The Reed family of Brockton, Mass., a leading member of which was Judge Warren A. Reed, lawyer and jurist, who for over a third of a century had been one of the foremost citizens of Brockton, and during the greater part of that long period connected with the judicial, civic and financial interests of the city, district and State, is one of long and honorable standing in this Commonwealth, and one the forerunner of which came to these shores over two hundred and fifty years ago. Many members of this historic family have given good account of themselves, and many are there who have been prominent in the history of this country. An account of the branch of the family to which Judge Reed belongs is here given in chronological order, beginning with the earliest American ancestor.
(I) William Reade, born in 1605, sailed from Gravesend, in the County of Kent, England, in the “Assurance de Lo,” in 1635, for America. He settled in Weymouth, Mass., and was made a freeman Sept. 2, 1635. He bought a house and land in 1636. Mr. Reade was among the early settlers of Weymouth, it having been made a plantation May 8, 1635; and Rev. Mr. Hall and twenty-one families settled there. Mr. Reade was a representative from Weymouth in 1636 and 1638. The Christian name of his wife, it is supposed, was Ivis. Their children were:
- William Reade, born Oct. 16, 1639.*
- Esther Reade, born May 8, 1641.
- Thomas Reade (died Nov. 14, 1719).
- John Reade, born in 1649.
- Mary Reade, who married Thomas Dyer.
- Margaret Reade, who married John Vining.
(II) William Reade (Read, Reed), son of William and Ivis, born Oct. 16, 1639, in Weymouth, Mass., married in 1675 Esther Thomson, of Middleboro, Mass., daughter of John Thomson and his wife Mary (Cooke), the latter the daughter of Francis Cooke, of the “Mayflower” company. In 1675 William Reed was constable in Weymouth, in those times the chief officer of the town. In 1680 he was selectman, and a representative to the General Court. He dealt extensively in land. His will was proved Sept. 12, 1706. To him and his wife Esther were born:
- William Reed
- John Reed, born July 10, 1687
- Jacob Reed, born Nov. 6, 1691
- Bushnor Reed
- Porter Reed
- Mercy Reed
- Mary Reed
- Hester Reed
- Sarah Reed, born March 21, 1694
John Thomson, father of Esther, landed in this country at Plymouth in one of the early embarkations. He finally settled and built a log house thirteen miles west of Plymouth, on the confines of what was then called Plymouth, now Halifax and Middleboro. He lived there until his house was burned by the Indians in 1675, when he and the other families fled to Plymouth. At the close of the war in 1677 they all returned and took possession of their estates, and rebuilt their houses. While living there, either he or his wife would walk to meeting every Sunday. The only place where they had an elder to speak to them was Plymouth — a distance of more than thirteen miles. It is said that during one year of his residence there his wife, on two of the Sabbaths in June, after breakfast, took a child six months old in her arms, walked to Plymouth, attended meeting, and returned home the same day.
Francis Cooke, grandfather of Esther (Thomson) Reed, was an Englishman. He was with the Pilgrims at Leyden, and married in Holland. He and his son John embarked on the “Speedwell,” at Delftshaven, in July, 1620, leaving behind his wife Hester and the other children, at Southampton, or Plymouth, England. They were transferred to the “Mayflower” and in her set sail from the latter place on Wednesday, “6/16” September, 1620. He signed the compact in the cabin of the “Mayflower” on Saturday, “11/21” — November, 1620, the ship finally landing at Plymouth, Mass., Dec. 25, 1620. Up to 1645 there was hardly a year in which he did not serve the public in some capacity. His frequent service on the grand inquest and trial juries, and as a surveyor of highways, makes it clear that he was a man of sound judgment and had the respect and confidence of the community.
