Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Reeders, Reeders Everywhere

I've heard my husband's family talk about Edward and Minerva Jane Reeder. I have seen their picture and know that my sister-in-law bears her middle name.
Edward and Minerva Reeder
Edward and Minerva had four children. Our line comes from their daughter, Ina Reeder Augustus. Her siblings were Jennie Lind Reeder White, Charles Reeder and Archie Reeder. Ina's older grandchildren including my husband remember some of them.  It seems that summer picnics at Chautauqua Park in Jefferson, Iowa were quite an event.

My interest and curiosity in earlier generations was piqued when I discovered Edward, his siblings, and parents had lived in Greene County, Iowa since about 1875. Edward's parents were John Morris and Elizabeth.

John Morris Reeder (1839-1935) married Elizabeth Neely (1837-1909) in Cedar County, Iowa in 1868.  According to John's obituary he was born in Palmyra, Missouri, May 5th, 1839.  His mother passed away when he was two years old and he went to live with an aunt.  In 1843, they moved to Ohio where he resided until he reached manhood.  Mr. Reeder, with his aunt, then came to Cedar County, Iowa where he married Elizabeth Neely.  The obituary goes on to say that Mr. and Mrs. Reeder resided on a farm in Cedar County where four sons and three daughters were born to them.  Their eighth and last son was born in Greene county in 1878.

John Morris and Elizabeth Neely Reeder's children were: Edward Maurice (1858-1949), Charles M.(1860-1882), Ella (1861-1934), Emma R. (1863-1934), Martin Ellis (1864-1940 ), Harriet (1865-1937), George Leonard (1874-1942), and William John (1878-1952).

Each of John Morris Reeder's eight children could be an interesting research project, but I am going to save that for later and only if I feel there might be an interest.  I was amazed to learn that the parents of our Great Grandpa Edward Maurice Reeder and all of his siblings were long time Greene County residents.

Mr. John Reeder operated a meat market for a few years after which time, he retired and lived in Jefferson.  Mrs. Reeder preceded her husband in death in 1909.

Interesting, interesting.   John Morris was a widower for 24 years and he ran a meat market after having been a farmer.  He also had a sister named Elizabeth that went by Lizzie. She attended functions with him and they took a trip together in 1924 to Ohio.  From the newspaper of September 24, 1924:

     Mr. John Reeder and his sister, Elizabeth Reeder, leave tomorrow for a visit to their old home near Cincinnati, Ohio, where they will be guests of relatives. 
     Mr. Reeder has not been back to the old home for exactly half a century, and is looking forward to the trip with anticipation.         .

I have determined through various records that William, father of John Morris Reeder, remarried about a year after his first wife, Nancy Martha Morris, died. It is rather obvious that John's middle name must have come from his mother's maiden name.  I wonder about this second family. William and his second wife had children, but evidently they did not raise John. Did they stay in Missouri or go back to Ohio too? Was John's aunt a sibling to his mom or his dad or was she really even an aunt? 

Earlier I mentioned the family picnics that my husband and his siblings remember. Looking through the  pages many of those picnics are detailed. The one I found the most fun was from 1929.

The August 8, 1929 issue of The Jefferson Herald reports on the Reeder Reunion at Chautauqua Park in Jefferson, Iowa.  The family decided to have the picnic every year  on the first Sunday of August.  There were numerous families listed as attendees.  The names that most interested me were J.M. Reeder and his sister, Lizzie, and Mrs. and Mrs. Hallie Augustus and family This would make my 97 year old mother-in-law just eleven years old and her brother about eight.
The last paragraph states, "There are 104 descendants of the Reeder clan, a number of whom were unable to be present Sunday."  So, if there were 104 in 1929, I wonder how many there would be 86 years later.  I did a little estimating and came up with a 1728+ totally unscientific guess. I don't think the park has enough picnic tables for the Reeder Reunion anymore. 

Cemetery marker for Edward and Minerva Reeder.  See their picture above.

Cemetery marker for the parents of Edward Reeder

Interesting marker with parents on one end and Edward's brother, son of John Morris and Elizabeth on the other end.

This appears to be the original marker for Charles M. Reeder.


  1. I think you look like Estella Smith

  2. The comment about Estella Smith was from Kristen Barczak