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Age 54 

1700 TO 1900 

Hnccstr^ anb posterity 


Johnson Reeves 

Born October i6, 1799 
Died July 19, i860 



Rfa'. Samuel Beach Jones, D. D. 


Printed by Allen, Lane & Scott 






K ii>51 L 

*' Honor thy Father and thy Mother, that thy 


THE Lord thy God giveth thee." 


loo Copies Privatei^y Printed. 


To My Ciiildrex : — In presenting this genealogy it 
has been my aim to improve upon the book that I printed 
in 1887, and to extend its records to the present date. 

My chief purpose in the compilation of the former book 
having been to preser\'e for the benefit of the descendants 
of my beloved father a permanent memorial of him, I 
present to them again in this book the tribute to his 
memor}-, in the form of a sermon preached by the Rev. 
Samuel Beach Jones, D. D. , in the First Presbyterian 
Church of Bridgeton, N. J., on a Sunday morning three 
weeks after father's death, a study which will interest all 
who rightly value the portrayal of a beautiful character 
and life. That you and all who may come after you in 
the fiiniily lineage in the future years may cherish his 
memor}' and profit by his example is my earnest prayer. 

It is not ours to boast of a line of progenitors specially 
distinguished according to the world's standards, but to 
me it is a source of greater gratification that our ances- 
try' have been uninterruptedly a people sturdily honest, 
intelligent, energetic, and patriotic. Christians, not only 
in name, but in deed, "diligent in business, fervent in 
spirit, serving the Lord." 


Germantown, Philadelphia, April 26, 1900. 




The name Reeves is of old English or Saxon origin. 
Swinton, in his "Rambles Among Words," states, nnder 
head of proper names, that "Offices and Dignities have 
given ns for names King, Prince, Earle, Lord, Yeomans, 
Squires, &c. The Church has given us Pope, Bishop, 
Parsons, Priest, Clark (Clerk)," &c. 

The State has given us Chancellor, IMayor, Reeves. 

Webster says Reeve is from Saxon gerefa^ an officer, 
steward, or governor. It is obsolete except in compounds, 
as shire-reeve, now written sheriff. In the "Century 
Dictionar}' of the English Language," 1890, we find the 
following : — 

"Reeve," n. (ME. reeve, reve, AS. gerefa (rarely gereafa, with 
loss of prefix refa, with syncope in AngUan grafa), a prefect, steward, 
fiscal officer of a shire or county, reeve, sheriff, judge, count ; origin 
uncertain. The form gerefa suggests a derivation (as orig. an honorarj' 
title), ge-, a generalizing prefix, + rof (= OS. rof, ruof ), famous, well- 
known or valiant, stout, a poetical epithet of unprecise meaning and 
unknown origin. But gerefa may perhaps stand for orig. grefa (Anglian 
graefa) = OFries, greva = D. graaf = OHG. dravo, MHG. grave, 
graeve, G. graf, a count, prefect, overseer, &c. (see graf, grave, greeve). 
I. A steward ; a prefect ; a bailiff ; a business agent. The word enters 
into the composition of some titles, as borough-reeve, hog-reeve, port- 
reeve, sheriff (shire-reeve), town-reeve, &c., and is itself in use in some 
parts of the United States and in Canada. 

His lordes scheep, his neet, his dayerie, 
His svvyn, his hors, his stoor, and his pultrie, 
Was holly in this reeves governynge. 

Chaucer, Gen. Prol. to C. T. (ed. Morris), i, 599. 

In auncient time, almost every manor had his reve, whos authoritie 
was not only to levie the lords rents, to set to vvorke his servaunts, and 

1 /XQ^y- -'-^ (5) 

to husband his demesnes to his best profit and commoditie, but also to 
governe his tenants in peace, and to leade them foorth to war, when ne- 
cessitie so required. 

Lambarde, Perambulation (1596), page 484 (Halliwell). 

A lord " who has so many men that he cannot personally have all in 
his own keeping" was bound to set over each dependent township a 
reeve, not only to exact his lord's dues, but to enforce his justice within 
its bounds. 

J. R. Green, Conq. of Eng., page 217. 

The council of every village or township (in Canada) consists of one 
reeve and four councillors, and the county council consists of the reeves 
and deputy reeves of the townships and villages within the county. 
Sir C. IV. Dilke, Probs. of Greater Britain, i., 2. 

Allibone's " Dictionary of Authors" gives twenty-three 
authors of the name of Reeve and fifteen of the name of 
Reeves, all British, and some of high celebrity in their 
day. They wrote mostly on law and theolog>^ 



^<7 1 


Harriet Reeves Fithian" 
Martha Reeves Bush '« 

Rev. Henry Reeves, D. D. ^ 

John Reeves ^i 

James Johnson Reeves' 

Ruth Reeves DuBois' 
Francis Brewster Reeves i' 


The first of our ancestors whose names are ac- 
cessible were Abraham Reeves and Damaris Reeves, 
his wife. Abraham, with two brothers, and perhaps 
other members of his father's famil}^, came to this 
country from England in the first quarter of the 
eighteenth century and settled on Long Island, 
New York. These men were among the many lovers 
of God and of liberty who, at that primitive period 
in our country's history, chose to abandon their 
homes in their native land rather than to remain 
subjects of a government that had determined to en- 
force conformity to a ritual of worship which was re- 
pugnant to them, and because such enforcement was 
in violation of their sacred convictions regarding 
man's inalienable right to religious liberty, and to 
his own way of finding God's way to heaven, and of 
interpreting the Divine plan in human government. 

