Joel  W.  Reed

                           Joel W. Reed, a prominent contractor and builder, of Elk City, Kansas, was born in Shelby county, Indiana, June 6,1849.  His parents were John O. and Missouri (Gregory) Reed; the former being a native of Ohio, and the latter of Kentucky.  The father was a carpenter and builder, and moved to Indiana, in 1840, and was a pioneer of the locality where he lived. Many and large buildings are standing today, monuments to his skill as a workman.  He had the honor of serving the Civil war, in which he enlisted August 2, 1862, as a private, in the Ninety-eight Illinois regiment, Company “K,” and, in a battle which occurred shortly after, at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was severely wounded.  He was removed to a hospital, at New Albany, Indiana, where he died, on the 18th of October, Mr. Reed was a man of splendid qualities, a lifelong and devout member of the Methodist Episcopal church in which he was an officer for many years.  His age, at death, was forty-six years, and his wife, the mother of  Joel W., died at twenty-six, on the 18th of September, 1856.
            By a former marriage- to  Elizabeth Rouse - Mr. Reed had three children viz:  Mahala, deceased wife of  Patrick Keenan Ann Eliza,  Mrs.John Smith,  of Los Angeles, California; and  Melissa,  who died in infancy.
            Our subject was one of four children born to the second marriage of his father, viz  Joel W.;  Jacob L., a minister of the Kentucky Conference of the M. E. Church ;  Martha E.; who married  Abram Lewis,  and is now deceased; and  John B.;  he resides near the  old  homestead in Indiana.  After the death of the mother of these children, Mr. Reed married  Anna McDuffey,  whose two sons were  James B.  and  Charles S. W.
            In the common schools of his native county, Joel W. Reed secured sufficient  education to equip him for a useful life, though it was difficult to hold him to his school work.  To him it seemed cruel to have to study history while it was being made so rapidly on the battlefield.  He yearned to be at the front and ran away twice, in his efforts to get into the army.  Finally, on the 6th of March, 1865, being then fifteen years and nine months old, and according to authentic records, the third youngest soldier to enlist in the war, he became a private of Company “K”,  Thirty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry.  He was too late, how ever, to see any active service.  Joining Sherman`s army at Mewburn, North Carolina, he was a witness of the surrender of Gen, Johnson; and, after participating in the Grand Review at Washington, received his discharge, at Louisville, Kentucky, July 21, 1865.
            After the war, Mr. Reed worked on the farm until 1868, when he came out to Illinois, on a visit to a sister, who lived a Louisville . Here during the next two years, he learned the baker’s trade and, in 1871, came to Kansas.  He worked at Wichita for several months and then came to Elk City. In August of 1872, he became connected with the “Katy” railroad, as cook, and followed that business, at different points, until 1874. Returning to Elk City,  He farmed for some six years and then took up the business in which he is now engaged.  He has long been the leading contractor and builder of the town and specimens of his handiwork are seen on every side.  He has put up nearly every building of importance in the city, erected within the past two decades.
            Mr. Reed has always been exceedingly active in the social life of the Scottish Rite Mason.  The Woodmen number him among their most valued members, and he is a Good Templar, a member of the Carpenter’s Union, and is officer of the day in the G. A. R.
            The wife of Mr. Reed was, prior to her marriage, in 1878, Miss Mattie Monfort.  She is a native of Indiana, the daughter of  John Monfort, and was born March 1,1862.  To her have been born:  Lela, deceased in infancey;  Stella I., deceased at three years;  Orion O., a farmer in the Indian Territory;  Sheldon M., a schoolboy; and  New Floyd.  Mrs. Reed  is quite as helpful, in social and religious circles, as her husband, being a member of the Friends` church.
            In all the varied activities of life, Mr. Reed has been true to his best conception of right and has good citizen’s pride in supporting every measure which makes for the good of his fellowmen. Elk City has no mere loyal citizen, and the esteem in which he is held is uniform.
[Date of Death March 14, 1923. Buried Oak Hill Cemetery, Elk City, Kansas]
History of Montgomery County, Kansas, By Its Own People, Published by L. Wallace Duncan, Iola, Kansas, 1903, Pg. 419-420:
Contributed by James R. Baker, Jr
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