Rudolph S.A. Speier


August 2, 1900
LeMars Semi-Weekly Sentinel (Iowa)

After months of suffering Mr. Speier breathed his last at his home on Eagle street about half past ten o'clock on Monday night. On November 26, last year Mr. Speier met with a serious accident. As he was alighting from his carriage he slipped and broke his leg. Previous to this he had not been in the best of health as he had suffered at several different times with rheumatism. The accident, coupled with rheumatic spells and the increasing infirmities of age combined to invalid the patient and for eight long and weary months and two weeks he has been confined to his bed. In all that time he has only been out of doors once or twice, the last time being in April at the Odd Fellows celebration, when he was able to sit out on the porch and watch the procession pass.

The best of medical skill and devoted care and attention of his daughters who have nursed him day and night for weeks and months, forestalled death and gave him comfort in the closing days of his life, but the snapping of the strands which held his spirit in its tenement of clay was only a question of time and his nearest and dearest were alive to the stern truth some time ago that the days of his earthly pilgrimage were numbered. For the last few weeks he had only been able to take the lightest kind of nourishment and for two weeks his only sustenance has been sips of water and coffee at long intervals. During his long illness he was patient and forbearing and seldom complained. He was glad to have his friends come and see him and many will be credited on the scroll of the recording angel by their efforts to cheer and while away the long hours of the good old man's suffering. During his illness the Odd Fellows have been unremitting in their care and attention.

Rudolph S.A. Speier was a native of Germany. He was born in the province of Wurtemberg, Germany, on December 12, 1829, and came to the United States on July 4, 1849, settling at Galena, Ill., which was his home for more than thirty years, with the exception of a brief interval when he lived at Prairie du Chien, Wis. He was in active business in Galena during his long residence there and identified himself largely with the interest and progress of the town. At that place he was united in marriage with Dorothea Maria Wetzel in 1855. She died in 1876. Seven children blessed their union, three of whom survive. Two children died in infancy. John died in 1878 and Theodore in 1879. His surviving children all reside in this city. Mrs. Christ Bartels and Misses Bertha and Minnie Speier. The two latter lived at home with their father and ministered in the highest degree with devoted care and assiduity to their father, attentive to his every want and soothing his declining years with a touching dutifulness and tender affection. The family came to LeMars in 1882 and made this place their home.

Mr. Speer was a member of Steuben Lodge No. 321 I.O.O.F. and also of the encampment lodge of Galena and always retained his membership with these lodges. Mr. Speier was a large hearted and generous man. It is told of him that he suffered severe monetary losses in several instances by going surety for his friends and several thousand dollars of his hard earned money went in this way. He was a good citizen, a kind father and a staunch friend who never turned his back on anyone in adversity. He was a member of the German Lutheran Church at Galena and was active in the establishment of a church of that denomination there and the prime mover in founding a Sunday school in connection with the church away back in the early seventies.

In accordance with his expressed wishes his remains were shipped to Galena for internment to rest beside those of his wife and children. Last evening a short service was held at the home by Rev. A. Martid of St. John's Evangelical church and the Odd Fellows attended in a body and accompanied the funeral cortege to the depot.


Submitted by Janice Cox - [email protected]