Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spicer Wells Crandall 1822-1879

Spicer Wells Crandall was born December 31, 1822, in Lancaster, Genesee, New York. His parents were David Crandall and Margaret McBride. He was the sixth child from a family of twelve, his siblings being: Mariah, Daniel Mead, Eliza, Myron Nathan, Julia Ann, Emeline, Laura, Martin Pardon, Lucian Delancy, Nelson David, and Margaret Ann.

He was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 5, 1837. He attended public school in Kirtland, Ohio. Spicer married Sarah Susannah Gill on October 15, 1843, in Nauvoo. They had a daughter, Josephine, born about 1845.

When the Saints moved from Nauvoo to Winter Quarters in 1846, Spicer and his little family went to Ponca, an Indian village located 100 miles north of Winter Quarters. The Indians had told the Saints that there was great land and timber there in which they could build a town, later referred to as "Summer Quarters". In December of 1846, there was a terrible fire at Ponca. Sarah died January 5, 1847, of exposure as a result of it.

The following spring Spicer, and his little daughter Josephine, went to Kanesville (now known as Council Bluffs), Iowa, to be with brothers. The Crandall brothers owned land there. In Kanesville, Spicer met Irinda Spafford.

Spicer married Irinda Spafford on September 30, 1849, in Kanesville. The Crandall brothers started the trek west in late spring of 1850. While camping near the Platte River, in the latter part of June, a family that was camping nearby had cholera. Irinda and Josephine, along with Irinda's mother, two sisters and a brother, and his sister Laura's husband contracted cholera. Spicer and Laura stayed back with the sick. Those who contracted the cholera didn't make it. They were buried near the Platte River in Nebraska. Spicer and Laura continued their journey west, and arrived in the Salt Lake Valeey in September of 1850, about three weeks after the rest of the family had come.

Even though his brothers and their families had done directly to Springville, Spicer stayed in Salt Lake with his sister Laura, until she had her baby. He went on to Springville in late October or early November of 1850.

Spicer and Sophia Kellogg's marriage on December 5, 1850, was the first marriage in Springville. They had three children: Irinda Naomi, August 1851; Spicer, February 1853; and Charles Edward, December 1859.

On March 3 1851, the first court opened in Provo, and Spicer was one of the first jury men. Spicer helped level the land and dig a five mile ditch to bring water from Hobble Creek to Mapleton, despite the Indians who tried to stop it.

During a conference in 1852, Spicer was called to serve a mission to England. The myriad of setting aparts took two days, August 28 and 29, 1852. Spicer was rebaptized on September 9, 1952. He left about September 15 and arrived in England on December 25, 1852.

A Brother William Carter said of him, "He was a fine looking man, and a good missionary and the Elders in England gave him a gold watch." He returned home from his mission early in the year of 1857.

Spicer married Mary Brannigan on March 2, 1857. Shortly after they were married, he went east to help a handcard company come west. He was with the second company, D.D. Mc Allister being the captain (see notes).

Spicer and Mary had eight children: Daniel, December 1857; David Adolphus, June 1859; Laura Emeline, June 1861; Annabell, May 1863; Julia Ann, November 1864; Ida Luanna, September 1866; Avis Mary, July 1869; and Eliza Arletta, June 1871.

Spicer was elected a member of the city council in 1857, and reelected in 1859. On March 3, 1859, Spicer was called to be on the first jury in Springville. He was the counselor to the Mayor of Springville in 1859.

Spicer married Susannah Wimmer Crandall on June 13, 1861, in Springville (this was a polygamist marriage). She was his brother, Myron's, widow, and brought two children into the marriage, Josephine and John. Spicer and Susannah had seven children: Tryphena Elizabeth, November 19, 1863; Myron Newton, November 29, 1865; Anna Marie, November 23, 1866; Peter Wells, August 16, 1869; Martha Lillian, November 6, 1872; Margaret Almeda, October 24, 1874; and George Alma, January 11, 1877.

He was a hard-working man, being a farmer and shoemaker by trade. He did all he could for his families. He was a kind, gentle man. He didn't make a lot of money, but he left a legacy that money cannot buy. He never wavered in his devotion to the teachings of the Gospel.

Spicer Wells Crandall died May 14, 1879, in Springville, Utah, Utah. At his funeral, a Brother Huntington said of him, "It is over forty years since I became acquainted with Brother Crandall in Kirtland, Ohio. We were school boys together. I can say in all our work together, I never saw an act in him from that day to this, that he should be ashamed of." Spicer is buried in the Historical Springville Cemetary next to Mary Brannigan.

Notes: Some records state the captain of the second handcart company as D.D. McArthur

This record was compiled and written in June 2001 by Louise Crandall Huefner and Rebecca Huefner Chapman.


  1. I have enjoyed reading the Spicer Wells Crandall history very much. He is my great great grandfather and Mary Branagan my great great grandmother. One question - Mary Branagan was a member of the McArthur handcart company, so the part of the History indicating that he married Mary and then went East to help with the McArthur Company does not seem accurate. Any thoughts? Dwight Packard -

  2. I believe we are 3rd or 4th cousins. I come from Hyrum Oscar Crandall and Margaret Guymon. I am using the information about Spicer Wells Crandall in my Sunday School Lesson. Thanks for giving so much information. It should make for an interesting addition to the lesson.