Biography - John Spire

JOHN SPIRE, painter, Anna, was born in Holland, Europe, October 9, 1835, to Leonard and Martha (Gerlhood) Spire, both natives of Holland. He was born in 1801, and in 1849, with his wife and family, he emigrated to America, locating in Buffalo, N. Y., where he died the same year with the cholera. They had eight children, of whom three are living — subject, the eldest; Charles, living in Buffalo; and Martha, wife of Van Blois, at Grand Rapids, Mich. Subject, was educated in the common schools until he was fourteen years of age, when he was compelled to assist in supporting the family, which he did, working by the day at such work as he could find to do. At sixteen, he apprenticed himself to the trade of painter in Buffalo, and after learning the trade he came West to Paducah, Ky., and during the summer of 1854 worked there at journeyman work. He then went to New Orleans, and the next spring went to Cincinnati, but soon after returned to Paducah, and in the fall of 1855 came to Anna, Ill., where he has since remained, working at his trade of painting; sometimes employs as many as eighteen men. In 1857, he married Miss Emily Knight, a native of Kentucky, but raised principally in Williamson County, and a daughter of Alfred Knight, a native of North Carolina. Subject has two children — George Leonard and Ella, wife of T. B. Rhoades, of Anna. Mrs. Spire is a member of the Reformed Church. Mr. Spire is a member of the Masonic fraternity and Odd Fellows. Politically, he is a Democrat. He has been Mayor for two terms (four years). School Director, and a member of the Town Board for three years. He enlisted, August 15, 1862, in Company H, One Hundred and Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry, under command of Col. Nimmo, and was at the siege of Vicksburg for forty-two days. He was mustered out of service as Fourth Sergeant in April, 1863. The regiment was consolidated with the One Hundred and Eleventh, and he was appointed to the same office, and afterward promoted to First Lieutenant in same company, which he held until mustered out July 14, 1865. While in the army, he was not wounded nor captured, and never off duty.

Extracted 02 Apr 2017 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, page 84.

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