Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Sarah Brooks Lindsey Speake (1818-1889) — Children of James and Sarah Lindsey Speake

Here is additional information on the children of James B. Speake and Sarah Brooks Lindsey:

Henry Clay Speake, photo belonging to Harold Layman Speake of Moulton

1. Henry Clay Speake was born 17 June 1834 near Oakville, Lawrence County, Alabama, and died 8 December 1900 at Cullman, Cullman County, Alabama. On 27 January 1860 in Madison County, Alabama, he married Caroline Olivia, daughter of Jonathan Mayhew and Elizabeth Neal. Both are buried at Maple Hill cemetery, Huntsville, Madison County, Alabama. 

We’ve caught glimpses of Henry in previous postings. As we’ve seen, Methodist minister A.G. (Anderson Guinn) Copeland, who knew Henry personally, states that “the gifted and popular Judge H. Clay Speake is a descendent [sic] of Mark Lindsey. Intellect and energy will tell.”[3]

In the posting I just linked in the preceding paragraph, we found James Edmond Saunders, who also knew Henry personally, providing information about Henry and his brother Daniel, as Saunders speaks of their father James B. Speake.[4] Saunders notes that their father’s choice to give those names to two sons suggests to us his political affiliation (i.e., the Whig party). 

In letters his mother Sarah wrote to her sister Margaret Lindsey Hunter in Coushatta, Louisiana, on 1 May 1877 and 31 May 1880 (these were previously discussed), we also have found Sarah speaking of her son Henry. The 1 May 1877 letter notes that Henry had moved to Huntsville and had three children living and three who had died. The letter notes that his youngest child had died as a baby last summer, and that the death had almost killed him, since the baby girl was his idol.[5] It was after this death, Sarah indicates, that Henry decided to move from Moulton, where the three children had died. The letter also notes that Henry was chancellor of the northern division court of Alabama, with a salary of $3,000, that he was graying, and would be 43 in June.

In her 31 May 1880 letter to Margaret, Sarah says that Henry was still living in Huntsville and was still chancellor, with his term to expire in the fall of that year. The letter also notes that he had been pressed to run for Congress, but was declining the choice, though he was thought to be the only Democrat who could win.

Another manuscript source that we’ve discussed in previous postings — a diary kept by Frances Jarvis Torrence when she was a schoolgirl at Moulton’s female acacemy in the 1850s — also mentions Henry Clay Speake.[6] Fannie states that on 26 January 1855, as her brother James lay dying of tuberculosis, Henry Clay Speake had come to visit him with Henry’s uncle Thomas Madison Lindsey and a Mr. Irwin and Wallace. Fannie’s brother died 12 days later. Thomas M. Lindsey had married Fannie’s sister Margaret on 26 December 1843 in Morgan County.

In one of his “Old Lawrence Reminiscent” columns, S.W. (Simeon/Simon Washington) Barbee, who grew up with Henry, going to school with him, offers the following interesting reminiscence of his old schoolmate, noting his brilliance and studiousness:[7] 

S.W. Barbee, “Old Lawrence Reminiscent,” Moulton Advertiser (15 September 1908), p. 1, col. 2-4

Other biographies of Henry Clay Speake are in Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical and Memorial Record of Alabama:[8]

Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical (Birmingham: Smith & DeLand,1888), pp. 259-260
Memorial Record of Alabama: A Concise Account of the State’s Political, Military, Professional and Industrial Progress, Together with the Personal Memoirs of Many of Its People, vol. 1 (Madison, Wisconsin: Brant & Fuller, 1893), pp. 471-3

A memorial tribute to and biography of Henry Clay Speake written by Daniel Coleman is in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting — Alabama State Bar Association in 1899:[9]

Daniel Coleman, “Henry C. Speake,” in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting — Alabama State Bar Association(Montgomery: Brown, 1899), pp. 190-3

Obituaries of Henry Clay Speake appeared in the Moulton Advertiser on 13th and 20th December 1900:[10]

“Judge Heney [sic] C. Speake dies from Stroke of Apoplexy,” Moulton Advertiser (13 December 1900), p. 3, col. 3
“Death of Judge Speake,” Moulton Advertiser (13 December 1900), p. 2, col. 2

A death notice in Louisville’s (Kentucky) Courier-Journal on 9 December 1900 also notes that he had died suddenly that night in a restaurant in Cullman, Alabama, where he had been holding court.[11]

