David Reed and Elizabeth Pletcher
of Bald Eagle Cr, PA, Galion, OH
James Reed was born October 1, 1840 near Galion, Ohio. He descended from a family of Scots-Irish. A widow Reed is said to have sailed from Donegal on the west coast of Ulster to Wilmington, Delaware about 1711. Her seven-year-old son, William, accompanied her. Undoubtedly she came with a large contingent of Reeds and after several years moved with other family up to New London Cross Roads in Chester County, Pennsylvania. William grew up in Chester County and later married Jane Mitchell.
During the Colonial War, the peaceful relations with the Delaware nurtured by William Penn began to break down as external forces brought the Colonies to war. The wild lands of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River beyond the limits of Penn's grants drew the Reed men.
The conflict in Pennsylvania did not end until all parties signed the Treaty of Fort Stanwyx in 1868 after the Pontiac Rebellion. Pennsylvania gained a great swath of land called the 'New Purchase' from the Monongahela region in the west to the northeastern tip of Pennsylvania. Settlers began to filter into the remote lands of the west including outposts on the West Branch of the Susquehanna at the hazardous limit of legal settlement. A William Reed, believed to be the son of the above immigrant, settled as a tenant farmer with his wife and children at the place where Bald Eagle Creek enters the West Branch. Although they did not settle until 1773, it is likely they had come the previous year to clear the land and build the cabin. They would have been present to witness the Moravian Christian procession past their land. An itinerant preacher named Philip Fithian visited Great Island and Bald Eagle Creek in 1775. Reverend Fithian documented life in the Reed's humble cabin in his journal of July 24-31, 1775. He had been quite taken with William Reed's daughter Jenny who he referred to as a 'nymph of these waters.' He remarked at the hospitality of the Reed's:
"Saturday, Jul 29. I drank coffee last evening at Mr. Reed's. They are a sociable, kind, neat family. Indeed, I have not seen domestic affairs adjusted, making allowance for the earth-floored house, any where in the purchase more to my mind. They treated me with a clean dish of fine huckleberries and with a dish of well-made coffee."
He described in detail an outing with Jenny, her friend Betsy and his companion Gillespie:
"...crossed the river in a canoe and went up a very high, steep mountain to gather huckleberries. On the top of the hill we found them in the greatest of plenty. Low bushes bending to the ground with their weight of berries. On our return we had rare diversion. The water is in all parts shallow. Gillespie was helmsman and overturned the canoe. I discovered my little water nymph, Miss Reed, was more fearful in the water and less dexterous in it than myself.... The water was near waist high and our canoe was filled. I stood almost spellbound with laughter, though in a worse case than they. Many were standing on the shore. We lost all our fruit, and with the empty cups the girls drenched and bespattered Gillespie till the poor Irishman was entirely wetted, and we then waded dripping to the shore."
The West Branch enjoyed a period of peaceful relations with the Munsee Delaware until the outbreak of the Revolution. Raids by the Delaware in 1777 caused the Reeds to convert their farm into a fortress for the local militia. Rumors spread that Bald Eagle himself led his warriors. Losses from raids and severe winter weather drove all the settlers, including the Reed women and children, to safer ground. They did not return until 1784. Jenny Reed never married, though she lived to great old age. The itinerant preacher died in the war.
Jenny's brother William married a neighbor girl named Catherine Carson. They named their second son David. David Reed also married a neighbor girl, Elizabeth Pletcher. Their first son, Jacob, was born in 1809 at Bald Eagle Creek. David served in the War of 1812 possibly in Ohio. About 1820, he left Bald Eagle Creek with the Pletchers to settle on the prairie he had selected on the Olentangy River in Crawford County, Ohio.
The site of the Battle of Olentangy made a swampy, disease ridden place to raise a family. Many deserted after only a few years. The Reeds persevered and farmed their land. Their son Jacob married a German immigrant named Margaret Stauffer in 1833. Margaret bore daughter, Nancy, in 1834 and eldest son, Jim, in 1840. David Reed died October 12, 1844, two weeks after Jim celebrated his fourth birthday. Jacob stayed on the farm to care for his widowed mother until she died. He then sold the farm and moved into nearby Galion to become a grocer. His son, Jim, a good-looking sandy-haired youth continued in school while working part-time as a teamster.
