Biography of Henry G. Reed
Bristol County, MA Biographies

THE FAMILY of Reed, variously spelled Read, Reade, Rede, Reid, and Reed, traces its ancestry back to the Norman conquest, to one Brianus, a noted man of Lincoinshire, England, who, in 1139, was registered as "Brianus de Reed." He left two sons, Robert of Reed and Thomas of Reed dale. This new Reed family occupied nearly the same locality for several centuries, and from it descended William Rede, an eminent mathematician, who was made bishop of Chichester in 1339. Among the names contained on the muster roll of William the Conqueror in 1050 was John Rede, or John. of Rede. William Reade, son of William Reade and Lucy Henage, of Maidstone, England, was born in 1605, and in 1635 sailed from Gravesend, County of Kent, in the ship "L'Assurance de Lo," Isaac Broomwell and George Persey, masters. He settled in Weymouth, Mass., where in 1636 he bought a house and land of Zachary Bicknell for seven pounds, thirteen shillings1 four pence, and where he died before 1658. He was made a freeman September 2, 1635, and was sent as a representative to the General Court in 1636 and 1638. By his wife Avis he had William, Esther, Thomas, John, Mary and Margaret. John Reed, or Reade of the second generation, was born in Weymouth in 1649, and in 1673 married Bethia Frye, born in Weymouth in 1655, daughter of George Frye, born in England in 1616, who settled in Weymouth in 1640. He was a house carpenter and a man of means, owning several large tracts of land. Some of his land in Taunton, which he purchased about 1680, is now in the possession of the subject of this article. He was the ancestor of the Reeds in Taunton, but he removed from that town to Dighton, where he died January 13, 1720-21. His wife died October 20, 1730. They were buried in Dighton on Burying Hill, between Upper and Lower Four Corners. Their children were John, William, Thomas, George, Mary, Ruth and Hannah. William Reed (3), of Taunton, died in 1734, and his homestead is still in the family. June 8, 1721, he married Mary Richmond, of Norman descent, who was born in 1699 and died in 1784. Their children Were John, William, Mary and Abigail. His widow married, in 1738, Stephen Andrews, a man of learning and piety and familiarly known as "St. Stephen." John Reed (4), born in 1722, was a blacksmith, a devout Christian, a captain in the militia, and one of the Committee of Inspection and Correspondence during the Revolution. He died in December, 1788. December 30, 1746, he married Dorothy Pinneo, daughter of James Pinneo, a native of Spain, who fled to France to escape persecution; there, with other Huguenots, he suffered similar persecutions, and after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes he came to New England. Their children were Ruth, Lois, John, Mary, Dorothy, Hannah, Zilpah, Enos and Lydia. Mr. Reed married, second, January 9, 1771, Mrs. Hannah Austin, by whom he had Nathan, Phebe, and David and Jonathan, twins. John Reed (5), born March 29, 1752, was a prom. inent citizen and an exemplary Christian, and served as selectman and representative several years, and frequently as arbitrator in disputes. He was also a justice of the peace and a soldier in the Revolution. November 21, 1775, he married Mary, daughter of Brig. Gen. George Godfrey, of Taunton, and their children were John, born August 11, 1776; William, October 6, 1778; Polly, August 31, 1782; Dolly, May 31, 1785; Marshall, January 17, 1788; Hodges, June 3, 1790; Sophia, September 2, 1792; and Zilpali, December 22, 1796. Mr. Reed died February 24, 1841, and his wife October 12, 1843. John Reed (6) was for more than half a century a leading merchant in Taunton, where he died November 9, 1864. May 31, 1804, he married Rebecca Gooding, of Dighton, who was born September 28, 1782, and died January 31, 1872. Their children were Mary Ann, born May 20, 1805; John, June 17, 1808; Henry G., the subject of this sketch; Rebecca, April 12, 1813; William A., September 2, 1816, deceased; Soph.iaJ., November 9, 1819; and Elizabeth G., September 4, 1823.

Henry Gooding Reed, the seventh in lineal descent from William Reed, of Weymouth, was born in Taunton, Mass., on the 23d of July, 1810. He attended the public schools and Taunton Academy, and during vacations helped his father in the store. rn early life he spent his leisure making useful articles for the family and neighbors and miniature ship and other toys for his playmates. When eighteen he became an apprentice in the shop of Babbitt & Crossman, of Taunton, and remained with them and their successors until 1831, when he attained his majority. During this apprenticeship he thoroughly mastered his trade and laid the foundation of a successful future career. He continued in the various departments of the Taunton Britannia Manufacturing Company until 1835, first as a journeyman and afterward as time keeper and superintendent, and when that corporation was compelled to suspend, in the latter year, the managing agent contracted with him and Charles B. Barton to carry on the business. In 1837, in connection with Mr. Barton and Gustavus Leonard, Mr. Reed began the manufacture of britannia ware, employing twelve hands. The business has been continued ever since, and is noticed in detail on another page of this volume. The product consists of electro plated and sterling silver ware, having a wide and unexcelled reputation, and furnishes employment in times of ordinary prosperity to eight hundred people. The company is known not only in this country, but in all other lands with which we trade, and is composed of Henry G. Reed, George Brabrook, and the representatives of the estate of Henry H. Fish.

Mr. Reed is one of the leading manufacturers of southeastern Massachusetts, and is probably the oldest engaged in active business. Seventy years ago he became an apprentice, and for sixty three years he has been a proprietor, furnishing employment to hundreds of operatives, and distributing hundreds of thousands of dollars among his fellow citizens. He has never held political office, but has always taken an active interest in the growth and prosperity of his native town, and has held several positions of trust and responsibility. He has been a director of the Taunton National bank since 1851, a trustee of the Taunton Savings Bank since its organization in 1869, a director of the Taunton City Mission and Associated Charities from their beginning, and president of the Reed Family Association of Taunton since 1873. He is also an interested and liberal life member of the Old Colony Historical Society. He is a public spirited, enterprising and patriotic citizen, imbued with the highest sense of honor, and endowed with rare business and executive ability. He is a man of unquestioned integrity, and has always enjoyed the confidence and respect of the entire community.

Mr. Reed has been married three times: first to Clara, daughter of Isaac White, of Mansfield, Mass., who died September 27, 1847; second to Frances Lee Williams, daughter of Jared Williams, of Dighton, Bristol county, who died May 9, 1857; and third, October 27, 1858, to Delight R., daughter of Christopher Carpenter, of Rehoboth, Mass. His children are Clara Isabel, wife of Dr. Charles T. Hubbard, a leading physician of Taunton; Henry Arthur, deceased; Ida Frances, deceased; Fannie Lee, wife of William Bradford Homer Dowse, esq., of West Newton; and Henry Francis, of Taunton, Mass.

Our county and its people
A descriptive and biographical history of
Bristol County, Massachusetts
Prepaired and published under the auspices of
The Fall River News and The Taunton Gasette
With assistance of Hon. Alanson Borden
The Boston History Company, Publishers, 1899.

Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

Bristol County, MA Biographies

Names A to B
Names C to D
Names E to H
Names I to L
Names M to O
Names P to R
Names S
Names T to Z




New York

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012