Alexander Scott Speer 1811-1892

ALEXANDER SCOTT SPEER, MY GRANDFATHERS FATHER, WHICH MAKES HIM MY GREAT GRAND FATHER WAS PERHAPS MY MOST INTERESTING GRANDPARENT, AND THE ONE I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO FIND OUT THE MOST ABOUT. HE WAS BORN AND RAISED ON STUART SPEER’S FARM LOCATED ON THE OLD WHEELING ROAD, AND WORKED IN HIS FATHERS SAW AND GRIST MILLS. ALEXANDER LEFT THE FAMILY SETTLEMENT IN 1837, AT AGE 26 AND SET UP A MERCANTILE STORE IN NEW CONCORD. THAT SAME YEAR HE MARRIED HIS FIRST COUSIN (MARY (SPEER) MORRISON.

THEY BEGAN BUILDING A “NICHE OF PROSPERITY” IN THE VILLAGE. IN 1838 THEIR FIRST CHILD, ELIZABETH WAS BORN. THEY, IN THE YEARS BETWEEN 1838 AND 1860, HAD A TOTAL OF 13 CHILDREN. OF THE 13 -5 WERE BOYS AND 8 WERE GIRLS. 6 OF THE 13 CHILDREN DIED AS INFANTS. THIS MUST HAVE BEEN VERY DIFFICULT FOR THEM BUT DID NOT PREVENT THEM FROM PROSPERING. THEIR SON ALEXANDER (BORN IN 1856) TURNED OUT TO BE MY GRANDFATHER.

AT THE 1844 ELECTION, ALEXANDER SCOTT WAS CHOSEN AS MAYOR. JOINING HIM AS TREASURER WAS HIS BROTHER IN LAW, JAMES FINDLEY. IN THE BOOK “A PEOPLE SET APART” HE WAS DESCRIBED AS A PROGRESSIVE MAYOR WHO MOVED FORWARD WITH A NUMBER OF NEEDED VILLAGE PROJECTS. HE WAS ALSO WAS REPORTED TO HAVE MADE, EACH YEAR FOR SOME TIME, A TWO MONTH TRIP TO BALTIMORE, DRIVING LIVESTOCK TO MARKET. HE WAS THE OPERATOR OF A HIGHLY PROFITABLE GENERAL STORE AT THE EAST EDGE OF TOWN, AND WAS INVOLVED AS A CONTRACTOR FOR THE RAILROAD. THEY ALSO BUILT THE “ALEXANDER SPEER AND SON” WAREHOUSE, STORE AND STEAM MILL. HE LATER SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF “MUSKINGUM COLLEGE” WHICH HAD FALLEN ON EXTREMELY HARD TIMES. HE WAS REFERRED TO AS THE “WEALTHIEST MERCHANT IN TOWN” BY LORLE PORTER IN HER BOOK, A PEOPLE SET APART. THERE IS MUCH MORE SPEER FAMILY HISTORY AND MANY PICTURES IN THE BOOK.

ONE OF THE PICTURES INCLUDED ON THIS WEBSITE, IS A PICTURE OF ALEXANDER AND MARY SEATED WITH ALEXANDER HOLDING HIS WALKING STICK. THAT WALKING STICK IS AT THIS TIME, IN THE POSSESSION OF THE WRITER, HOMER SPEER, JR. IT HAS A GOLD CAP ENGRAVED WITH ALEXANDER’S NAME. HIS WILL WAS SIGNED 10 APRIL 1890 AND LATER ACCEPTED BY THE PROBATE COURT.

THEY ARE TRULY PEOPLE TO BE ADMIRED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE COMMUNITY AND THE HISTORY OF MY FAMILY.