Sarah Sophronia Quayle (1899-1936)

Sarah Sophronia Quayle Spencer
Grandma Spencer
Born:13 Mar 1899 Dingle, Idaho
Died:8 Jun 1936 Montpelier, Idaho
Father:William Quayle
Mother:Elizabeth Ann Dayton
Siblings:William Earl Quayle
Sarah Sophronia Quayle
Ella Quayle
Norma Norene Quayle
Genevieve Quayle
Joseph Dayton Quayle
Married:13 Mar 1925 Salt Lake City, Utah
Spouse:Seymour Horne Spencer
Children:Helen Jean Spencer
Robert William Spencer
Norma Spencer
Beth Spencer
Margaret Joan Spencer
Sarah Sophronia Quayle was born March 13, 1899 in Dingle, Idaho to William Quayle and Elizabeth Ann Dayton. She was the second child, the first daughter, of six children. There were four girls and two boys. Her older brother, William Earl Quayle died when he was 21 on September 6, 1918. And her only other brother, the baby of the family, died when he was only a month old in July 1908. Sophronia’s nickname was “Phron.” She was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on August 22, 1908.

Sophronia went to Paris High School for two years after graduating from the eighth grade. But when her family moved to Montpelier, Idaho, she refused to go to high school there so she got a job in Mose Lewis’ Dry Goods store. She was engaged to Roland Rudd at this time.

She then went to Salt Lake to study vocal with Professor Lund. He was the director of the Tabernacle Choir at this time.

She then went on a mission to California when she was nineteen. She broke her engagement while serving her mission.

Sophronia married Seymour Horne Spencer March 11, 1925. They had five children: Helen Jean born 17 February 1926, Robert William born 9 March 1927, Norma born 2 July 1930, Beth born 30 August 1932, and Margaret Joan born 22 May 1936. All these children were born in Montpelier, Idaho.

Sophronia Spencer died June 8, 1936, just two weeks after Joan was born, in Montpelier, Idaho. She was buried June 11th in Paris, Idaho.

The following are excerpts of letters from members of her family sharing their memories of their sister and mother:

Sophronia’s sister, Norma, writes:
Sophronia was named after Grandma Dayton, My mother. Her name was Sarah and father and his first wife named a baby Sophronia and it died. We all called her “Phron!” That was her nickname. We lived on a farm in Dingle, Idaho.

When Sophronia graduated from the eighth grade, she went to Paris High School for two years. When our brother died, he was two years older than Sophronia. (When) Ella graduated from the eighth grade, we moved to Montpelier. Sophronia wouldn’t go to high school in Montpelier so she got a job in Mose Lewis’ Dry Good store. He was a Jew. She was engaged to Roland Ridd at this time.

She was interested in music. She took piano lessons then she went to Salt Lake and lived with a Don young’s family and studied vocal with Professor Luvel. He was the Tabernacle Choir leader at that time. 
When she came home from Salt Lake, she and her girl friend decided to go on a mission. Sophronia went to California and Effie Cook went to the Northwest Oregon and Washington mission. While she was on her mission, someone wrote to her and told her Roland was stepping out with other girls so she sent her ring back.

When she came home, Seymour Spencer was teaching seminary in Montpelier. He was raised in Paris, Idaho. He asked her out and she went with him. The third time he took her out, the next morning she said, “I am not going with him again. He is the ugliest man in town.” Her dad spoke up and said, “You will take those words back and marry the man.” And she did.

She was nineteen when she went on her mission.

She was always the leading lady in all the plays the ward put on. While she was on her mission, she sang duets with Claude Cornwall.

~ Norma Quayle Erickson
Sophronia’s son, Robert, writes:
I’m happy to write and give you some memories of our mother... Sara Sophronia Quayle was born and grew up in Dingle, Idaho. Their family moved into a new home in Montpelier (6 miles away) when she was about 17-18 years old. For some reason, she refused to go to high school in Montpelier and instead, boarded with a family in Paris, Idaho and attended the Fielding Academy there. After graduation, Sophronia returned to the family home in Montpelier and worked at the Mose Lewis Mercantile Store (principally clothing) for about two years.

Sophronia then went on an L.D.S. church mission to California (the San Bernardino area) from 1918-1921...quite a young age for lady missionaries.

After completing her mission, she lived in Salt Lake City for about one and a half years where she took vocal lessons from a Professor Lund who was also the conductor of the Tabernacle Choir at that time. She also sang in the choir while there. She had a beautiful soprano voice and had the lead in many local operettas and other programs they used to have in the Montpelier area. She stayed with the Don Carlos Young family while she was in Salt Lake City.

