"DEATH OF J.A. SPIER.
IT WAS A SUDDEN CALL THOUGH HE HAS BEEN FEEBLE.
The Oppresive[sic] Heat No Doubt was the Case—A Resident Almost Forty Years—The Pioneer Fruit Merchant of La Crosse—Also Real Estate Dealer and Successful Man in All Pursuits.
James A. Spier, one of the pioneers of La Crosse, passed away at his home, 224 North Seventh street, at six o'clock last evening. His death came unexpectedly and was the result of a general breaking down of his system. He had felt somewhat poorly for a week past but was down town as late as Saturday, and Tuesday was able to walk about the yard. He complained considerably about the heat. Yesterday morning he awoke in distress and continued to suffer until he sunk in a state of paralysis which lasted until the end came.
James Andrew Spier was born July 14, 1822, on a farm at Lima, Livingston county, N. Y., where his boyhood years were spent. He moved to La Crosse in 1856, where he has since resided. Upon his arrival here he built the Pearl street hotel on the present site of the Burlington depot. Two or three years later he sold out and getting the gold fever he went to Pike's Peak. His mining ventures were not successful and he returned in three months. He then went into the fruit business with a line of groceries in connection, and was the pioneer fruit merchant of La Crosse.
He continued in business, making ventures in farming and various other enterprises, nearly all successful, until he sold out to John C. Burns about 14 years ago. Since then he has dealt quite largely in real estate.
For several years his business affairs have been closed up so that he could take life easy and he has traveled a good deal visiting nearly all states of the union.
Mr. Spier was an honorable man and good citizen. His life in La Crosse for almost 40 years has been above reproach and no men who knew him at all will withhold a respectful tribute to his memory.
Mr. Spier was married in 1849 to Louise Wood. Besides his wife, three daughters survive him, Mrs. W. B. Webb, Mrs. Alfred James and Mrs. F. M. Egbert, all of whom reside in La Crosse. He has one sister living, whose home is at Lima, N. Y. He was remotely connected with the Coleman family. Mrs. Spier, who has been in the east since May, is on her way home and expected here tonight.
The time of funeral has not yet been definitely settled, but will probably be on Friday afternoon."
[La Crosse Chronicle, La Crosse, WI, Thurs., July 19, 1894, pg. 6, col. 1. Courtesy of La Crosse Public Library, Archives & Local History Department]
Louise W. Wood Spier
1822–1907 (m. 1849)