The Town of Spencer is on the western border of the county and is south of Ithaca, New York. Inside the town is the Village of Spencer. The village of Candor borders the town to the east and south east, with Waverly to the southwest, Van Etten to the west, Danby to the North.
The land for the town was purchased in 1791 and settlement began in 1794. When the town was organized in 1806 from the Town of Tioga (the Old Town of Owego), it contained territory that is now in more newly organized towns: Candor (1811), Caroline (1811), Danby (1811), Newfield (1811), and Cayuta (1824) in Tioga and other counties.
The Halsey Valley Grand Army of the Republic Meeting Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 49.9 square miles (129.2 km²), of which, 49.5 square miles (128.3 km²) of it is land and 0.3 square miles (0.9 km²) of it (0.68%) is water.
Conjoined New York State Route 34 and New York State Route 96 divide at Spencer village.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,979 people, 1,153 households, and 817 families residing in the town. The population density was 60.1 people per square mile (23.2/km²). There were 1,271 housing units at an average density of 25.7 per square mile (9.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.28% White, 0.67% Black or African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.47% from other races, and 1.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population.
There were 1,153 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.7% under the age of 18, 5.8% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 24.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $37,432, and the median income for a family was $41,025. Males had a median income of $31,277 versus $25,508 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,312. About 6.2% of families and 8.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
Communities and locations in Spencer
- Cowells Corners – A former location east of Spencer village.
- Crum Town – A hamlet in the northeast part of the town.
- Empire Lake – A small lake in the southeast part of the town.
- Spencer – The Village of Spencer is centrally located in the town. Part of the village was once called "Bradleytown" and another "Drakes Settlement."
- North Spencer (formerly "Huggtown") – A hamlet in the northwest part of the town on NY-34 and NY-96.
- Spencer Lake – a small lake southeast of North Spencer.
- West Branch of Catatonk Creek – A stream flowing from Spencer lake past Spencer Village.
- West Candor – A hamlet by the east town line on NY-96.
Spencer, New York Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.