James William Reed, one of the prominent ministers of the Methodist Episcopal church of Kansas, was born at Batesville, Ohio, Sept. 3, 1865, the second son of James B. and Maria A. (Carter) Reed. James B. Reed was also born at Batesville, on Jan. 25, 1837. He engaged in farming in his native state and married Maria Carter, who was born in Boston, Ohio, Oct. 29, 1838. Eight children blessed this union: Mary Alemida, born Dec. 25, 1860, who died Jan. 10, 1863; Sarah Ellen, born Feb. 23, 1862, who died Feb. 24, 1863; Edward Alva, born April 10, 1863, now a farmer in Morris county, Kansas; James William, the subject of this sketch; Fannie Belle, born April 4, 1868, who died Oct. 15, 1869; Isaac Henry, born July 24, 1870, who died March 20, 1874; Maude Mae, born Aug. 4, 1872, now the wife of Elmer P. Chubb, a farmer; and Wilber E., born Nov. 3, 1876, a traveling salesman, who lives in Topeka. The parents came west in 1880 and located in Montgomery county, Missouri, but remained there only four years, after which they came to Kansas and bought a farm in Shawnee county, near Tecumseh. In 1895 Mr. Reed sold his farm, retired from active life and bought a home in Topeka, where he and his wife now reside.
James W. Reed received his elementary education in the public schools of Kansas and then entered Baker University, Baldwin, Kan., where he graduated in 1894. He at once entered the ministry, and in March of that year took charge of the Clinton circuit, in Douglas county, where he ministered for one year. The conference of the Methodist Episcopal church then appointed him to take charge of the church at Tecumseh. During the three years he was there Mr. Reed erected a substantial brick church and was successful in increasing its membership from seventy-five to over 150. In March, 1898, he was placed in charge of the church at Centropolis, Kan., but two years later was transferred to Admire, Kan. The strain of such constant work had told upon his health and he was given leave of absence for six months to recuperate. In 1901 Mr. Reed was appointed to the Oakland Methodist Church in Topeka, where he labored for three and a half years. During that time he was successful in raising money to build a new parsonage. In 1905 he was transferred to North Topeka and served there until 1907, when he was given charge of the Methodist church in Council Grove. Within five years he increased the membership of the church from 232 to 350 and was instrumental in raising $15,000 for a fine new brick church, which replaced the old building.
On Aug. 16, 1893, Mr. Reed married Carrie Baker, the daughter of John W. and Sarah J. Baker, of Franklin county, Kansas. Two children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Reed: Esther Gladys, born April 5, 1896, and Baker Merrill, born Dec. 23, 1899. Mrs. Reed and her daughter both sing in the church choir and take an interest in the auxiliary work of the women's societies. Mr. Reed is popular as a man and pastor. He is interested in the public affairs which tend to the betterment of the city, state and country.Pages 1372-1373 from volume III, part 2 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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