William Spencer

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William Micajah Spencer Jr (born June 29, 1890 in Gallion; died September 18, 1979 in Birmingham) was an attorney and farmer, and one of the founders of the Birmingham Museum of Art, serving as chair of the museum's board for 20 years. He also served on the boards of the Woodward Iron Company and other corporations and agencies.

Spencer was the son of William and Betha Gracey Spencer of Hale County. He graduated from the Marion Military Institute in 1908 and completed his bachelor of science at the University of Alabama. He went on to graduate from Harvard Law School in 1913, after which he moved to Birmingham to open a law practice. He also maintained farms near his home in Gallion and in Marengo County.

During World War I Spencer served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and remained in the service for twenty years. At the outbreak of World War II he joined the staff of the Birmingham Ordnance District. After the war he joined the Birmingham Botanical Society and served as a director of the Alabama State Fair Authority and on the board of Children's Hospital. He was president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce in the early 1960s.

As chair of the Birmingham Museum of Art board, Spencer contributed time and expertise as well as funds and artwork. He led the campaigns that funded construction of the East Wing in 1967 and the William M. Spencer Galleries in 1974, named in his honor by the Birmingham City Council. He was also named Birmingham Man of the Year in 1968 and was inducted into the Alabama Academy of Honor in 1976 and the Birmingham Gallery of Distinguished Citizens in 1978.

Spencer was a member of the vestry and warden of St. Mary's-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church and also served as registrar for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. He was a Scottish Rite Mason, and a member of the Newcomen Society, the Birmingham Historical Society, the English Speaking Union, and the St Andrews Society of the Middle South.

He and his wife, the former Margaret Woodward Evens, had three children, Margaret, William III and Bertha.


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