They were Presbyterians, and to this day their 
descendants, with not more than two known excep- 
tions, have adhered to the Church of their fathers. 
These exceptions are father's great aunt Sarah, who 
married Rev. Thomas G. Steward, Methodist minister, 



and Rev. Abraham Reeves, an Episcopal minister 
lately residing in the State of Indiana. All of 
father's descendants without exception are Presby- 
terians. If we have been inspired with our fore- 
fathers' spirit of independence to follow in the old 
paths, the same spirit has led us to cherish as a 
priceless inheritance our individual right to adopt as 
our own the truth as it is made manifest to us, 
and the liberty to worship God according to forms 
of our approving, and to interpret creeds according 
to the dictates of a conscience enlightened by the 
Spirit of God, without fear that either Church or 
State can ever deprive us of our heritage. 

It is to be regretted that no information concerning 
the ancestry of these pioneer Reeves brothers has 
come down to us ; we can, however, readily excuse 
their failure to preserve and transmit to their de- 
scendants their family genealogy when we remember 
the hardships and dangers they encountered and the 
exciting circumstances attending their eventful lives 
in a new and strange land in a time that tried men's 

At an earlier date by a decade or two, an Indian 
sachem, whose tribe had its hunting grounds in the 
fair valley of the Connecticut, wooed and won the 
heart and hand of one of the daughters of old Eng- 
land, of whose name and antecedents we are unhap- 
pily ignorant. 

Of the offspring of this marriage, a daughter be- 
came the wife of Dr. James Johnson, who it is said 
came from England at an early age, studying medi- 
cine, as was the custom then, before the founding 
of medical colleges, under some practicing physi- 
cian. We learn from an inscription on his tombstone 
in the Greenwich Church burying ground, that he 
was born November, 1705 ; died May 26, 1759. 
The Indians, in those days, possessed many secrets 
of the healing art of which physicians gladly availed 
themselves. Father's great aunt, Sarah Reeves 
Stewart, whom I well remember, has said that it was 
told her in her early years that Dr. Johnson married 
this young woman partly on account of her medical 
knowledge, though we cannot doubt that the young 
lady possessed many other attractions of a more 
romantic character. 

It may be interesting to digress from our narrative 
long enough to shed a little light upon the amicable 
relations existing between the English and the 
Indians of Connecticut in those early days, when 
bravery and courage, struggles and victories, were 
shared equally between them. 

I quote from Colonel McKenney's " History of the 
Indian Tribes of North America " : " The founders 
of New England were disposed to act conscientiously 
in their public as well their private concerns ; and 
their relations with the Indians were commenced in 


amity and good faith. When we remark the weak- 
ness of the first settlements in New England, and 
observe that their infant villages were, on several 
occasions, almost depopulated by famine and sick- 
ness, it is obvious that the Indians must have been 
peaceably disposed towards them, as there were 
several periods at which they could, with ease, have 
exterminated all the colonists." 

In Baylie^s Memoirs of Plyinouth we are told that 
*' the Mohawks, the most powerful nation of New 
England, were never known to molest the English. 
The English frequently met them in the woods 
when they were defenseless, and the Indians armed, 
but never received from them the slightest insult. 
Unbounded hospitality to strangers is one of the 
qualities ascribed to the Indians generally of that 

" Trumbull, the historian of Connecticut, who has 
collected all the oldest authorities with great care, 
remarks that the English lived in tolerable peace 
with all the Indians in Connecticut and New Eng- 
land, except the Pequots, for about forty years. The 
Indians, at their first settlement, performed many 
acts of kindness towards them. They instructed 
them in the manner of planting and dressing Indian 
corn. They carried them on their backs through the 
rivers and waters ; and, as occasion required, served 
them instead of boats and bridges. They gave them 


mucli useful information respecting tlie country ; and 
when the English or their children were lost in 
the woods, and were in danger of perishing with cold 
or hunger, they conducted them to their wigwams, 
fed them and restored them to their families and 
parents. By selling them corn, when pinched with 
famine, they relieved their distresses, and prevented 
them from perishing in a strange land and uncul- 
tivated wilderness." 

From Winthrop's Jour7ial we learn " that in the 
Winter of 1635 the English settlements on the 
Connecticut River were sorely afflicted by famine, 
on which occasion the Indians proved their best 
friends — aided those who fled, sustained those who 
remained, and suffered the cattle of the strangers 
to roam unmolested through the woods, while they 
themselves were procuring a precarious subsistence 
by the chase. If ever kindness, honesty, and for- 
bearance were practiced with scrupulous fidelity, in 
the face of strong temptation inciting to an opposite 
course of conduct, these virtues were displayed by 
the Indians on this occasion." We learn from the 
same history that, half a century later, " Sir William 
Johnson, the most celebrated of all the agents em- 
ployed by the British Government in the manage- 
ment of their Indian affairs, enjoyed unbounded 
popularity among the native tribes. He selected a 
number of Mohawk youths and sent them to an 


Indian missionary school whicli was establislied at 
Lebanon, Conn." 

These facts of local ancient history are quoted to 
prove to us how natural it was that the ties of friend- 
ship between these races should have served some- 
times to bind them in still closer bonds, and that 
they may also serve to incline our hearts to entertain 
the most kindly and respectful sentiments towards 
our far distant aboriginal ancestor. 

After the birth of two children, Dr. Johnson and 
his half-breed wife removed from Connecticut to 
Cumberland County, New Jersey, making their home 
near Bowentown, four miles west of Bridgeton. 
Judge L. Q. C. Elmer, in his history of Cumberland 
County, speaks of Dr. James Johnson as a practicing 
physician as early as 1745. He mentions this 
singular incident^ indicating the customs of that 
early day, that " among the accounts of his executor 
are charges for wine for the use of seven watchers, 
and of wine and rum for the funeral." 

