JOHN A. SPEAR.-The life's labors of John A. Spear were ended on the 17th of August, 1899, when death took from Sullivan county one of its truest and best citizens. He was born in Coshocton county, Ohio, April 9, 1835, and starting in life for himself at about the age of eighteen he continued to work for his father for one year, and after his marriage his father deeded him forty acres of land in Owen county, in the Spear settlement. During the period of the Civil war he served as a private in Company A, Fifty-ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry for three and a half years, and he was in service for six months before being mustered in. During the most of the time of his army service he was a teamster on an ammunition wagon. Previous to entering the army Mr. Spear had sold the land which his father had given him and on which he had farmed for six years; and after returning from the war he bought a tract of eighty acres near Hymera, and there he lived and labored until his busy and useful life was ended.

Mr. Spear was a son of David Spear, who was a native of Virginia, as was also his wife, Jane Vance, and very early in its history he moved to Ohio and enrolled his name among its pioneers. He continued to farm in that state until his removal to Owen county, Indiana, in about 1850, where he bought a farm and resided until his death in about 1890. His wife survived him for eight years, dying in 1898. He was a Republican politically, but never desired the honors of office.

On the 14th of September, 1856, Mr. Spear married Lydia A. Criss, who was born in Columbiana county, Ohio, near New Lisbon, November 6, 1835, a daughter of Isaac D. and Susana (France) Criss, both of whom were also born in Ohio, the mother in Old Philadelphia and the father in Carl county. He was a farmer, and coming to Owen county, Indiana, near Spencer, about 1843, he entered a homestead there and continued his residence thereon until his death in 1878. The mother survived until 1890. They were members of the Baptist church, and were highly respected in the community in which they so long resided. Nine children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Spear, namely: James Isaac, who died at the age of eight years and four months; Sulesta, the wife of O. H. Gagan of Hymera; Louisa, who married Perry Bear and resides in Knox county, Indiana; David V., a miner and farmer in Hymera; Oliver M., a prospector and miner in Colorao; Anna, the widow of Terry Botts and who resides with her mother; Jennie F., the wife of I. N. Botts, of Hymera; William H., who died at the age of thirty-three years, in 1906; and Levi Hale, who died in infancy.

Mrs. Spear continued to reside on the homestead farm until about two years after the death of her husband, when at the request of her son she moved to the village of Hymera and now resides in one of its most spacious homes. She yet owns the old farm property. Since the age of fourteen years she has been an earnest and consistent member of the Christian church, and her husband was also affiliated with that denomination.