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Fayette County, Iowa
Past and Present of Fayette County Iowa, 1910
Author: G. Blessin
B. F. Bowen & Company, Indianapolis, Indiana
Vol. I, Biographical Sketches
JOHN W. REED
John W. Reed, the well-known furniture and undertaking man, of Waucoma, also postmaster of the town, is a native of Steuben county, New York, where his birth occurred on August 12, 1848. His father, Thomas S. Reed, a native of county Derry, Ireland, came to the United States when twenty-one years of age and located in Steuben county, New York, where in due time he married Adaline Knapp, of that state. Some years later, about 1864, he moved to Chickasaw county, Iowa, and engaged in agriculture, which he carried on with satisfactory results until his death, which occurred at the age of sixty-five years, his wife dying in 1898, when seventy-three years old. Thomas S. Reed was one of the pioneers of Chickasaw county and took a leading part in the development of the section of country in which he settled. Intelligent and enterprising, he manifested an active interest in public affairs, held several local offices from time to time and in an early day was one of the influential Democrats of Chickasaw county. Mrs. Reed was an earnest Christian woman who manifested her faith in her daily work and conversation, having been a Baptist in early life, but later united with the Methodist church, to which she continued faithful until called from the "church militant" to the "church triumphant". The family of Thomas S. and Adaline Reed consisted of three children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the first born. Mary J., the second of the number, a widow, keeps house for her brother, and Orline, the youngest, married Alexander McRae, of Estherville, Iowa, where she and her husband now reside.
John W. Reed was a youth in his teens when his parents moved to Iowa, and his experience for several years following was closely interwoven with the clearing and improvement of the home farm in Chickasaw county. On the death of his father he became possessor of the place and continued to live on the same and prosper until 1894, the meanwhile increasing his holdings by an additional eighty-acre tract and making a number of substantial improvements. In the above year he discontinued the pursuit of agriculture and took up his residence in Waucoma and engaged in the furniture and undertaking business, which he still carries on, his establishment being the largest of the kind in the town and extensively patronized. On July 1, 1897, he was appointed by President McKinley postmaster of Waucoma and has served in that capacity to the present time, a period of thirteen years, during which a number of changes have been made in the office, which is now the distributing point for four rural free delivery routes. Mr. Reed was appointed in 1908, when the office was made third class, and he is now on his fourth consecutive term, proving a most capable and judicious official whose attention to duty and courteous treatment of patrons have won the confidence of the public and gained for him an honorable reputation as a faithful and conscientious official.
Like most enterprising men, he is identified with the Masonic fraternity, holding membership with Standard Lodge at Waucoma, Adelphi Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, at New Hampton, and Langridge Commandery, Knights Templar, at West Union. In his political affiliations he is a Republican and stands for the strict enforcement of the law, gives his aid to all worthy measures for the good of the community, and as a citizen he is wide-awake, enterprising and progressive and has done much to promote the material prosperity of the town in which he resides.
At the age of twenty-three years Mr. Reed was united in marriage with Martha McCashland, of Fillmore county, Nebraska, who died at Waucoma in 1903, after a mutually happy and prosperous wedded experience of twenty-five years duration. Mrs. Reed was born of Scotch parentage and departed this life at the age of forty-eight, honored and respected by all who knew her and deeply lamented by the circle of warm personal friends with whom she was accustomed to mingle. She bore her husband three children, namely: Fred B., who is engaged in the grocery and restaurant business at Waucoma; Glen T., a railway mail clerk on the Chicago Great Western railroad, living at Oelwein, and Mabel M., a student in the senior class of the Waucoma high school.
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