Frank W. Spencer papers
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Frank W. Spencer papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Spencer, Frank W.
Title: Frank W. Spencer papers
Dates: 1935-1979
Extent: 0.15 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 1928

Biographical/Historical Note

Frank W. Spencer who liked to go by Jack was born on 19 November 1882 in Savannah, Georgia. He was the son of Captain William H. and Mary Elizabeth Wilson Spencer. Spencer attended Savannah public schools and later attended the New York Nautical College. He became a licensed Master and Marine Engineer of United States ocean-going vessels and spent seventeen years at sea before he was appointed Master Pilot of the Port of Savannah, a position which he held for thirty years. In 1920, he was appointed the General Manager and Treasurer of the Atlantic Towing Company. He managed the company and its tugboats until 1967. He also served as the South Atlantic regional representative for the American Pilots' Association from 1917 until 1964. Captain Spencer was extremely instrumental in obtaining channel improvements so that larger ships could use the port, thereby making Savannah an important seaport. Spencer served as local manager for U.S. Shipping Bureau, Sea Service Bureau Recruiting Service in World War I and was chairman of the river and harbor committee of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce. Besides his successful career as a captain and his influence on the Savannah waterfront, Spencer was active in the community. He served three terms as head of the Chatham Area Boy Scout Council and organized Sea Scouting in Savannah. He was also a champion of equal political rights and education for the area's African American population. He died on 26 July 1979 in Savannah.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, clippings, memorials, and poems regarding Frank W. Spencer from 1934 to 1979. Majority of this collection refers to the waterfront and port in Savannah, Georgia since Spencer was instrumental in developing Savannah's harbor as the general manager of the Atlantic Towing Company and serving as the master pilot of the port of Savannah.

Index Terms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Letters (correspondence)
Port of Savannah (Ga.)
Spencer, Frank W.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

This collection is processed at the Basic Level (or collection level). There is no detailed inventory for this collection as it is not fully processed. To request that this collection be added to our priority list of collections to be fully processed as staffing and funding allow, please contact the Library and Archives staff.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Encoding funded by a 2008 Archives-Basic Projects grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.