Harvey Milton Reed

Harvey Milton Reed
Harvey Milton Reed

information courtesy of FindaGrave contributors along with Adriana “Rian” (Langerwerf) Farley and

HISTORY OF WARREN COUNTY IOWA , by Rev. W.C. Martin; S.J. Clarke Pub. Co. , 1908, pp.458-462

Harvey M. Reed, an honored veteran of the Civil War, now living retired in Milo , Iowa , claims Indiana as his native state, his birth occuring in Lake county on the 6th of November, 1839. His father, Thomas Reed, was born in Washington county, Pennsylvania , December 31, 1812, and was the son of James and Mary (Stewart) Reed. The Reed family is of Irish origin, while the Stewarts were of Scotch descent. In early manhood Thomas Reed married Miss Maria Myrick, who was born on the coast of Maine , September 20, 1814, and was of Scotch and Welsh descent. Her ancestors were shipbuilders by trade but after coming west became agriculturalists. Our subject well remembers hearing his grandmother tell of the land being so poor in Maine that they had to fertilize with fish in order to raise a crop of corn and one can easily imagine how small their fields must have been.

From his native state Thomas Reed removed from Ohio , making his home in Athens county for some time. In 1834 he became a resident of Lake county, Indiana, settling there when that locality was on the western frontier. His second son, Thomas V. Reed, was the first white child born in that county, James S., the oldest being born in Ohio . The other children of the family were William B., Harvey M., Elias M., Louisa M., Elizabeth J., Nancy A. and Cynthia M., all born in Lake county, Indiana, where the parents continued to make their home until 1853, when they brought their family to Iowa, traveling with two-horse teams. The father entered a tract of land in Palmyra township, Warren county, and continued to reside thereon until called to his final rest in 1890, at the age of seventy-eight years. After his death his widow made her home with their son Harvey until she, too, passed away in 1894, at the age of eighty years. Both were earnest and consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal church and were highly esteemed by all who knew them. Throughout life the father followed the occupation of farming and by his ballot he supported the democratic party.

Harvey M. Reed began his education in the country schools of his native state but was not quite fourteen years of age when the family came to Iowa . At the time Warren county was sparsely settled, the land was wild and uncultivated and school privileges were poor so that the children of the Reed household acquired but limited educations. The Indians had already left for the reservations farther west but wolves were quite numerous and made the night hideous by their howling around the house. Thus amid pioneer surroundings Mr. Reed grew to manhood, becoming thoroughly familiar with farming in all its details as he aided his father in the cultivation and improvement of the home place.

At Hartford , Warren county, he married August 18, 1861, to Miss Ruth A. Proctor, who was born in Darke county, Indiana, on the 31st of August, 1843, a daughter of Joseph and Lucy Proctor. Four children blessed this union: Henry L., born July 1, 1862, married Olive Robertson: Ida V., born May 10, 1866, married Doran H. Goodale; Hulda E., born May 2, 1868, died on the 23rd of the same month; and Carrie F., born May 16, 1869, married Thomas L. Long. The mother of these children died on the 27th of March, 1882, and Mr. Reed was again married, September 18, 1884, his second union being with Harriet E. Trotter, who was born in Washington county, Indiana, October 20, 1853, and is the daughter of Hamilton and Lucy Trotter. By this marriage there were two sons: Thomas A., born October 8, 1885, and Harvey E., born November 20, 1888. Both are still at home.

Feeling that his country needed his services during the dark days of the Civil war, Mr. Reed enlisted November 4, 1861, in Company G, Fifteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, and after serving two years reenlisted in the same company and regiment, November 6, 1863, for three years or during the war. He participated in a number of important engagements, including the battle of Shiloh, April 6, 1862; and the siege and capture of Corinth ; the battle of Iuka; and the battle of Corinth , October 3-4, 1862. His regiment belonged to what was known as Crocker’s Iowa Brigade, Fourth Division, Seventeenth Army Corps, Army of Tennessee, and he took part in all the engagements in which his command participated. They aided in the capture of Vicksburg , July 4, 1863, and remained in that vicinity during the following fall and winter, being there when he reenlisted. In March, 1864, he returned home on a veteran’s furlough and at the end of thirty days rejoined his regiment. They were with Sherman ‘s army in the Atlanta campaign, participated in the capture of Atlanta and the march to the sea. From Savannah , they proceeded to Raleigh , North Carolina , and on through Richmond , Virginia , to Washington D.C. , where they took part in the grand review with Sherman ‘s Bummers, as his army was often called at that time. The war having ended Mr. Reed was honorably discharged at Louisville , Kentucky , July 24, 1865, and was mustered out with the rank of sergeant.

Mr. Reed then rejoined his wife and three year old son in Warren county and with the money which he saved from his pay as a private soldier, he purchased one hundred acres of wild brush land in Otter township, where he at once began to make a home for his family. He chopped, split and hauled rails to fence his land and as time passed made many other improvements until he had a well cultivated farm on which were good and substantial buildings. To his original purchase he added another one hundred acre tract, also forty acres and twenty acres, making in all two hundred and sixty acres of valuable farm land. He raised considerable stock, feeding both cattle and hogs for the eastern market and in his farming operations met with most excellent and well deserved success. He purchased the eighty acre tract of land which his father had entered from the government on coming to this state but later sold this to his son Henry who now lives upon it. In 1900 Mr. Reed bought ten acres of land in the town of Milo and has since practically lived retired, enjoying the fruits of former toil.

In 1880 he joined the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and has served as treasurer, vice grand and noble grand of his lodge. He has also affiliated with the Masonic order since 1897 and has been officially connected therewith, serving as junior warden, senior warder and worthy master. He attended the Grand Lodge at Sioux City , Iowa , in 1905; is a member of the Eastern Star and the Rebekahs; and is connected with the Modern Woodmen of America and the Grand Army of the Republic. In religious faith he is a Methodist and in politics he is an ardent republican, taking deep interest in public affairs, as true to his duties of citizenship in days of peace as when he followed the old flag to victory in southern battlefields. For fifty-five years he has now been a resident of Warren county and it is safe to say that no one within its borders is held in higher esteem than Harvey M. Reed, of Milo .

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