That Dr. Johnson married a daughter of an 
Indian chief is confirmed, among others, by the 
late venerable Mrs. Sheppard, of Bridgeton, who 
has said to father's great-aunt Sarah that in her 
younger days she often rode behind her on the 
way to church. The Doctor's practice embraced 
a circuit of fifty miles. Their daughter, Mabel 
Johnson, September 12, 1750, at eighteen years of 


age, married John Reeves^ who, a few years pre- 
viously, had come with his brothers and sisters, 
Stephen, Lemuel, Thomas, Nancy, and Abigail, 
from Long Island, N. Y., and settled in Green- 
wich, N. J., a few miles from Bowentown, seven 
miles from Bridgeton, He was for many 3^ears 
a ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church of 
Greenwich. They enjoyed together the blessings 
of married life for fifty years. Their first-born 
son, Johnson Reeves'", named for his grandfather. 
Dr. Johnson, was born August ii, 1751. He mar- 
ried Zerv'iah Berreman, bv whom he had nine 
children, viz., John", Stephen, Lemuel, Ephraim, 
Nancy, James, Lewis, Ann, and Sarah. From 
Dr. Enoch Fithian's " History of the Greenwich 
Presbyterian Church" we learn that a tract of 
twenty-five acres of land was purchased for an ad- 
dition to the parsonage farm, at ^3 per acre, of 
John Reeves, the deed bearing date April 23, 1784. 
We also learn from the same history that upon the 
roll of communicants of the Greenwich Church in 
October, 1805, there were fourteen of the Reeves 
family, viz., Johnson, Zerviah, Stephen, Deborah, 
Sarah, Lemuel, Thomas, Jr., Ruth, Rachel, Sarah, Jr., 
Mabel, Elizabeth, Abraham, and Thomas, the last- 
named being one of the ruling elders. The first- 
born of the nine children of Johnson Reeves, John 
Reeves^, born September 6, 1778, married his second 


cousin, Martha Reeves, December 23, 1798, lie 
being twenty years, and she nineteen years of age. 
They lived in Deerfield, N. J., a year or two there- 
after, removing thence to Bridgeton, his first-born 
son, Johnson Reeves \ being then a mere infant. 
He died December 9th, 18 15, at the age of thirty- 
seven, leaving his young wife with six children, 
from sixteen months old to sixteen years. 
These children were : — 

Johnson Re;e;ves, b. Oct. 16, 1799; d. July 19, i860. 
Samuel Reeves, b. July 7, 1801 ; d. Dec. 4, 1879. 
Joseph Reeves, b. Oct. i, 1807 ; d. June 14, 1890. 
Martha Reeves, b. Jan. i, 1810 ; d. Nov. 24, 1832. 
Joel Berreman Reeves, b. July 10, 1812 ; d. Feb. 3, 1886. 
Mary Reeves, b. Aug. 13, 1814 ; d. Feb. 7, 1894. 

Two children had died before the death of their 
father: Ephraim, October 15, 1813, aged ten years, 
two months, and two days, and Mary ist, September 
13, 1807, aged two years, less two days. 

Johnson Reeves. 

Johnson, the eldest, sixteen years of age, assumed 
at once a father's part toward the large family, and 
determined to do everything possible for them and 
his mother. Barly in the year 18 16 he went to work 
with his uncle Lemuel, then a Western pioneer, 
living in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio, where his 
grandfather, Johnson Reeves^, had bought land. 
He remained there but one year, for, becoming 


HoMK OF Francis Brewstkr Rkkvks, Gkrmantown, Philadelphia, 
Since April 5, 1871. 


1111. lle)MUbl l.ALi. 

Rksidence of James Johnson Reeves, Pearl Street, Bridgeton, N. J. 
Built by Johnson Reeves 1825; enlarged 1854- 


homesick, as he said, lie returned to Bridgeton, and 
began again with great earnestness to take upon 
himself the responsibility of supporting the family. 
It should be noted that this long journey to and 
from Warren, Ohio, was accomplished by dear father 
on foot. He once told me that on the return journey 
he fell in with a drover, whom he assisted in bringing 
a large drove of cattle to Philadelphia, receiving some 
small compensation for his services and good com- 
pany. There were no railroads in those days, and 
stages were few and far between and as for money 
for fares — well, if there was any of that, it must be 
saved for mother and the little brothers and sisters, 
for must they not all be fed and clothed and edu- 
cated ? Father was naturally an excellent mechanic, 
as many a useful household article in iron and steel 
and wood, about our old home, abundantly testified. 
The earlier part of his busy life he was an honored 
and trusted employe of the Iron and Nail Works in 
Bridgeton. As nearly as I can ascertain, it was about 
the year 1839 that he entered into partnership with 
his brother-in-law, William Riley, under the firm 
name of Riley & Reeves, and continued for about 
thirteen years to transact a large business in merchan- 
dise of all sorts, in the brick storehouse, corner of 
Broad and Franklin Streets, Bridgeton. The firm 
owned shares in several coasting vessels, sloops and 
schooners, employed laborers for cutting " cordwood," 


wliicli they shipped upon their vessels to Philadel- 
phia and New York, completing cargoes with grain, 
receiving for the return voyages supplies of gro- 
ceries, provisions, hardware, fertilizers, dry goods, 
and other general stock for a large country store. 
The perils of the sea were sometimes too much for 
these sailing vessels, and considerable loss accrued 
to the firm by reason thereof. Among their unfor- 
tunates were the sloop " Charles," the schooner 
" Kedron," named by father from the sacred brook in 
the garden of Gethsemane, and the new and hand- 
some schooner " Lewis Chester." The total loss of 
this vessel occurred in the Winter of 1850-51. I 
was at the time a clerk in " father's store," and I re- 
member the coming of Captain Banks there and his 
breaking the bad news, and father's first remark upon 
it, " Well, I am sorry ; but it is all for the best." 

