Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

Maj. Daniel Norwood Speer

Maj. Daniel Norwood Speer

Male 1836 - 1893  (56 years)

Personal Information    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Daniel Norwood Speer 
    Major Daniel Norwood Speer (1836-1893)
    Major Daniel Norwood Speer (1836-1893)
    Georgia's General Assembly of 1880-1: Biographical Sketches of Senators
    Title Maj. 
    Born 6 Jun 1836  Hogansville, Troup, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Military 25 Oct 1861  Skidaway Island, Chatham, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Commissioned Captain, 4th Infantry Battalion, Georgia CSA (later designated 60th Ga. Reg.). Brigade quartermaster. 
    Veterans: Confederate
    Veterans: Confederate

    We are a band of brothers, and native to the soil,
    Fighting for our Liberty with treasure, blood and toil;
    And when our rights were threaten'd, the cry rose near and far,
    Hurrah for the Bonnie Blue Flag, that bears a Single Star!


    The Bonnie Blue Flag
    Harry Macarthy
    Military 30 Apr 1863 
    Major, 4th Infantry Battalion, Georgia. Staff of Gen. John B. Gordan. 
    Political 1881 
    Georgia State Treasurer 
    Public Service
    Public Service
    Died 18 Apr 1893  Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Major Daniel Norwood Speer (1836-1893)
    Major Daniel Norwood Speer (1836-1893)
    Death and Funeral Announcement
    The Atlanta Journal
    19 Apr 1893
    Buried Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Major Daniel Norwood Speer (1836-1893)
    Major Daniel Norwood Speer (1836-1893)
    Funeral
    Atlanta Constitution
    20 Apr 1893
    Findagrave memorial for Maj Daniel Norwood Speer
    Findagrave memorial for Maj Daniel Norwood Speer
    Created by: Evening Blues
    Record added: Oct 11, 2003
    Photographed
    Find A Grave Memorial# 7976023
    Speer, Daniel Norwood
    Speer, Daniel Norwood
    Speer, Daniel and Aurelia
    Speer, Daniel and Aurelia
    Notes 
    • MAJOR D. N. SPEER. One of Georgia's most distinguished citizens, Major Daniel Norwood Speer, for two successive terms filled with conspicuous ability the office of State Treasurer, and except for his voluntary relinquishment of the trust which his fellow citizens were only too glad to confer upon him in recognition of his excellent equipment, he might have held the office until the close of his life. Major Speer was born in Troup county, Ga., on June 6th, 1836. His father, Dr. William A. Speer, was an eminent physician who believed in giving his children the best education which his means could afford, and who illustrated in his own example the fruits of intellectual culture and of high moral character. Graduating from Oglethorpe University, Major Speer was united in marriage on July 5th, 1860, to Miss Aurelia R. Moreland, the eldest daughter of the late Dr. John F. Moreland, of LaGrange, Ga., who remained at his side throughout his useful career and was the inspiration of much of his success. At the outbreak of the war Maj. Speer entered the Confederate army as a captain of infantry, but subsequently rose to the rank of major, serving in the army of Northern Virginia on the staff of Gen. John B. Gordon in 1862 and 1863, and afterwards in 1864 and 1865 on the staff of Gen. S. B. Buckner, who at the close of the war was in command of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi. Throughout the struggle Maj. Speer acquitted himself with distinguished gallantry and enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his superior officers, who were not alone in recognizing his fidelity and courage. Locating in LaGrange, Ga., at the close of the war, Maj. Speer engaged in the practice of law and soon achieved an eminence in his profession which gave him a monopoly of most of the important litigation of his section of the state and placed him in the front rank of Georgia lawyers. From 1865 to 1880 Maj. Speer remained continuously at the practice of the law, giving it up reluctantly in the year last named to become the candidate of his fellow citizens of Troup county for the office of State Treasurer. Maj. Speer was deeply touched by this token of regard on the part of his friends and neighbors, and as long as he lived he cherished the resolutions which were adopted by the mass meeting assembled at La Grange, commending him to the voters of the state. The resolutions were couched in the following language: "Major D. N. Speer was born in this county, his life has been spent among us, his character is without spot or blemish, his superior judgment, his integrity and his financial ability are all of the very highest order; and we, his fellow citizens, who have known him from his childhood, do thus publicly commend him to the people of Georgia as one peculiarly fitted for the office of State treasurer." The Democratic State Convention which met in August of this year nominated Maj. Speer by acclamation, and notwithstanding the fact that the incumbent of the office announced himself as an independent candidate for re-election Maj. Speer was elected by the extraordinary majority of 93,104 votes over his opponent. The best testimonial to Maj. Speer's splendid discharge of the onerous duties of State Treasurer is the unqualified praise officially rendered him by the legislative bodies of the State, during his incumbency, after thorough inspection of his books through impartial and vigilant committees. In commending Maj. Speer the legislature of 1881 used this strong language: "Hon. D. N. Speer, treasurer of the state, deserves the gratitude of the people of Georgia for his conduct in withdrawing the State's funds from the Citizens' Bank as well as for his efficiency and the good management of his office. When he entered the office he found $332,432.75 of the State's funds deposited in the Citizens' Bank. He at