William L. REID, who has
lived on his if present farm on section 13, Burnside Township, Johnson
County, for the past thirty-eight years, was born in Williamson
County,Tenn., in 1826. His father, James Reid, was born in the same
county in 1800, and was a son of James Reid, who was the only son of a
revolutionary soldier by his first wife. This participant in the
Revolution was born in Ireland, but the Christian name of the hero and
the maiden name of his wife cannot be ascertained. He was a farmer in
Ireland, came over it is believed some time before that war commenced,
and was killed in the battle of King's Mountain. James Reid,
grandfather of William L., married Phoebe Calhoun, of North Carolina,
who bore him nine sons and three daughters, of whom James, the father
of William L., was the fifth child and fourth son in order of birth.
The eldest son, Charles, was a soldier under Andrew Jackson, , and
while in the army was attacked with a contagious disease, from which he
never recovered. The mother of William L. Reid was Hannah Legate, who
was born in Kentucky and, when a child, was taken by her parents to
Tennessee, where they reared a family of five sons and one daughter.
The father died in Humphreys County, Tenn., in 1830, at the age of
thirty, leaving his widow with six children, one of whom was very
young. Mrs. Reid in 1834 removed to Kentucky, where she again married.
She died in Johnson County, Ill., in 1878, in her eighty-first year.
Charles Reid, the pioneer of the family, came to Illinois in an early
day, followed by his brothers James and George in a short lime. There
was no death in the family from 1830 to 1878. The family was in humble
circumstances in early life, and William L. and his two brothers
received but a very limited education in the subscription school kept
in the primitive log schoolhouse so frequently described in these
pages, and in this way these sons of toil passed their youth.
William L. Reid was married in Kentucky in 1850, in his twenty-fifth
year, to Sarah P. G. Robinson, daughter of J. M. Robinson, who came to
Johnson County, Ill., about 1858, where they lived the rest of their
lives, he dying at fifty-six and she at seventy years of age. Our
subject came to Illinois by land, drawn by his two yoke of oxen, and
bringing his wife and baby and all their household goods. They came
early in the winter, and lived with a brother of Mr. Reid's till
spring, when they bought and settled on eighty acres of partly improved
land, which cost $375. With this tract our subject deeded sufficient
Government land to make two hundred acres, on which he started in
humble pioneer style. He was a blacksmith by occupation, beginning to
learn that trade in Kentucky when but sixteen years of age. He followed
his trade and also engaged some in farming in Kentucky and Illinois.
His first wife died in 1876, at the age of forty-one years. She bore
him ten children, seven of whom died in infancy; those living are James
Y., a Methodist minister, who married Miss Mary Purdoin, who bore him
one son and three daughters; Nancy M., wife of William P. Cole, a
farmer residing near Mr. Reid, and Sarah H. T., wife of Charles M.
Parsons, a farmer of Pope County, and who has two sons. His second wife
was Mary J. Wilson, of Kentucky, to which State he went for her in 1878.
Mr. Reid has deeded all his farm to his children except fifty acres,
upon which he lives. He has been in poor health for some years,
suffering with the rheumatism and gout, but was, however, when younger,
one of the stalwart sons of Kentucky, and he takes pride in never
having had a personal encounter in his life. In politics he is a
Prohibitionist, the supporters of which party he considers the
patriotic reformers of the day.
transcribed by Nan Starjak
The Biographical Review of Johnson, Massac, Pope and Hardin
Biographical Publishing Co., 1893
pp. 308 - 311
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