California Genealogy and History Archives
|Joseph B. Reid
The remarkable changes wrought in California for more than forty years past have been witnessed by Joseph B. Reid, who came to the state in 1857 and ten years later settled in Sonoma county, which has been his home ever since. The blood of a long line of southern ancestors flows in the veins of Mr. Reid, and he also was born in the locality which had sheltered and sustained his forefathers. A native of Alabama, he was born in Jackson county in November, 1835, the oldest of sixteen children born to his parents, William and Elizabeth (Shores) Reid, natives respectively of Kentucky and Tennessee.
Joseph B. Reid has distinct recollections of his boyhood, which was passed in the midst of fields of growing cotton and corn in Alabama until he was eighteen years of age, at which time removal was made to the northern part of Arkansas. Judging from the scarcity of schools and crudity of curriculum which exist in the rural districts of those states today, one wonders what possibility there was of obtaining an education there seventy-five years ago! Be that as it may, no one who knows Mr. Reid will doubt the fact that he made much of such opportunities as came his way, for he is a well-informed man, one with whom it is a pleasure to converse. The family remained in Arkansas for three years, and then, in 1857, set out for the far west by the overland route. In due time they reached their destination, Yolo county, where the father purchased land and continued farming throughout the remaining years of his life. There he passed away in 1891, his wife having preceded him several years, her death occurring in 1889.
For ten years after coming to California Mr. Reid continued a resident of Yolo county, he as well as his father purchasing land there. However, in 1867, he came to Sonoma county and was so well pleased with the prospects that he purchased land and has continued to make his home here ever since, over forty-three years. His original purchase consisted of ninety-three acres, for which he paid $65 an acre. Wheat-raising was the chief industry of the ranchers at that time, and he continued grain-raising for a number of years after purchasing the property. From time to time he sold off portions of the original acreage, until now none of that land remains in his possession. However, with the proceeds he purchased adjoining land, and now has seventy-five acres one and a-quarter miles from Santa Rosa, all in hay and grain.
In Sacramento, Cal., in 1864, Mr. Reid was united in marriage with Miss Louise Range, the ceremony being performed in the Golden Eagle Hotel. Although Mrs. Reid is a native of Tennessee, the greater part of her life has been passed in California, whither she came in 1862. Eleven children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Reid. The family are members of the Christian Church of Santa Rosa, and politically Mr. Reid is a Democrat. He has held a number of public offices within the gift of his fellow-citizens, among them school trustee for a number of years, and assessor and collector on a number of occasions.
Transcribed by Peggy Hooper 2011