Biography of Don Francis Reed

Don Francis Reed has been identified with Harper, Kansas, successively as a blacksmith, farmer and lawyer. Admitted to the bar a little more than two years ago he had won his spurs in his first legal contest, and is now well established with a general clientage drawn from all over Harper County.

Mr. Reed was born at Logansport, Indiana, January 10, 1887, and is a member of a family that had three living generations. He is of Scotch ancestry. His great-grandfather, Herriman Reed, was born in Scotland, came to this country in early times, settling in Philadelphia, and died there. By trade he was a cooper.

The grandfather of the Harper lawyer is Charles Reed, who was born in Jay County, Indiana, in 1846, and had spent all his life in that section of Eastern Indiana as a farmer. He had been identified with the republican party for many years, and saw 3½ years of active service with an Indiana regiment of infantry in the Civil war. He was at the second battle of Bull Run, where he was shot through the arm, and later participated in the Atlanta campaign and was at the battle of Kenesaw Mountain and other engagements. He married Miss Wright, who was born in Pennsylvania and died in Jay County, Indiana. Ten of their children are still living, namely: Sarah, wife of S. C. Milton, a farmer in Jay County, Indiana; F. H. Reed; James J., an oil well driller near Portland, Oregon; William M., who is also in the oil well business in Oregon; Solon M., a merchant at Portland, Indiana; Sallie, wife of Ernest J. Louden, who is agent for the Salt Lake Railroad Company at San Pedro, California; Nellie, wife of Waldo Twiggs, an employe of the Warner Gear Company of Muncie, Indiana; Carrie, unmarried and living at Portland, Indiana; John, agent for the Lake Erie and Western Railway at Anson, Ohio; and Leslie, an oil well driller near Portland, Oregon.

F. H. Reed, father of Don Francis, was born in Jay County, Indiana, November 19, 1861, and is still living at Logansport in that state. He had spent practically all his life in Logansport and is a veteran of the Pennsylvania Railway service, still having a run as passenger conductor out of Logansport, which is one of the division points on that road. He is a republican, very active in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and one of the church trustees. He married Florence McKee, who was born in White County, Indiana, November 17, 1861. They are the parents of a family of eleven children: Perry W., a resident of Chicago and connected with the Interstate Commerce Commission; Don Francis; Benjamin Franklin, a passenger conductor with the Wabash Railway Company, living at Detroit, Michigan; Charles C., a lieutenant in the Aviation Corps of the United States Army; Merritt W., a farmer in Cass County, Indiana; Edmund McKee, cashier of the Wabash Railway Company at Detroit, Michigan; William E., a student in the Detroit College of Medicine; Lawrence L., now serving with the United States Cavalry stationed at Louisville, Kentucky; Florence G., living with her parents; Paul P. and John, both students in the high school at Logansport.

Don Francis Reed received his early training in the public schools of Logansport, graduating from the high school in 1904. He then spent two years in Wabash College at Crawfordsville, following which he began his life’s practical experience as a reporter with the Los Angeles Times at Los Angeles, California. A year later, in 1907, he came to Harper, Kansas, worked at the blacksmith trade a year, and then devoted his time to farming until 1913. He was only twenty-six years of age when he gave up the pursuits of the agriculturist and entered the Detroit College of Law, where he was graduated LL. B. in 1915. After qualifying himself for his chosen work Mr. Reed returned to Harper, Kansas, and had since been acquiring a good share of the general civil and criminal practice of the local courts. His offices are in the Harper Produce Company’s building on Main Street. He is also a stockholder in the Citizens State Bank of Harper.

Mr. Reed is a member of the County, State and American Bar associations, is an active member and treasurer of the Episcopal Church, in politics is a republican and is affiliated with Harper Lodge No. 206, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, which he served as worshipful master in 1912; with Harper Chapter No. 155, Royal Arch Masons; Anthony Commandery No. 96, Knights Templar; Harper Lodge No. 195, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Mr. Reed owned a home at Thirteenth and Jefferson streets in Harper. In 1908 in that town he married Miss Grace McElroy, daughter of John W. and Juliette E. (Skeels) McElroy. Both parents are now deceased. Her father was a grain buyer at Runnymeade, Kansas.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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