Spragueville, Iowa, USA, founded by Lauren Sprague in 1841

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Entities Named Sprague

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     The Sprague family members have moved to widely separated parts throughout the world. They there made their homes and there left their marks on those communities. They became leaders in their communities and as a result, their names became associated with the municipalities, businesses, schools and physical features of those communities. This page of the Sprague website attempts to provide the background for the various entities that carry the name of Sprague and the Sprague derivative names such as Spragg, Spragge, Spriggs, etc. Where possible, we provide a link to the individuals for which the entity was named and a link to a map where location of the entity can be observed.
      If you have a Sprague/Spragg/Sprig/etc. entity you would like to submit, please click here to submit information. Please note that we must have (1) a general location of the entity, as well as (2) a history/description of it and (3) the name of the person associated with it..

& Cities
New London Co.,
   Sprague is a town in New London County, in the Norwich-New London metro area. The community was named after William Sprague, who laid out the industrial section.
   Once upon a time, there was no town of Sprague in Connecticut. There was, however, a governor in Rhode Island named William Sprague who came to Connecticut and founded his own town.
   Gov. Sprague was an industrious man, and in the mid-1800s, he brought a major textile mill to Connecticut. Being the governor, he couldn't simply build a mill in an existing town, he had to have a town named after him. So, he got permission to take a piece of Lisbon and Franklin, in the Shetucket River Valley, to create his own town of Sprague.
   He built a magnificent dam, which would provide the water power. Then he built a majestic granite mill and a village around it. There was a church and a company store.
Lincoln Co., WA, USA
   Sprague is east of Colville Lake southwest of Spokane in southeast Lincoln County. The town has declined from the boom period during the days of railroad construction in the 1880s. It was named by the Northern Pacific for Gen. John W. Sprague, director of the railway who was once general manager of the railroad's western division and Mayor of Tacoma. General Sprague was awarded the Medal of Honor on January 18, 1894 a few weeks after his death in Tacoma on December 24, 1893, for his courage and leadership in a battle at Decatur, Georgia, on July 22, 1862 when the 63rd Ohio Infantry of which he was colonel "defeated an overwhelming force of the enemy..." (Ross, p. 7-8.) An earlier name was Hoodooville, for a local character nicknamed Hoodoo Billy Burrow. Sprague was incorporated November 28, 1883.

Jackson, Co.,
   Spragueville was named after Lauren Sprague.
   With an ox team and wagon, Lauren Sprague came to the area around Spragueville in the fall of 1838. He was born in New Marlboro, Massachusetts on November 9, 1794. His wife, Lydia Blodgett, was born in Brattleboro, Vermont on October 12, 1800, where they were married. After moving to the state of New York, she died there in Aurora on January 28, 1833. From there Mr. Sprague and his daughters went to Illinois where they lived three years before coming to Iowa.
   By trade, Mr. Sprague was a wagon and carriage maker In 1841, he filed a claim on a tract of land on the west edge of Van Buren Township. There he built a dam and log grist mill on Deep Creek, which became known as Sprague's Mill, and the town of Spragueville was born. His home became the meeting place for settlers from around the area.
   Spragueville is today a community of 116 residents. It is located just west of Preston, Iowa. A canoe access for the Maquoketa River is located north of the community. Agriculture is the primary industry and provides work for the people. Today the community is interested in economic development and commercial projects. The Jackson County Recreational Trail starts in Spragueville and takes visitors for a woodsy 3.7 mile hike along the scenic Maquoketa River. Rural, friendly, and strong best describes the community. Housing is a primary interest.
Washington Co.,

   Spraguetown, named after Col. David Sprague, is a hamlet in Greenwich Township, Washington Co., NY. The following provides background to the naming of the community:
   A History of Greenwich, Washington Co., NY, by Edwin Neilson.
   Washington County is 61 miles in length from north to south. It is from 17 to 18 miles wide except in the northern part which is only 5 to 6 miles in width. It has an area of 843 square miles. In the very early days the eastern tribe of the Iroquois used Greenwich as a hunting ground. It was called Dense Forest. It is said that the first white man to live here was a man by the name of Rogers (a desperado). He was here around 1763. Early settlers of the town came about 1766 from Kingston, RI. Judge Nathan Tefft and his two sons settled Middle Falls. Soon after there came a man called "Whispering _____" because of his loud voice. He saw that the land was good. And a story is told (tradition) that he went up on Bald Mountain, the highest peak in Washington Co., and called back to RI to Jonathan Foster,"Come on up, Captain, the land is good." True or not, Mr. Foster came and settled on the MacMullan farm. Robert Kenyon settled on the Gray farm. He returned to RI for money; upon returning he found a man named Mosher had squatted on his claim. Many families came here from RI during the Revolutionary War (1775-1776). David Sprague had 22 children. All lived and settled on farms around him. Hence, we have the name Spraguetown.

