Biography - Alfred Reed

ALFRED REED. The sons of the pioneers have indeed reason to feel proud of their honorable ancestry. The early settlers in Illinois were a class of men and women who came to the New West not alone for personal aggrandizement but mainly for the benefit of their posterity. They cheerfully endured hardships and wrought gladly with their hands that they might provide a future for those who are dependent upon them. Our subject was born in Shelbyville Township, Shelby County, August 8, 1839, where he now resides, his parents being Moses and Ruth (Fortner) Reed. The father was born in Tennessee, March 3, 1807, and there married a lady who was born in North Carolina, March 12, 1808, a daughter of Micajah Fortner.

This young wedded couple came to Illinois and settled in Shelby County about the year 1825, when there were no houses between them and Vandalia and only two or three houses anywhere in their vicinity. Indians still abounded in Shelby County, deer and other game were plenty and wolves came about the dooryard.

Moses Reed entered land and settled in section 23, where he also purchased other land and dealt in real-estate more or less, having generally six hundred acres of land in possession at a time. He made his permanent home where he first settled and remained there until his death in November, 1884, at the age of seventy-seven years. His widow died August 13, 1890, at the very advanced age of eighty-three years. Their ten children are Lucinda, now Mrs. Jackson; Edward; Elizabeth, deceased; Eliza, now Mrs. Henry Hilton; Artimesia, now Mrs. Manning; Moses; Alfred, our subject; Elisha and Marion, deceased; and one who died in childhood.

Having grown to manhood in Shelbyville Township, and undertaken as his work for life agricultural pursuits, our subject decided to establish a home for himself and in 1862 he married Rebecca, daughter of Jacob Kensil, who became the mother of five children and died in 1873. Two only of her children are now living, namely: Sarah, now Mrs. Bazel Haywood and Mary J., the wife of Lewis Manning. In 1877 Mr. Reed married Alzira Hoard, daughter of Andrew J. and Mary J. (Highland) Hoard. This lady was born in Union County, Ohio, October 14, 1856, and came with her parents to Illinois in 1868. They settled in Shelby County, and here this young girl grew up into a lovely young womanhood and received a training in the useful arts of housewifery, in which she became expert. Her beloved mother is still living and her worthy father died July 4, 1886, at the age of sixty-four years. One child only of the second marriage is now living, a daughter Zula; a little one died at the age of eighteen months some years ago.

About three hundred acres of land now form the home farm of this successful and thorough-going farmer. He prefers to devote himself largely to stock-raising of which he makes a specialty, and in which he is very prosperous. His political views have led him to ally himself with the Democratic party, and he firmly believes that the principles endorsed by "Old Hickory" are the reliable ground for political action now-a-days. The high esteem in which he is held by his neighbors has often led them to urge his acceptance of various local offices, but the only position which he has ever felt willing to accept was that of a member of the School Board in which he has been very useful and has aided materially in forwarding the educational interests of his township. Socially he is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Extracted 29 May 2017 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 282-283.

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