Biography of George K. Reid

George K. Reid, who had been a resident of Kansas nearly thirty-five years, had built up and maintained what is unquestionably the largest business at Howard in abstracts, loans and insurance. When it is stated that Mr. Reid is the son of a minister, there is no need to explain that he was not reared in a home of luxury or wealth, and as a matter of fact from an early age he had been dependent upon his own resources and had made good.

His Reid ancestors at one time lived in England, moved from there to Scotland, thence to northern Ireland, and from County Tyrone, Ireland, they came to America just after the revolution. They first settled in Kentucky and from there moved to Ohio. Mr. Reid’s paternal grandfather, John Reid, was born in Pennsylvania in 1798. He went in the early days to Ohio and followed farming there. He did in Cedarville, Ohio, in 1879.

George K. Reid was born at West Barnet, Vermont, August 7, 1863. His father, Rev. William H. Reid, who was born at Cedarville, Ohio, in 1828, was reared and married there, and entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church. He was a graduate of Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. Nearly all his service during a long and active life was as a missionary. He endured almost endless hardships and struggles as a pioneer religious teacher and preacher. He preached in Vermont, in Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, in Ontario, Canada, and also in Indian Territory. His death occurred at Fort White in the State of Florida in 1899. In politics he was a republican. Rev. Mr. Reid married Julia A. Harbison, who was born at Cedarville, Ohio, in 1840, and died at the old Dwight Mission in Indian Territory in 1887. The children were: Hugh M., who became a farmer and died at Fort White, Florida, in 1898; George K.; Mary, who died at the age of six years; William P., who was an employe of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company and died at Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1900.

George K. Reid spent his early years in various localities, wherever his father happened to be sojourning. He received the bulk of his early education in the public schools of Bloomington, Indiana, and also attended high school there. In the meantime he had worked for a time for the Adams Express Company at Cincinnati. In 1880 he went to Ontario, Canada, finished his course in a high school in that province in 1881, and the following two years were spent as a salesman of subscription books.

On coming to Howard, Kansas, in 1883, Mr. Reid began his real career. For the first five years he was deputy county clerk of Elk County, then became bookkeeper in the First National Bank and for six years was connected with the Howard National Bank. Since 1894 he had been in the real estate, abstract, insurance and loan business, and his long experience and his thorough integrity as a business man enabled him to render an expert service to his large clientage. His offices are in the First National Bank Building. He had prospered in a business way, and besides his home at the corner of Elk and Perry streets, he owned a farm of 320 acres seven miles north of Howard, and had an interest in 360 acres at another location in Elk County.

Mr. Reid is a member of the Howard School Board and is its clerk, is city treasurer, and lends his co-operation and support to every movement for the public welfare. He is a republican, is active in the Presbyterian Church, being a member of the Session, and the Board of Trustees. His fraternal relations are with Hope Lodge No. 155, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons at Howard, and with Lodge No. 124, Ancient Order of United Workmen at Howard.

In 1881 at Wroxter, Ontario, Canada, Mr. Reid married Mary Lees. Her parents, Andrew and Mary (Hislop) Lees, came to Kansas many years ago and her father still lives on his farm a half mile south of Howard. He is ninety years of age, and his wife died at the age of eighty-one. Mr. and Mrs. Reid have reared some children who do them credit. Mary is the wife of Dr. R. E. Cheney, who is now engaged in the practice of dentistry at Eureka, Kansas. Julia, the second child, died at the age of six months. Robert J. is a graduate of the University of Kansas in the law department and is now practicing at Kansas City, Missouri. Frank R., who attended the University of Kansas two years and is a graduate of the Kansas City Dental College, is now building up a fine practice as a dentist at Howard. George R., the youngest, died at the age of seven years.



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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