JOEL W. REED
Date of Death, March 14, 1923
Buried in: Oak Hill Cemetery, Elk City, Kansas
From History of Montgomery County, Kansas, By Its Own People, Published by L. Wallace Duncan, Iola, Kansas, 1903, Pg. 419-420:
Joel W. Reed, a prominent contractor and builder, of Elk City, Kansas, was born
in Shelby county, Indiana, June 6,1849. His parents were John O. and Missouri
(Gregory) Reed; the former being a native of Ohio, and the latter of Kentucky.
The father was a carpenter and builder, and moved to Indiana, in 1840, and was a
pioneer of the locality where he lived. Many and large buildings are standing
today, monuments to his skill as a workman. He had the honor of serving the
Civil war, in which he enlisted August 2, 1862, as a private, in the
Ninety-eight Illinois regiment, Company “K,” and, in a battle which occurred
shortly after, at Elizabethtown, Kentucky, was severely wounded. He was removed
to a hospital, at New Albany, Indiana, where he died, on the 18th of October,
Mr. Reed was a man of splendid qualities, a lifelong and devout member of the
Methodist Episcopal church in which he was an officer for many years. His age,
at death, was forty-six years, and his wife, the mother of Joel W., died at
twenty-six, on the 18th of September, 1856.
By a former marriage- to Elizabeth Rouse-Mr. Reed had three children viz: Mahala,
deceased wife of Patrick Keenan; Ann Eliza, Mrs.John Smith, of Los Angeles,
California; and Melissa, who died in infancy.
Our subject was one of four children born to the second marriage of his father,
viz Joel W.; Jacob L., a minister of the Kentucky Conference of the M. E. Church
; Martha E.; who married Abram Lewis, and is now deceased; and John B.; he
resides near the old homestead in Indiana. After the death of the
mother of these children, Mr. Reed married Anna McDuffey, whose two sons were
James B. and Charles S. W.
In the common schools of his native county, Joel W. Reed secured sufficient
education to equip him for a useful life, though it was difficult to hold him to
his school work. To him it seemed cruel to have to study history while it was
being made so rapidly on the battlefield. He yearned to be at the front and ran
away twice, in his efforts to get into the army. Finally, on the 6th of March,
1865, being then fifteen years and nine months old, and according to authentic
records, the third youngest soldier to enlist in the war, he became a private of
Company “K”, Thirty-third Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was too late, how
ever, to see any active service. Joining Sherman`s army at Mewburn, North
Carolina, he was a witness of the surrender of Gen, Johnson; and, after
participating in the Grand Review at Washington, received his discharge, at
Louisville, Kentucky, July 21, 1865.
After the war, Mr. Reed worked on the farm until 1868, when he came out to
Illinois, on a visit to a sister, who lived a Louisville. Here during the next
two years, he learned the baker’s trade and, in 1871, came to Kansas. He
worked at Wichita for several months and then came to Elk City. In August of
1872, he became connected with the “Katy” railroad, as cook, and followed
that business, at different points, until 1874. Returning to Elk City , He
farmed for some six years and then took up the business in which he is now
engaged. He has long been the leading contractor and builder of the town and
specimens of his handiwork are seen on every side. He has put up nearly every
building of importance in the city, erected within the past two decades.
Mr. Reed has always been exceedingly active in the social life of the Scottish
Rite Mason. The Woodmen number him among their most valued members, and he is a
Good Templar, a member of the Carpenter’s Union, and is officer of the day in
the G. A. R.
The wife of Mr. Reed was, prior to her marriage, in 1878, Miss Mattie Monfort.
She is a native of Indiana, the daughter of John Monfort, and was born March
1,1862. To her have been born: Lela, deceased in infancey; Stella I., deceased
at three years; Orion O., a farmer in the Indian Territory; Sheldon M., a
schoolboy; and New Floyd. Mrs. Reed is quite as helpful, in social and
religious circles, as her husband, being a member of the Friends` church.
In all the varied activities of life, Mr. Reed has been true to his best
conception of right and has good citizen’s pride in supporting every measure
which makes for the good of his fellowmen. Elk City has no mere loyal citizen,
and the esteem in which he is held is uniform.
Contributed by Mrs. Maryann Johnson a
Civil war researcher and a volunteer in the Kansas Room of the Independence
Public Library, Independence, Kansas.