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Adams, Arva Luther; Herziger, Caryl Chandler; Pawlowski, Winifred Anderson (ed.) / A tale of twin cities : or the development of the Fox River Waterway

Pawlowski, Winifred Anderson
The Reed Brothers,   pp. 51-57 PDF (2.0 MB)

Page 51

The Reed Brothers
The Reeds were among the most distinguished and highly respected people
in the State of Wisconsin during its early development. Seth and Rhoda Reed
came to the state with their eight children - George, Julia Ann, Orson, Augusta,
Harrison, Curtis, Martha, and Herbert - in 1836. Seth was born in 1781 in
Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and had married Rhoda Finney of Vermont in
1804. He was then a farmer. In 1823, the family moved to Rhoda's native state,
and her husband became a hotel keeper and seller of horses, sheep, and cattle,
shipping mainly to Boston.
When the family moved to Milwaukee, Seth opened a hardware store, a first-
time venture. However, it was not long before he began farming again, this time
in Summit, Waukesha County, where he died July 15, 1848. Sons, Harrison and
Curtis, are the most important members of the Reed family to the story of the
Twin Cities.
Harrison Reed, who bought the government property in Winnebago Rapids
(later Neenah), had been a popular and well-known personage in the Milwaukee
and Madison areas for some time before beginning his building of a city on the
south branch of the Fox River between Little Lake Butte des Morts and Lake
Winnebago. He was described as being a thin, light complected, small featured
man of medium height. His hair was sparse and colorless; his beard was longish
and thin, and because of his near-sightedness it was necessary for him to wear
spectacles. His calm manner and careful speech confirmed the impression of
wise deliberation. Later in his life he was easily identified by his black broadcloth
Prince Albert coat and tall silk hat. The coat was always the same cut and texture
with the only variation being the improvement in quality on Sundays and state
Harrison started the first Sunday School in Milwaukee, became the
superintendent and always led the Wednesday evening prayer meeting. He was

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