Jacob and Magdalena Spori
Jacob Spori was born and reared in Oberwyl, Switzerland. He married Magdalena Roschi also from Oberwyl. In the late 1870's when he joined the Church, he lost his job as the principal of his hometown high school. His wife took their four children and returned to her father's house. In 1879 he immigrated without his family to Logan, Utah.
He served a mission to Turkey and Palestine from 1884-87. During this time, he wrote to his wife about the teachings of the Gospel and she accepted the Gospel and joined the Church. After his mission, he went to Switzerland to bring his family and other Swiss Saints to America. In 1888, tthe Spori family moved to Rexburg, Idaho where Jacob was called to be principal of Bannock Academy.
Jacob Spori was the principal of the initial 59 students at the Academy. He had a talent for languages and spoke nine. He earned degrees from several of the greatest universities in Europe. He earned his final degree in geology and metallurgy when he was 50 years old.
He was principal for four years, but during that time took personal responsibility for keeping the school in operation by forgoing his own salary and donating a portion of his earnings as a railroad worker to the teachers at the Academy. After serving at the Academy, he then turned to farming and helped in the development of the canal on the Egin Bench, near Rexburg, known as the Spori Canal.
After the death of his older daughter, Magdalena, Jacob moved his family to the Bear Lake area. From 1893 to 1895 He was the principal of the Bear Lake Academy. The last years of his life he devoted to mining interests. He taught school in the mining districts of southern Idaho.
In 1900 his wife died and Jacob was devastated. His son, Jacob and his daughter, Louise took care of their father and their younger sisters. Jacob died at 56 as a result of diabetes. His doctor warned him to stop work and rest. Always industrious, Jacob taught school just two days prior to his death. He is buried in Rexburg, Idaho.
Magdalena Roschi Spori
Magdalena Roschi Spori was born and reared in Oberwil, Switzerland in a wealthy home filled with culture and learning. She married Jacob Spori in 1874 in Oberwil.
She was a devoted wife. However, when Jacob accepted the Gospel, and he was asked to resign his position as principal of the high school, she could not accept the disgrace. Magdalena took their four children and returned to her father's home. Jacob left Switzerland and immigrated to Logan, Utah in 1879, but Magdalena and the children remained in Switzerland. Jacob and Magdalena remained in contact through letters.
In 1885, while Jacob was serving his mission in Turkey, he received word that his oldest daughter, Katherine had died from injuries received in a fall from a swing. He wrote his wife and taught her of the doctrines of the Church. She was touched, accepted the Gospel, and was baptized. At the completion of his mission, Jacob went to Switzerland, and was reunited with his family.
In 1888, Jacob, and Magdalena, with their three children (Jacob, Magdalena, and Louise) along with Jacob's youngest sister, Anna Clara, left Switzerland for Rexburg, Idaho where Jacob was to be principal at the new school established there. Homes in Rexburg were so scarce at that time that the Spori Family moved into an empty granary. Their fifth child, Elizabeth was born there in 1888. A sixth child, Annie, was born in 1889. By then the Spori family was living in a two-room log house near the Academy. After four years of teaching, Jacob turned to farming in the Upper Snake Valley area. The Sporis moved to the Bear Lake area near the Idaho-Utah border in 1893, where they lived for several years. In the late 1890's they returned again to the Rexburg area.
Magdalena died suddenly of typhoid-pneumonia in the fall of 1900. She is buried in Rexburg, Idaho. Her death was a hard trial in her husband's life. Jacob out lived her by only three years.
The Spori Family in about 1891
Back row: Jacob Spori with children, Magdalena, Jacob, and Louise
Front row: Annie, Elizabeth, and Magdalena Roschi Spori
|McKay Gallery Home SPACE McKay Library Home SPACE Presidents & First Ladies Homepage|