Louisville's First Families -A SERIES OF GENEALOGICAL SKETCHES
Author - KATHLEEN JENNINGS
Published by THE STANDARD PRINTING CO.- Louisville, KY 1920
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The Speed Family. Chapter VII.
THE recurrence of the given names of James and John in the Speed family, generation to generation, is a striking point in the study of the Speed genealogy. It was a John Speed, son of James Speed, who founded the Louisville family just at the beginning of the Nineteenth century, and who built in 1810 the historic home of the Speeds -"Farmington"- five miles from the courthouse, out on the Bardstown road.
Capt. James Speed, son of John Speed and Mary Taylor, was born in Mecklenburg county, Va., married Mary Spencer, of Charlotte county, served in the Revolution, and in 1782 came to Kentucky. In that year his son, John Speed, afterward Judge Speed, of Louisville, was ten years old. Capt. Speed, with his wife and six children, crossed the Wilderness road and settled near Danville. One son, Thomas Speed, moved to Bardstown, but was in business at Shepherdsville with his brother, John Speed, who, inheriting farm land from his father's handsome estate in 1800, established himself in Jefferson county. John Speed served in the United States forces in 1791 against the Indians.
"Farmington" in Judge John Speed's life was the scene of lavish hospitality extended not only
to kinsmen and friends, but even to an army, for, it is said, that the volunteers for the War of 1812, passing "Farmington," were entertained in entire companies and even larger bodies of men.
Judge Speed was twice married, his first wife being Abby LeMaster, whose two daughters were never married; his second wife was Lucy Gilmer Fry, one of the daughters of Joshua Fry and Peachy Walker, a descendant of Dr. Thomas Walker, the earliest explorer in Kentucky, and a sister of Mary Ann Fry, who married William Christian Bullitt.
Lucy Gilmer Fry came to Kentucky with her parents, who settled in Mercer county, and it was an odd coincidence of her marriage that like her husband she was just ten years old when her family immigrated to the new country. Her middle name, Gilmer, has proven a favorite with the Speeds, and it occurs in several branches of the family today. To John and Lucy Speed eleven children were born, and at a gathering of their offspring in 1881, at a Fourth of July picnic, 107 members of the Speed family in Louisville attended.
It was to "Farmington" that Abraham Lincoln came before the Civil War to visit his friend, Joshua F. Speed, the fifth son of Judge Speed. The friendship, which was one of Lincoln's
strongest attachments, was the result of a meeting in Springfield, Ill., where Joshua Speed spent seven years in his early manhood. He became one of Louisville's foremost business men, and his wife, Fanny Henning, of fine Virginia stock, shared her husband's popularity. She was the sister of James W. Henning, with whom her husband was in partnership in the real estate business. She had no children.
The old home of Joshua F. Speed was "Cold Spring," on the road from the city to "Farmington." Remodeled and with numerous additions the old house is incorporated in the present home of Mrs. Samuel C. Henning, near Cherokee Park. Mrs. Henning is not a Speed, but her brother, Calvin Morgan Duke, who lives in Ohio, married Jennie Speed, daughter of George Keats Speed and Jennie Ewing, and granddaughter of Major Philip Speed. The late Samuel C. Henning was a nephew of Fanny Henning Speed.
Seven children of Judge John Speed's family of eleven children have descendants here: James Peachy, William Pope, Susan Fry, Philip J. Smith and Martha B. Speed. James Speed, born in 1812, was Attorney General in Lincoln's cabinet, was a widely known lawyer, partner of Chancellor Henry Pirtle, and was mustering officer for the United States army in the Civil War. All the Speeds were loyal Unionists.
James Speed married Jane Cochran, daughter of John Cochran, and had a hospitable home at Sixth and Walnut. They had a country home on the site of "Campo Bello," the home of John M. Atherton, near Cherokee Park.
James Speed served in the Kentucky Legislature and was a member of the faculty of the law department of the University of Louisville. James and Jane Speed had six sons, three of whom live in Louisville: John Speed, who married Aurore Combs, father of James Speed, who married Jane Barker; and Charles Speed, who married Eliza Homire, and has two daughters here, Bessie and Helen Speed; and of James Speed, who married Hattie Morton, father of Hallie, Mrs. Karl Harris, and of Nellie, Mrs. Edward Ream. In this branch of the family, as in many of the others, there are children and grandchildren living, but not in the city of Louisville, to which these sketches are confined.
James Speed, whose wife is Jane Barker, and who is frequently called the "bird man," compiled the material for the book, "James Speed, a Personality," privately printed by Hattie Bishop Speed after the death of her husband, James Breckinridge Speed, who had collected a great deal of material, and a number of papers and letters with the idea of publishing a life of his uncle, James Speed.
