1861: Spencer Pool to Sally (Pratt) Pool


How Spencer might have looked

This letter was written by Spencer Pool (1821-1882), the son of Noah Pool (1785-1847) and Sally Pratt (1789-1879) of Abington, Massachusetts. [Note: name spelled Poole also.]

Spencer was married in 1844 to Ruth Hunt Dyer (1824-18xx), the daughter of Albert Dyer (1796-1849) and Mary (“Polly”) Wilkes (1800-1880). In 1870 we know that Spencer was residing in Oakland, California, and in 1873, he is enumerated among the “street officers” of the Oakland Police Department. He apparently began his career as a police officer in 1865 in San Francisco. An article appearing on 2 November 1865 in the San Francisco Bulletin under the heading “A Good Beginning” states that “Spencer Poole, one of the new policemen, arrested a faro dealer on Sacramento Street last night. He managed to get into the tiger den, and arrested him when the fighting was at its utmost height. He answered to the name of John Smith. His case will be attended to in the Police Court tomorrow.”


Addressed to Mrs. Sally P. Pool, South Abington, Massachusetts
Postmarked San Francisco, California
Care of William D. Poole

San Francisco [California]
September 9th 1861

Dear Mother,

I again sit down to write you a few lines. We are all enjoying very good health and hope this will find you all the same.

Yesterday was Sunday and Ammi Ripley, wife and children, were at our house, and spent the day. He has two very pretty girls. They are all in good health.¹

Mother Dyer has not been very well for the last two months. She has her old complaints, badly stuffed, &c. but we are in hopes that she will be better sooner. [Sister] Almira & her family are all well. Her boy grows very fast. John L. Hobart ² is here also — Minister Pettis’s son. They have not got anything as yet to do, but no doubt they live in hopes that they shall soon. But they will not find it easy to get steady employment in this city.

Enclosed I send you five dollars.

Whenever you hear of anyone coming to California, I hope you will send by them to me, yours & Father’s daguerreotypes. Also as many others of the family as feels disposed to. I would like very much to have [brother] Hiram’s boy’s (Noah) picture & would like to have all my brothers & sisters.

Love to all, from Spencer

¹ Ammi R. L. Ripley (1824-1864) of Abington, Massachusetts, was married on 26 May 1857 to Jerusha C. Fuller.

² John Lazell Hobart (1836-1910), the son of Benjamin Hobart and Deborah Lazell.





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