Biography of James M. Reynolds
Marion County, IA Biographies





James M. Reynolds is now living retired in Pleasantville. For many years he was actively identified with farming but in 1891 put aside the work of the fields and took up his abode in the town where he now resides, purchasing five acres of land, on which he erected a comfortable residence. Seven years later he purchased his present fine home, which is one of the most attractive of his section of the county. He still derives a substantial annual income from his two well improved farms, one of which contains four hundred and twenty one acres and the other two hundred and forty acres of rich and productive land. Before retiring from business life he made his home in Pleasant Grove township, where he arrived on the 6th of April, 1846. He accompanied his father, who had taken a claim just south of the present site of Pleasantville and thereon built one of the pioneer cabins of the county.

James M. Reynolds is a native of Indiana, his birth having occurred in Benton county, that state, November 8, 1837, his parents being Lewis and Martha J. (Terwilliger) Reynolds, the former a native of Botetourt county, Virginia, and the latter of Ohio. As young people they removed to Indiana, settling there in pioneer times, and in Benton county they were married. There they began their domestic life, continuing their residence in that county until 1843, when they came to Iowa, settling first at Muscatine, where they lived for a year. They then removed to a place four miles east of Eddyville, in Wapello county, settling at the town of Kirkville. Lewis Reynolds was among the first to file a claim for a farm in this locality and he and his wife spent their remaining days here. He was born May 7, 1815, and died at the age of eighty years, July 29, 1895. Throughout his entire life Lewis Reynolds carried on general agricultural pursuits and at one time was the owner of two hundred and forty acres. His father was a soldier of the War of 1812. Both Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds were members of the Methodist church and Christian principles guided their lives at all times. The latter died about the spring of 1885, when sixty five years of age.

James M. Reynolds is the eldest in a family of five daughters and three sons, one of whom died at the age of eight years. The surviving members of the family are four daughters and one son, three of the daughters living in Marion county and the fourth in North Dakota. The only son, Dames M. Reynolds, was a little lad of but six years when the family came to Iowa, so that he has been a witness of the development of the state from pioneer times. His educational opportunities were quite limited and he had practically nothing with which to start in business life, but he was ambitious and energetic and those qualities stood him in stead of fortune.

On the 18th of January, 1859, Mr. Reynolds was married at Pleasantville to Miss Barbara Ann Shepherd, who was born in Adams county, Illinois, January 4, 1843, a daughter of John and Polly (Briggs) Shepherd, the former a veteran of the War of 1812 and the latter a native of North Carolina. The father died in Illinois in 1845 and the mother came to Marion county in 1847, settling at Pleasantville. She afterward became the wife of William F. Jordan and died when about eighty years of age. By her first marriage she had two daughters: Mrs. Reynolds; and Mrs. Mary J. Jones, a widow now residing in Denver, Colorado. Mr. and Mrs. Jordan were the parents of two children: Commodore, who is living in Portland, Oregon; and George W., deceased. From the age of four years Mrs. Reynolds was reared in this county and, like her husband, therefore, is numbered among the pioneer citizens. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds have been born five children: Carrie J., who died in early life; Charles, a farmer and auctioneer residing in Minnesota, who is married and has children; Albert D., more extended mention of whom is made on another page of this work; Emma, who is the wife of L. O. Sutton and resides in Sandyville, Warren county, Iowa; and Thomas, who operates one of his father's farms.

In politics Mr. Reynolds is a democrat, although largely independent. He does not feel himself bound by party ties and casts his vote as his judgment dictates. He has never sought nor wished for political office but has served in school offices. He is a member of the, Masonic fraternity and his wife is connected with the Order of the Eastern Star. She is also a member of the Christian church and both are highly esteemed in Marion county. Mr. Reynolds has now passed the seventy seventh milestone on life's journey and is highly respected as one of the venerable and worthy citizens of Marion county. His carefully managed business affairs, at all times characterized by integrity as well as enterprise, brought to him a creditable measure of success, relieving him in his later years of that toil which should be performed in the vigor and strength of earlier manhood.

From:
History of Marion County, Iowa
And its People
John W. Wright, Supervising Editor
W. A. Young, Associate
Vol II
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Chiago 1915


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