(III) John Reed, son of William and Esther, born July 10, 1687, married (first) Sarah, and after her death (second) Mary. His children, all but the first born of the second marriage, were:
- John Reed, born Aug. 10, 1713
- James Reed, born Oct. 12, 1716
- Mary Reed, born Dec. 21, 1719
- Ezekiel Reed, born Nov. 14, 1721
- Peter Reed, born March 29, 1723
- Squire Reed, born May 25, 1725
- Silence Reed, born Aug. 10, 1728
- Betty Reed, born April 8, 1730, died young
- Samuel Reed, born July 13, 1732, died young
(IV) Ezekiel Reed, son of John and Mary, born Nov. 14, 1721, married in 1742 Hannah Beal, a direct descendant of John Beal, who came from the County of Norfolk, England, in 1635, and settled in Hingham, Mass., which town he represented in the General Court of the Colony in 1649. The children born to Ezekiel and Hannah were:
- Ezekiel Reed, born March 3, 1744
- Hannah Reed, Nov. 1, 1746
- Squire Reed, Nov. 1, 1748
- Mary Reed, Jan. 1, 1751, died young
- Zebulon Reed, March 31, 1752
- Mary Reed, Nov. 20, 1754, married in 1775 Simeon Gannet
- Samuel Reed, Dec. 25, 1756
- Issachar Reed, Aug. 9, 1759
- Deborah Reed, Dec. 6, 1762, married Dec. 18, 1783, J. Gurney
(V) Ezekiel Reed, son of Ezekiel and Hannah, born March 3, 1744, in Abington, married April 2, 1768, Mary Rogers, of Marshfield, born Feb. 26, 1748-49, in that town, a direct descendant of John Rogers, of Scituate and Marshfield, of the former place as early as 1643-44, and removing to Marshfield about 1647, from whom her descent is through Timothy, Timothy (2), and Samuel Rogers and his wife, Experience (Thomas). “The making of tacks by hand,” says Hayward’s Gazetteer of Massachusetts, “commenced very early in Abington. The first attempt was to cut up old iron hoops into points by a very imperfect kind of shears, and take them up one by one and place them in a common vise, and screw up and unscrew for the purpose of heading each tack with a hammer. From this process they were called cut tacks; but the mode of making by hand was much improved by movable dies placed in an iron frame, in the shape of an oxbow; the two ends, in which were placed the dies, being brought together by a lever pressed by the boot. In the first process, a man might make one thousand tacks per day; in the latter eight thousand. This was a great improvement, and the inventor, Mr. Ezekiel Reed, was entitled to a patent. He made some attempts to conceal the operation; but it was simple, and so easily applied that others soon got it, and it came into general use. With machines, or tack tools as they were called, thus improved, from thirty-six to four hundred men and boys were employed in making tacks in the town of Abington and vicinity.” Mr. Reed died in North Bridgewater April 12, 1830. His children were all born in the town of Abington:
- Polly Reed, Sept. 7, 1769
- Zelotes Reed, April 9, 1771
- Ezekiel Reed, Sept. 16, 1772
- Zebulon Reed, May 30, 1774
- Hannah Reed, Jan. 22, 1776
- Olive Reed, April 9, 1777
- Jesse Reed, Aug. 29, 1778
- Charles Reed, April 5, 1780
- Abraham Reed, April 25, 1782
- Briggs Rogers Reed, May 2, 1784
- Samuel Licander Reed, July 24, 1786
(VI) Briggs Rogers Reed, son of Ezekiel and Mary (Rogers), was born May 2, 1784 (says the “History of Abington”), in Abington, Mass., and (says the “Hutchinson Family”) at Bridgeport, Conn., married, May 21, 1809, Betsey, born Jan. 14, 1791, daughter of Israel and Susannah (Trask) Hutchinson, and grand-daughter of Col. Israel Hutchinson, of Revolutionary fame, the latter being a descendant of Richard Hutchinson, of Arnold, England, who came to New England in 1634 and became a resident of that part of Salem known as Salem village, now Danvers, from whom his lineage was through Joseph, Joseph (2), and Elisha Hutchinson. The immigrant Richard Hutchinson of Danvers was descended in direct line from Bernard Hutchinson of Cowlam, County of York, who was living in the year 1282 (in the reign of King Edward I.), from whom his descent is through John, James, William, Anthony, Thomas, Lawrence, Thomas (2) and Thomas (3). Briggs E. Reed was a resident of Boston, Weymouth, Pembroke and Danvers, Mass., dying at the latter place Sept. 28, 1835. His wife survived him and died March 31, 1850. Their home in Danvers was formerly that of Col. Israel Hutchinson, the house built by him and the one in which the women gathered on that memorable April 19, 1775, and saw laid out on the floor the dead heroes brought back from the fight, and which within comparatively recent years was standing at Danversport, close to the “new mills.”