From one of his letters to me under date February 
14, i860, I quote as follows : — 

"Last evening I received a telegram dated New 
York, Feb. 13, as follows : 'Schooner " Kedron " is in 
trouble: come on immediately,' signed by Capt. 
Dilks. To-day I received a letter from him dated 
1 2th inst., giving particulars. After losing their 
anchors and sails — he says — ' we got a steam tug to 
tow us in to keep us from going to sea. They 
charged us $1000 for towing us in.' What a price! 
That is taking advantage of their necessities. Now 


this is bad business, from bad to worse, and I know 
not how it will end. 

a ::: :•: :■: j^Q^y J regrct that we did not sell her 
as she lay on the shore at Cape Island last summer. 
We had better have given her away, for she was then 
out of debt ; now she is not. This, as I have said, is 
bad business for me, and I have not anticipated that 
I ever again should be brought into it, but Providence 
has ordered it otherwise. It may all be overruled for 
my good, but I must say I cannot see how. Perhaps 
you could manage your business to go on with me. 
If you bought your goods in New York it might 
answer you, but perhaps not otherwise." Father's 
heart was lighter, and his gratitude plainly expressed 
when, upon adjustment by the underwriters in New 
York, whither I had accompanied him, he found that 
his share of the towage bill of $1000 was only about 
one-fourth of that amount, and that he was enabled 
to pay it forthwith. 

His faith in an overruling Providence was ab- 
solutely unlimited and unqualified. He could always 
honestly and cheerfully say : — 

" lu each event of life, how clear 

Thy ruliug hand I see ! 
Each blessing to my soul more dear 

Because conferred by Thee. 
In every joy that crowns my days, 

In every pain I bear, 
My heart shall find delight in praise, 

Or seek relief in prayer." 


Father's communications with his children, whether 
oral or written, were not habitually of an advisory 
character ; he was quite as willing to ask as to give 
advice; nor was he ever unreasonably or unjustly 
critical or censorious. His every thought, word, and 
deed were indicative of a cheerful and contented mind 
and a most affectionate heart. It never once occurred 
to his children that anybody in the world was happier 
than he, and his sweet spirit always pervaded every 
nook and corner of our home, even as the roses, sweet 
peas, and lilacs, planted by his loving hands under 
our windows, dispensed their delightful fragrance 
throughout the house. Though his heart's first de- 
sire was that all his children should own and ac- 
knowledge his God and Saviour as theirs also, and 
that they should walk in the way of His precepts, 
their temporal welfare and happiness were always 
considered well worthy of his best thought and most 
careful planning. 

To exemplify this point, I will quote from two 
letters written to me. In the first, dated May 13, 
1856, he writes : "I can hardly suppose that you will 
go longer than has John — in age — before you, too, 
will have a wife. I want all my children to marry 
when they are satisfied that they have found the right 
one, and are able to maintain and bring up a family 
right. They who have no children cannot be as 
happy as they who have ; only let parents do their 


duty to their cliildren and train them up in the way 
they should go, then will they be a comfort to their 
parents as long as they may live, and then will they 
be good and useful citizens." 

From the other, dated Bridgeton, May 23, i860, 
I make the following quotation : " Well, how do 
you get along at housekeeping? As you have had 
a week or two of experience, I suppose you begin 
to realize something of its cares and responsibil- 
ities as well as its pleasures, and the last are not 
the least. I speak from experience. I never shall 
forget our own beginning, March 25, 1822, although, 
in comparison with yours, ours was a very mod- 
erate beginning. It was in a small house, rent $45, 
furniture plain but good, that is, good enough for 
us, we did not wish for better, and not until I built 
where we now are, which was in the 4th year (1825), 
did we want more. We were as happy with our little 
home and with each other as 3^ou can possibly be, 
with this difference — we had less care because we 
had less to look after. You have made a splendid 
beginning, with the encouraging prospect of its 
continuance, if kind Providence favors you, which 
I trust will be the case. I do hope that you will 
both live long to enjoy yourselves with each other 
and your friends near and dear, and your pleas- 
ant home. I need not tell you where to look for 
assistance that you may the better perform the 


duties devolved upon you as the head of a family. 
Doubtless you have erected a family altar, where 
prajj-er, morning and evening, will ascend to the 
prayer-hearing and covenant-keeping God for His 
blessing now and for its continuance through life, 
upon you and yours. May it be so." 

These few incidents in father's domestic life, viewed 
in connection with the more complete unveiling of 
his character in the sermon by his pastor. Rev. Dr. 
Jones, will enable his children's children to know 
him, to profit by the contemplation of a noble Chris- 
tian life, and to thank God for such a lineage as is 

F. B. R. 

Tiil- NIiW YORK- 


Ellen Bernard Thompson 
'' Age 21 


Mary Reeves Deacon 38 

Frank Deacon 87 
Ellen Elizabeth Reeves'" 

Frank Deacon 87 

Francis Brewster Reeves ^i 
Age 20 

Emily Thompson Reeves*" 
Gerald Hartley Deacon 84 


Abraham Reeves, b. , 1698 ; d. May 21, 1761 ; 

Damaris Reeves, his wife, b. , 1699 ; d. Dec. i, 


Their children were : — 

John Reeves', 
Abraham Reeves, 
Stephen Reeves, 
Lemuel Reeves, 
Thomas Reeves, 
Nancy Reeves, 
Abigail Reeves. 



