(c. 1923)

George Emmor Spear


Born: 26 Sep 1898 in Linden, Dallas County, Iowa, USA

Died: 16 Feb 1991 in Custer, Custer County, South Dakota, USA

Father: David C. Spear (1862 – 1940)

Mother: Eva Penrose Maris (1868 – 1937)

Family #1

Spouse/Partner: Winifred E. Wilson (1901 – 1934)

Married: 15 Jun 1924 in Murdo, Jones County, South Dakota, USA

Child: <private> Spear

Family #2

Spouse/Partner: Veronica Josephine "Phronie" Breck (1915 – 2005)

Married: 4 May 1935 in Quinn, Pennington County, South Dakota, USA

Child: Georgia Sue Spear (1943 – 2001)

Child: <private> Spear

Child: <private> Spear

Child: <private> Spear

Child: <private> Spear


George's family were still living in Linn (Dallas County, IA) in 1900, but they moved to Wessington Springs (Jerauld County, SD) about 1903, traveling by covered wagon. At the end of April 1906, they moved to their homestead about 30 miles from Presho (Lyman County, SD), in Lincoln Township, to the immediate west of Draper Township.

As a young man, George had a Fordson tractor and helped farmers around the Draper (Jones County, SD) area to break the prairie sod. The Fordson model F (almost certainly the model he owned) had a reputation not only for being difficult to start and run, but also for having a tendency to tip over backwards when moving up even a shallow incline. According to wikipedia.org, "One farm magazine recommended that Ford paint a message on each Fordson: 'Prepare to Meet Thy God.'"

After his marriage to Winnifred in 1924, the couple lived in Draper for another year or two, then moved to the Black Hills (SD) in 1925 or 1926. In the hills they worked and lived in various logging camps near Keystone (Pennington County) and Custer (Custer County).

George and Winnifred were in Pennington County in the middle of 1930, where they also lived with Winnifred's mother Marianna, and a boarder named Albert Fish. (This is not the infamous Albert Fish, who was almost 30 years older, and committing his crimes in New York and the east coast.)

After Winifred died in 1934, his new son was given to the care of his Aunt Mary as George rebuilt his life. While doing this, he worked in road construction for Northwest Engineering near Interior (Jackson County, SD). There he met Veronica, who worked as a nanny for the cafe owners and occasionally waited on tables. It was while working in the capacity as a waitress that she met George, and they married in 1935.

In the late spring 1937, they moved to Green River (Emery County, UT), where George hauled gravel for the summer. When they returned that fall, they retrieved George's son and went to live with D.C. Spear in their cabin in the Black Hills.

George worked in road construction for the next couple of years, heading to Wyoming about 1939. He returned to the Black Hills, and worked cutting pitch posts, trying his hand at prospecting and gathering scrap metal until Aug 1942.

At that time the family moved to Provo (Utah County, UT). George worked for about 3 weeks at Geneva Steel in Orem, then went to work for Menlove Construction in Provo where he stayed for the next 18 years. The family moved to Salt Lake City (Salt Lake County, UT) in the summer of 1944, and to Granger (Salt Lake County, UT) in Feb 1949.

By 1960, the family moved back to Keystone and to the cabin they had left in 1942. George tried his hand at mining but was unable to earn a living from it, so he worked in maintenance for an ore processing plant in Keystone, and did some carpentry for individuals. He finally retired in the early 1960's, and soon started building a new house next to the cabin.

Change Date

This data was last changed on 5 Apr 2009, and is stored in datafile B.

Primary and Secondary Sources

(see About Sources)

1900 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule)
National Archives and Records Administration. [applies to name, birth]
1910 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule)
National Archives and Records Administration. [applies to name, birth]
1930 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule)
National Archives and Records Administration. [applies to name, birth, marriage, notes]
Certificate of Marriage (George E. Spear, Winifred E. Spear)
[applies to name]
Interview (<private> Spear)
Inteview, letter, notes, etc. [applies to birth, death, marriage, notes]
Memorial Services Card (George E. Spear)
[applies to name, birth, death]
Obituary (George Emmor Spear)
Rapid City Journal; Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota, USA; 17 Feb 1991; page C2 [applies to name, birth, death, marriage, notes]
Obituary (Veronica Josephine Spear)
Rapid City Journal; Rapid City, Pennington County, South Dakota, USA; 26 May 2005; page B2 [applies to marriage]
Obituary (Winifred E. Wilson)
<unknown paper>; ?; <unknown date>, page ? [applies to marriage]
Private (A.T. Wilson Family Bible)
[applies to death, marriage]
Private (Spear Birth and Death Dates Notebook)
Handwritten pages, many hands, many inks. Fragile binding and paper, but with numerous names and dates of birth or death. [applies to name, birth]
Proving Up: Jones County History
Book and Thimble Club; Murdo, S.D., 1969 (Printed by Pischel Yearbooks, Inc.) [applies to notes]
Record of Marriage (George E. Spear, Winifred E. Wilson)
[applies to name, birth, marriage]

Research Notes (source comments, unreliable information)

George's name is misspelled as Speer (possibly Speek) in the 1930 U.S. Census.