Spencer Public Library
Carnegie Grant Information
Town & County
Twelfth Census of the United States — 1900. p. 450.
Spencer is the county seat of Clay County, which was established on January 15, 1851. The county was named in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Clay, Jr. (1807-1847) of Kentucky who was killed in the Mexican War. In 1860, the county seat was located at Peterson, but in 1871, the seat was relocated to Spencer, which was named for Senator George E. Spencer (1836-1893), who had helped establish the county lines.
(Source: Pratt, LeRoy G. “The Counties and Courthouses of Iowa.” Mason City, Ia; Klipto Printing & Office Supply Company, 1977, p. 74.)