News: Spencer History – Music and Arts


Surnames: Klahn, Strayer, Follette, Landaal, Richardson, Reas, Tack, Bennett, Nielsen, Pederson, Hall, Whipple, Ingham, Luepke, Engel, Cantlon, Rose, Gardiner, Schiro, Johnson, Oelrich

Source: Spencer Centennial Book (1874 – 1974)

In 1904 a Professor C. Klahn of Marshfield had a class of piano students, among them Mrs. F. G. Strayer, Mrs. Pearl Follette Landaal and Verna Richardson. The latter two had degrees in music from Ripon College and taught piano in Spencer.

In later years the following had classes of piano students: Mae Reas, who studied music at Ripon College; Lucille Tack Bennett, who studied at St. Clares College, Sinsinawa, Wisconsin; Bernice Soles Graves, who studied at Milwaukee Normal; and Sylvia Tesmer Nielsen, who studied at Stevens Point State Teachers College. Mrs. Vivian Pederson was our last piano teacher. She was a graduate of Iowa State Teacher's College and did post graduate work at Wesleyan College and taught music in high schools. Mrs. Pederson now lives in Colby and Spencer pupils still go to her home for instruction.

Mrs. Charles (Hannah) Hall gave vocal lessons in the early days and was noted for her beautiful alto voice. An announcement in the Spencer Tribune of June 25, 1900, states that Miss Verna Richardson is conducting singing lessons at school each Friday evening.

Mrs. Frank Whipple, one of our early settlers, was a painter in oils and would be artists took advantage of studying with her.

Mrs. C. K. Richardson painted in oils and decorated china and gave help to those wishing to learn the art.

Moving up to the present, there is Mrs. David (June) Ingham (who insists she is only an amateur) who has exhibited some of her work at the Marshfield University and at art shows; Mrs. Walter (Anna) Luepke, who has exhibited her work at art shows and at the Marshfield University Center where she won honorable mention; Mrs. Marvin (Nina) Engel, who paints abstract pictures in oil; Mrs. Michael (Alicia) Cantlon, of Route 1, Spencer, who is an art major at the Wisconsin University of La Crosse and paints and sells pictures at her home.

Glen Rose, who resides in the former Gardiner house at 502 East Clark, is a sign painter and artist. He painted a large scenic mural on the wall of a recreation room in the home of Phillip See and the picture of the Lord's Supper which hangs in the Trinity Lutheran Church. Pictures which he has painted are for sale at his home.

Tom Schiro, our postmaster, also paints pictures, one of which may be seen in the Sanctuary of the new United Methodist Church.

Mrs. Alice Johnson (formerly Alice Oelrich) one of our rural residents, is a sign painter and has painted signs for our Centennial.



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