LifeOn September 5, 1861, in Chicago, he married Anna Larsen, of Stavanger, Norway.
On October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire swept through the city. Horatio was a prominent lawyer in Chicago, and had invested heavily in the city's real estate, and the fire destroyed almost everything he owned.
The wreck of the Ville Du HavreTwo years later, in 1873, Spafford decided his family should take a holiday somewhere in Europe, and chose England knowing that his friend D. L. Moody would be preaching there in the fall. Delayed because of business, he sent ahead of him his family: his wife and their four children, daughters Anna “Annie” (born June 11, 1862), Margaret Lee “Maggie” (born May 31, 1864), Elizabeth “Bessie” (born June 19, 1868), and Tanetta (born July 24, 1871).