JOHN REED was born in Kentucky, and died June 16, 1840 in Newton County, Missouri. He married MARY about 1813 probably in Kentucky. She was born about 1794 in Kentucky, and died about 1863 in Burnet County, Texas of cholera or diphtheria.

Notes for JOHN REED:


"John and Mary Reed were born in Kentucky, possibly near Elizabethtown in Hardin County. This is a supposition and will have to be verified. Their first child, Henry Harrison, was born about 1814 in Kentucky. (NOTE: It appears that the Reeds were in Nelson/Christian/Livingston Cos. KY prior to moving to Arkansas.)

By 1818, they have moved to Washington County, Arkansas. The rest of their children were born in Arkansas and were as follows: Siani Reed ?, Sarah A. Reed 1818, Joseph H. Reed 1820-1825, William D. Reed 1825, Mary Ann (Polly) Reed 1827 and John S. Reed 1831.

Around 1826, the Reed family moved from Arkansas to Missouri and settled near the town of Neosho which was in Indian Territory. They were joined there by the Joy family. Newton County was established on December 31, 1838.

The community where these two families settled was called the New Salem community. The people of this community met for worship in the New Salem Camp Grounds on Sundays. They presented a petition for permission to hold services and to authorize the forming of the New Salem Cumberland Presbyterian Church on April 4, 1837, and on May 13, 1837 the formation of the church was authorized. At the first meeting, the following members were enrolled: (Total of 18 members with nine as follows) - John Reed, Mary Reed, Henry H. Reed, Sarah A. Reed, George W. Joy, Martha Joy (Martha Nancy Sparks-Chesser), Elizabeth Joy, Edeline G. Joy and William L. Cheser (Chesser).

John Reed and George Joy were elected as the first ruling elders. Church services were held wherever space was available, usually at the New Salem Camp Grounds. About 1827, Elizabeth C. Joy married Shelton Laramore.

On Tuesday, August 19, 1840, George Joy and other elders heard the experience of the following people for membership in the church:  Joseph Reed, Mary Ann (Polly) Reed, William D. Reed, Chesley Joy.

During 1841, the following marriages of interest occurred:  Mary Ann (Polly) Reed married William L. Chesser (May), William D. Reed married Elizabeth C. Laramore and Henry Harrison Reed married Edeline C. Joy.

At church services on September 19, 1841, held at the New Salem Camp Grounds, Brother Jonathan Blair, Minister, received for membership, Martha Reed, by letter from the Prairie Congregation, Washington County, Arkansas. No record has been found as to what connection there was between Martha Reed and the other Reeds, she could have been a daughter of John and Mary or possibly a niece.

The head of the Reed family, John Reed, died on June 16, 1840, and it is supposed that he was buried in the cemetery at the church where he served as elder since its inception. At the August Term of Court, 1840, Mary Reed, widow of John Reed, executed bond as required by law, with George Joy and Leroy Smith in the sum of fifteen hundred dollars, Clement Hayden and Levi Lee as witnesses. Appraisers of said estate were William Witherspoon, Elbert C. Newton and Levi Lee. Since the Reeds had all their money tied up in the estate bond, cash for living expenses was hard to come by, so on November 4, 1841, Leroy Smith, Mary Reed's son-in-law sold livestock and personal property in the amount of $102 for living expenses. On December 16, 1841, Mary sold the family farm containing 160 acres to Thomas Yates for $182 to pay off debts, money they had borrowed from Mr. Yates.

At the meeting on August 28, 1842, George Joy requested and was granted a letter of dismission and recommendation from the church. Apparently, he and his wife, Martha Nancy Sparks-Chesser, left Newton County and headed south toward the Republic of Texas to start a new life.

Sometime in 1843, Henry Harrison Reed and wife Eveline G. Joy, with Sarah A. Reed, removed their membership from the church and headed south to join the George Joy family in Texas. In 1844, the following removed their membership from the church: William D. Reed,  Joseph H. Reed, Martha Reed,  Elizabeth C. Joy.

They all headed south to Texas to eventually settle in the Backbone Valley in Williamson County, Texas. In 1852, this area became part of Burnet County, Texas.

