Biography - J. P. Reese

J. P. REESE, farmer and fruit-grower. P. 0. Cobden, was born in Wilson County, Tenn., April 7, 1834, to William and Martha (Taylor) Reese. They were both natives of Tennessee. He was born 1796, and was one of the first white men born in the State of Tennessee. Died February 28, 1883. She was born 1803, died 1845 in Williamson County, Ill. They came to Illinois, 1839, and settled in Williamson County. He resided in Williamson County till he was so old that he was almost helpless, then came to our subject's and died there. He was the cousin of President Polk, and as his parents were wealthy, he was raised a typical Southern gentleman. He spoke little of his early life, but we know that before leaving Tennessee he was Clerk of the Court, and after settling in Marion he was Justice of the Peace and Notary Public till too old to attend to business. For four years, his office was in the same room as Col. Bob Ingersoll's. He was twice married; bv first wife there were two sons and one daughter, and by the second, the mother of our subject, four sons and four daughters, all of whom are living except one daughter. He was a man of strongly Southern principles, but was opposed to slavery. One of his oldest sons was in the Southern army, and was killed at Perryville. Four sons were in the Northern army and all came out but one. J. P. received four flesh wounds. He was Captain of Company E, Eighty-first Illinois Volunteer Infantry, after first three months. Enlisted August 11, 1862, mustered out August 5, 1865. Except for three and one-half months when he was a prisoner of war, he was with his company during the service. He was captured at Guntown, Miss., June 11, 1864, and was one of the number put under fire of the Union troops at Charleston. After his exchange, September 25, 1864, he returned to his company. Our subject never attended school but about nine months, but since he has had a family of his own he has done a great deal of reading and studying. His occupation has been that of farming, since starting for himself After his mother's death, he worked on farms from place to place. January 12, 1855, he was married in this county to Miss A. T. O'Daniell, daughter of John and Betsie (Penrod) O'Daniell. Mr. O'Daniell was born in Tennessee, his wife in this county in 1816. She is probably the oldest person now living who was born in this county. Mr. and Mrs. Reese have five children — Willis A., Zeb, Louisa, Lena and Ann. Willis A. is a lawyer by profession, but is now farming at home. Zeb is operator at Richview, Ill. When first married, he settled on his present farm, which contains 200 acres, one-half in cultivation. He is engaged in general farming, but fruit-raising receives most of his attention, and he is very successful. He- hauled the first load of wheat to Cobden, having to cut and blaze out a road. He is a charter member of the Cobden Lodge, A., F. & A. M., and is Republican in politics.

Extracted 26 Jul 2021 by Norma Hass from 1883 History of Alexander, Union, and Pulaski Counties, Illinois, Part V, page 141.

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