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.
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.
African Americans – Civil rights – Kentucky
African Americans – Pensions
African Americans – Societies etc.
African Americans – Suffrage – Kentucky
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
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
Poetry, Modern – 19 th century
Presidents – United States – Election – 1904
Racism in the Press – United States
Wilcox, Ella Wheeler, 1850-1919