I. John Reeves, b. Jan. 30, 1726; d. May 4, 1800 ; m. 
Mabel Johnson, dau. of Dr. James Johnson, Sept. 12, 
1750; b. July 3, 1732 ; d. Oct 22, 1813. 

They had ten children, viz. : — 

Johnson Reeves, b. Aug. ii, 1751 ; d. April 2, 1810. 

Elijah Reeves, b. Mar. 14, 1753. 

Lemuel Reeves, b. Mar. 19, 1755; d. Nov. 2, 1777. 

Joseph Reeves, b. June 25, 1757. 

Mabel Johnson Reeves, b. Nov. 26, 1759 ; d. Aug. 30, 1814 ; m. 

Levi Leake, July 30, 1783. 
Sarah Reeves, b. Jan. 13, 1762. 
Abraham Reeves, b. July 30, 1763; d. Nov. 2, 1822. 
Eunice Reeves, b. Mar. 6, 1767; d. April 25, 1825; m. Daniel 

Bishop, May 31, 1785. 
Stephen Reeves, b. Feb. 11, 1769. 
Nancy Reeves, b. Nov. 6, 1771. 






2. Johnson Reeves, b. Aug. 11^1751 ; d, April 2, 
1810 ; m. Zerviah BerrEman, ^daii.'bf John Berreman 

and Sarah Bateman Berreman, his wife, b, , 1760 ; d. 

, 1800. 

They had nine children, viz. : — 

John Reeves, m. Martha Reeves ; 

Stephen Reeves, m. Deborah Brown ; 

Lemuel Reeves, m. ist, Sarah Sheppard ; 2d, Ann Steward ; 

Sarah Berreman Reeves, m. Rev. Thomas G. Steward ; 

James Johnson Reeves, unmarried ; 

Lewis Reeves, m. Hannah Miller ; 

Ann Reeves, m. Samuel Elwell ; 

Ephraim Reeves; 

Nancy Reeves. 



3. John Reeves, b. Sept. 6, 1778 ; d. Dec. 9, 1815; m. 
Martha Reeves, Dec. 25, 1798, dau. of Samuel Reeves 
and Mary Cook Reeves, b. June 8, 1779 ; d. Sept. 22, 1825. 

Her father, Samuel Reeves, d. Mar. 30, 1806. Her mother, Mary 
Cook Reeves, was dau. of Eldad Cook and Deborah Bowen Cook, his 
wife, who was dau. of Daniel and Mary Walling Bowen. Daniel Bowen, 
b. July 2, 1659, was son of Samuel and Elizabeth Wheaton Bowen. 

They had eight children, viz. : — 

Johnson Reeves, b. Oct. 16, 1799 ; d. July 19, i860. 
Samuel Reeves, b. July 7, 1801 ; d. Dec. 4, 1S79. 
Ephraim Reeves, b. Aug. 13, 1803 ; d. Oct. 15, 1813. 
Mary Reeves, b. Sept. 11, 1805; d. Sept. 13, 1807. 
Joseph Reeves, b. Oct. i, 1807; d. June 14, 1890. 
Martha Reeves, b. Jan. i, 1810; d. Nov. 24, 1832. 
Joel Berreman Reeves, b. July 10, 1812 ; d. Feb. 3, 1886. 
Mary Reeves, b. Aug. 13, 1814 ; d. Feb. 7, 1894. 





4. Johnson Reeves, b. Oct. 16, 1799; d. July 19, i860 ; 
m. ist, Elizabeth Riley, Mar. 7, 1822 ; 2d, Anna Maria 
Foster, Oct. 24, 1854. 

Elizabeth Riley, dan. of Mark Riley, 2d, and Abigail 
Harris Riley, his wife, b. Mar. 17, 1800 ; d. June 21, 1845. 

(Mark Riley, b. Mar. 13, 1762; Abigail Harris, b. Oct. 26, 1768; d. 
July 19, 1838. They were m. April 5, 1790. Mark Riley was son of 
Mark Riley, b. Jan., 1732 ; d. Oct., 1794, and Prudence, his wife, d. Oct., 
1799. Abigail Harris Riley was dau. of Nathaniel Harris, b. May 27, 
1723; d. Dec. 3, 1797, and Abigail Padgett Harris, his wife, b. June 28, 
1727 ; d. Nov. I, 1810. They were m. Nov. 12, 1746. Nathaniel Harris 
was son of Nathaniel Harris, b. Oct. 8, 1693; d. , 1775, and Eliza- 
beth Harris, his wife. Abigail Padgett was dau. of Thomas Padgett, 
b. May i, 1692 ; d. Nov. 20, 1751, and Dorothy Sayre Padgett, his wife, 
b. , 1697; d. Feb. 16, 1772.) 

They had eight children, viz. : — 

Henry Reeves, b. Feb. 5, 1823. 

Harriet Newell Reeves, b. Nov. 6, 1824; d. Dec. 19, 1897. 

Rlth Riley Reeves, b. Dec. 20, 1826. 

Martha Reeves, b. Aug. 20, 1829 ; d. April 27, 1833. 

John Reeves, b. Mar. 9, 1832 ; d. Dec. 19, 1895. 

Martha Pierson Reeves, b. May 25, 1834. 

Francis Brewster Reeves, b. Oct. 10, 1836. 