once began withdrawing this money to meet all the wants of the State so that at the time of the suspension of said bank there was on deposit only $103,218.46, thus, as the committee think, saving the State a large sum of money" ($229,214.29). The State Democratic convention which met in Atlanta on July 20th, 1882, renominated Mr. Speer by acclamation in recognition of his faithful services, and he was re-elected in the fall of the year by an immense vote. When the legislature of 1883 investigated the management of the State treasury it declared that the books of Major Speer were models of neatness and accuracy, and cordially endorsed the business methods which prevailed in the office. At the conclusion of his second term Maj. Speer voluntarily retired from the public service to accept the presidency of the Exposition Cotton Mills. Having become strongly attached to this city during his incumbency of the State Treasury he continued to make Atlanta his home until the time of his death. The Democratic State Convention which met on August 13th. 1884, acted upon the refusal of Maj. Speer to make the race again and passed the following resolution, which was adopted under a suspension of the rules of the body: "Resolved, That in the retirement of Hon. D. N. Speer from office the State loses an able and vigilant State Treasurer who well deserves the confidnce of the people of Georgia." During Maj. Speer's two terms as State Treasurer he handled the vast amount of $6,418,961 of the public money without the loss of one dollar to the Treasury. Within this period the public debt was diminished to the extent of $1,246,865. Prior to entering the public service Maj. Speer had expected to devote himself exclusively to the practice of the law, but on retiring from office he gave his entire time to business pursuits, exemplifying as president of the Exposition Cotton Mills and in other important capacities the same thorough-going qualifications which had characterized him as State Treasurer, and which enabled him as the result of skillful financial management to accumulate an immense property. Nearly every newspaper in the State contained editorial expressions of regret over the retirement of Maj. Speer from office, feeling that the State had lost an efficient public servant whom it could ill afford to spare. The Milledgeville Union and Recorder spoke of his withdrawal from the public service as an exceptional instance of "how a man can take up and lay down office with honor." The Cartersville Free Press said: "Mr. Speer's record was so clean and clear, even of the remotest suspicion, that it was only necessary to have hinted that he desired re-election in order to have secured it without opposition." No public officer ever retired from public life with such gratifying assurances of the good will and appreciation of the people of the State. The Exposition Cotton Mills, of which Maj. Speer became president, was organized shortly after the close of the International Cotton Exposition which was held in Atlanta in 1881, and the buildings in which the exhibit had been housed were fitted up for factory purposes. The promoters of the enterprise, including some of Atlanta's leading capitalists and business men, were as follows: H. T. Inman, S. M. Inman, R. H. Richards, R. M. Clarke, Richard Peters, W. R. Hill, R. D. Spalding, D. N. Speer, W. B. Cox, James Swann, William W. Austell, John H. Inman, John R. Gramling and others, who purchased the grounds and building, equipped the plant with the latest machinery and started the Exposition Cotton Mills, which has since developed into one of the largest establishments in the South. Maj. Speer presided over the affairs of the Exposition Cotton Mills for ten consecutive years, his election each year being always unanimous and accompanied with gratifying expressions of approval. Straightforward business methods characterized Maj. Speer in all of his dealings with men, and some additional idea of his skill in handling delicate financial matters as well as his wonderful ease in adapting himself to the various phases of business life may be obtained from the following inventory of important positions which he held from time to time, viz.: Vice-president and director of the La Grange Banking and Trust Co., vice-president and director of the Atlanta Banking Co., president and director of the Exposition Cotton Mills, director of the First National Bank of Newnan, director of the Newnan National Bank, director of the Carrollton Bank, director of the Atlanta National Bank, director of the Bank of Monroe, director of the Atlanta and West Point railroad, director of the Georgia Railroad and Banking Co., director of the Georgia Railroad Bank, director of the Union Compress and Warehousing Company, director of the Georgia School of Technology, besides owning stock in various other banks and corporations of the State of Georgia. Maj. Speer's beautiful Peachtree home reflected the culture and refinement which always marked his mental tastes, and nothing gave him more sincere pleasure than to dispense open-handed hospitality to his guests. Genial in his manners at all times and considerate of the poor and humble, as well as of the rich and powerful, he endeared himself to every one with whom he came in contact, and his death, which occurred at his home in Atlanta on April 18th, 1893, was deplored with universal regret. Maj. Speer was survived by his wife and three children, William A. Speer, member of the firm of John Silvey & Co.; John Moreland Speer, and Robert Spalding Speer, and also by two brothers and one sister. William J. Speer, ex-State Treasurer; George A. Speer, president of the Capital City National Bank, and Mrs. Lewis H. Beck. On the heights of Westview Cemetery the ashes of this lamented Georgian rest under an imposing shaft of granite.
      [2]
    • HON. D. N. SPEER.
      (TROUP COUNTY.)

