The subject of this sketch has well earned the honor to be addressed as
one of the progressive, public-spirited men of Marion county, since from the
beginning of his residence here he has been conspicuously active, securing
for himself the comforts of life and home and an ample competence for his
declining years. Mr. Reed's home is at Centralia, where he is engaged in the
drug business and wherever he is known he is held in the highest esteem
owing to his life of honor and industry.
Lewis H. Reed was born in Vermilion county, Indiana, December 20, 1849, the son of John W. and Sarah (Ralston) Reed, the former having been born August 3, 1822, in Stokes county, North Carolina. He came to Indiana in 1832 with his parents, whose family consisted of six children, five boys and one girl, of whom the subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth. His mother was born February 7, 1827, in Brown county, Ohio, near Georgetown, and she came to Indiana when quite small, her family having located in Vermilion county. She was one of a family of five children, being the youngest child. John W. Reed was a Republican and a member of the Methodist Protestant church. His wife was a Presbyterian in her youth, having been so reared, but later in life became a Methodist Protestant. There were eight children in the family of the parents of our subject, six boys and two girls, the subject being the oldest in order of birth.
Lewis H. Reed was educated in the public schools of Vermilion county, Indiana. He worked on his father's farm until twenty years old. He then entered Ascension Seminary in Sullivan, Sullivan county, Indiana. After obtaining a good education, having made a splendid record for scholarship in the last named school, he began teaching, which profession he followed with great success for a period of ten years, during which time he became well known as an able educator and his services were in great demand, having taught many successful terms in both Illinois and Indiana.
Believing that a better field for his talents was to be found in the drug business he entered the same on March 28, 1879, in St. Bernice, Indiana. He continued in the drug business at St. Bernice until 1888, having built up an excellent trade and making a success of the business from the first. During that time he held the office of postmaster under President Rutherford B. Hayes, having begun in May, 1881, and continued the same with much credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of all concerned for five years, five months and fifteen days, when he resigned and moved to Mississippi, having remained one winter at Ocean Springs. In 1889 he removed to Centralia, Illinois, and held the office of Town Clerk for two terms, in a manner that elicited praise on every hand.
Mr. Reed is still in the drug business, having one of the best equipped and neatest stores in Centralia and he has an excellent patronage numbering many customers throughout the county. Owing to his courteous treatment of customers and his intimate knowledge of the drug business his trade is always all that could be desired.
Mr. Reed united in marriage to Isabella Benefiel on July 13, 1881. She is the daughter of Robert and Mary (Ingram) Benefiel, of Carlisle, Indiana. She was educated in Edgar county, Illinois. Her father met an untimely death by being killed by a horse.
Mrs. Reed is a member of the Pythian Sisters, Lotus Temple No. 8, having passed all the chairs. She is a teacher in the First Methodist Episcopal church Sunday school, having been identified with Sunday school work for many years. She is a member of the Ladies' Aid and the Missionary societies of the church. Both Mr. and Mrs. Reed are faithful members of the Methodist Episcopal church.
Politically our subject is a loyal Republican and he takes a great interest in the affairs of his party. He is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Queen City No. 179, having been identified with the same for the past twenty-five years and having passed all the chairs. He has been representative to the Grand Lodge twice at Springfield, Illinois. He is also a past chief patriarch of the Centralia Encampment No. 75, having represented the Encampment twice at Springfield. He is also a member of Helmet lodge No. 26, Knights of Pythias, and has passed all the chairs in the same.
Extracted 27 May 2019 by Norma Hass from 1909 Biographical and Reminiscent History of Richland, Clay and Marion Counties, Illinois, pages 559-561.