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.
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:
wife of Patrick Keenan; Ann Eliza, Mrs.John Smith,
of Los Angeles, California;
and Melissa, who died in infancy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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