      Major D. N. SPEER is a native of Troup county, Georgia, of Scotch-Irish stock, he descended from one of the best and so most prominent families in South Carolina. Was educated at Oglethorpe University, graduating in 1858.

      In 1860 he married Miss Amelia R. Moreland, the accomplished daughter of the late Dr. John F. Moreland. He entered the Confederate army as Captain, in 1861. Served in 1862 and 1863 in the Army of Northern Virginia as Major, on the staff of General John B. Gordon. Served in 1864 and 1865 as Lieutenant-Colonel on the staff of Lieutenant-General S. B. Buckner in the Trans-Mississippi Department.

      From 1865 to 1880 Major Speer practiced law with great success, as a member of the law firm Speer & Speer, and the records of Troup Superior Court will show that said firm did the largest practice ever -done in that county, for the same time.

      In July, 1880, a mass meeting of the citizens of Troup county presented Major Speer's name to the people of Georgia as a candidate for the office of State Treasurer, saying: "Major D. N. Speer was born in this county, his life has been spent among us, his character is without spot or blemish, his superior judgment, his integrity and financial ability are all of the very highest order, and we, his fellow-citizens, who have known him from his childhood do thus publicly commend him to the people of Georgia as one peculiarly fitted for the office of State Treasurer."

      The State Democratic Convention in August, 1880, nominated Major Speer by acclamation, and though opposed by Hon. John W. Renfroe, who then held the office, Mr. Speer was elected Treasurer of the State of Georgia by the extraordinary majority of 93,104, bringing with him to the discharge of his duties the entire confidence of the people of Georgia, who felt that the public revenue was in safe hands. The Joint Finance Committee of the last Legislature examined into the condition of the State treasury, and their report said:

      "Hon. D. N. Speer, Treasurer of the State, deserves the gratitude of the people of Georgia for his conduct in withdrawing the State's funds from the Citizens' Bank, as well as for his efficiency and the good management of his office. When he entered the office he found $332,432.75 of the State's funds deposited in the Citizens Bank. He at once began withdrawing this money, to meet all the wants of the State, so that at the time of the suspension of said Bank there was on deposit only $103,218.46, thus, as the Committee think, saving to the State a large sum of money ($229,214.29)."

      The people of Troup county, in mass meeting, have again presented Major Speer to the people of Georgia as a candidate for State Treasurer. The State Democratic Convention which met in Atlanta on July 20th, 1882, renominated Major Speer by acclamation for the office of Treasurer of the State of Georgia.

      For years Major Speer has been a Director in the Atlanta and West Point Railroad Company, Vice-President and Director of the LaGrange Bank.

      He was born June 6th, 1836, is a handsome man, of striking personal appearance, of graceful manners, over six feet in height, of strong will and great energy. He rarely fails in his undertakings, and commands the respect and confidence of all who know him.

