Biography of Henry Edward Reece, M. D.

Henry Edward Reece, M. D. Five years of effort to maintain the health of a considerable portion of the population of Thayer has drawn the career of Dr. Henry Edward Reece within the fold of a large and emphatic need, giving him an increasing outlet for a wealth of professional and general usefulness. When he came to Thayer, in 1911, he was well equipped to take a position among the foremost physicians and surgeons of this city, and since that time has maintained such a place through his ability, fidelity and devotion to the best principles and ethics of his calling.

Doctor Reece was born at Jefferson, the county seat of Greene County, Iowa, December 27, 1877, and is a son of Michael H. and Sarah (Burden) Reece. He comes of an old American family, which was founded by his great-grandfather, a native of Wales, who, on coming to this country, settled in New York State, and, following his trade of wheelwright, assisted in the building of Perry’s fleet for the War of 1812. The paternal grandfather of Doctor Reece was George Reece, who was born in Pennsylvania and was a stone mason by trade. Early in life he developed the wanderlust, and his journeyings took him through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Oregon, in which last-named state he died before the birth of his grandson.

Michael H. Reece was born in 1840, in Dayton, Ohio, and was there reared and educated, and in young manhood went to Holden, Missouri, where he was married. He had learned the carpenter trade in his youth, and this he followed for some years in Missouri, but at the outbreak of the Civil war was in Colorado, where, in 1861, he enlisted in the Second Cavalry. With this organization he fought for three years and eight months, his service being principally in Missouri and along the border, and including the repelling of Quantrell’s raid. At the close of the war he returned to Missouri, but in 1867 moved to Jefferson, Iowa, where he engaged in farming principally, although at times he also followed his trade. In 1882 he came to Chanute, where he worked as a carpenter and assisted in the erection of numerous buildings in the little town, many of which still stand as monuments to his good workmanship. His death occurred at Chanute in 1892, when he was fifty-two years of age. Mr. Reece was a republican in politics, but never sought public office, being content to express his political sympathies by his vote. He belonged to the Campbellite Church, as did also Mrs. Reece, and was fraternally affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which he had joined in his youth. He belonged also to the Grand Army of the Republic. Mr. Reece was married at Holden, Missouri, to Miss Sarah Burden, who was born at that place in 1848, and who still survives him and resides at Chanute. They were the parents of seven children, as follows: William Felix, who is a night foreman in the shops of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, at Chicago, Illinois; Thomas Michael, who is a locomotive engineer and resides at San Antonio, Texas; Charles F., who is a locomotive engineer for the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad and resides at Chanute; Dr. Henry Edward, of this notice; Mell C., who is a locomotive engineer for the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio Railroad and resides at Houston, Texas; Buren J., a resident of Chanute and a locomotive fireman on the Santa Fe, who has secured his engineer’s papers; and Omer A., who is also a resident of Chanute, a fireman on the Santa Fe and possessed of engineer’s papers.

Henry Edward Reece was educated in the public schools of Chanute, primarily, being graduated from the high school there in 1897. He next entered the University Medical College, of Kansas City, Missouri, from which he was graduated in 1900 with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, and since that time has taken post-graduate courses in 1915 and 1916 at Kansas University, Rosedale, Kansas. Doctor Reece began the practice of his profession at Collinsville, Oklahoma, in 1900, and remained at that point for 2½ years. Having passed over what is considered the hardest part of a young physician’s career, he then went to Harmony, Oklahoma, where he spent two years, and then changed his field to Bigheart, Oklahoma, where he spent four years. In 1908 he located at Galesburg, Kansas, but after two years again left the state, going at that time to Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas, on Matagorda Bay. That community, however, did not attract him and in 1911 he returned to Kansas and settled permanently at Thayer, where he has since been in the enjoyment of a constantly increasing general medical and surgical practice. His well appointed offices are in the First National Bank Building, where he has every modern instrument and appliance for the handling of even the most delicate and difficult of cases. He has attracted to him the patronage of some of the best families of Thayer, and his professional standing is deservedly high, as he has always lived up to the highest professional ethics. Doctor Reece was the first secretary of the Osage County Medical Society, in 1908, and now belongs to the Neosho County Medical Society, the Kansas State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He has invested in Thayer real estate, being the owner of a residence on Main Street and other property as well as farming land in Oklahoma. Fraternally the doctor belongs to Thayer Lodge No, 149 Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and Fort Scott Consistory No. 4, being a thirty-second degree Mason, and also holds membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Doctor Reece was married in 1901, at Collinsville, Oklahoma, to Miss Elizabeth Quinton, daughter of Felix and Julia (Sanders) Quinton, the former, a farmer, now deceased, and the latter a resident of Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Doctor and Mrs. Reece are the parents of two children: Halley, born September 12, 1902; and Ethel, born March 8, 1904.



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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