JOHN REED is one of the oldest citizens of West Alexander, and was born August 24, 1815, in East Finley township, this county, a son of James Reed, whose father, William Reed, was reared in Pennsylvania. When a young man William Reed was married to Margaret Linn, who lived near Gettysburg, and their children were John, William, David, Andrew, Samuel, Ann, Margaret, Jane, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary and James. Mr. Reed came to Washington county in the latter part of the eighteenth century, locating near the village of Buffalo, on a farm which he and his sons improved and cultivated. He was a member of the Whig party, and in religion was connected with the Presbyterian Church.
James Reed was born September 28, 1784, near Gettysburg, Penn., and was reared in Buffalo township, Washington county, whither his parents moved when he was a child. In 1812 he was married to Sarah, daughter of John McWilliams, an early resident of the county, where he made a permanent home, and had the following children: William, born September 24, 1813; John, subject of this sketch; Jane, born July 24, 1817; Margaret, born July 24, 1820; and Hannah, born March 3, 1823. Mr. Reed was a successful man, and well deserved his prosperity. In politics he was originally a Whig, and afterward became a member of the Democratic party. He was a member of the Upper Ten-Mile Church at Prosperity, of which he was an elder. He died February 25, 1845, having been preceded by his wife March 14, 1839, and both are buried at Prosperity.
John Reed received his education at the subscription schools of East Finley township. On February 20, 1844, he was married to Jane, daughter of John Burns, a native of West Finley township, born June 13, 1799. John Burns was a son of Alexander Burns, who was born in 1739, in Ireland, and when a young man immigrated to America, settling in Washington county, Penn. He was united in marriage with Jane Carroll, of East Finley township, who bore him children as follows: James, born July 21, 1786; Alexander, born January 13, 1789; Robert born March 28, 1791; Mary, born October 17, 1793; Nancy, born August 28, 1796; John, born June 13, 1799; and William, born October 3, 1803. Mr. Burns was a soldier in the Indian war, also in the war of 1812, and was captured by the Indians. In politics he was a democrat, and in religious views a member of the society known as Dissenters. His son, John Burns, was married to Martha Carroll, and their children were Jane (Mrs. John Reed); Robert C., who married Margaretta, a daughter of Rev. Mr. Anderson, and by her he had two children: one that died in infancy, and Mary L., wife of Cyrus Craig, of Cambridge, Ohio (Robert C. died at the age of twenty-eight years); and Mary (Mrs. Alexander Gunn). John Burns was a Democrat in politics, and in religion a member of and elder in the United Presbyterian Church.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. John Reed remained on the home place ten years, and then moved to Burnsville, West Finley township, where they remained fifteen years, thence removing to Dallas, W. VA, where they lived for two years. Mr. and Mrs. Reed have the following children: James Linn, John B. (Deceased), Sarah Martha (Mrs. William Barry), Robert J. And Mary L. (the latter died at the age of three years). Mr Reed has ever been much interested in educational matters, and general public topics. In politics he was always a Democrat, prior to the year 1885, when be became a strong advocate of Prohibition. In religious connection he is an elder in, and has for forty-five years been a member of the Presbyterian Church.
James Linn Reed, a son of John Reed, served in the war of the Rebellion from March 4, 1865, to August 11, same year. He was educated at Washington and Jefferson College, and then entered Princeton College, graduating there in the class of 1870, and afterward from the Western Theological Seminary. He was called to a church in Independence, where he remained eight years; then passed one year in Pueblo, Colo. On his return home he went to Barnesville, Ohio, and remained there six years, being finally called to Leetsdale, Penn., where he now living. Politically is a Republican.
John B. Reed (deceased), the second son of John Reed, received his preparatory training at Waynesburgh, and his college education at Washington and Jefferson. He then attended the Cleveland Medical College, and after graduating practiced one year in Dallas, W. VA; then went to Cameron, then to West Alexander, and finally settled in Wheeling, W. VA, where he died October 17, 1887, aged forty-one years. He left a widow (formerly Miss Mary L. Stone) and the following children: Mary L., Frank S., John B., Jane B. and Sarah. During the Civil war he enlisted in the Sixteenth P. V. C., and was sent to the army of the Potomac. In his political views he was a Republican.
Robert J. Reed, third son of John Reed, was also educated at Washington and Jefferson College, from which he graduated in 1881, and then entered Bellevue Medical College, N. Y., graduating in 1884. He afterward entered the Western Pennsylvania Hospital, whence he proceeded to Wheeling, W. VA, where he now practicing his profession. On November 30, 1887, he was married to Louise Butler, of Wheeling, W. VA. In 1874 Mr. and Mrs. Reed located in West Alexander, where they have a pleasant home. They united with the Presbyterian Church there, in which they are honored members.
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Text taken from page 635 of:
Beers, J. H. and Co., Commemorative Biographical Record of Washington County, Pennsylvania (Chicago: J. H. Beers & Co., 1893).
Transcribed April 1997 by Bridgette Osz of Steubenville, OH as part of the Beers Project.
Published April 1997 on the Washington County, PA USGenWeb pages at http://www.chartiers.com/.