From the Chatsworth Plaindealer
LAST VETERAN OF CIVIL WAR MUSTERED OUT
JOHN W. SPEER DIES MONDAY NIGHT, AGED 96 YEARS
FEBRUARY 18, 1937
John W. Speer, Chatsworth's last Civil war veteran, died at his home in the western part of the village Monday
(Feb. 15) evening at 8:30 o'clock at the age of 96 years and 16 days.
Deceased had enjoyed remarkably good health during the greater part of his long and useful life. It was evident for several weeks past that the end was approaching but he was conscious up until a few minutes before death.
FUNERAL AND BURIAL WEDNESDAY
Funeral services were held on Wednesday afternoon from the house at 1:30 and at the Methodist church at 2 o'clock, with burial in the Chatsworth cemetery, where his wife and only daughter are buried. Rev. W.W. Wohlfarth, pastor of the church, had charge of the services.
The casket bearers were Joseph Dietz, Frank Wise, Elmer Pearson, M.E. Franey, P.H. McGreal and John Brosnahan.
Mr. and Mrs. Harry Felt, Mrs. Fred Kyburz and Evert Bess sang, with Mrs. Charles Shafer at the piano.
The impressive ceremony of the American Legion was accorded him at the cemetery. A volley was fired over his grave and taps were blown in his honor.
A NATIVE OF INDIANA
Mr. Speer was born near Fairfield, Franklin county, Indiana, January 29, 1841. He spent his youth in that locality and when the Civil war broke out he enlisted from Clarksburg in Co. F., 18th Indiana Infantry and served creditably until the close of the war. He came to Illinois after being mustered out of the service and was married January 14, 1869, at Granville, Illinois, to Miss Martha E. Baird, who died April 6, 1908. Following the marriage of the couple they came to the vicinity of Chatsworth and for a few years resided on and farmed what is now the Nick Nimbler place, two miles west of Chatsworth. Then they moved to the village and for more than 40 years Mr. Speer was a prominent stock buyer and was known over a large territory.
When age compelled him to give up his loved vocation he lived a secluded life with his daughter, Myrtle and son Harvey. The daughter died August 28, 1929. Soon after this his niece, Mrs. Charles Walsh, and her husband, came from South Dakota and kindly ministered to his wants.
TWO SONS SURVIVE
Of the three children born to Mr. and Mrs. Speer, two sons, Charles, of Newton, Kansas, and H.B., of Watseka, survive.
Charles was in California when the father passed away and was unable to reach here in time for the funeral.
Mr. Speer was honored and beloved by those who knew him and his name will be revered as one typifying honesty and fidelity.