Algoma Co.,
   Spragge is a community in the Canadian province of Ontario, located in the township of The North Shore in Algoma District. It was named after John Godfrey Spragge, Chief Justice of Ontario.
   Although the Spragge of today is a community of homes, some modest and others of the grand style, the Spragge of yesterday lies in a meadow along the north shoreline of Lake Huron. In its heyday, Spragge was a sawmill town located in what was one of Ontario’s industrial heartlands. The town had its beginning in 1883 when a large sawmill was erected at the mouth of the Serpent River. Today, foundations and stone walls mark the site of the ghost town, Spragge, along the shoreline where once stood two hotels
   Originally known as Cook's Mills, in 1882 the Cook Brothers Lumber Company established a sawmill at this location on the north shore of Lake Huron. The mill operated until 1906 when it was sold to Waldie Brothers Lumber Company. With the mill no longer in Cook's ownership, Spragge (the original name of the township in which it is located), was adopted as the name of the community. Waldie Brothers in turn sold the mill to McFadden and Malloy in 1913.

Daniel Emes Sprague
(Archives of Manitoba)

   Spragge was named for John Godfrey Spragge, Chief Justice of Ontario. At the time of his death, Spragge's accomplishments as a lawyer and jurist were freely acknowledged. The law society summed up his career by lauding his zeal, uprightness, learning, and ability and said that he compared favourably with the greatest judges of any country. He was "the last of the old regime."
   Over time a small village with a school, hotel, barbershop, general store was created, and by 1926 the community had a population of about 300 people. Sawmill activity was terminated in Spragge in the early 1930's following a disastrous fire, which eliminated the mill, lumber inventory, docks and most of the town.   Sprague get its name from Daniel Emes Sprague, an English gentleman who came to the area to make use of the lumber reserves. Some time around 1885, Mr. Sprague formed the Sprague Lumber Company. The company sent wood upriver by booms to Point Douglas where a sawmill cut it into lumber for Winnipeg's booming housing construction.
& Parks

Sprague Lake
Rocky Mountain
National Park,
near Estes Park,

   Sprague Lake is a shallow, 13-acre lake is a remnant of a resort once owned here by Abner Sprague, an expert guide and host. Just before Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915, Sprague enlarged this lake by damming the far end to create better fishing for his lodge guests.
   Sprague and his wife, Alberta, operated their lodge -- formerly located near today's parking lot -- from 1910-40. The Spragues introduced their guests to the pleasures of high mountain waters, meadows and trails. You, too, can refresh yourself by fishing, picnicking or hiking in this mountain setting. The 1/2-mile nature trail around the lake is handicap accessible.
From Rocky Mountain National Park
Sprague Lake
Lincoln Co.and Adams Co. , WA, USA
Sprague Lake is between Sprague, in southeast Lincoln County, and Keystone, in northeast Adams County. It is an enlargement of Cow Creek and extends six miles from southwest-to-northeast. It was formerly called Colville Lake and Lake Colville. The Indian name was Silkatkwu. In 1954, the present name was approved by United States Board on Geographic Names.
Schools Laura B. Sprague School    This elementary school in Lincolnshire, Illinois is named after Laura B. Sprague. Lincolnshire, incorporated in 1957, contains the old village of Half Day.
   In August, 1836, the first post office in the county was established at Indian Creek and the village was renamed Half Day for an Indian chief called Hafta, whose village was near the mouth of Indian Creek. In the same year, Laura B. Sprague opened the first school in her father's log cabin at Half Day.
   The school was supported by the parents of the children in attendance. The area was growing in population, and by 1855 Half Day became a thriving community. Half Day contained all things necessary for life at that time: a blacksmith shop, saw mill, country store, and a church.

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Copyright © 2021; Richard E. (Dick) Weber / The Sprague Project
This page was created on October 9, 2008
Most recent revision January 13, 2011