Spencer County, Kentucky

Historical Marker #837 in Taylorsville recognizes that Spencer County was named after a veteran killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe, which some consider to be the first battle of the War of 1812.

Captain Spear Spencer moved to Kentucky from Pennsylvania and became active in the Kentucky Militia. By the early 1800s, he had moved to Indiana and fought in several campaigns against Native Americans.

By the time General William Henry Harrison encountered the Shawnee at the Battle of Tippecanoe in November 1811, Spencer led the "Yellow Jackets," his militia company. In Harrison's after-action report, the general noted that several of Spencer's officers were killed. He added, "Spencer was wounded in the head. He exhorted his men to fight valiantly. He was shot through both thighs and fell; still continuing to encourage them, he was raised up, and received a ball through his body, which put an immediate end to his existence."

When Spencer County was formed in 1824, it was named in his honor.

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Battle of Tippecanoe Broadside

Battle of Tippecanoe Broadside

This broadside from the Kentucky Historical Society's collections describes the Battle of Tippecanoe. Spencer County, Kentucky, was named in honor of Spear Spencer, a casualty of this battle. Courtesy the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Spencer County, Kentucky,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/93.

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