ELI REEP, who carries on general farming on section 8, township 18, was born in Harrison county, Indiana, near Corydon, January 21, 1840. At one time that place was the capital of Indiana. His parents were Philip and Delilah (Evilsizor) Reep. The father was of German lineage and his ancestors were colonial settlers of the new world, establishing their home in North Carolina when this country was still one of the possessions of Great Britain. Representatives of the name, however, fought for the independence of the nation in the Revolutionary war and carried the scars of their wounds down to the grave.
Philip Reep was born in Lincoln county, North Carolina, in 1813. He was married to Miss Delilah Evilsizor, who was descended from an old Virginia family. Her father became one of the first settlers of Indiana, living in that state when it formed a part of the Northwest territory, when the whipping post was an institution of punishment and when slaves were still held by the settlers. He married a Miss Wise, who also belonged to one of the prominent Virginia families and the family furnished a governor to that state. William Evilsizor, a brother of Mrs. Reep, became a resident of Bushnell, McDonough county, Illinois, where he lived for a number of years and afterward removed to Iowa, being a resident of West Point, Warren county, that state, when last heard from. One of her sisters, Mrs. Jane Fite, is still a resident of Harrison county, Indiana. Another brother, David Evilsizor, removed to Missouri. George W. Evilsizor was a soldier in an Indiana regiment during the Civil war and served for three years, taking part in the engagements with the Army of the Cumberland.
Philip Reep removed from North Carolina to what is now Harrison county, Indiana, at an early epoch in its development. He journeyed westward on foot in company with several companions, who traveled in the same way. He was then but twenty-one years of age, and he was led to leave North Carolina because he had to patrol the slaves at night. Establishing his home in what was then the far west, he turned his attention to farming and continued to carry on agricultural pursuits throughout his remaining days. He was twice married and had three children by the first wife and one son by the second wife, namely: Mary became the wife of John Summers, who came to Illinois in 1857, afterward removed to Nebraska during the period of the Civil war and subsequently went to Atchison county, Missouri, where he carried on agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Summers died leaving four children. Eli is the second of the family. Martha died at the age of sixteen years. Philip, the son of the second marriage, is married and follows farming in Jasper county, Illinois, near Newton.
Eli Reep was educated in the country schools of Indiana and also pursued his studies near New Salisbury in Little Grove, Menard county, Illinois. His training at farm labor was not meager for as soon as old enough to handle the plow he began work in the fields and when nineteen years of age he began farming for himself in Little Grove, Menard county. In 1860 he began raising and feeding cattle and followed that pursuit until the time of his enlistment for service in the Civil war. His patriotic spirit being aroused by the continued attempt of the south to overthrow the Union, he enlisted in August, 1862, as a member of Company K, of the One Hundred and Sixth Volunteer Infantry under Colonel Latham, of Logan county, and Lieutenant Colonel Campbell. The regiment was attached to the Sixteenth Army Corps commanded by General Hurlburt and the first battle in which the regiment participated was on the Tennessee river. Later the troops did duty at Vicksburg and along the Yazoo river, and aided in holding back Johnston's forces. Subsequently they went to Helena, Arkansas, and took part in a fight at Clarendon on the White river in that state. After defeating the rebels at that point the Union troops moved on to Little Rock and succeeded in driving Price from that rebel stronghold after engaging in a cavalry fight there. Mr. Reep was mustered out at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in August, 1865, for hostilities had ceased and the war had been brought to a successful close. He now receives a pension in recognition of his services. He was always a faithful and loyal soldier, unfaltering in the performance of his duty, whether it called him into the thickest of the fight or stationed him on the lonely picket line.
On the 1st of January, 1867, Mr. Reep was united in marriage to Miss Anna B. Dowell, a daughter of Thomas F. Dowell, Sr., who was one of the early settlers of Illinois, and his children, the brothers and sister of Mrs. Reep, are as follows: Samuel H., who is married and owns much town property, his home being near Miami in Indian Territory; William I., who is a miner and fruit farmer residing at Grant's Pass, Oregon; and Mrs. Martha A. Montgomery, who is living in Petersburg. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Reep have been born eleven children: Frank died in infancy. Nannie B. married Walter Gum, a dealer in fine horses in Chicago, and they have one son, Percy Eli. Thomas P., who practices law in Petersburg, married Laura Shipp and has two children. Martha Ann is the wife of Charles E. Clarke and has two children. Her husband is a railroad man, now managing a road at Pine Bluffs, Arkansas, and has a large farm at Warrnesburg, Missouri. Mary Luella is the widow of Lour Golden, by whom she had two children, A. Louis and Sophia Marie, and is now at home with her parents. Eli married Regina Capinos and is a lumberman residing in Canute, Oklahoma. Edward L. married Mrs. Dr. Phillips and is a barber of Gerry, Oklahoma. Alice Maud is the wife of Charles E. Batterton, a graduate pharmacist who is conducting a drug store in Chicago, and they have one child. Homer S. was accidentally shot December 13, 1902, and died when nineteen years of age. Ethel Cauble is at home with her parents. One child died in infancy.
Mr. Reep gives an earnest support to the Republican party and his personal popularity and the confidence reposed in him is indicated by the fact that he was elected in a Democratic county to the office of county treasurer, in which position he rendered capable and efficient service during his two years' term. He has also been a school director and road supervisor and the public interest may well be intrusted to his care, for he is as loyal in citizenship in days of peace as when he followed the old flag on southern battle-fields. For thirty-two years he has been a member of the Masonic fraternity and is true to its teachings and tenets, being in full sympathy with the principles of the craft. His wife is a member of the Christian church and he was formerly identified with the Baptist church. Their home is upon a good farm of one hundred and sixty acres, well kept, neatness and thrift characterizing it in every department. In business he is energetic, alert and enterprising, and he deserves much credit for what he has accomplished.