A Reed in the Wind


During the American Revolution, the Minutemen from Dutchess County N.Y. traveled North to Vermont to build Fort Independence opposite Fort Ticonderoga. When they returned, many of the soldiers, including Kitchell Reed, admired a particular valley and returned to settle in what is now Pawlet, Vermont and Granville, New York. His father Abraham came to this valley in 1785 where he become deacon of the Congregational Church.

His eldest son, who was also called Abraham, married on November 4th, 1773 in Stamford, Connecticut to Jonas' daughter Thankful. This Weed/Reed marriage wins the best name contest, edging out Seymour and Lizana Woods' marriage where the mothers Easton met Weston.

Their children; Martha, Abraham, Jonas, Issac and Levi also removed to Granville. Then in March 1805, Decaon Jonas Reed the "Pioneer" became the first permanent resident of what is now Mineville, New York. At the time there was not another house between the Reed place and Lake Champlain. Indians (St. Regis & Oswagatchie) lived in wigwams across the swamp to the West. His brothers Abraham, Levi and Issac followed after 1820 (Issac was a minister as was Leonard - Kitchell's son).

I am assuming Jonas married Demmonis Kingsley in Granville before New York required the recording of vital records. Her father Ebenizer Kingsley was the only Kingsley in the vicinity. His death is recorded North in Castleton, Vermont.

Deacon Jonas and Demis (as she signed her name) raised an unknown number of children below Bald Mountain, the first two being twins: Levi and Milton (the first settlers born in the vicinity) maybe Edwon, Sarah and a daughter who moved to Russia, Ohio where Jones died.

Deacons Sanford and Reed held religious meetings - "Deacons Meetings" for the first ten years. Then Jonas, as a leading man of the town, started the project of building a church. There were some Universalists in the town who wanted to join the Congregationalists building the church. It was Mr. Reed who settled the conflict when he said "When you see Bald Mountain tip over into the lake, you may think I will join the Universalists..." On the land donated by the Reeds, the rebuilt church still stands - organized as Presbyterian in 1878.

Jonas and then his sons owned the land which became the original Iron ore mine. This ore which is supposedly the richest the world has produced a tailings pile so large that we can see it when we water-ski on Lake Champlain. Levi (an agent for mowing machine plans) and Milton were farmers sharing their fathers homestead which was one of the larger farms according to the Census. The original house still stands, having been visited by my father who remembers the solid plank walls.

Levi's wife Dorcas Taylor shared his house with her mother Polly Ames Taylor. How they came from Brookfield, Massachusetts to Mineville is unknown. What is known is Levi's twin - Milton had a son Herbert who died when he was twenty. Levi's son Frederick named his first born son, our grandfather, after this cousin. Great aunt Fanny gave a nice, if a little scary, picture of Levi to my sister Sue who has passed it down to me.

Frederick Levi Reed shares the characteristic Reed large hands and small wrists. His profession might have been as a piano salesman but maybe that is something I heard or misheard in passing. His eight children (Helen Adele, Herbert Milton, George, John, Fanny Miller, Charles Taylor, William, and Richard Levi) have a group picture arranged by age showing them on the Mineville farm.

His wife Lizana Esther Miller was the daughter of Reverend Alpha Miller, the minister of their church. He married off both his daughters on the same day - her sister Helen Adele Miller married Reverend J. Whitman Cowan.

Reverend G.A. Miller (Williams College) was the son of Reverend Alpha Miller (Hamilton College) whose wife's father was the Deacon Ebenezer Hunt whose wife was the daughter of the Reverend Nathan Strong, whose wife was the daughter of Reverend Joseph Meacham whose wife was the daughter of Reverend John Williams, whose father was Reverend Eleazar Mathers whose father was Reverend Richard Mather.

If you are counting, that's eight generations!

The Millers were one of the early families in Syracuse, New York. One son or brother was the first Superintendent of Schools. When Frederick Levi died (about 1900), his wife Lizana moved the family back to Syracuse where Herbert Milton Reed Sr. was captain of the Syracuse High School football team - as an 185 pound end. His scholarship to Syracuse University ended when he injured his knee playing center. He talked of going to Syracuse with $20 in his pocket but Aunt Mary reported there was also a rich uncle somehow involved in his reaching graduation.

Lizana's mother, Helen Sophia Wood, also came from upstate New York where her mother's family, the Roundys, had settled Spatford, New York where his grandfather fought in the Battle of Sratoga against the British. I assume Lizana is buried somewhere in Syracuse although there is also on Owego, New York connection.

Herbert Milton Reed Sr. married Florence Agnes Craggs the daughter of Reverend William George Craggs and Mary Lena Sinsabaugh both recent immigrants. His father was English (Ernest Craggs) and her parents German (Frank Sisabaugh and Sarah Branson). He emigrated as a teen and reportedly had an alcoholic youth which ended with his ministry. He returned to England during the First World War in a non-military uniformed service. We have pictures of him with his two daughters Francis and Florence (with her infant daughter). Florence talked of him abandoning the family.

Carol Reed Vimont lives at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness in central Colorado where she makes a home for her family of four while pursuing her interest in Biblical studies, needlework, gourmet cooking and contributing where needed as a valued member of the Westcliffe Community.

To be continued....