Lawyers and Lawmakers of Kentucky, by H. Levin, editor, 1897. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago. Reprinted by Southern Historical Press. p. 284. Spencer County.
JOHN SPEED, of Louisville, the eldest son of Hon. James Speed, is a lawyer of fine attainments. Born in 1842, educated at the high school in Louisville, he spent his early youth in a bank. The war coming on, he entered the service, and was appointed captain and assistant-adjutant
general, and served on the staffs of Generals Gilbert, Ward, Butterfield, Slocum and others, serving through the war. He was in numerous engagements and went with Sherman's army to the sea. Toward the close of the war he
was made paymaster, with the rank of major. He was a fine soldier, remarkably intelligent and capable and had the personal confidence of the commanding Generals Buell, Rosecrans, Sherman and Thomas. After the war he engaged in business for a time in Louisville, then turned his attention to law. He became a partner of his father, and of
Thomas Speed. His uncommonly clear, strong mind soon brought him to the front among the practitioners of the bar, and he became recognized as one of the most useful and successful lawyers of Louisville. His training in banking and as a business man, added to a decided natural talent for
accounting, enabled him to manage difficult and complicated corporation cases with an ability not only unsurpassed, but unequaled by his associates at the bar. For some time he practiced as a partner in the firm of Pirtle, Speed & Trabue. Within the past few years he has retired from practice, and lives on his country place in Spencer county, Kentucky, being a prominent figure in that community, honored and esteemed by all. He never engaged in politics in any way, but in sentiment he is a Republican. He married Miss Aurore Comb while in the army service. He has two
grown sons,--James and Shippen, who, with their families, live near their father and mother.