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Chicago: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company

Transcribed by: Ellen Booth.



Many events familiar to W. W. P. Reed because of his long residence in Menard county are to other citizens of this state merely matters of history. He has witnessed the greater part of the development and upbuilding of this locality, for he cast in his lot here in early pioneer days. He was born in DuBois county, Indiana, December 20, 1823, and is the second in a family of twelve children, born unto Isaac and Winnie Morgan (Spears) Reed. His parents were natives of Kentucky, but at an early period in the development of Indiana became residents of that state.

W. W. P. Reed was reared and educated in Indiana, spending his boyhood days there, amid the environments of pioneer life, but at the age of twenty-three years he came to Menard county, thus entering upon an independent business career. He received no pecuniary assistance, but he possessed strong courage and resolute purpose and upon this as a foundation he has built the superstructure of his success. He first began working for E.D. Powers and afterward he returned to Indiana, where he was employed as superintendent of a gang of men working on the Evansville & Terre Haute Railroad. There he continued for three years and as the result of his industry and economy he accumulated the capital that enabled him to purchase forty acres of land. He then returned to Menard county and invested his money in a tract which proved the nucleus of extensive farming interests.

On the 24th of January, 1856, Mr. Reed was united in marriage to Miss Charlotte Lanterman, who was born May 17, 1836, and unto them were born four children: Winnie, whose birth occurred December 18, 1856; Charles H., born June 3, 1858; A.J., born March 30, 1860; and Charlotte T., born August 25, 1862. The wife and mother died at the birth of her youngest child and on the 10th of September, 1863, Mr. Reed was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Elizabeth Wilcox, who was born August 15, 1835, and is a daughter of George and Mary Curry. There are three children by this marriage: Eleanor Frances, born July 15, 1864; George C., April 9, 1866; and Wallace M., August 25, 1875.

At the time of his first marriage Mr. Reed was engaged in general farming and is now the owner of a good tract of land well improved, which he has acquired through his own labors. He worked hard and persistently, however, to gain this and he certainly deserves much credit for what he has accomplished. In Indiana, his father lived on what is known as the Polk patch, once the home of Abraham Lincoln. At an early day Mr. Reed drove Mr. Lincoln three different times from Springfield to Petersburg to hold court. He hauled lumber to build the first railroad in Springfield and in many other ways has been identified with the early beginning of central Illinois, its development and progress. He was elected and served as judge of the Indian Creek precinct for sixteen years and his father was one of the first election judges of Menard county. Fraternally Mr. Reed is a member of Greenview lodge, No. 653, A .F. & A. M. He has passed the eighty-first milestone on life's journey and looking back over the past he recalls vividly the conditions which existed in Menard county at the time of his arrival here. His mind bears the picture of a largely unsettled district, the homes being widely scattered, for much of the land was still unimproved. He bore a helpful part in the agricultural development of the county and in his business dealings was found reliable and trustworthy, while in all life's relations he gained the respect of his fellow men by his genuine worth.

1905 Bio. Index

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