence: 113 Beach St, 1905, Mankato, Blue Earth Co., MN. 3

Baptism, 8 Jan 1905, Mankato, Blue Earth Co., MN. St. John's Episcopal -details on file

residence: 313 Carroll, 1910, Mankato, Blue Earth Co., MN. 4

Graduation: High School, 2 Jun 1922, Mankato, Blue Earth Co., MN. 124

Graduation: College, 30 Jul 1926, Northfield, MN. 124

Education: Seminary, 22 May 1928. 125

Deaconite: Ordained to the Deaconite, 10 Jun 1928, Mankato, Blue Earth Co., MN. 124

Ordination: Priesthood, 16 Dec 1928, Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN. 126 Ordained by Rt. Rev. F.A. McElwain, D.D.

Occupation: Assistant rector: St. Paul's & St. James' Episcopal Church, 1929-1930, Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN. 127 See notes on Cyril in the paper in November visiting his brother at the address - a typo in that paper "Mr. J.O. Spicer."
(Star Tribune, 2 Feb 1929, page 30 listing of services shows him as an assistant at St. Paul's and at St. James'

Occupation: Rector of St. James - 39th Ave south and 49th, 1930-1934, Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN. Star Tribune 22 Nov 1930 in service listings.

Resignation: From St. James', 1 Dec 1933, Minneapolis, Hennepin Co., MN. Star Tribune, 1 Dec 1933 page 4: "Pastor of St. James' Church Resigns Post" - Article says he will conduct final service on Sunday (the 3rd) and assume new duties in Appleton on December 10.

residence: 116 N. Drew, 1934, Appleton, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. 128 Tel. 5871

residence: 116 Drew Street, 10 May 1940, Appleton, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin. 122

residence: 422 Kirk Ave, 6 Apr 1950, Syracuse, Onondaga, NY. 121

Ordination: Doctor of Divinity, 26 May 1966, Evanston, IL. 124 An honorary DD degree confired by Seabury-Western Seminary which he always called "donated dignity."

Retirement, Oct 1969, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI. 129

Obituary: Oshkosh Northwestern, page 17, 16 Jan 1984, Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI.


William married Ruth Harriet Mott, daughter of Wesley Mayhew Mott and Emma Amalia Holmes, 17 Sep 1935 in St. Thomas' Episcopal Church, Menasha, WI. (Ruth Harriet Mott was born 9 Oct 1912 in Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI, died 7 Dec 1960 in Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI and was buried 10 Dec 1960 in Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah, Winnebago Co., WI.)

bullet  Marriage Notes:

The maid of honor was Miss Althea Coy, who would later marry Ruth's brother Robert. The best man was Henry Spicer, Jr.


William next married Bertha Cecelia Thorndike, daughter of Capt. Herbert Arthur Thorndike Jr. and Bertha Caroline Dawson, 22 Jun 1970 in Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI. (Bertha Cecelia Thorndike was born 4 Dec 1925 in Orlando, FL and died 22 Aug 2009 in Oshkosh, Winnebago Co., WI.)

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