White County INGenWeb


LEVI REYNOLDS was born in this township March 7, 1850, and is one of five children, now living, born to Benjamin and Lydia J. (Gardner) Reynolds, natives respectively of Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Benjamin Reynolds, although he attended school but three nights in his life, acquired, by his own exertions, a sound, practical business education. When a young man, he settled in Perry County, Ohio, where he married, and soon after bought and operated a stage line from Vincennes to Toledo, following the Wabash and Maumee Rivers. In 1828, a distemper carried away many of the large number of horses used, leaving Mr. R. almost penniless. In about 1830, he came to this County and began life anew. Being well acquainted with the country, he was employed to locate land on commission, which commission consisted chiefly in lands, and thus he became owner of from 15,000 to 20,000 acres in Indiana and Illinois. He was eminently a public-spirited man. He had a contract for excavating many miles of the State ditch, a part of which he sub-let. He was largely influential in locating and building the N. A. & S. R. R., and also the Pan Handle Railroad, in both of which he became a large stockholder. He was also interested in the Junction Railroad, and in 1854 or1855 had the misfortune to lose $100,000 by that concern. His first wife bore him five children, four of whom are yet living. He married his second wife, Lydia J. Gardner, at Vincennes, in 1839 or 1840. She is now living at Monon, this county, and is a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. R. laid out the town of Reynolds, which was named for him by Gov. Willard. During the late war, Mr. Reynolds met with his second financial reverse, having to pay over $40,000 bail debts. From this, however, be had nearly recovered before his death, June 6, 1869, at his home in this township. Levi Reynolds and a brother cultivated the home farm after the father's death, until the same was sold under administrator's sale and bought by the mother, and the estate divided. In 1878, he went to Monticello, and engaged in the livery and saloon business until 1881, when he returned to the farm. He was married in September, 1879, to Mary E. Cooper, a native of Perry County, Ohio, who has borne him two children- Roy H. and Glenn C. Mr. R. is Road Superintendent of the township, is a member of Brookston Lodge, No. 66, A. F. & A. M., and in politics is a Democrat.

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