David Speedie has since 1885 been the owner of a farm upon which he now resides on section 17, Dix township. He is of Scotch descent and was born at Fall River, Massachusetts, on the 7th of March, 1850, his parents being Matthew and Isabella (Colston) Speedie. The father was a millwright by trade and in Scotland built water wheels, threshing machines, etc. He came to America in 1819 as passenger on a sailing vessel, which, after a voyage of forty-two days, reached Nova Scotia. In Scotland, six months before his emigration, he was married to Miss Isabella Colston, and after reaching Newfoundland they proceeded on their way to Fall River, Massachusetts. All their children were born in that state, where they lived for about fifteen years, Matthew Speedie working at the machinist's trade. Removing to the middle west, he located in Logan county, Illinois, where he rented a farm in March, 1865. The following year he came to Ford county and purchased land on section 8, Dix township. becoming the owner of a tract of eighty acres, for Which he paid six dollars per acre. It was raw prairie land, upon which no improvements had been made but with characteristic energy he began its development and cultivation and soon converted it into a productive farm. He later purchased eighty acres from an uncle, David Speedie, for which he Paid twenty-one hundred dollars. He was progressive in all his work and was the first to use tile in the locality, paying thirty-five dollars per thousand for three-inch tile. He demonstrated to his neighbor the utility of this course and many others followed his example. His political views were in accord with the principles and purposes of the republican party.
Matthew Speedie was married twice, the mother of our subject being his second wife. His first wife, who bore the maiden name of Elizabeth Jack, died in Scotland. A son of that marriage, Andrew M. Speedie, is deceased. The children of the second marriage, are: David, of this review; Isabella Jane, the wife of J. S. Martin, a resident of Texarkana, Arkansas; W. T., who is engaged in the operation of the home farm; and Mary E., who became the wife of J. W. Preston but both are now deceased. The death of the father occurred when he had reached the venerable age of eighty-one years.
At the usual age David Speedie began his education as a district-school student in Massachusetts and throughout his entire life he has been interested in the cause of education, the public-school system of his locality finding in him a warm and stalwart friend, who has done effective service in its behalf while filling the office of school director for two terms. At the age of twelve years he began working in the Globe Print Works at Fall River, Massachusetts, and was there employed until the removal of the family to Illinois. His education therefore was largely acquired before he reached his twelfth year, save that in the school of experience he has learned many valuable lessons and by reading and observation has added largely to his knowledge.
After the removal of the family to Illinois, he worked upon the home farm and started out upon an independent business career at the age of thirty-five. Having saved some money from the wages which he had earned by working on the home farm after he had attained his majority, he invested in the property which he now owns on section 17, Dix township. He bought this about 1885, securing one hundred and five acres, for which he paid forty dollars per acre. Later he bought an eighty acre tract in Iroquois county, which he afterward sold and subsequently invested in ninety acres about a half mile to the east of his present farm. Purchasing the J. Thornton place in 1899, he paid for this eighty dollars per acre. He also bought fifty-five acres adjoining the old homestead, for which he paid one hundred dollars per acre in 1901. He now has valuable realty and has placed most of the improvements upon his farm and has tiled and drained the land. His work is carefully executed, his methods being practical and progressive and his labors are bringing him merited success.
On the 5th of November, 1891, Mr. Speedie was married to Miss Sarah I. Metcalf, who was born in Dix township and is a daughter of David and Sarah (Bell) Metcalf, who were farming people. Her father died in Gibson City but her mother still survives. Mr. and Mrs. Speedie have but two children, Floyd D. and Ruby, both at home.
Politically Mr. Speedie is a republican and has served as pathmaster and as commissioner one term. He belongs to the Modern Woodmen Camp at Gibson City, and he and his wife are members of the Presbyterian church, in the work of which they are much interested, while to its support they contribute generously. Their influence is always found on the side of right and progress and in business affairs Mr. Speedie has prospered, owning to his business integrity as well as his industry.

Extracted 16 Oct 2016 by Norma Hass from History of Ford County, Illinois, From Its Earliest Settlement to 1908, author E. A. Gardner, Volume 2, pages 624-626.

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