Col. Israel Hutchinson’s long and honorable military record began when he enlisted as a scout in Captain Herrick’s company, in 1757. The next year, in the Lake George and Ticonderoga campaign, he was a lieutenant in Capt. Andrew Fuller’s company; the next year a captain, he led a company under General Wolfe up the Heights of Abraham. A man of his experience was naturally enough chosen as a leader of the minute-men of Danvers on the Lexington alarm.
Soon after Lexington he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in Colonel Mansfield’s regiment, and soon was promoted to the full rank of colonel. He was at the siege of Boston, and his regiment was one of those detailed to fortify Dorchester Heights. He went to New York, commanded Forts Washington and Lee, and was with Washington throughout the memorable retreat through New Jersey. On his return from the war, he was conspicuously honored by his fellow citizens, who sent him repeatedly to the General Court, and elected him to other offices, until politics entered more into consideration, and the Federalists carried the day against the Colonel and his fellow Democrats.
To Briggs Rogers and Betsey (Hutchinson) Reed were born children as follows:
- Mary Ann Reed, born Jan. 1, 1810, in Boston, married William E. Kimball, of Topsfield
- Elizabeth Reed, born Dec. 17, 1811, in Weymouth, married Richard Phillips, of Topsfield
- Susan Jane Reed, born May 11, 1814, in Pembroke, married William Alley, of Marlboro
- William Briggs Reed, born Dec. 15, 1816, in Danvers, married Eliza Howard, of Salem
- Edward Rogers Reed, born March 14, 1819, died young
- Augustus Reed, born April 13, 1821
- George W. Reed, born Aug. 5, 1823, was a member of the firm of Reed & Hastings, and later Reed Brothers, one of the oldest established insurance firms of Boston, which is still conducted under the name of Reed Brothers.
- John Reed, born Aug. 13, 1825, died young
- James Harvey Reed, born Jan. 28, 1828, was at one time a teacher in St. Louis, but later became the junior member of the insurance firm of Reed Brothers, of Boston, having purchased the interest of Mr. Hastings.
- Joseph Warren Reed, born May 7, 1830, was a Baptist clergyman, and died July 7, 1856, in the explosion of a boiler on board the “Empire State” at Fall River, Mass.
- Cornelia H. Reed, born Aug. 28, 1832, resides in Beverly, Mass., unmarried
(VII) Augustus Reed, son of Briggs Rogers and Betsey (Hutchinson) Reed, and father of Judge Warren A., was born April 13, 1821, in Danvers, Mass., and in his native town attended the public schools, his education being supplemented by a training at the Pembroke New Hampshire high school. After leaving the latter institution of learning he returned to Danvers and later as a young man settled in Boston, where he was successfully engaged in the grocery business in East Boston for a number of years. As a result of his honorable dealings he accumulated a competency, and at the time of his death, which occurred at his summer home in Winthrop, Mass., Sept. 4, 1881, was in comfortable circumstances. He was a very stanch old-line Whig in his earlier days, and during the formation of the Republican party was active in the councils of that party, being a stalwart Abolitionist. He served the city of Boston as assistant assessor, and during the Civil war was a member of the common council. In religious belief Mr. Reed was a consistent and active member of the Baptist Church, and for many years served as deacon of the Central Square Baptist Church of East Boston. Mr. Reed was highly honored and respected in the community in which so many of his active and useful years were spent. He married Laura Ann Leach, daughter of Lemuel and Betsey (Smallidge) Leach, of Shrewsbury, Mass., who died in Brockton at the home of her son, Warren A., Sept. 15, 1897. Mrs. Laura Ann (Leach) Reed was a direct descendant of Giles Leach, who appears as early as 1656, at Weymouth, Mass., whence he removed to ancient Bridgewater in 1665, settling on the borders of Nippenicket pond, in that part of the town known as Scotland. He married Ann Nokes, who lived in the family of Deacon Samuel Bass, of Braintree, and through their several children their posterity have become numerous. The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Reed were as follows:
- Annie E. Reed, who died unmarried.=
- Emma Cornelia Reed, who married Edward D. Baldwin, they residing in Newton, Mass.
