Biography of A. A. Speer
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A. A. Speer, president of the First National Bank of Jefferson City, has been at the head of this strong financial Institution since July, 1916, giving his attention to administrative direction with the result that the resources and business of the bank have doubled within five years. He has also figured quite prominently in connection with public interests that have not a little to do with shaping the welfare and progress of the state and is today one of the well known and honored residents of Missouri. His birth occurred in Carroll county, Indiana, in October, 1858, his parents being William Wesley and Nancy (Douglas) Speer, who were natives of Ohio and of Kentucky, respectively.
A. A. Speer engaged in the contracting business and at the age of twenty-one years did railroad construction work in connection with the Missouri Pacific Railroad and at this time lived in Greenwood. Later he removed to Chamois, Osage county, Missouri, where he continued in the same line of business, remaining there as a contractor far about two years and subsequently engaging in the mercantile and banking business. Eventually he became interested fn politics and in 1900 was elected to the state legislature from Osage county, representing that county in the general assembly for five terms, while in 1909 be was chosen speaker of the house of representatives. His legislative record is a notable one of capability and loyalty to duty, much advantageous legislation being promoted through his efforts, for his endorsement of a measure drew to it a large following because his fellow members of the house recognized his sound judgment and his loyalty to the public good.
Following his retirement from the legislature Mr. Speer was appointed a member of the Missouri state capitol commission board and was made vice-chairman thereof. This board had charge of all matters in connection with the planning and construction of the new capitol building, which is the finest building of the kind in the United Stator. Moreover, it was built within the appropriation that was made for it-three million, five r hundred thousand dollars. Today such a building would cost the state at least seven million, five hundred thousand dollars. Great credit is due Mr. Speer in this connection. for he was the active man on the ground during a considerable part of its construction This is a model capitol building and in the entire United States there is nothing to compare with it from the standpoint of architecture and engineering. The decoration are also in keeping with the exterior, being the work of such artists as Schladermundt of New York, and Richard Miller of Carpenter, Wyeth and Berningbaus. As vice chair man of the commission Mr. Speer certainly deserves great credit for giving to the state a capitol of which not only Missouri but the entire country has every reason to be proud. In July, 1916, Mr. Speer entered the field of banking at Jefferson City, being elected president of The First National Bank, in which position he has continued.
In 1886 Mr. Speer was married at Chamois, Osage county, Missouri, to Miss Narcissa Mahon. Her father was very active in all public affairs and served for twelve years a county coroner. Mr. and Mrs. Speer have one son, Boyd Allen, a graduate of the State University, who took an academic course, winning the Bachelor of Arts degree, and afterward the legal course, gaining him the LL. B. degree. He then entered the service in the World war and was in the Naval Reserve Flying Corps, being stationed at San Diego, California, taking instruction when the armistice was signed, so that he did not get overseas. During the war Mr. Speer was at the head of many drives. He was manager of the eleventh district, composed of Cole, Osage, Miller and Moniteau counties, in all of the Liberty and Victory Loan compaigns and his district each time went over the top. exceeding its quota. Mr. Speer has been for many years president of the Missouri Association for the Relief and Control of Tuberculosis. He is a Mason, Knight Templar and a member of the Mystic Shrine, also a member of the order of the Knights of Pythias of the Jefferson City Country Club and of the Jefferson City Rotary Club. Although he is not now in public office, his opinions are frequently quoted as authority in the general assembly or before public commissions. He is a republican.