James Johnson Reeves, b. Sept. 9, 1839. 



5. Henry Reeves, b. Feb. 5, 1823 5 "^- Sarah J. 
Kennedy, dau. of Phineas B. and Priscilla C. Kennedy, 
May 6, 185 1 ; b. Dec. 17, 1827. 

Henry Reeves was graduated at Princeton College, 1844 ; at Prince- 
ton Theological Seminary, 1849 ; taught in a private school in Pine 


Ridge, Miss., two years from 1844 to 1846 ; ordained in the ministry 
1850 ; preached at Lenox Chapel on the Hudson, above New Hamburg, 
May to Oct., 1849 ; at Wappinger's Falls, N, Y., Nov., 1849, to May, 
1850; was pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Belvidere, N. J., from 
July, 1850, to July, 1858; was stated supply of Fayetteville Presby- 
terian Church, Pennsylvania, from Aug., 1858, to July, 1864; was stated 
supply of the Presbyterian Church of Gloucester City, N.J., from May, 
1869, to Aug., 1881 ; was stated supply of Fairfield Church, N. J., 
1882 to 1885 ; was stated supply of Pearl Street Mission and Fourth 
Presbyterian Church of Bridgeton, N. J., from 1891 to Sept., 1895 ; was 
elected pastor of the church of Gloucester City, Sept., 1895, and is 
still serving in that capacity. He has been from 1S84 to the present 
time stated clerk of the Presbytery of West Jersey. While serving the 
Fayetteville, Pa., Church, 1858-1864, he was principal of the Young 
Ladies' Seminary, Chambersburg, Pa. He was principal of Wood- 
land Seminary, West Philadelphia, from July, 1864, to June, 1868, and 
of Ivy Hall, Bridgeton, N. J., from Sept., 1881, to July, 1891. He was 
editor of Young Folks' News, Philadelphia, from 1869 to 1875 ; and 
editor of Our Monthly, Philadelphia, from July, 1871, to Jan., 1875. 

He received the honorary degree of Ph. D. from Princeton College, 
1886; received the honorary degree of D. D. from Hanover College, 
Indiana, 1897. 

6. Harriet Newell Reeves, b. Nov. 6, 1824 ; d. 
Dec. 19, 1897 ; m. Charles Seeley Fithian, merchant, 
of Bridgeton, N. J., March 26, 1846. 

7. Ruth Riley Reeves, b. Dec. 20, 1826 ; m. Robert 
DuBoiS, manufacturer, of Bridgeton, March 25, 1851. 
Robert DuBois d. July 4, 1898. 

8. Martha Reeves, b. Aug. 20, 1829 ; d. April 27, 1833. 

9. John Reeves, b. Mar. 9, 1832; d, Dec. 19, 1895; 
m, Kate Mills Robison, May 27, 1856, dan. of Joseph 
and Philena Mills Robison, b. Oct. 24, 1837, 

John Reeves was educated as a boy in the private schools of 
Bridgeton, N. J. ; he was a student of the St. Johnsbury, Vt., 
Academy, 1848-1849 ; taught school part of the Winter of 1849-50 at 
Deerfield, N. J. He entered the Girard Bank of Philadelphia as clerk, 
1850 ; was elected assistant cashier of that bank in 1864, and held the 
same office until the day of his death, 1895. He was a teacher of a class 



Robert DuBois. 
(See ', page 24.) 



' ^ J 


in the Sunday school of the Tenth Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, 
during the pastorate of Rev. Henry A. Boardman, D.D. He was 
elected an elder of the Penn Square Presbyterian Church, serving in 
that office about one year, and was for several years a ruling elder in 
the West Philadelphia Church, now called the West Hope Presby- 
terian Church, and later, during a number of years in the Princeton 
Presbyterian Church, West Philadelphia. The late years of his life he 
was a member of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, under the pas- 
toral charge of Rev. William H. Miller, who was once a scholar in Mr. 
Reeves' Bible class in the old Tenth Presbyterian Church. His tastes 
were conspicuous for literature and art. 

10. Martha Pierson Reeves, b. May 25, 1834 ; m. 
ist, Alexander Lewden Robeson, merchant, of Bridge- 
ton, N. J., Sept. 24, 1854 ; 2d, George W. Bush, 
merchant, of Wihnington, Del,, Jan. 10, 1884. 

Alexandkr Lewden Robeson, ist Lieut., Co. H., 24th N.J. Regi- 
ment, fell in the battle of Fredericksburg, Va., Dec. 13, 1S62. 

11. Francis Brewster Reeves, b. Oct. lo, 1836; m. 
Ellen Bernard Thompson, April 26, i860. 

Francis Brewster Reeves was a student of private schools and of 
Harmony Academy, Bridgeton, N. J., with intermissions of several 
months when employed in his father's store, until April 23, 1852, when 
his school books were dropped for a business life. He entered the dry 
goods store of Joel Fithian, Bridgeton, April 26, 1852 ; left there Oct. 3, 
1S52, and went with W. H. Thompson to learn the watch-repairing and 
jewelry business ; left this situation and entered Girard Bank, Philadel- 
phia, as clerk. Mar. 9, 1854; left the bank and entered the office of 
N. B. Thompson & Co., wholesale grocers, of Philadelphia, Oct., 1858, 
and became a member of the firm Feb. i, 1859, from which date to the 
present time he has continued to be a member of that firm and its 
successors — now, and since 1865, known as Reeves, Parvin & Co. He 
was ordained a ruling elder in the Wakefield Presbyterian Church of 
Germantown, Philadelphia, May 4, 1874 ; has been the superintendent 
of its Sunday school from July, 1879, to the present time. He was chair- 
man of the executive committee of the noted municipal reform " Com- 
mittee of One Hundred" of Philadelphia, 1881-1S83. He has served 