William L. Chesser and Mary Ann (Polly) Reed Chesser resigned from the church in 1846 and headed to Texas to join the others. William D. Reed and his younger brother John S. Reed, joined James S. Gillet's Company composed of personnel recruited primarily at Camp Arbuckle, Texas. They were mustered into federal service on June 16, 1848 and mustered out of federal service on December 16, 1848.

The 1850 census for Williamson County, Texas, lists the following Reed families:  John S. Reed and wife Susan A., William D. Reed and children (No wife), Mary Reed (Living with William D. Reed and children), Harrison Reed and wife Adeline, Seth G. Kennison and wife Sarah Reed, (No record was found of William L. Chesser and Mary Ann (Polly) Reed or of Leroy Smith and Sinai Reed).

The year 1851 found a group of interested citizens petitioning the state legislature to create a new county. The petition was dated December 17, 1851 and was signed by eighty petitioners. Among those signing were: Henry H. Reed and William L. Chesser. The petition was granted and Burnet County was organized on August 7, 1854. This was the beginning of Burnet County, Texas and a new life for the Reed family.

NOTE: This research is in no way complete, it will continue until all loose ends are tied down."

Notes for MARY:


"John Reed died on June 16, 1840 at Neosho, Newton County, Missouri. His family moved to Neosho in 1837 and he was appointed a justice of the county court on April 13, 1839 by the governor. He later became presiding judge and was responsible for the county seat being at Neosho. His house stood about 1 1/2 miles east of Neosho on Hickory Creek."


"p. 45 - From its earliest beginnings, Cane Hill was known as a moral and religious community. Those who came from Crystal Hill had proved there, their earnestness and their determination to establish religious services, even though their numbers were few.

Most of these people were of Presbyterian ancestry, and when they left their homes in Virginia and the Carolinas and went to Kentucky and Tennessee to make their new homes, they took their religion with them. In Logan County, Kentucky, where many of these people settled, they had established churches, and in one to these, the Gasper River Church, the Great Revival of 1800 is said to have had its beginning.

Rev. Alfred E. Carnahan in his "Early Presbyterianism in Arkansas", says: "There was much infidelity and wickedness among the people when they came to Kentucky. Many had been influenced by French infidelity during the Revolutionary War. A number of devout people made a solemn covenant to pray for a revival of religion in Logan County, and in the whole world. The revival began in 1778, in the Gasper River Church, the first convert being Mrs. Martha Billingsley, nee Blair, wife of John Billingsley, an elder in the church."

In this church and in Little Muddy church and at other places, John Rankin and McCready and other great preachers of the time had preached. When the Cumberland Presbyterian Church came into being, most of these settlers in Kentucky and their kin in Tennessee went into that church. Here at Cane Hill, they were joined by the Garvins, Hagoods, probably some of the Yates family, and others - all people who were deeply religious.

p. 46 - Rev. Jesse M. Blair, who was one of the organizers of the church, had been ordained March 7, 1827, when the Presbytery of Arkansas met "at the dwelling house of Washington Cooper, Lawrence County, Arkansas Territory." Rev. Frank Braly preached the ordination sermon. Jesse Blair was the father-in-law of Alvin West, who lived on the old Blair place in Greasy Valley. Mr. Blair was murdered at his home by some Federal soldiers during the War.

Rev. W.T. Larramore was the other organizer (with Rev. Blair) of the Cane Hill church. The Larramore family had come to Arkansas in 1818, settling first in Crawford County when that county covered much more territory than it does now. It seems his people lived near Mulberry. He came early to Washington County. After preaching in the Cumberland Presbyterian church for some time, he left that church and became a preacher in the Christian church.

p. 47 - Washington County, Arkansas Territory, 30th day of August, A.D. 1828.

We whose names are hereunto subscribed, profession faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and wishing to enjoy the ordinances of His Church, and being willing to support the Gospel as God shall prosper us, voluntarily associated ourselves together in the capacity of a religious assembly to be Known by the name of Cane Hill Congregation of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church under the care of Arkansas Presbytery and do promise and agree to submit to the government and discipline of that church.  Organized by Rev. Messrs. Wm. T. Larramore and J.M. Blair.

