Biography of Staas Spekker

This patriotic citizen and leading business man was born in Hanover, Germany, on March 4, 1841, being the son of Peter and Annie (Dresman) Spekker. The father was a farmer, born in Bingusta, Germany, in 1800, and died in 1876, having been a prominent man and the incumbent of a number of public offices of honor. The mother was born at Eppingavcht, Germany, in 1810; her father was an officer in Germany and died in 1852.

Our subject was educated in his native country and also learned the English language there, attending the agricultural college. He had practical experience on a farm and at the time of his majority he assumed charge of a nobleman’s estate, which occupied him until the time of the retirement of the nobility and then he determined to come to free America. This journey was taken at the close of the Franco Prussian war, in 1871. He landed in Ackley, Iowa and was employed for some time on a farm and then came to Linn County, Oregon, taking charge of Judge Geary’s farm, where he remained eight years. Prosperity attended his industry and thrift and then came the black rust which destroyed his crops. This led him to eastern Oregon, where he established a country hotel and stage on Butter creek. After two years of prosperity he came to Uniontown in Washington, taking up a homestead, which he sold in r886 for four thousand dollars. Then he came to Nez Perces County and bought his present estate of two hundred and eighty acres, three and one half miles north from Leland.

While in Iowa, in 1871, occurred the marriage of Mr. Spekker and Miss Mary, daughter of Gottlieb and Henriette (Jacobs) Latzsch, who were natives of Saxony, the father being a contractor. Mrs. Spekker was born in Pennsylvania in 1852. Mr. Spekker has brothers and sisters as follows: Temmens, Amos, Anna, Heansman, and Ida Mansholt. To Mr. and Mrs. Spekker have been born the following children: Edwin, twenty-eight years of age and well educated, now acting as deputy county assessor; Peter, at home, road supervisor and well educated, now acting as member of school board; Clay at home; Amos, in Colorado; Arthur, sixteen and at home; Manon, fourteen and at home: Ida, twelve, at home: Clara, married to Hogo Valdman, a merchant in Lewiston: Minnie, Emma, and Clarence, at home.

Mr. Spekker was elected County assessor for 1899 and 1900 on the Republican ticket and then refused to take office any more. He was an active worker in his party and a champion of good government and good schools. He was a member of the Masons in Pendleton until his death, which occurred November 6, 1902, of paralysis. The farm now comprises about four hundred acres, all told, including fine buildings, orchards and so forth. Mr. Spekker’s brother Amos was in the Franco Prussian War and his health was broken. Also two nephews fought in that war.

Back to: Nez Perce Biographies

Source: An Illustrated History of Northern Idaho, Embracing Nez Perce, Idaho, Latah, Kootenai and Shoshone Counties, Western Historical Publishing Company, 1903

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