as a member of the Presbyterian Board of Education and the Presby- 
terian Board of Pubhcation and Sabbath School Work, and is now one 
of the trustees of the last-named Board. He was appointed by the 
Judges of the Courts of Common Pleas of Philadelphia to membership 
in the Philadelphia Board of Public Education and as Controller of the 
Twenty-second School Section in February, 1888, resigning the office 
two years later. He was appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia a 
member of the "Citizens' Permanent Relief Committee of Philadel- 
phia" on the occasion of the Johnstown (Pa.) flood in 1889, and by 
appointment of Gov. James A. Beaver, was and is still the chairman of 
the "Committee on Annuities to Johnstown Flood Orphans" of the 
State Relief Committee. As representing the city of Philadelphia and 
its Permanent Relief Committee, he was commissioned to visit Russia 
in the Spring of 1892 to deliver and distribute a cargo of food supplies 
sent on the steamship " Conemaugh " for the relief of the sufferers 
by famine in that country. The Emperor, Alexander III., recognized 
his personal service by the presentation to him of a costly punch 
set of seven pieces in silver and gold. He is at the present time 
the president of the Girard National Bank, president of the Phila- 
delphia Belt Line Railroad, first vice-president of the Philadelphia 
Bourse, one of the board of managers of the Germantown Saving Fund 
Society, a director of the Philadelphia Mortgage and Trust Company, a 
director of the Delaware Insurance Company, member of the Advisory 
Board of the Germantown Real Estate, Deposit and Trust Company, 
member of the boards of managers of the Merchants' Fund and of the 
Mercantile Beneficial Association, director of the Grocers and Im- 
porters Exchange of Philadelphia, treasurer of the Wholesale Grocers 
Association of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, member of 
the Art Club of Philadelphia, of the Germantown Cricket Club, of 
the Science and Art Club of Germantown, and of the Civil Service 
Reform Association of Philadelphia. 

12. James Johnson Rekves, b. Sept. 9, 1839 ; m. 
Mary CaIvDWELL Butler, of Germantown, Philadelphia, 
1865, dau. of Edward Butler and Caroline Hyde Butler, 
b. Mar. 7, 1841. 

James Johnson Reeves was a pupil of the public and private 
schools of Bridgeton, and subsequently attended the Harmony Academy 
and the West Jersey Academy. Having determined upon the law as 
a profession, in 1857 he entered the office of Hon. John T. Nixon, of 


Bridgeton, and continued his studies with him and his associates, 
Charles E. Elmer and Judge L. Q. C. Elmer, until admitted to the bar 
in 1861. During this period he entered the law school of Harvard 
University, at Cambridge, Mass., and was graduated in the Summer 
of 1861, receiving the degree of LL. B. He was licensed as an attorney 
in Feb., 1861 ; as a counselor in June, 1864; and in May, 1871, was 
admitted to practice in the United States Circuit and District Courts, 
about the same time also receiving the appointment of United States 
Commissioner. He relinquished his profession in 1862 and entered 
the army of the Union, having been instrumental in raising a company 
in the brief period of thirty-six hours. This was Company H, of the 
Twenty-fourth Regiment, New Jersey Volunteers, in which company 
he served as second lieutenant. He participated in the battles of 
Fredericksburg on the 13th of December, 1862, and of Chancellorsville, 
on the 3d of May, 1863, in both of which engagements he was wounded. 
On his return from service he resumed his professional labors, in which 
he has ever since been actively engaged. 

In his political predilections he is a Republican, and for three con- 
secutive years he filled the office of City Solicitor. He is not, however, 
identified actively with the political issues of the day, giving, aside from 
the demands of his profession, his energies largely to Christian work in 
the city of his birth and residence. He has been engaged in Sunday- 
school work as a teacher since he became sixteen years of age. In 
1864 he was elected to the superintendency of the school of the First 
Presbyterian Church, and is still (in 1900) the incumbent. He was or- 
dained a ruling elder of this church in April, 1868. He has been for 
many years a director of the Cumberland County Bible Society, and is 
now, as for five years past, its president. He was president of the 
Young Men's Christian Association of Bridgeton for a number of 
years, and for fifteen years or more chairman of its lecture committee. 
He has been a member of the Board of Education of the city of 
Bridgeton, and is now a trustee of the West Jersey Academy. 



13. Bessie Reeves, b. Feb. 12, 1852 ; m. Edward M. 
FiTHiAN, merchant, of Bridgeton, N. J., June 29, 1887. 


14- Phineas Kennedy Reeves, b. Mar. i6, 1854; m. 
Hannah P. Trenchard Jan. 13, 1880, dan. of John F. 
Trenchard, M. D., and Mary Elizabeth Olmstead Trench- 
ard, his wife, b. Feb. 10, 1858. 

15. Charles Fithian Reeves, b. ApL 13, 1856 ; m. 
Clara Elizabeth Hoffman, Dec. 10, 1884, dau. of 
Edmund Hoffman and Mary Gaunt Hoffman, his wife, b. 
Jan. 15, 1862. 

16. William Henry Green Reeves, b. Apl. 20, 
1858 ; d. Sept. 7, 1859. 

17. Harry Reeves, b. Jan. 30, i860 ; m. Lizzie S. 
West, Jan. 6, 1886, dau. of Henry F. West and Zeviah 
West, his wife, b. June i, i860. 

