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Spinner, Francis Elias (21 January 1802–31 December 1890), congressman and treasurer of the United States, was born in German Flats (now Mohawk), New York, the son of recent German immigrants, John Peter Spinner and Mary Brument. His father, a Roman Catholic priest who had renounced his church, was the pastor for two German-speaking congregations of the Dutch Reformed church in Herkimer and German Flats. Although his father was a university graduate, Spinner received only a common school education supplemented with what he could pick up through wide reading. Fascinated by accounting, Spinner longed to enter business, but his father wished him to learn a skilled trade and actually removed him from an apprenticeship to an Albany confectioner because he was being taught sales and bookkeeping. His father then apprenticed him to a saddlemaker in Amsterdam, New York....