Peachy Speed named for her ancestress, Peachy Walker, married Austin Peay, and her daughter, Eliza Peay, married Col. John H. Ward. Ossian Ward, who married Mabel Prettyman, and John Hardin Ward, who married Letty Lee Peter, are her only grandchildren in Louisville. Visiting here at present is another granddaughter, Frances Hartwell, of Cambridge, Mass., daughter of Alice Peay and Dr. Samuel Hartwell.
William Pope Speed, named for Col. William Pope, the pioneer, married three times, and by his second wife, Mary Ellen Shallcross, had one son, James Breckinridge Speed, the successful banker and capitalist, who married Cora Coffin, of Cincinnati, having two children, Olive Speed, who married Frederic M. Sackett, and William Shallcross Speed, who married Virginia Perrin. J. B. Speed married a second time, his widow being Hattie Bishop Speed.
Susan Fry Speed married Benjamin O. Davis, of Boston, who located in Louisville and was partner of William H. Pope in the Pope-Davis Company. Their daughter, Lucy Gilmer Davis, married J. Edward Hardy, and is the mother of Charlotte Hardy, Mrs. Charles Pettet Robinson, of Lucy Hardy, Mrs. T. C. Hobbs, of William B. Hardy, who married Julia Robinson; of the Rev. Frank Hardy and of Kate W. Hardy, who married Gen. J. M. Califf. Kate Davis married
Dexter Hewett and was the mother of Leonard Hewett, who married Margaret Fink, and of Henry Hewett, who married Bertha Cooper.
Jane Lewis Davis married Dr. Douglas Morton and is the mother of Edward Davis Morton, who married Austine Barton (their children are Henrietta Barton Morton and Susanne Speed Morton, the latter, aged five weeks, being the youngest member of the Speed family); of Dr. David Cummins Morton, who married Mary Ballard, their children, Thruston, Jane and Rogers Morton, are descended from the Clarks, Churchills and Popes, as well as the Speed,s and of Lewis D. Morton, who married Mary Marple.
Major Philip Speed, born in 1819, served in the Federal army as paymaster.
His wife was Emma Keats, a niece of John Keats, the poet. Their home was on Walnut street, near Eighth street, and they entertained extensively. They lived afterwards on First street, rearing a large family. Their daughter, Mary Speed, married Enos Tuley, the mother of Philip Speed Tuley, who married Lida Swope; of Dr. Henry Enos Tuley, who married Ethel Brown Engelbach; of Thomas Speed Tuley, who married Betty Watkins.
Ella Keats Speed married Thomas Crutcher, and was the mother of Emma Keats Crutcher, who married James Gardner; of Thomas B. Crutcher,
who married Pearl Robb; of Mary Crutcher, who married Will Parker; of Philip Speed Crutcher, who married Anna Hall, Alice Speed married Harry P. McDonald, and has a daughter, Fanny S. McDonald.
Thomas A. Speed married Amelia Harrison (now Mrs. Edgar J. Levey), and was the father of Meta duPont Speed, Mrs. Guy Warren, and Mary Tuley Speed, Mrs. Sam Young Bingham.
J. Smith Speed married Elizabeth Williamson, and there were no children of this marriage; later he married Susan Philips, and their oldest child, named Elizabeth Williamson Speed, married Richard Jouett Menefee, and was the mother of Margaret, Mrs. James Ross Todd, of Richard H. Menefee, who married Edith Norton, and of three other sons who do not make Louisville their home.
Joshua Speed, who married Carrie Nicholson, is the only one of J. Smith Speed's four sons located here. His children are: Evarts Speed, who married Mildred Vaughan; Susan Philips Speed and Abby Nones Speed.
Martha B. Speed, the tenth child of John and Lucy Speed, married Thomas Adams, and was the mother of Gilmer Speed Adams, who married Lettie Robinson.
Major Thomas Speed, Revolutionary soldier, the elder brother of Judge John Speed, whose
home was "Cottage Grove," at Bardstown, has several descendants in the city. By his second marriage to a widow, Mary McElroy Allen, he had a son, Thomas Spencer Speed. Thomas Spencer Speed married, first, Sarah Whitney Sparhaw, and their son was Thomas Speed, one of Louisville's finest citizens. He was a leading lawyer and for years clerk of the Federal Court. His wife was Lucy Buckner Speed, and for years their home was on Fourth street opposite Central Park. Mary Whitney Speed, a daughter, lives here. In her possession is the Speed Bible, in which eight generations have been entered. Thomas Speed's "Records and Memorials of the Speed Family" is a prized possession in the American homes of the Speeds.
By a second marriage to Margaret Hawkins, Thomas Spencer Speed had three children, Austin P. Speed, whose widow, Georgia McCampbell Speed, lives in the city; Canby Speed, who married Emma Fullinwider, the father of Mary Louise, Margaret and Emily Speed, and Capt. William Speed, whose wife was Helen Harthill; and of Louise Speed, who makes her home with her three nieces.
The Speeds trace their lineage from John Speed, the historian and geographer of the Elizabethan age.