WILLIAM EMERY SMITH.[sic]
The public spirit entertained by the late William E. Reid entitled him to a place in the rank of prominent citizens. As an official he was keen, discriminating and exact; as a banker and business man, cautious and conservative; as a citizen he was accorded a place among those whose influence was wielded for the welfare and business interests of the people and for the advancement of the country. He was a man of scholarly attainments and his ability was recognized by all. During the 'seventies there was no citizen of Cloud county who was more intimately associated with its business interests, or who held a higher place in the confidence and esteem of the people.
Mr. Reid was born in Lanarkslure, Scotland, March 13, 1844. His father, John D. Reid, survives him and has been an extensive contractor, constructing several hundred miles of the Dubuque & Sioux City, Burlington & Missouri River, Pacific & Western Union, and other railroads. He opened quarries at Joliet, and there obtained the stone for the construction of the capitol at Nashville, Tennesseee,[sic] for which he had the contract. He has also been prominent in the political affairs of Wisconsin. He now resides at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, retired from the farm life he has been following in recent years.
Our subject's mother also survives him. Before her marriage she was Janette Gourlie, and is an accomplished woman. Mr. Reid received his rudimentary education in the schools of Nashville, Tennessee. He later entered the Union High School, of Joliet, Illinois, and subsequently graduated from the Spencerian National Business College of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and taught in the latter institution for one year. He was ambitious, even as a young man, taught school in winter and worked on the farm in summer, as a stepping stone to something more in keeping with his tastes and desires, until in 1870 when he came west. After traveling over various parts of Nebraska Mr. Reid drifted down into Kansas and located in the new western town that did not bear a very strong resemblance to the present thriving little city of Clyde, and when the whole Republican valley was but sparsely settled. He homesteaded near the town, improved the land, but engaged in the mercantile business and afterward taught two terms of school at Clyde.
Mr. Reid held offices of trust and honor. In 1870 he was elected the first Clerk of the District Court of Cloud county and was re-elected in 1872. In 1871 was elected county clerk and re-elected in 1873; holding both offices two terms. In 1875 he was elected county treasurer, re-elected in 1877 and held the office four years. He was also the first agent of the Central Branch Railroad at Concordia. He was a member of the Concordia City Council for several years and was one of the foremost in every worthy project. He was a friend and worker in educational affairs; was a director of the State Normal School of Concordia. He was a director of the Republican Valley Railroad, director and secretary of the Atchison, Republican Valley & Pacific Railroad from Concordia to Scandia and an officer and director of the Central Branch of the Union Pacific. Socially he was a Mason and Knight Templar of high standing; also of the I.O.O.F., and had passed all the chairs of these orders. Politically he was a republican. Reid was engaged in newspaper work at one time and while under his control the policy of the Expositor was changed to republican.
A year prior to our subject's locating in Kansas City, where he died in less than four months, he was associated with his brother, Walter G. Reid in the banking business at Smith Center. Mr. Reid died April 8, 1887, at the age of forty-four years, leaving a wife, four sons and one daughter who survive him and reside in their pleasant suburban home at Clyde.
Mrs. Reid before their marriage, June 9, 1872, was Jean M. Turner, one of the estimable daughters of the late David and Jean Law Turner. (See sketch) Mrs. Turner is a sister of Doctor James Law, president of Cornell University Veterinary College, which position he has filled since this seat of learning was instituted over thirty years ago. Mrs. Reid's family consists of Albert Turner (see sketch). George St. John, their second son, is manager of a large manufacturing company at St. Louis. He was married October 15, 1902, to Miss Sibelle Waite a very excellent young woman of Greenville, Illinois. Frank, the third son is now connected with one of the largest railroad construction companies in the country. He is a graduate of the law department of the Kansas University. Llewellyn Arthur, the fourth and youngest son is physically disabled; the effects of illness that occurred in his youth. But the unfortunate result does not prevent him from taking a lively interest in the affairs of the day, nor make him a less genial and companionable fellow; nor is life to him by any means a solitary existence, for he is sanguine, full of hope, and a great student, his mother's companion and counselor. He is talented in art and music, and his literary efforts have already been extensively copied. Jean, their only daughter, is just dawning upon womanhood. She is a student on her first year in the Clyde High School and is a gifted musician.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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