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Yates County Cemetery Project
Part I: Cemeteries in the town of Benton


Spencer Family Cemetery: Notes

Spencer family cemetery This is a "lost" cemetery, one of the very earliest family burying grounds established in our area. Captain Truman Spencer and his family arrived on Lot 13 in Benton before the 1790 census was taken, and they are listed on it. Mrs. Spencer's parents arrived soon after.

It is said that old James Pattison chose his burial spot himself, predicting that the young couple would have many descendants, and that one day there would be churches on both sides of their farm, a prophecy fulfilled when the Benton Center Baptist Church and the Presbyterian Church at Mount Pleasant were built on what is now the Havens Corners Road. Ironically, perhaps, both churches and the family cemetery have all completely vanished; and the Spencer descendants, though certainly numerous, have scattered.

It's likely that Pattison's wife was buried next to him, as her burial place is otherwise unknown, as is that of two of Truman and Lois Spencer's children. David Spencer's stone was apparently still standing in 1869 when Stafford Cleveland wrote his account, the boy was probably, as Cleveland states, the first white child born within the present boundaries of Yates County.

Presumably Truman and Lois Spencer were originally buried here, but their stones are now in the Bellona Cemetery and were moved there when that cemetery was established soon after 1870. Truman Spencer's parents and some of his elder children are buried in the Townsend Cemetery.

It is Cleveland who gives the location of this family burying ground as being west of the Pre-emption Road and two rods north of the present (in 1869) house on the Spencer farm, which was in Lot 13 and thus south of the Havens Corners Road.

Spencer Family Cemetery: Burials


Pattison Betsy # 1821 D ae 93; wife of James Pattison, & mother of Lois Spencer
Pattison James # 1792 autumn D ae 77; father of Lois Spencer
Spencer David # 1793 Mar 18 B1790 Sep 8; son of Truman & Lois Pattison Spencer
Spencer James # 1804 D ae 18 months; son of Truman & Lois Pattison Spencer

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