Biographical Database of NAWSA Suffragists, 1890-1920

Biography of Louise McCrory (Mrs. William G.) Spencer, 1857-1936

By Megan M. Atkinson, Tennessee Technological University

Louise McCrory was born in 1857 to Joseph Caldwell McCrory (1832-1912) and Emma J. Boone (1833-1918). She married Captain William Gardener Spencer (c. 1853-1896), an assistant surgeon in the United States Army, on November 12, 1877 in Davidson County, Tenn. She spent time in both New York and Tennessee with homes on Lake Erie and in Nashville. Later in life, she moved to Bronxville, New York where she died on January 17, 1936.

In late 1913, she became an official member of the Nashville Equal Suffrage League. In 1915, she was part of the Nashville Equal Suffrage League's Lobby Committee, which lobbied to add a woman suffrage amendment to Tennessee's constitution. She and her daughter, Emma, held the chair of hospitality for the League. In this position she saw that that visiting guests and delegates of the League had places to stay as they travelled through or to Nashville.

Spencer was prominent in society and involved in many local clubs in Tennessee. She founded the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) Chapter named after her grandfather, Colonel Thomas McCrory in 1910 in Nashville, Tenn. She served as the vice-president general and the state regent for the Tennessee D.A.R. She was also the honorary state regent of the Tennessee Daughters of the American Revolution at its state conference in November of 1912. With the D.A.R., she worked on furthering the education of Tennessee's Appalachian area people through the creation of a D.A.R. School in 1908 in Devil's Fork, East Tennessee, and she worked to secure a state-wide compulsory education bill. Later, she was an honorary member of the Woman's Committee for Tennessee for the National Star-Spangled Banner Centennial in 1914.

Her daughter, Emma S. Spencer, married Thomas G. Flaherty, a New York lawyer in Brooklyn on April 29, 1915. Emma served as the second vice-president of the Nashville League and was the vice-chairman of hospitality in 1914.


Harper, Ida Husted, ed., The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume 6, 1900-1920. LINK to TN report

Frances Holder Overall Papers, 1867-1918, Tennessee State Library and Archives, IV-F-3, Accession No. 841, 1036

"Miss Emma Spencer Weds in New York," The Nashville Tennessean, April 30, 1915, 4.

"Funeral Notice." The Tennessean, March 28, 1896: 3.

Geraldton, Mrs. Wm. W. Social Directory: Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville, Tenn.: The Cumberland Press, 1911. Accessed from

"New Members of League," The Tennessean, December 7, 1913: 29.

O'Connell, Frank Albert and William F. Coyle. National Star-Spangled Banner Centennial, Baltimore, Maryland, September 6 to 13, 1914. National Star-Spangled Banner Centennial Commission, 1914. Accessed from

Officers of Hostess League of National Convention, The Nashville Tennessean, November 8, 1914; 4, 12.

"Nashville Girls Share in Estate," The Tennessean, September 25, 1938: 4.

Spencer, Louise McCrory, "The Mountain School at Devil's Fork," Daughter of the American Revolution Magazine, Vol 41, No. 1 July 1913. Accessed from

Spraker, Hazel Atterbury. The Boone Family. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Company, Inc., 2006.

"State Regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution . . ." The Tennessean, November 17, 1912: 23.

Taylor, A. Elizabeth. The Woman Suffrage Movement in Tennessee. New York: Bookman Associates, 1957.

"Woman and Society," The Nashville American, September 17, 1907: 9.

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