- Warren Augustus Reed
- Alice H. Reed, who was killed in 1893 in the wreck of a train while on her way to the World’s Fair, Chicago (she was unmarried)
(VIII) Warren Augustus Reed, son of Augustus and Laura Ann (Leach) Reed, was born July 1, 1851, in Boston, Mass., and there received his early education in the public schools. He was prepared for college at the English high school and under private instruction, entered Harvard, and graduated in 1875, with the degree of A. B., and he has been secretary of his class to the present time. After leaving college he spent a year and a half in European travel, and has had several subsequent trips abroad.
He continued his studies upon his return home, entering Harvard Law School in 1876, and after spending about a year there furthered his law studies in the law office of Harris & Tucker, in Boston, and was admitted to the bar of Suffolk county, Mass., in 1878. He began the practice of his profession in Boston, where he remained until 1881. He has since been a resident and successful practitioner at Brockton, Mass., where he readily established himself in the confidence of the people. Upon first coming to Brockton, Mr. Reed formed a partnership with Robert O. Harris, formerly associate judge of the Superior court of Massachusetts and now Congressman from the Fourteenth Congressional District of Massachusetts, under the firm name of Reed & Harris, which partnership for the practice of law continued for about a year, since which time Mr. Reed has been alone. He has had a varied legal experience, particularly in the management of trust property and the settlement of estates, in which connection he bears a very high reputation, both as a recognized authority on proceedings and for the strict sense of honor which has marked all his transactions.
Judge Reed has been active in the public life of his adopted city, both in his professional capacity and otherwise. He had been in Brockton but a few years when he was intrusted with the office of city solicitor, which he filled from 1886 to 1889, resigning to accept the judgeship of the Police court of the city of Brockton and the Bridgewaters. On Dec. 16, 1885, he was appointed a justice of the peace; became a notary public March 12, 1888 (both of which commissions he still retains); and was appointed to the office of judge of the Police court (as above stated) Sept. 26, 1889, and has since served in that capacity. His interest in the cause of public education early led him into active connection with the public schools, and in 1885 he was elected a member of the school committee, upon which he gave six years’ service. He has also served as a trustee of the Brockton Public Library and of the Howard Seminary, of West Bridgewater, of which he was for several years vice president. He was active in the Brockton Athenaeum, a society for literary and scientific study, organized in 1884, and served as its secretary and treasurer for several years. Fie was at one time president of the Brockton Industrial Corporation, formed for the purpose of building factories, in order to bring business to Brockton; has long been a director of the Brockton National Bank, and is second vice president of the People’s Savings Bank; was for a time president of the Brockton Gas Light Company, from its organization; is a prominent member of the Commercial Club, which he has served as trustee and of which he was for a number of years president, and he has served as trustee of the Young Men’s Christian Association, in the success of which organization he has taken a very prominent part, for six years serving as its president. During the time he was the chief executive the present substantial building of the Association, at the corner of Main and West Elm streets, was constructed. He has also been active in the affairs of the Brockton hospital, and has for some time been a member of its board of trustees. He is president of the Economic Club of Brockton, which organization was formed in 1908 by the citizens for the purpose of studying economic problems important to the welfare of the city, and is also chairman of the commission appointed by the Brockton city government to investigate and report upon the establishment of an industrial shoe school in Brockton. In view of his numerous social and public relations, it is not surprising that Judge Reed enjoys so wide an acquaintance, and to state that he is universally esteemed is a mild expression of the high regard which is evidenced wherever he is known a tribute to his valued services and manly worth.