William Reed  b. Jan. 9, 1754 d.Will prob. Mar. 14, 1829, Bald Eagle Cr., PA David Reed  b. Feb. 8, 1783 d. Oct. 12, 1844, Crawford Co., OH, Catherine Carson  b. ~1769 d. Jacob Reed  b. Nov. 25, 1809, Bald Eagle Cr., PA d. Feb. 6, 1870, Wheatland, IA m. Sept. 26, 1833, Crawford Co., OH Samuel Pletcher  b. d. Mar. 15, 1830, Crawford Co. OH Elizabeth Pletcher  b. ~1788 Howard Twp, Centre Co. PA d. 1856, Crawford Co., OH Elizabeth Yoder  b._ d._ James Reed  b Oct. 1, 1840, Polk Twp., Crawford Co., OH d. Mar. 23, 1905, Truckee, CA Margaret Stauffer  b. Oct. 26, 1811 d. May 8, 1870, Wheatland IA
Ancestors of James Reed
9-- Family Bible Record of Jacob and Margaret Reed in David A. Reed, " Genealogy of William Reed and Catherine Carson" (typescript, Microfilm 1033908-68222169, Family History Library, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City).
10-- "Independence Day History," Lock Haven Express, Lock Haven, PA, July 3, 1961, citing Historian McGinnes and tombstones at Chillisquaqua Cemetery: Jane Mitchell Reed, wife of William Reed, Sr. (1706-1783) and William Reed, Sr. (1704-1790) Colonial war, Captain at Reed's fort, Revolutionary war, Adjutant 2nd Batln, North'd Co. Militia Committee of Safety, Charter member Chillisquaqua.
11-- John Blair Linn, Chapter VII, "Centre County," p. 16 and Chapter XCII, "Clinton County," p. 471, citing the Journal of Rev. Phillip V. Fithian, the week of July 24-July 31, 1775. 12-- Fithian's Journal, July 27, 1775.
13-- Fithian's Journal , July 29, 1775.
14-- Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution, Vol. 1, ed. John Blair Linn (Harrisburg: Lane S. Hart., 1880) pp. 644-647, citing Pennsylvania Archives, Original Series, Vol. 6, p. 666. See also Pennsylvania Archives, Ser. 2, Vol. 4, C.W. Stone Secretary, ed., William H. Egle, M.D. (Harrisburg: 1888) p. 359, William Reed, White Deer militia muster roll Feb. 13, 1777. See also Pennsylvania Archives, Ser. 5, Vol. 8, p. 670, "Just payroll of rations agreeable to the monthly pay roll ....", May 16, 1778, ensigns John, William, James and Alexander Reed and privates, James Reed and William Reed, Sr.
15-- John Blair Linn, pp. 21 and 472.
16-- John Blair Linn, p 17, 472.
17-- Birth of David Reed, February 8, 1783 from his tombstone, Pletcher family burial ground, Polk Township, Crawford County, OH. See also "Independence Day History." William Reed (b. 1755) and Jenny Reed (birth unknown) were children of William Reed (1730-1808 buried at Great Island Cemetery) thought to be son of William Reed buried at Chillisquaqua.
18-- David A. Reed, p. 8g. Jacob Reed was born November 25, 1809.
19-- Pennsylvania Archives, Series 6, Volume 7, ed. Thomas Lunch Montgomery, Harrisburg, PA, 1907, pp 661 muster rolls, War of 1812. Captain Daniel Weaver, Liutenant John Wilson, Jacob Plecher and David Reed, First Brigade, Eleventh Division from Mifflin, Huntingdon and Centre Counties, June 16, 1812.
20-- Grant, David Reed from U.S., Sec. 36-Township 3, Range17E extreme southwest Polk Twp, Crawford Co., by the survey of lands north and east of the first principal meridian. For location of Battle of Olentangy, see Butterfield.
21-- Marriage of Jacob Reed to Margaret Stauffer, Marriage Book 1, p. 21, October 26, 1833, Crawford Co. OH. Court house, Bucyrus, OH.
22-- U.S. Federal Census for Ohio, 1860, Crawford County, Polk Township, Galion, p. 33, July 27, 1860, dwelling #678.
The above brief history of this Reed Family is taken from Showdown at Truckee by Marilou West Ficklin © 1997.