Spencer is a town in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 11,688 at the 2010 census.
Spencer was first settled in 1717 by Nathaniel Wood, and first permanently settled by Samuel Bemis in 1721.Spencer is located in central Worcester County, twenty minutes west ofWorcester via Route 9, and about forty-five east of Springfield via Routes 49, 20, and the Massachusetts Turnpike. It was officially incorporated on April 12, 1753, splitting from the town of Leicester. Spencer was named after the then-acting governor of Massachusetts,Spencer Phips. Spencer was the home of the Howe family of inventors, including Elias Howe, who perfected the lockstitch sewing machine.Spencer's first mill was built in 1740 on the Seven Mile River, the greatest source of waterpower in the town. In 1811, Josiah Green began making shoes, and in 1834 he built a factory. The Prouty family began to make shoes in 1820, and built their factory in 1855. In 1812, Elliot Prouty had begun to "draw" wire in a mill he had built. His business flourished in his family until 1916, when it merged with Wickwire Steel Co. At one time, Spencer had 11 factories and 26 buildings for wire drawing.