“In a Restaurant: Circuit Judge Henry Clay Speake, of Alabama, Dies Suddenly of Heart Failure,” Courier Journal(Louisville, Kentucky) (9 December 1900), p. 5, col. 5

Of Henry Clay and Caroline Mayhew’s six (or possibly seven)[12] children, only two lived to adulthood — Kate Mayhew Speake and Paul Meredith Speake. Kate, who married James Edwin Penney, was a musician and writer who published a number of novels and short fiction.[13] Paul, of whom a picture is found in the last posting, followed in the footsteps of his father and his uncle Webster as a judge.[14]

2. John Marshall Speake was born 16 July 1836 near Oakville in Lawrence County, Alabama, and died 20 February 1857 at Somerville in Morgan County, Alabama. He is buried in Speake cemetery at Oakville. As we saw in a previous posting, this son of James and Sarah Lindsey Speake died of measles while he and brother Henry were studying at Professor Freeman’s academy at Somerville.[15]

3. Dennis Basil Speake was born in 1838 near Oakville in Lawrence County, Alabama, and died 2 March 1863 in a Union Army prison camp at Camp Douglas, Illinois, where he is buried. 

James Tucker Speake, photo belonging to Harold L. Speake — see infra, n. 2

4. James Tucker Speake was born 17 September 1842 near Oakville, Lawrence County, Alabama, and died 17 May 1901 near Oakville. In 1867 in Morgan County, Alabama, he married Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of James Madison Echols and Sarah Emily Simpson. As we saw previously, James was crippled by arthritis following his Civil War service as a Confederate soldier, and farmed with his family near Oakville until his death. He and his wife are buried in Speake cemetery at Oakville. A photograph of James is in the previous posting.

Charles Washington Speake, photo uploaded by Susan Sills to her Susan Speake Sills tree at Ancestry

5. Charles Washington Speake was born 4 November 1850 near Oakville, Lawrence County, Alabama, and died 6 April 1929 at Hartselle, Morgan County, Alabama. On 27 January 1876 in Lawrence County, he married Stephen Dixie, daughter of Stephen Berry West and Susan Childress Stover. As we saw in a previous posting, Charles and wife Dixie lived with James and Sarah Lindsey Speake to the end of the parents’ lives, providing care for them and farming with them. Charles and Dixie are buried in Hartselle cemetery in Hartselle, Alabama. The previous posting has a photo of Charles.

Daniel Webster Speake, photo uploaded to his Find a Grave Memorial page by M Mellen

6. Daniel Webster Speake was born 8 July 1856 near Oakville, Lawrence County, Alabama, and died 3 July 1915 at Decatur, Morgan County, Alabama. On 14 December 1881 at Tuscaloosa, Alabama, he married Sarah Caroline, daughter of Richard Calvin McCalla and Margaret Elizabeth Lewis.[16]

As with his brother Henry, Daniel Webster Speake’s mother Sarah shares news about this son in the 1 May 1877 letter she sent to her sister Margaret in Coushatta, Louisiana. Sarah notes that Webbie was going to the University in Tuscaloosa, and would graduate in July next year. Sarah describes her son as “a promising young man and has the name of being the best boy in the school.” She also says that Webster had been teaching to help pay for his education, and would be 21 in July. 

Also, as with Henry, there’s a biography of Daniel Webster Speake in Dictionary of Alabama Biography, of which a previous posting provided a digital copy,[17] as well as in James Edmond Saunders’s Early Settlers of Alabama, a copy of which is also in the posting I have just linked.[18]

Another biography of Daniel Webster Speake is found in the book Notable Men of Alabama:[19]

Joel Campbell DuBose, Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, vol. 2 (Atlanta: Southern Hist. Assoc., 1904), p. 194-5

Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical also has a biography of Daniel Webster Speake:[20]

Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical (Birmingham: Smith & DeLand,1888), pp. 95-6

A death notice for Daniel Webster Speake in the Nashville newspaper The Tennessean on 4 January 1915 states that he had died suddenly the evening before he was to have opened Athens Circuit Court, over which he presided:[21]

“Judge D.W. Speake of Alabama Dies,” The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) (4 January 1915), p. p. 3, col. 5

Daniel Webster Speake’s obituary in his hometown newspaper, The Decatur Daily, provides valuable biographical information about him:[22]

“Judge D.W. Speake Dies Suddenly at His Home Here,” The Decatur [Alabama] Daily (4 January 1915), p. 1, col. 1, p. 3, col. 3

[1] See Thomas McAdory Owen, Dictionary of Alabama Biography, vol. 4 (Chicago: S.J. Clarke, 1921), pp. 1604-5.

