Spiers, John Richard (1842-1914) Scrapbook, 1887-1904

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Speirs, John Richard, 1842-1914

Title: Scrapbook, 1887-1904

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 1 volume

Locator Number: Mss. SB S855

Scope and Content Note

John R. Spiers, a resident of Lexington and Frankfort, Ky., was a Union veteran of the Civil War who was instrumental in establishing a number of Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) posts in central Kentucky in the late 1880s. His scrapbook includes correspondence and newspaper clippings concerning these efforts and his duties as commander of G.A.R. Post 54 in Lexington. Spiers also served as a military pension agent and several printed advertisements related to pension claims agents are included. The collection also reflects his interest in late 19 th century poetry, particularly with military and patriotic themes and the works of Ella Wheeler Wilcox. There are several newspaper clippings, mostly undated, concerning local and national political issues such as elections and African American voting rights.

Biographical Note

John R. Spiers was born 6 October 1842 in Newcastle, Henry County, Ky. His parents were John W. and Elgiva B. Spiers. During the Civil War, he served as a private in Companies C & F, 2 nd Kentucky Cavalry regt. (U.S.). In 1875 he married Georgia Wright. They had two children, Evan Bryan, born 1876, and Lillian May, born 1883. The family lived in Lexington, Ky. for several years, during which he served as a military pension claims agent. He also became active in Grand Army of the Republic affairs, helping to establish a number of G.A.R. posts in Lexington and Winchester, Ky. One of these was Charles Sumner Post No. 61, for African American veterans. He also served as commander of E. L. Dudley Post No. 54 in Lexington. He and his wife later moved to Frankfort, Ky., where he died 2 June 1914.

Subject Headings

African Americans – Civil rights – Kentucky

African Americans – Pensions

African Americans – Societies etc.

African Americans – Suffrage – Kentucky

Andersonville Prison

Bounties, Military

Elections – Kentucky

Fairchild, Lucius 1831-1896

Grand Army of the Republic

Grand Army of the Republic. National Encampment

Grand Army of the Republic. Charles Sumner Post No. 61 (Lexington, Ky.)

Grand Army of the Republic. D.T. Buckner Post No. 213 (Winchester, Ky.)

Grand Army of the Republic. Dept. of Kentucky

Grand Army of the Republic. Dept. of Kentucky. E.L. Dudley Post No. 54 (Lexington, Ky.)

Logan, John Alexander, 1826-1886

Memorial Day

Military Pensions – Law and legislation

Military Pensions – United States

National Woman’s Relief Corps (U.S.). Sumner Corps No. 27 (Wahpeton, N. D.)

Obituaries – Kentucky

Patriotic poetry

Poetry, Modern – 19 th century

Presidents – United States – Election – 1904

Racism in the Press – United States

Wilcox, Ella Wheeler, 1850-1919

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