Monday, December 29, 2008

Baldwin City Architect & Builder, Joseph Wiley Spurgeon

Taken from my graduate school admission paper, "Building Baldwin : the Works of Joseph Wiley Spurgeon"

Around 1730, before the Revolutionary War, two brothers, Samuel and William Spurgeon, came from England with their father to settle in Salisbury, North Carolina. The sons fought in the war before settling down. Samuel Spurgeon married and had seven (7) sons, William, Samuel, John, Eli, Joseph, Squire and Zackis. His son, Joseph Spurgeon, moved to Seymour, Indiana, where he married and raised six (6) sons, Elezor, John, William, Samuel, Joseph and Eli. His son, William Henry Spurgeon, married Sarah Jane Motsinger, and raised 4 children on a farm in Seymour, Indiana. After William died, Sarah Jane married Eli Lorance. In 1856, Eli, Sarah Jane and her children, Joseph Madison, Sanford, Mary Ann and George Riley, relocated to Iola; Kansas. Eldest son, seventeen-year-old George Riley, drove one of the teams. George saved that very wagon as a keepsake until he died 52 years later.

George Riley Spurgeon married Mary Malinda Lewis, widow of George Groce, on December 2, 1860. They raised eight (8) children, Sarah Jane, Joesph Wiley, Ida Elizabeth, John Curtis, William Henry, Margaret Laverne, Maybelle and Junie Etta. Joseph Wiley Spurgeon was born January 17, 1864 in Iola, Kansas. Months later, the family bought a farm 1.5 miles south of Baldwin City, Kansas. Joseph Wiley Spurgeon was a devote Christian and was a member the Methodist Church of Baldwin. He was later a student at Baker University. He was married February 14, 1892 at the Stony Point Church to Rachel Elizabeth Duff. Joseph and Rachel raised two (2) children, Leona May and Virgil Duff. Joesph soon became a noted architect and builder within the area.

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