In June, 1856, Andrew J. Speer fitted up two loaded wagons, one of which was drawn by horses, the other by a yoke of big black oxen. He was intent on leaving the little inland town of Old Leesville, Ind. where he had been born, and where he grew to manhood, the son of John A. and Polly Flynn Speer, local storekeeper and pioneer.
Being a wainwright by trade, he worked at fitting up the wagons himself. Every detail of the transportation was provided for. His wife, Susan Moore Speer, daughter of Hugh Moore, an Irish-American soldier of fortune of Brownstown, she who had been the school teacher was busy at the same time preparing the family, consisting of John, Roy, Theresa, Eli and baby Nathan who had been born March 29th, for the trip. At intervals she might have paused for a wistful glance in the direction of Pin Oak Cemetery where, at the 11th post to your right as you entered the gate, was a little mound where she had buried little Laura, whom she had named for her sister, Laura Moore. (I knew an aged Rev. Mr. Ogle in Indianapolis who knew Susan' and Laura Moore when they were girls at Brownstown.)
As a boy in Leesville, Andrew Speer had played about the old log house of Granny White in the north edge of town and heard the story of how his namesake, Andrew Speer, had bossed the "log rolling" for it in 1811. That night this Andrew Speer had married a girl of the Flynn family. Andrew's mother had also, as we have seen, been a Flynn. Andrew had a cousin who was a big strapping fellow whom everybody called "Big Jack," while they called our Andrew "Little Jack" to differentiate them since they were borh Andrew Jackson Speer.