Lake Worth Pioneers' Association, Inc.


Upcoming Events

lwpa Annual Meeting


John Yeend

1109 S. Congress Ave.
West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Phone: 561-642-4200


Affliate Links

lwpa Palm Beach Historical Society

lwpa Yeend, Castaneda & Flynn, LLP

lwpa Jupiter Lighthouse

lwpa Norton Art Museum



Valorus Orlando Spencer

Valorus Orlando Spencer was born at Tioga County, near the New York State border in 1824. He arrived with his family on the shores of Lake Worth 16 January 1878 by schooner. They were lured to Florida by the letters from their son, Melville, who described “this place is a tropical paradise.” Valorus bought 40 acres of land just south of Melville’s on the banks of Lake Worth and built a substantial house. Melville had come to the lake area in 1876, three years after the first settlers.

Mail delivery was very haphazard until 1880 as the mail was carried by anyone coming south. V.0. Spencer and his daughter, Mattie, got up a petition for regular mail delivery to be extended to the settlers on Lake Worth. (There were no inhabitants south of the lake.) As they went up and down the lake by boat to gather signatures, the weather turned stormy causing the boat to capsize. It took them three hours to reach shore, but in the morning they rescued the wooden box holding the petitions and soon sent them off to Washington, D.C.

On 30 May, 1880 the route was reinstated, and V.0. Spencer became the first postmaster. It was considered reinstated; a route had been in service from St. Lucie to Miami during the Civil War.

Valorus married Jane Keltz ,born 6 December 1818, in Pennsylvania. In addition to their son, Melville, they had daughters Florence (Flora), Martha (Mattie), Anna and Sarah L. V.0. died in 1895, and Jane died on 18 May, 1906. Mattie married Judge Allen Heyser, Judge of the Circuit
Court in Miami. Florence married Adelbert Bellows, the brother of Melville’s wife, Josephine. Anna was the wife of Henry Redifer. Sarah L. Spencer married 0.P. Eames.


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