Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens
Lawrence County Pennsylvania 1897


[p. 62] a prominent citizen of Shenango township, and a splendid representative of its sturdy agricultural class, was born on the farm of which his own farm is now a part, Dec. 18, 1851, and is a son of John C. and Phoebe A. (Iddings) Reed. He was reared on the old homestead, and in all his life has never lived beyond its boundaries; when a boy he attended the district schools, was advanced through the high school at New Castle, and completed his education in the State Normal School at Edinboro, Erie County, at the age of twenty years. When nineteen years old he taught his first term of school, and since his graduation from the Normal School he taught ten additional terms. He is a member of the school board of the township, and in no subject of public moment does he take such close and abiding interest as in the cause of education, and his services as pedagogue and in other important capacities relating closely to the educational work of the township his services have been invaluable. Educational ability seems to run in the family, as many of his uncles and cousins have presided at the desk, and all his brothers and sisters with the exception of one have taught in various parts of Lawrence County. This ability is doubtless inherited from their ancestor, Joseph Iddings, who was the first teacher in the county. Mr. Reed remained with his parents under the parental roof until he was thirty years of age, when he married, and settled down on his own farm, having purchased for this purpose a sixty-acre tract adjacent to the original homestead of his father. General farming in the past has claimed most of his energy and attention, but at present he is interested in dairy-farming almost to the exclusion of all else.

John C. Reed, our subject's father, who is now deceased, was born in Shenango township, near the Center United Presbyterian Church, May 3, 1826, and lived his entire life in his native township, following the healthful and peaceful life of a farmer. His death occurred Jan. 28, 1895, after suffering a number of years from a stroke of apoplexy, received while plowing in the fields. Mr. Reed was an energetic man, and although somewhat small in stature, accomplished with his indomitable will and extraordinary perseverance much more than most men of larger frame could have done. He was ambitious to leave his children well provided for, and in doing so exerted himself more than he ought to have done, and may be said to have sacrificed himself for his children. There was no one in the county who stood higher in public estimation than did Mr. Reed, and his word was as good as his bond. So high was the estimation in which he was held, that favors are often extended to his sons, because of their father's good name. His much-beloved wife and help-meet[sic] through life was Phoebe Ann Iddings, daughter of Joseph and Hannah (Hoopes) Iddings. The latter was a native of Chester Co., Pa., of Quaker stock, and descended from Sir Anthony Wayne's sister; her father was Ezra Hoopes of Chester Co., Pa. Joseph Iddings was also born in Chester Co., Pa.; having received a good education when a boy and young man, he turned his attention to teaching, and was one of the first school-teachers in Lawrence County. He followed farming as an occupation in later years. He reared the following children: Mary, who is eighty-four years old; Mirabel, deceased; Hannah, who married Martin Reno, deceased, of Shenango township, Lawrence County; Sarah, who became the wife of Hugh A. McKee; Elizabeth, deceased, who married James Leonard of Lawrence County, and now of Michigan; Ann, deceased; Lavinia, who married James Davis of Lawrence County; and Phoebe A., the mother of our subject. To John C. Reed and Phoebe A. Iddings were given ten children, as follows: William E., the subject of this sketch; Joseph, who is living in Sharon, and practicing medicine; Charles A., a leading physician of the city of New Castle; Hannah, deceased; Anna and Mary, twins, both of whom are deceased; Sarah J., the wife of Richard Wright of Taylor township; Lovina, who married William H. Weinschenk of Shenango township; John W., deceased; and Luther M., whose biography appears on another page. Mrs. Reed, widow of John C., makes her home with her daughter, Mrs. William H. Weinschenk.

John C. Reed was a son of William and Anna (Cameron) Reed. The latter is still living to-day at the age of ninety-two years, and is surprisingly active and vigorous both in body and mind for one of her advanced years; she has been granted the unusual privilege of seeing a descendant in the fifth generation, being a great-great-grandmother to the members of the last generation. She was born in Mahoningtown, Feb. 10, 1805, and was a daughter of James and Betsey (Hendrickson) Cameron, the latter a daughter of Dr. Hendrickson, the first physician to settle in the county, coming here in 1797 with two other families from Pennsville, N. J. Indians were very numerous about this region, and Betsey Hendrickson received a severe fright from one of them, when she was driving the cows home from their pasturing ground; she was never sent alone on such an errand again. James Cameron was born at Shirleysburg, Pa., and was a farmer by occupation; he died in Shenango township, near New Castle, at the age of sixty-six years. He was a son of James Cameron, Sr., who came to Mahoningtown to see if he would like the place for a residence; the country suiting him in every respect, he returned to Shirleysburg, sold his farm, and started for Mahoningtown with the proceeds, with the intention of purchasing each of his sons a farm. As time passed by, and no word was received from him, inquiry was made along the route, which he was supposed to have taken, with the result that his horse and saddle were found but his body was never recovered, nor was there any record of him ever found, but it is supposed that he was murdered and robbed for the money he carried in his saddle-bags. He was a soldier in the Revolution, and served honorably after having once deserted and then rejoined the army.

William Reed, the grandfather of our subject, was born at Zanesville, Ohio, in June, 1803, and came with his parents to Lawrence County, in 1806. He learned the wheelwright's trade, and worked for a time in New Castle. In 1829, he bought a farm in Shenango township, on which there was a small clearing and log-cabin; here he followed his trade, and cleared his farm, which to-day is one of the very best in the county; the soil of it is peculiarly adapted to fruit-growing, and it often results that in a poor fruit year his orchards will be the only ones bearing in the vicinity. He passed away in the prime of his life, attaining only the age of forty years. He was a son of John and Margaret (Lutton) Reed, the latter a daughter of Ralph Lutton, who married a Miss Martin. John Reed was born in Ireland, and upon coming to America settled first at Zanesville, Ohio, from which locality he moved in 1806 to Lawrence County, settling in Shenango township on the stream now known as Snake Run; he too died at the age of forty years while his wife Margaret lived to be ninety-two years old. He was a weaver in Ireland, and followed that trade in America until he took up farming as a means of obtaining a livelihood, and securing an independence. His father, Michael Reed, never left the old country, but lived and died in the north of Ireland.

Our subject, William E. Reed, was joined in marriage Nov. 29, 1882, near, Center Church, to Eliza L. Keller, daughter of Jonathan and Sarah (Fink) Keler[sic]. Mrs. Reed's mother was born in Berks Co., Pa., in 1814, and was a daughter of John and Katherine (Kraglow) Fink. Jonathan Keller was born in Berks Co., Pa., Feb. 11, 1812, and was a son of George and Polly (Specht) Keller; Polly (Specht) Keller was born in Berks Co., Pa., and was a daughter of John Specht, who married a Miss Neuman. George Keller, a son of George Keller, Sr., a native of Berks County, was a soldier of the War of 1812, and lived to be seventy-two years old. A bright and interesting group of three children constitute the family of our subject, and they are named as follows: Lillian Keller; Charles Franklin, who died in infancy; and Wesley Edgar. Mr. and Mrs. Reed attend the Second United Presbyterian Church of New Castle. Mr. Reed is a Republican in his political tendencies, and has served as school director and as auditor of the township. He is at present auditor of the Washington Insurance Co., in which he is an interested stockholder. He has been a member of the I. O. O. F., and also of the Farmers' Alliance. He has always been identified with the best elements of Lawrence County society, and he is known as a good, moral citizen, who does credit to the teachings and precepts of his noble father.

Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens Lawrence County Pennsylvania
Biographical Publishing Company, Buffalo, N.Y., 1897

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