Biography of M. M. Reiman
Merced County, CA Biographies





M. M. REIMAN
One of the pioneer fruit men of the Planada district, Mr. Reiman and his wife are among the three families of Planada's original settlers who have the distinction of having remained there through "thick and thin" in the years of the pioneering of this new fruit section, and they are now the owners of a very fine ranch, entirely of their own development, and in the meantime have built up a remarkable business in the raising of prize winning Giant Bronze turkeys. A native of Somerset, Pa., born January 22, 1888, M. M. Reiman is the third of four children born to J. J. and Rebecca (Schrock) Reiman, of that State. J. J. Reiman was born June 26, 1854, the youngest of four children, and he became a school teacher in early life. He later engaged in farming as a vocation, and was successful in his undertakings, for he was a decidedly enterprising man; he organized and is still a director of the First National Bank of Berlin, Pa.; is secretary of the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company, and a man whose friends are legion. He is still living, active and well known in his section of the country as a man of distinct public spirit and the energy to carry through his ideas to completion.

M. M. Reiman attended the Stony Creek public school, and at the age of sixteen passed the teachers' examination with the county superintendent of schools, and taught for the next three terms. He was a graduate and class president of the Normal School at California, Pa., receiving his degree in 1910. After teaching for one term in Centerville Borough, Pa., he left for California, in August, 1911, and never returned to his native State until 1924, when he made a visit to his people.

After his arrival here, Mr. Reiman remained six months in Southern California, and as a sightseer took in that entire section. In April, 1912, he located at Planada, Merced County, investing in twenty acres of land, a portion of the Holt Ranch. He taught school for five terms in the Plainsburg and Planada schools, from their beginnings, and in the meantime he set about the development of his ranch, setting it out to almonds and figs, and has added by subsequent purchase an ajoining ten acre tract. His ranch property has been brought to a high state of cultivation, and is very sufficient proof, both of his ability and industry, and of the suitability of this section of the State for profitable raising of fruits.

In the spring of 1913, Mr. Reiman started with a single setting of eggs, to raise turkeys; he now has enlarged this branch of his business to an extent shown by the size of the annual catalogue he issues, giving full information about his prize winning birds, and showing many testimonials from pleased patrons. The year 1924 ushered in the initial Fair of the Merced County's Poultry Association, of which, on its organization in January of this year, Mr. Reiman was elected president, at the general meeting. The show was a huge success, with about seventy five exhibitors and 500 birds in evidence, breeders exhibiting from Fresno, Madera, and Stanislaus Counties, as well as from Merced. Among Mr. Reiman's exhibits was his forty five pound turkey gobbler, "Warren G. Harding," who was transplanted from Illinois to Planada. He was presented to President Harding to grace a White House Thanksgiving table, but the former President said he was too nice a bird for mere "eats," and so he is still alive to carry off all honors. This turkey was a first winner at Chicago, both as a cockerel and a yearling, and since Mr. Reiman bought him in 1922, he has captured first ribbons, both at Los Angeles and Modesto, and at Chicago during two successive years. He was pronounced by Frank Platt, of the American Poultry Journal, as "outstanding, in a class by himself, a flame of bronze." With this bird at the head of his flock, Mr. Reiman is going in for even higher standards; during the eleven years he has been breeding bronze turkeys it has always been his aim to produce "better turkeys," and he has built up a large patronage in turkey eggs for settings, which are shipped to customers in Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Hawaiian Islands, Philippine Islands and South America.

The marriage of Mr. Reiman, occurring August 15, 1911, at Pittsburgh, Pa., united him with Elma Ruth Weaver, the third of eight children and eldest daughter born to L. S. and Lucy Leora (Smallwood) Weaver, both natives of Pennsylvania and still living. Mrs. Reiman is a graduate of the Centerville, Pa., High School, class 1910, and also attended both the Pennsylvania and California State Normal Schools, and taught in the primary grades for one term. Five children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Reiman: Genevieve E., Gerald Milton, Irma Rebecca, Rita K., and Ruth Lucille; the first born in Los Angeles, and all the others natives of Planada.

While never seeking public office, Mr. Reiman has, since his first coming to the district, been active in upbuilding the community and in advancing the general welfare. He was the first secretary of the Merced County Farm Bureau, resigning in 1919, and for three years he served as school trustee of the Planada district, and in 1925 was elected a trustee of the Joint Union High School of Le Grand, Cal.


From:
History of Merced County, California
With a Biographical Review
History by John Outcalt
Historic Record Company
Los Angeles, California 1925


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