Thursday, March 14, 2013

Flint Postcards: Spencer House


  1. Any info on this house? It's very beautiful.

    1. This was the home of Horace C Spencer (refer to his Wikipedia article). He worked in hardware (I believe at Hubbard Hardware) prior to 1880, and in banking serving as an officer at both Genesee and Citizens Banks. Also he served as a State Senator, 1884-1887, and mayor of Flint, 1908-1909. His daughter and only heir, Carrie, married Arthur G Bishop. Arthur Bishop was a banking associate of Horace Spencer, and an early GM board member.

      The Spencer house was at 517 E Kearsley Street (assuming the 517 number seen in the middle of the double hitching post is the house number). It would have been the second house east from the NE corner of Kearsley & Liberty Streets. The location is one block west of the Whaley house. Southbound Chavez Dr crosses Kearsley Street at the approximate site of the former Spencer House.

      I believe the Spencer House might have been torn down many years before the construction of I-475. I had attended many meetings at the old Red Cross Chapter House as a student volunteer in the mid 1960s, and I do not recall seeing the Spencer House during that time. The chapter house was another elegant mansion in the same block between Liberty and East Streets, but on the opposite/south side of Kearsley. The Red Cross chapter house was torn down for the construction of I-475.



Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at