JOHN TAYLOR SPENCER
John Taylor was born in 1870 in St. George Utah. John had many different jobs as a youth and even work on finishing the Salt Lake Temple right up until the night before the dedication on April 6th, 1893. While he was working on the temple that he met and became engaged to his wife Eleanor Critchfield born 1869 in Glover Gap, West Virginia. John moved all over Utah working different jobs to have enough money to be married by the fall of 1894. He didn’t have much luck and it wasn’t until he found out that one of his aunts passed away and left each of his family seventy dollars that he was able to marry Eleanor as planned. After their marriage John still had trouble finding work. The couple moved to St. George to an empty house owned by John's mother. The family then went to Farmington to see Eleanors brother, Arthur Critchfield, and his family. It was while working there that the Spencer family was called to come to Canada around April of 1898. Three other families in the area were preparing to make the move as well and they decided to pool their possessions for shipment by freight. The family arrived in Lethbridge, April 27th, 1899, and made their way to Cardston. After working on the canal at Kimball, near Cardston later that fall, the family moved to Magrath and the Spencer’s worked with Rasmus Rasmussen on the first reach of the canal below the headgates there. Eleanor passed away in Magrath at the age of 91, John passed away in St. George at the age of 84.
The Spencer’s were the parents of eight children, John Arthur, Clyde Critchfield, George Absalom, Leo Wilford, Eleanor (Hudson), Ida Emily (Longbotham), Dora (Reil), and Miles Edward.
OCCUPATION AND SKILLS
Eleanor, trained as a nurse, served as a midwife and nurse in Magrath, known for her tender care and home remedies. She had many other skills including gardening, raising poultry, and weaving. John worked on the irrigation canals in Kimbal and also in Magrath. With the money and land, he earned from that the family purchased land in Magrath and started farming.
In the early 1920's John and Eleanor had the misfortune of becoming separated. Their children are proud of the fact that although separated, neither ever tried to get a divorce from their temple marriage. Even though separated Eleanor still wore the golden ring that John bought and sent to her for their golden anniversary while serving a mission for the Mormon church.
Detailed history of the Spencer family is found in The John Spencer family history book.