Tuesday, November 20, 2012

William Asa Speirs

Birthday of William A. Speirs
Montpelier News Examiner (clipping Ca. 1967)
Montpelier Man Celebrates 90th Birthday
Montpelier - Active, healthy and alert, William A. Speirs celebrated his 90th birthday anniversary recently at an open house at the home of his granddaughter, Mrs. Ray Larsen. 
A retired barber, Mr. Speirs through the decades has kept abreast of the times by being an ardent reader of books and magazine.  He says his Presidential vote will go to George Romney if he is nominated and he is undecided for a second choice.  He is in good helath and puts in a three-hour daily shift at Neeley's Arctic Circle, preparing Idaho potatoes for French fries and doing odd jobs.  He lives alone in his home at 743 Jackson Street.
Recently he sold his car.  For the past two or three years he has walked to destinations in town, using a cane more for ornament than an aid to locomotion  Relatives and friends take him by car for longer trips and on scenic drives.

An ardent and adept fly fisherman and troller for Bear Lake mackinaw trout, Mr. Speirs gave up the sport just three years ago.

He was born Nov. 16, 1877, at Tooele, Utah, a son of William H. and Mary Jane Walters Speirs.  The family moved in 1880 to Bennington, Idaho, where he spent his childhood.  He attended barber college in Chicago from 1899 to 1900.  For 10 years he had a chair in the Matt Lyon barber shop in the old Templeton Building at the corner of Main and South Temple, Salt Lake City.
Coming to Montpelier in 1910, he was associated with the late Riley Barkdull for 26 years in a shop located in the building now occupied by Zed's Glass and Paint.

In 1921 he opened a barber shop in the then newly-remodeled Burgoyne Hotel.  After four years he sold the business to Walter Phelps and returned to his former location with Mr. Barkdull.  He worked for short periods with other shops, retiring in 1941, but continuing to do barbering at home.

Mr. Speirs married Mary Ann Hilton Aug. 6, 1903, in Salt Lake City.  Mrs. Speirs died April 7, 1956.  They had two children, the late Mrs. George (Mable) Hoskins and Frank H. Speirs of Montpelier.  There are three grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

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