John Grove Speer is our great-great-grandfather, maternal. He was born on February 12, 1809 in Morgantown, N.C. His father was John Speer II and his mother was Mary Barbary Grove Speer.
John Grove lived over 100 years and was said to have had a speaking acquaintance with Abraham Lincoln. A doctor, he practiced medicine in Kentucky, Illinois, and California. He traveled west in a mule-drawn wagon during the gold-rush days of 1850. He mined for gold as well as working as a doctor and a postmaster in California. He returned to his family by coal-fired steam-sail vessel to Panama, rail across Panama, and mail steamer to New York. He wrote the book "The Speer Family" when he was 91 years old.