      Major Speer is one of the most successful men ever reared in Troup county, having made, report says, nearly $50,000 in the last eighteen months, from the increased value of his investments in the stocks of the Central Railroad, Georgia Railroad, and Atlanta and West Point Railroad Companies. Having amassed a fortune perhaps as large as that possessed by any man of his age in Georgia, Major Speer's success in life illustrates what can be accomplished by honesty, energy and superior judgment.

      The following extracts will serve to show his character and standing in the State:

      "A HEALTHY SHOWING:THE TREASURER'S REPORT-A CLEAR DOCUMENT.

      "Georgians can with pardonable pride and real interest read the State Treasurer's last annual report. Treasurer Speer has in a straight-forward business-like way managed the affairs of his office, we believe, satisfactorily to the whole people. Such conduct always receives its own reward. We are glad to know that secure and roomy burglarproof safes have been added to the vaults of the State by the present Treasurer, and the office has a business air to it. When an inquirer wants facts as to the people's money, he can now get them-for the books are open to all. Daily Times, Columbus.

      "Georgia has never had a more faithful and efficient Treasurer than Hon. D. N. Speer, the present incumbent. He is an organized Democrat-thoroughly competent for the office he has so ably filled for the past two years, and we are decidedly in favor of his renomination for State Treasurer by the Democratic Convention when it assembles in July. North Georgia Citizen.

      HON. D. N. SPEER,

      "The Georgia press is unanimously of the opinion that this able officer will be renominated for Treasurer by acclamation. By his able management of the State's finances, combined with his uniform courtesy, he has won the esteem of the whole people, and to-day Dan. Speer is the most popular official connected with the State government. His friends in Troup know his capacity, and are proud of the position he has acquired. La Grange Reporter.

      TREASURER. D. N. SPEER.

      "In justice to Mr. Speer we will say that Georgia never had a better or more faithful officer. He can at any hour show a clear balance sheet, and his integrity and superior financial ability are known and recognized from one end of the South to the other. We have just examined his last report and find a most promising exhibit of our State affairs-for the fiscal year ending October 6th, 1881, we find a balance din the Treasury of $794,547.51. The liability of the State $9,726,660.00. Banner-Watchman.
      [3]
    Person ID I12195  Dickinson
    Last Modified 8 Jul 2017 

    Father William Alexander Speer, M.D.,   b. 10 Nov 1810, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 24 Dec 1862, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 52 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Martha Jane Norwood,   b. 19 Sep 1816, Abbeville County, South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Aug 1888, Tate Springs, Grainger, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years) 
    Relationship Birth 
    Married 3 Dec 1832  South Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F3448  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Aurelia Roberta Moreland,   b. 25 Apr 1842, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Feb 1905, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 62 years) 
    Married 6 Jul 1860  [1
    Children 
    +1. William Alexander Speer,   b. 3 Nov 1865, LaGrange, Troup, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 11 Aug 1940, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 74 years)  [Birth]
     2. John Moreland Speer,   b. 1 Oct 1873, LaGrange, Troup, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jan 1923, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)  [Birth]
    +3. Robert Spalding Speer,   b. 9 Sep 1877, LaGrange, Troup, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Apr 1942, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 64 years)  [Birth]
    Last Modified 8 Jul 2017 
    Family ID F3447  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 6 Jun 1836 - Hogansville, Troup, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Commissioned Captain, 4th Infantry Battalion, Georgia CSA (later designated 60th Ga. Reg.). Brigade quartermaster. - 25 Oct 1861 - Skidaway Island, Chatham, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 18 Apr 1893 - Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Westview Cemetery, Atlanta, Fulton, Georgia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Sources 
    1. [S336383] Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 (Louisville, Kentucky: National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution) [micofilm, 508 rolls]; imaged as U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 [database on-line], (Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.), Application of Robert Spalding Speer, #51516, 24 Oct 1936.

    2. [S30] Atlanta and Its Builders: A Comprehensive History of the Gate City of the South, Thomas H. Martin, (Century Memorial Publishing Company, 1902), vol. 2, 703-704.

    3. [S408] Georgia's General Assembly of 1880-1: Biographical Sketches of Senators, Representatives, the Governor, and Heads of Departments ; Illustrated with Portraits, (Atlanta: J.P. Harrison, 1882), "Hon. D. N. Speer," 11-14, and at Google Books, http://bit.ly/2sStcAw.