[2] These photos were published in an article entitled “Speake” by Deangelo McDaniel in Moulton Advertiser (4 April 1996), pp. 1-2.

[3] A.G. Copeland, “Reminiscences of Morgan County, No. 3,” Alabama Enquirer (17 October 1889), p. 3, col. 4.

[4] James Edmond Saunders, Early Settlers of Alabama (New Orleans, 1899), p. 123.

[5] The child of Henry and Caroline Speake to whom Sarah is referring is their daughter Carrie Belle, who was born 17 September 1874 at Moulton, and died there 27 January 1876. She is buried in Moulton’s old city cemetery.

[6] Frances Jarvis Torrence’s diary is transcribed in Mary Novella Gibson-Brittain, Marie Brittain-Craig, and Marjorie Craig Churchill, The History and Genealogy of Some Pioneer North Alabama Families (Flagstaff, Arizona: Northland, 1969).

[7] S.W. Barbee, “Old Lawrence Reminiscent,” Moulton Advertiser (15 September 1908), p. 1, col. 2-4.

[8] Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical (Birmingham: Smith & DeLand, 1888), pp. 259-260; Memorial Record of Alabama: A Concise Account of the State’s Political, Military, Professional and Industrial Progress, Together with the Personal Memoirs of Many of Its People, vol. 1 (Madison, Wisconsin: Brant & Fuller, 1893), pp. 471-3.

[9] Daniel Coleman, “Henry C. Speake,” in Proceedings of the Annual Meeting — Alabama State Bar Association (Montgomery: Brown, 1899), pp. 190-3.

[10] “Judge Heney [sic] C. Speake dies from Stroke of Apoplexy,” Moulton Advertiser (13 December 1900), p. 3, col. 3; “Death of Judge Speake,” Moulton Advertiser (13 December 1900), p. 2, col. 2.

[11] “In a Restaurant: Circuit Judge Henry Clay Speake, of Alabama, Dies Suddenly of Heart Failure,” Courier Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) (9 December 1900), p. 5, col. 5. Further biographical information about Henry Clay Speake is in John Knox, A History of Morgan County, Alabama(Decatur, Alabama: Decatur Printing Co., 1967), p. 126; Maxine Newton Gibson, “Notable Morgan County Men,” in The Heritage of Morgan County, Alabama (Clanton, Alabama: Heritage, 1998), p. 53; and Spencer A. Waters, Confederate Soldiers of Lawrence County, Alabama (Carrollton, Georgia: Blastoid, 1992), p. 131.

[12] In their article entitled “Speake Family” in Heritage of Lawrence County, Alabama (Clanton, Alabama: Heritage Publ. Co., 1998), p. 242, Harold Speake and Maxine Gibson state that a Mary Speake who died in 1899 and is buried in Speake cemetery at Oakville is likely a daughter of Henry and Caroline, but this has not been proven.

[13] See “Penney, Kate Mayhew Speake, 1864-1947,” at University of Alabama’s Alabama Authors website.

[14] See Dictionary of Alabama Biography, vol. 4, p. 1605.

[15] This story is told in S.W. Barbee, “Old Lawrence Reminiscent,” Moulton Advertiser (16 February 1909), p. 1, col. 3-6.

[16] On 14 December 1881, Tuscaloosa Times reported that Daniel Webster Speake, Esq., of Courtland, and Caro McCalla had married that morning at the residence of the bride’s parents in Tuscaloosa.

[17] See supra, n. 1. 

[18] See supra, n. 4.

[19] Joel Campbell DuBose, Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical, vol. 2 (Atlanta: Southern Hist. Assoc., 1904), p. 194-5.

[20] Northern Alabama Historical and Biographical (Birmingham: Smith & DeLand,1888), pp. 95-6.

[21] “Judge D.W. Speake of Alabama Dies,” The Tennessean (Nashville, Tennessee) (4 January 1915), p. p. 3, col. 5.

[22] “Judge D.W. Speake Dies Suddenly at His Home Here,” The Decatur [Alabama] Daily (4 January 1915), p. 1, col. 1, p. 3, col. 3. Further biographical information is in Knox, History of Morgan County, Alabama, p. 126; and in “Notable Morgan County Men,” p. 54, both cited supra n. 11.

One thought on “Children of Dennis Lindsey (1794-1836) and Jane Brooks: Sarah Brooks Lindsey Speake (1818-1889) — Children of James and Sarah Lindsey Speake

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