1. Jacob Pyeatte 2. James Buchanan 3. Elizabeth Buchanan
4. Coleman Cox 5.  Polly Cox 6. Patsy Billingsley
7. Wm. Maxwell 8.  Ann Maxwell 9.  James Billingsley
10.  Matilda Billingsley 11. Thomas Tiner 12. Nancy Tiner
13.  Benjamin Garvin 14. Rachel Garvin 15. Samuel Carnahan
16.  Polly Carnahan 17. Wm. Billingsley 18. John Reed
19. Polly Reed 20. Charles Pettigrew 21. Nancy Pettigrew
22. Wm. Reed 23. Peggy Reed 24. Rebecca Garvin
25. Matilda Benge 26. Lavinia Pyeatte  27. Martha Pyeatte
 28. Isaac Buchanan 29. Naomi Buchanan 30. John Buchanan
 31. J.M. Blair 32. John Woody  33. Isaac Pettigrew
34. Wm. King 35. Sally King  36. Sarah Haguewood
37. Robert Buchanan 38. Polly Buchanan  

In 1829 and 1830 more names were added to the membership, all carefully numbered as the original list was:

39. James C. Pittman 40. Nancy Pittman 41. Wincy Pittman
42. Lewis Evans 43. Eliza Evans 44. Jonathan Allen
45. Martha Allen 46. Eliza McClellan 47. John E. Gray
48. Mary Gray 49. Susannah Garvin 50. Thursa Alexander
51. John. E. Davidson 52. Mary Davidson 53. Eliza Davidson
54. James F. Davidson 55. Peter S. Garrison  56. Zilpha Garrison
57. John O. Blair 58. Mary Blair 59. Elbert C. Newton
60. William Dugan 61. Joseph Reed 62. Polly Woods
63. Elvira Davidson 64. Martha Wilson 65. Malinda Wilson

The sessions met on June 12, 1830 at the dwelling house of James Billingsley and the minutes say: "Whereas the following persons had joined the church at Bradford's spring and their names being lost were received as members of this church, viz.:"

66. Abraham Landers

67. Sally Landers

p. 48 - They lost members, as well as gained them. On the 21st of May, 1831, the session met at Cane Hill Meeting House and gave transfers to the following: to Prairie congregation - James Billingsley, elder; Matilda Billingsley, Nancy Stevens and Polly Woods; to Vineyard congregation - Lewis and Eliza Evans, Jonathan and Martha Allen, John and Mary Gray; to Illinois congregation - John and Polly Reed, Wesley and Sally King.

In the next year or so they added these names:

72. James Coulter Sr. 73. Elizabeth Coulter 74. Luticia Coulter
75. Miriam Coulter 76. James Coulter Jr. 77. Ruth Coulter
78. S.H. Harris 79. Eliza Harris  80. John Reed Jr.
 81. Daniel Buchanan (colored) 82. Lucy Cox (colored)  


"p. 6 - 18 May 1818 - Lawrence Co., Missouri Territory.

To all who shall see these presents Greetings. Know ye that John REED having field with the Clerk of the Circuit Courts of the County aforesaid bons and security according to Law in the penal sum of four hundred dollars, he is hereby appointed administrator of all and singular the Goods and Chattles Rights and Credits of Dacon Reed deceased. To ? and secured all property and debts according to and pau all leger dues from said Estate and further to do and perform all and singular the duties of administration of the said deceased according to Law. Witness: Richard Searcy clerk of our said Court at Davidsonville this 18th day of May AD 1818 and of our Independence the forty second year."


"On 18 May 1818, John Reed was appointed by the court of old Lawrence County, Mo Terr. to be the administrator of Dacon Reed, who had died shortly before and without a will. John and Dacon/Deacon Reed are the 2 adult sons mentioned in the 16 Feb 1818 will of Joseph Reed. One of the bondsmen for John Reed was our (MSC's) ancestor Joseph Hardin of Davidsonville, Lawrence County - a son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (nee Scott) Hardin. In 1819 this Joseph Hardin of Davidsonville became sheriff of Lawrence and in 1821 Colonel of the 3rd Regt of the Territorial Militia of Arkansas. He still held both positions when he died at his home in Davidsonville on 25 Aug 1826.

John Reed and Leroy Smith are on the 1833 Greene County, MO tax list (prior to Newton's forming)."





L.L. Kight 2002