YOUR SILENT NEIGHBORS, James Spencer, Church Organist
by David K. Leff
Town Poet Laureate and Deputy Town Historian
Of his 73 years, James Spencer (d. 1888) spent 36 as organist for the Collinsville Congregational Church. He was blind, and succeeded another blind man named Brady at the job. Sometime before 1869, Spencer built the clapboard house at 138 Main Street.
Given his blindness, the inscription on Spencer’s gravestone is particularly poignant. A quote from Isaiah 33:17, it reads: “Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty.”
James Spencer is buried in the Village Cemetery, Collinsville.
“Your Silent Neighbors” introduces readers to people out of Canton’s past. Readers are encouraged to visit these gravesites and pay their respects to the people who have helped make our community what it is today.