Biography of O. J. Rees
Potter County, PA Biographies

O. J. REES, county surveyor, Coudersport, son of Eli and Harriet A. (Jackson) Rees, was born at Ayer's Hill, Summit township, Potter Co., Penn., in 1839. His grandfather, Eli Rees, was a native of Chester county, Penn., but removed to Potter county in 1828, and located on Sinnemahoning creek, Sylvania township. He came as agent for Samuel Webb to look after his laud interests here, and, as an inducement to come, was given a deed of 400 acres of land and two village lots in Sylvania. Here he remained as agent for Mr. Webb throughout his life. Eli Rees, father of O. J., was a native of Chester county, Penn., and came here with his parents. When eighteen years of age (in 1837) he married, and in 1838 located at Coudersport, where be engaged in business as contractor and builder, erecting the court house, churches, and most of the old buildings of the borough; for some time he was engaged in bridge building, having constructed many of the large bridges spanning the Susquehanna river. He was elected treasurer of the county in 1856. He was accidentally and fatally shot November 17, 1850, and thus terminated his career when in the prime of life, and when it was full of promise for the future. His widow is now in her sixty seventh year, and living with her youngest son. O. J. Rees read law with F. W. Knox, beginning at the age of nineteen, but as the law required a three years course, he gave the study up before the time was completed, as he felt it his duty to volunteer his services in response to his country's call for soldiers. He enlisted, in 1861, in Company H, Forty sixth Pennsylvania Volunteers, and was discharged in 1864. He then lived in several of the Western States until he returned to Coudersport, in 1871. Here he followed the business of contractor and builder until 1877, when he lost an arm in a molding machine, which necessitated a change of occupation, and in the winter of the same year he began surveying. He was appointed county surveyor in 1884, was elected in 1885, and still holds that office. In 1866 Mr. Rees married, at Lafayette, Ind., Martha M., daughter of Joseph Hitchcock, and they have three children; Leonora, Eva and William Burton. Mr. Rees is a member of the G. A. R., Knights of Honor, Sons of Temperance, and Eulalia Lodge, No. 342, F. & A. M. He is a Democrat, is active in politics, has served as register and recorder for a period of five years, and has also been justice of the peace.


From:
History of the Counties of
McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, Pennsylvania
J. H. Beers & Co. Publishers
Chicago, Ill. 1890


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