Biography of Matthew Rea
Madison County, Ohio Biographies





MATTHEW REA, (deceased) was born in Rockbridge County. Va., June 22, 1793. His father, Joseph Rea, was of Irish and Quaker extraction, and was born near Philadelphia. In 1810, young Matthew emigrated with his parents to Ross County. Joseph Rea's family consisted of nine children: Robert, who was a stock dealer at Coshocton, and died in middle life; Matthew, Joseph, John and Jesse, all farmers and stock raisers of Madison County; Sarah, who married John Lindsley and removed with him to Marion County; Elizabeth. who was the wife of Richard Wilson, a blacksmith of this county, and who late in life went to Indiana; Nancy, wife of William Jackson, a farmer of Madison County, and Mary, who married William B. Slyh, and settled in Wyandot County. When hostilities began in 1812, young Matthew was a member of a militia company which was called into service. He served six months, commencing in August. 1812. on the Ohio frontier, under Gen. Harrison. While marching to the front he passed through the site of London, which locality he then saw for the first time. A few years later, he began the business of stock raising, which became his life pursuit. For a few years in early life he was engaged in buying pork and shipping it by flat boat from the mouth of Deer Creek to New Orleans. This proved remunerative at first, but a decline in the market value afterward resulted in losses to him, and destroyed his previous profits. His father came from Ross County to Madison in 1818, settling about a mile south of London. Matthew preceded him several years in the occupancy of Madison County soil, having been engaged in herding cattle on the prairie land south of London. He was married, in 1823, to Ann Amos, whose father had emigrated to Madison County from Maryland. Soon after this important event in his history, he settled on the site of London, and there remained until 1835. He then removed to his large farm in Oak Run Township and lived there till his decease,which occurred September 23, 1873, in his eighty first year. He had been an active man in business affairs and remained in charge of his extensive business until within a short time of his death. He was fond of the saddle, and when engaged in superintending the management of his stock always rode horseback. His wife preceded him to the grave about sixteen years. Of their seven children, but four grew to maturity - Jeremiah, of Oak Run Township; Joseph, who died in November, 1873, Robert, of London; and Margaret. wife of F. M. Chenoweth, of Fairfield Township.

From:
History of Madison County, Ohio
Published by: W. H. Beers and Company
Chicago, Illinois
1883


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