Image from filsonhistorical.org
From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Joshua Fry Speed, businessman and confidant of Abraham Lincoln , was born in Louisville on November 14, 1814, the son of Judge James and Lucy (Fry) Speed. He was educated first at a private school and then at St. Joseph's Academy in Bardstown, Kentucky (1832-33). Speed left Louisville in 1835 for Springfield, Illinois, where he worked in merchandising and assisted in editing a local newspaper. In Springfield Speed befriended Lincoln and became his confidant. In 1841 Lincoln was a guest at the family home, Farmington, where he stayed for six weeks. During the Civil War Speed served as President Lincoln 's adviser on western affairs, and Lincoln on several occasions offered Speed the position of secretary of the treasury, but each time he declined.
In 1842 Speed returned to Louisville to marry Fannie Henning. He was an active member of the Louisville community for the rest of his life. In 1851 he went into a real estate partnership with his wife's brother, William Henning, which lasted until Speed's death. He was president of the Louisville, Cincinnati & Lexington Railroad during 1853-55. In 1867 Speed built a new home on a tract of land that was part of the Farmington plantation where he grew up, naming it Cold Spring. Speed died on May 29, 1882, and was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.
Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Kincaid, Robert Lee, and Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tenn. Department of Lincolniana. Joshua Fry Speed, Lincoln's Most Intimate Friend. Harrogate, Tenn.: Dept. of Lincolniana, Lincoln Memorial U, 1943. Print.E457.3.S69 K5, Young Library - 4th Floor
Bush, Bryan S. Lincoln and the Speeds. Bicentennial ed. Morley, Mo.: Acclaim, 2008. Print.
Speed, Joshua F. Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln and Notes of a Visit to California Two Lectures. Louisville, Ky.: Printed by J.P. Morton, 1884. Beyond the Shelf, Serving Historic Kentuckiana through Virtual Access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; B97-24-37872784. Web.