Not only has Judge Reed been actively interested in the affairs of the city of his adoption, but he has also been prominently identified with the affairs of his native State. He served for three years as a member of the committee on Technical Education, the report of which committee received widespread attention for its completeness and useful suggestions; he was also a member of the State board of arbitration for three years. He is president of the trustees of the Massachusetts Savings Bank Insurance and Pension System, to which office he was appointed by Governor Guild, and is also one of the vice presidents of the State Branch of the National Society for the Promotion of Industrial Education. He is also a member of the Massachusetts commission on probation, which commission was brought about by the action of the Legislature of 1908, and which commission has charge of the probation officers of the State. Judge Reed is a fluent and pleasing speaker, and as a consequence is in constant demand as a public speaker on various occasions and before bodies particularly interested in the problems of industrial education, of which subject he has made an especial study.
In political faith Judge Reed is a stanch supporter of the principles of the Republican party. In religious belief he is a consistent member of the South Congregational Church of Campello. Socially and for recreation he belongs to the Brockton Country Club, and is fond of golf, to which sport he devotes much of his time when away from his work.
On Dec. 3, 1878, Judge Reed was married to Nellie N. Crocker, daughter of Bradford Lincoln and Mary (Perkins) Crocker, of Boston, Mass. Mrs. Reed passed away at her home in Brockton, Mass., Jan. 4, 1908. Owing to the fact she had been in poor health for a number of years Mrs. Reed had not been active in society, but had confined her efforts to her home life. She was a woman of culture and refinement, possessed a charming personality, and was beloved by all who knew her. She was kind and considerate of others, being of a very charitable and benevolent nature, always willing and ready to assist those in need. She was active in the work of the South Congregational Church at Campello. To Judge Reed and wife were born children as follows:
- Nellie Reed, born in Boston, March 30, 1880, died April 5, 1880
- Lawrence Bradford Reed, born in Boston, Feb. 22, 1881, graduated from Harvard University in 1903, and from Harvard Medical School in 1907, with the degree of M. D., and is now successfully engaged in practice at Plymouth, Mass. He married Edith Goddard, daughter of Warren Goddard, of Brockton, and they have two children, both born in Plymouth:
- Dorothy Bradford Reed, in 1909
- Warren Goddard Reed, in 1911
- Robert Reed, twin, born in Brockton, March 2, 1886, died March 4, 1886
- Malcolm Reed, twin, born in Brockton, March 2, 1886, died March 4, 1886
- Warren Augustus Reed, Jr., born Aug. 20, 1887, died April 21, 1890
- Clarence Crocker Reed, born in Brockton Aug. 30, 1889, is a member of the class of 1910, Harvard University
- Mildred Reed, born Sept. 2, 1890, died Oct. 1, 1890
Judge Reed as a lawyer and jurist has always been frank, independent and unequivocal in the expression of what he thinks just and true, although never dogmatic, over-confident or intolerant of the opinions of others. He is honorable, upright and kindly in his professional conduct, and disdains to appeal to personal or party prejudices, and has refrained from securing position by political juggling. In the employment of his talents he is diligent, and he ever entertains a just sense of the dignity and responsibility of his profession. His culture has not been confined to the law, but he is familiar with the best departments of literature, always delighting in those works which belong to a higher range of thought. He has also traveled extensively both in this country and foreign lands, having made three trips abroad for the purpose of study. As a citizen, Judge Reed is honored and respected by the entire community where he is so well and favorably known. His courtesy is inborn, and therefore omnipresent. Few men in his position are as approachable, and as void of false pride, and whether in the office or on the street he has the same gentle and pleasant manner.
Mrs. Reed having always been interested in brightening the lives of and in helping those less fortunate than herself, and believing that such a project would have been her wish and desire, Judge Reed, in memory of his wife, had formulated a plan for the establishment in the town of Easton, Mass., of a farm for the purpose of giving poor boys opportunity for an outing; and through the cooperation of others who were also interested in such work this idea proved to be the nucleus of the present well appointed farm, where boys to the number of about three hundred are given an outing each year.