When she came back to Montpelier, she began working in the Mose Lewis Clothing store again and at that time met our father. They were married about nine months later.

I remember as a small boy going to a town sponsored operetta in which both my mother and father took part and remember mother on a high pedestal dressed in a white Indian costume and sang “The Indian Love Call.” Her voice was beautiful and so was she.

...She did a lot of work with the girls in the MIA. She was also engaged for a short time to a man by the name of “Roland Ridd” but she broke the engagement when she learned he had been on a date with another girl during their engagement period. This happened before she met dad.

She was a kind, loving and accommodating person. This is the way I remember her. I remember only one time when she got really angry at me. I must have been about 6 or 7 years old when I was building a toy airplane out of boards from an orange crate. My mistake was to do it on her new kitchen linoleum floor. I nailed the two pieces of wood together with several nails and when she came in the kitchen to see what I was doing, I couldn’t pick the airplane up because it was nailed solid to the floor. When she let out an angry whoop, I took off for the backyard and the safety of a little club house I had in a tree with a hook and eye lock on the door. I wouldn’t come out until some time later when she called to me and convinced me she was no longer angry with me. I was very relieved that my father was not home at the time and I don’t remember of her telling him about it.

I remember her pulling me on a sleigh during the cold winters we had there as a small boy. I remember her flower gardens around the house and the flowers she loved so much, especially her large red Peonies.

She was most protective of us in one or two neighborhood misunderstandings or disagreements Helen and I were involved in. We loved her very much and still do. My sister, Norma, resembles her the most in build though mother was probably an inch or so taller.
On September 26, 1986, Norma wrote these memories of her mother:
I feel at such a disadvantage to talk about my mother as I remember so little about her. I know she had a good singing voice and sang often in public. She filled a full-time mission in California. Dad used to reminisce that she didn’t want to date him at first as he was so much older (eleven years), then changed her mind and married him.

Grandma Austin used to say she had a difficult time meeting his budget plan. Grandpa Quayle was quite well-off and mother was used to this. Dad used to cancel some grocery orders.

I remember being loved. I can remember being put up on the warmer doors of the cook stove on cold mornings. I even remember Mother being upset with me for procrastinating coming in to use the bathroom. She verbally scolded me, but didn’t spank me.

I was sliding down the newly-dug and frozen basement of out new church building and fell and broke my arm. I vaguely remember mother running out from choir (I think) and crying with me and taking me to the doctor.

Dad got emotional whenever we talked about her and so we let the memories fade. I remember seeing her in her casket in the living room and crying because she wouldn’t get up or answer me.

Dad was Bishop and we would sneak out to peak and listen when he performed a marriage. Mother would scold us and send us back to bed.

I’m sure Bob remembers more than I do as he was ten when she died...Aunt Norma and she must have been close as I was named after her. I know Aunt Norma was slow to marry and cared for mother when I was born.

Dad said mother knew she was going to die and was distraught throughout her pregnancy. Her father (who was dead) came to her to tell her she was needed and to comfort her. She didn’t want to leave her young family. She didn’t want to lie down when the baby was being born. She told dad she knew if she laid down - she would never get up again. She died about two weeks after Joan was born as a result of blood poisoning.

*Name variant: Sara

*Despain, Carrie Robison and Garner, Melba Despain. History & Genealogy of the Franklin Alonzo Robison Family, p. 31.

*Ancestral File

*Spencer, Seymour H. Orson Spencer Descendants, Through 1956, p. 107.

*LDS Church News, week ending 9 Mar 1991, New Mission Presidents, Calling: Robison, E Doyle

*The Deseret News, Thursday, March 12, 2014, Obituary: Beckstrand, Norma Spencer

*Patriarchal Blessing: Historian's Office, Index to Blessings:
             Name: Quayle, Sarah Sophronia
             Born: 13 Mar 1899
             Blessed: 15 Jan 1918
             Recorded: Vol. 1079, Page 3450

*Memorial Service, 11 June 1936

*Gravestone: Paris Cemetery, Bear Lake, Idaho:
                Seymour H.               Sophronia Q.
              July 16, 1888             Mar 13, 1899
              Sept 11, 1959             June 8, 1936

*Burial: BYU-Idaho, Idaho Falls Obituary Index:
              Last Name: SPENCER,
              First Name: Sarah
              Middle Name: Sophronia
              Cemetery: Paris, Idaho
              Birth Date: 3/13/1899
              City Born: Dingle, Bear Lake,
              State Born: Id
              Date Died: 6/8/1936
              City Died:
              State Died:
              Sources: Sexton

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