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Luman Reed (1811-1870)

Luman Reed, deceased, formerly a farmer of Buffalo Township, was a son of Ezekiel Reed, and was born in Delaware Co., N.Y. May 5, 1811. He received the rural advantages of a “log school-house” education, which was acquired principally during the winter seasons. His summers were passed in gathering up the stones and clearing the timber off the old homestead, which like many others at that time and in that locality, was so scarce of grass and so thickly covered with rocks that it is said though not fully vouched for, “that they had to take the sheep by the hind legs and hold their heads down between the rocks, to enable them to procure any grass.”

After arriving at his majority Mr. Reed was united in marriage with Miss Mary, daughter of Capt. Stephen Hull, who received his title during the war of 1812. The marriage took place about 1834, and they moved to Speedsville, Tompkins Co., N.Y. where Mr. Reed engaged in the mercantile business with a small capital. In the panic of 1837, he with many others throughout the country, was compelled to succumb, and started to grow west with the country. He first went to Buffalo by canal, and then by a vessel, which was overtaken by a storm on Lake Erie, and put into Cleveland, OH. The weather continuing stormy and his family, a wife and two children, becoming seasick, Mr. Reed left the vessel, and with a span of horses and a wagon, continued his journey overland to Chicago, which was then only a muddy little village, surrounded by a swamp for miles. Leaving that place they arrived at Buffalo Grove, this county, July 1, 1837, with a span of horses and $25.00 in money. With part of the capital which he possessed Mr. Reed purchased a cow, but soon afterward met with the loss of one of his horses, and his cow objecting to work with the other horse, he was compelled to trade it for a large yoke of oxen, the names being remembered as “Jack” and “Lion.” With these oxen Mr. Reed opened up a farm two miles north of the Grove, being the first to move from that village out on the uncultivated prairie. He continued to reside on this land, and reared a family of five girls and six boys, eight of whom are still living, and a portion of whom have taken Greeley’s advice and gone still further West, to grow up with the country.

In 1848, Mr. Reed, together with Deacon Perkins, William Walmsley and Esquire Bogue, became picket guards on the outposts of the great Abolition army, led in that part of the county by Captain Coding St. Clair, until the great army came up in 1856; believing with Lincoln that “a house divided against itself cannot stand,” they persisted in their support of the party until its glorious victory in 1860. About 1850 Mr. Reed added largely to the old farm, until he had acquired about 700 acres of land, the major portion of it being in one body, and which at the present time comprises some of the finest farms in Ogle County.

The children of the union of Mr. and Mrs. Reed are: Mary, born Nov. 17, 1833, died in 1834; Wallace Hull, Au.1, 1835; Victoria, June 23, 1837; Harriet Helen, Feb. 17, 1839; John James, Feb. 28, 1841; Hull Peter, Jan. 6, 1843; William Luman, Dec. 31, 1844; Mary Jane, Oct. 29, 1846, died in 1848; Hannah A., May 3, 1848; Charles Darius, April 9, 1850, and Luman Jr., March 8, 1852. Victoria was married to S. J. Basset, now deceased, in Feb., 1855. Wallace married Mary E. Wilbur, Feb. 28, 1861. John J. married Lydia Davis, March 20, 1862. Harriet became the wife of Fred McFarland, Nov. 29, 1865. Charles D. married Mary Perkins, Nov. 2, 1876. Hull P. married Hattie Gordon, and resides in Wichita, Kansas. Hannah A. is the wife of Charles A. Holbrook, a resident of Alexandria, Dak.

The subject of this sketch, as seen from the date of his advent into the county, was one of the early pioneers, and lived here though all its progress of more than 40 years. His life was an honorable one, and he was esteemed and respected by all who knew him. His demise occurred March 28, 1870. Mary (Hull) Reed was born Oct. 27, 1814, and departed this life April 15, 1862, mourned as a loving wife, a kind mother and a generous friend.

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