Theodore Thomas Speer

Lewiston Morning Tribune
Monday, May 26, 1924

Body Recovered

Theodore Speer, Normal Student, Was Drowned

Been Missing 17 Days

Identification Established by Ring and Dental Work - Body Taken From Snake River.

The body of Theodore Speer, missing Normal school student, was taken from the Snake river at Wawawai yesterday and is now at Pomeroy in the parlors of Claude Vassar. The remains will be brought to Lewiston today.

Mr. Speer, 20 years of age and an unusually bright student, left his rooms on Idaho street about 17 days ago, telling his roommate, Edwin Cheuvrout, that he was going out into the world to preach the gospel and save the people. A search was immediately instituted and officers were informed that Speer was seen on the highway at Chard, a station 15 miles below Pomeroy.

The body was discovered in the Snake river early yesterday and the officers at Pomeroy were notified. County Coroner Claude Vassar took possession of the body and as soon as the report was received in Lewiston, the people at Gifford were notified. A delegation of Gifford citizens came to Lewiston last evening and proceeded to Pomeroy where identification of he body was established.

The body was nude when taken from the river but there was a band ring on a little finger and there was dental work on an upper front tooth. The ring was identified by Edwin Cheuvrout as belonging to him and loaned to Speer before his departure. The dental work was performed by Dr. F. J. Boston about five weeks before Speer's disappearance and the members of the Gifford delegation were advised of the nature of this work before they went to Pomeroy to look at the body.

The Gifford delegation is composed of William Brammer, Charles Davis, Wilber Jacks, John Sherbon and Franklin Blewett. They stated last evening there is no doubt as to the identification of the body and it is probably they will ask for a postmortem examination, as the body has the appearance of being in the river not more than 12 days, was nude and, according to the view of Pomeroy officers, is not that of a drowned person but rather that of a body thrown in the river after death.

It was reported from Gifford a few days ago that Emil Geiger of Clarkston had seen and talked to Speer on the road between Pendleton and Umatilla. Mr. Geiger stated last night that he had not made such a report in Gifford but he had said he saw a young man on the road below Pendleton who answered the description of Speer.

Lewiston Morning Tribune
Wednesday, May 28, 1924

Theo. Speer At Rest

Funeral Conducted Yesterday at Gifford for Drowned Lewiston Normal Student.

Gifford, May 27. The funeral of Theodore Speer, Lewiston Normal school student, who lost his life in the Snake river, was held today in the auditorium of the high school. There was not room in the village's largest hall to accommodate the sorrowing friends of the popular boy and those who wished to pay their respects. The floral offerings were beautiful and profuse, literally covering the bier and stage.

Rev. W. J. Gamble, of the Methodist church, gave a beautiful funeral message, citing the sorrowing friends present as speaking more eloquently of the esteem in which the deceased was regarded than any eulogy that he might make. Miss Neoma Carter, Miss dorothy Summers and Herman Riggers gave the song service, with Blanche Mehl at the piano.

A delegation from the Lewiston State Normal school was present, headed by Prof. D. R. Dewey of the rural training department, including the following: Harvey Wixson, Ed Cheuvront, Nida Blewett, Fern Hobson. These, together with Vivian Wright, Mary Hobson, Nellie Boyd, Vera Stoddard and Olie Sherbon, acted as honorary pallbearers.

The active pallbearers were: Wilbur Jacks, Joe Rosenkranz, Clifford Rice, E. M. Downing, Otto Brammer and Ralph Rankin. The interment was made in the Gifford cemetery.

Theodore Thomas Speer was born in Springfield, Mo., Oct. 15, 1904. He moved with his parents to the Gifford region in 1914. He entered the Gifford schools in the eighth grade and graduated from the high school with the 1923 class. He was a student at the Lewiston Normal school the past year.

He is survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Speer, and three sisters, Mrs. Lawrence Boss of Shelby, Mont.; Mrs. Ethel Allen of Highwood, Mont., and Miss Louise Speer of Gifford.

Contributed by Natalie Huntley

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