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Lydia Elizabeth Spencer

13 November 1860–1 February 1941

Born 13 Nov. 1860 at Salt Lake City.[1] Daughter of Daniel Spencer and Mary Jane Cutliff.[2] Baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Edwin D. Woolley, ca. 1870.[3] Married Rudger Clawson, 29 Mar. 1833, in Salt Lake City; nine children.[4] Under provisions of the Edmunds Act, she was charged with contempt of court and sent to Utah Territorial Prison rather than testify she was married to Rudger Clawson, 24 Oct. 1884.[5] At her husband’s urging, she took the oath and testified, 25 Oct. 1884.[6] Married civilly to Rudger Clawson following his divorce from his first wife, 26 Oct. 1887.[7] Administered to by EBW, 7–8 Aug. 1900, 20 Feb. 1903.[8] Served as a leader in the Salt Lake City Eighteenth Ward for many years.[9] Corresponded and socialized with EBW on several occasions, 1901–1911.[10] Accompanied her husband while he served as president of the European mission, 1910–1911.[11] Died 1 Feb. 1941 in Salt Lake City.[12] 

 

[1] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. I, 10 Oct. 1878–22 Mar. 1884, p. 317, line 7532, Lydia Elizabeth Spencer, 29 Mar. 1883, microfilm 183408, DGS 5270331 (restricted access), FHL. 1870 U.S. Census, 13th Ward, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah Territory, p. 1, Elizabeth Spencer. “Family Tree,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org, accessed 9 July 2020), Lydia Elizabeth Spencer (KWZD-M2L).

[2] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. I, 10 Oct. 1878–22 Mar. 1884, p. 317, line 7532, Lydia Elizabeth Spencer, 29 Mar. 1883, microfilm 183408, DGS 5270331 (restricted access), FHL. “Mourned, Death Claims Prominent LDS Worker,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Feb. 1941, 18. 1870 U.S. Census, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah Territory, p. 1, Elizabeth Spencer. 

[3] “Endowments of the Living, 1851–1884,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. I, 10 Oct. 1878–22 Mar. 1884, p. 317, line 7532, Lydia Elizabeth Spencer, 29 Mar. 1883, microfilm 183408, DGS 5270331 (restricted access), FHL. Missionary Department Missionary Registers, 1860–1959, vol. D, 23 Oct. 1906–15 July 1919, p. 85, line 327 (C), image 90/255, CR 301 22, box 3, folder 1, CHL.

[4] “Sealings of Couples, Living and by Proxy, 1851–1889,” The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Endowment House, vol. L, 14 May 1878–8 Nov. 1883, p. 413, line 6, Rudgar Clawson and Lydia Elizabeth Spencer, 29 Mar. 1883, microfilm 183402, DGS 5270325 (restricted access), FHL. 1910 U.S. Census, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., UT, ED 132, p. 7B, Lydia S. Clawson. “Mourned, Death Claims Prominent LDS Worker,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Feb. 1941, 18. 

[5] Stan Larson, ed., Prisoner for Polygamy: The Memoirs and Letters of Rudger Clawson at the Utah Territorial Penitentiary, 1884–87 (Urbana: University of Illinois, 1993), 4–5. “Lydia Spencer’s Reasons,” Salt Lake Herald, 26 Oct. 1884, 12.

[6] Stan Larson, ed., Prisoner for Polygamy: The Memoirs and Letters of Rudger Clawson at the Utah Territorial Penitentiary, 1884–87 (Urbana: University of Illinois, 1993), 5. “Found Guilty, Lydia Spencer’s Testimony,” “Lydia Spencer’s Reasons,” Salt Lake Herald, 26 Oct. 1884, 12.

[7] “The Clawson Divorce Case,” Salt Lake Herald, 15 Oct. 1885, 9. Salt Lake Co., UT, County Clerk, Marriage Records, 1887–1965, Marriage Certificates, vol. A, p. 201, Rudger Clawson and Lydia E. Spencer, microfilm 429053, DGS 4093263, image 190/319, FHL.

[8] EBW, Diary, 7–8 Aug. 1900; 20 Feb. 1903. 

[9] “Mourned, Death Claims Prominent LDS Worker,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Feb. 1941, 18. Record of Members Collection, 1836–1970, Eighteenth Ward (Old), Part 1, Early–1902, p. 83, line 4, Lydia S. Clawson, images 402–403/648, CR 375 8, box 1854, folder 1 (limited access), CHL.

[10] EBW, Diary, 31 Jan. 1901; 1 June 1904; 12 Feb. 1911. “Social Gatherings,” Woman’s Exponent, 1 Jan. 1911, 46. 

[11] “Lydia Elizabeth Spencer,” Go Ye into All the World (https://history.churchofjesuschrist.org/missionary/, accessed 15 July 2020).  Missionary Department Missionary Registers, 1860–1959, vol. D, 23 Oct. 1906–15 July 1919, p. 85, line 327 (C), image 90/255, CR 301 22, box 3, folder 1, CHL. U.S., Immigration and Naturalization Service, U.S. Passport Applications, Rudgar Clawson and Lydia S. Clawson, roll 108, 29 Apr.–7 May 1910, microfilm 1498054, DGS 7547790, image 438/968, FHL. “Will Take Family,” Deseret Evening News (Salt Lake City), 12 Apr. 1910, 8. 

[12] “Utah State Archives Indexes,” database and images, Utah State Archives (https://archives.utah.gov, accessed 15 July 2020); Utah Department of Health Office of Vital Records and Statistics Death Certificates, series 81448, file no. 182/187 (1941), Lydia Elizabeth Spencer Clawson. “Mourned, Death Claims Prominent LDS Worker,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Feb. 1941, 18.