AUSTIN G. SPEER GRAVESTONE PHOTO
The News, Friday, August 14, 1885, Pg. 2
Vol. IX, No. 12
SPEER, at his home in this city, August 9th 1885, Austin G. Speer, in the 60th year of his age.
Mr. Speer was born in Lawrence county, Indiana, August 26th, 1825, where he lived continuously until coming to this county in 1869. He was an uncle of Prof. H. C. Speer, ex-State Superintendent of this state, and was that gentleman’s guardian for a considerable portion of his minority. At the breaking out of the war with Mexico, Mr. Speer volunteered his services in the country’s behalf and served with some distinction during that conflict. He was a member of the 2nd. Indiana Infantry, and was present and engaged at the battle of Buena Vista and the siege of Monterey. Returning home his life was chiefly given to mercantile pursuits until the breaking out of the rebellion, which he at once tendered his services and experience to his country. Enlisting in the 50th Indiana, he was made its orderly sergeant, and won promotions until he reached the rank of 1st Lieutenant. His last active military service was in the Red River campaign, in 1864, where he contracted the disease which eventually terminated his life. His trouble proving itself beyond the skill of the medical man, he was discharged for disability. From this ailment he never recovered sufficiently to enable him to follow with success, any active pursuit. He came west with the hope of benefiting himself with our pure air and outdoor experience and pursuits, and undoubtedly he did prolong his years thereby. But the grip of the disease was not relaxed and more than twenty years were years of constant weakness and suffering. He was one of those of whom no man ever found fault that they should live in part upon the bounty of the government; one of those to whom the country can never be too generous or bountiful, or sufficiently repay for the sacrifices they have made on its behalf.
In 1872 he was united in marriage, in this country, with Mrs. Elizabeth Faler, whose life is now rendered desolate by his removal to other scenes and other life than this.
He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and of the Grand Army of the Republic, the latter order, in behalf of the country, having charge of the funeral obsequies. After brief religious exercises and a short address at the family residence, the remains were conveyed to Graceland cemetery, attended by a large concourse of friends, and tenderly consigned to their rest by his comrades in arms, with the honors due to the veteran of two wars.
His life, with all its weakness and suffering, was an exemplary one, patient, helpful, kind and true. His heart was in the right place, and while naturally modest and retiring in his disposition, he will be missed sadly, not alone in the home of death has widowed, but in the mystic circle whose fraternal chain is broken, in the band of comradeship whose ranks are being so rapidly decimated, and by the entire community. A good man has gone to his rest, a gallant soldier sleeps his last sleep “on fame’s eternal camping grounds.” Peace be to his ashes.