18. Arthur Erwin Reeves, b. Oct. 19, 1861 ; d. April 
8, 1866. 

19. Anna Robeson Reeves, b. Mar. 30, 1865. 


20. John Burgin Fithian, b. Jan. 11, 1847 ; d. July 
16, 1852. 

21. Henry Reeves Fithian, b. Feb. 4, 1849 ; d. Oct. 
4, 1852. 

22. Charles Seeley Fithian, b. Sept. 29, 1851 ; 
d. Dec. 21, 1851. 

23. William Shannon Fithian, b. Oct. ao, 1852 ; 
m. Margaret Lambert Fithian, Sept. 13, 1882, dau. 
of Joseph P. and Sarah Lambert Fithian, b. Aug. 16, 1859. 

24. Francis Reeves Fithian, b. May 23, 1855 ; m. 
Mary E. Hill, Mar. 7, 1882, dau. of Charles Edward 
Hill and Esther Brown Hill, b. Feb. 24, 1864. 

25. Jane Davis Fithian, b. Mar. 29, 1858 ; d. Sept. 
22, 1898. 

26. Alexander Robeson Fithian, b. Aug. 24, 1863. 


%^ wf 


Sarah Caldwell Reeves *> 

Alison Cleveland Reeves' 
Ellen Reeves Deacon 85 

Jane Davis Fithian^s 
Arthur Witter Brewer '5 

Caroline Thompson Reeves ^^ 

John Burgin Fithian^s 




27. Elizabeth Reeves DuBois, b. Feb, 2, 1852 ; m. 
Chester J. Buck, manufacturer, Jan. 27, 1881. 

rtQ C A -n A xj TV/Tttt T?r\r> Tk T^ttT3/-^tc K Aurr TO i^ct ' in 

3o3'<. James Reeves DuBois, b. April 3, 1863 ; ^^ 
June 9, 1865. 



32. John Howard Reeves, M. D., b. Mar. i, 1857. 

33. Martha Pierson Reeves, b. May 7, 1861. 

34. Elizabeth Robison Reeves, b. Nov. 27, 1869. 


35. John Lewden Robeson, b. July 7, 1855 5 "^- Anna 
M. Burroughs, Dec. 6, 1883, dau. of Charles DuBois 
Burroughs and Ann Johnson Burroughs, his wife, b. 
Mar. 31, 1859. 

36. Francis Brewster Robeson, b. Sept. 11, 1857 ; 
d. Mar. 25, 1871. 

37. Mary Elizabeth Robeson, b. Oct. 26, 1859 ; d. 
Mar. 31, 1871. 


38. Mary Primrose Reeves, b. Mar. 28, 1861 ; m. 
George Hartley Deacon, teacher of mathematics in 
Germantown Academy, Nov. 9, 1886. 





27. Elizabeth Reeves DuBois, b. Feb. 2, 1852 ; m. 
Chester J. Buck, manufacturer, Jan. 27, 1881. 

28. Sarah Mulford DuBois, b. Aug. 12, 1853 ; m. 
Frank C. Brewer, of Boston, Feb. 19, 1880. 

29. Robert DuBois, b. Dec. 11, 1855 ; m. Kate 
Tyler Brewer, Oct. 5, 1886, dau. of Charles Hunting- 
ton Brewer and Martha Witter Brewer, b. Dec. 22, i860. 

30. Harriet Reeves DuBois, b. Mar. 7, 1859 ; m. 
Thomas R. Janvier, professor of music, of Bridgeton, 
N. J., May 14, 1884. 

31. Henry Reeves DuBois, b. Nov. 9, 1866. 


his wife. 

32. John Howard Reeves, M. D., b. Mar. i, 1857. 

33. Martha Pierson Reeves, b. May 7, 1861. 

34. Elizabeth Robison Reeves, b. Nov. 27, 1869. 

pierson reeves ROBESON, HIS WIFE. 

35. JohnLewden Robeson, b. July 7, 1855 5 "^- Anna 
M. Burroughs, Dec. 6, 1883, dau. of Charles DuBois 
Burroughs and Ann Johnson Burroughs, his wife, b. 
Mar. 31, 1859. 

36. Francis Brewster Robeson, b. Sept. 11, 1857 ; 
d. Mar. 25, 1871. 

37. Mary Elizabeth Robeson, b. Oct. 26, 1859; d. 
Mar. 31, 1871. 


38. Mary Primrose Reeves, b. Mar. 28, 1861 ; m. 
George Hartley Deacon, teacher of mathematics in 
Germantown Academy, Nov. 9, i< 


39- Alison Cleveland Reeves, b. Dec. 13, 1862 ; d. 
Dec. 14, 1874. 

40. Emily Thompson Reeves, b. Nov. 2, 1864 ; m. 
Sydney Williams, comptroller of Pennsylvania Coal 
Company and of Erie and Wyoming Valley Railroad 
Company, Dec. 17, 1891. 

41. Francis Brewster Reeves, b. Feb. 21, 1868 ; d. 
Sept 18, 1868. 

42. Caroline Thompson Reeves, b. Sept. 2, 1869 ; 
d. Dec. II, 1874. 

43. Francis Butler Reeves, b. May 20, 1873 ; m. 
Lillian Primrose, of Baltimore, Md., Feb. 16, 1897, 
dau. of William F. and Josephine Hand Primrose, b. June 

44. Ellen Elizabeth Reeves, b. Mar. i, 1878. 


45. Hugh Laing Reeves, b. May 7, 1866. 

46. Sarah Caldwell Reeves, b. Oct. 7, 1867 ; d. 
Mar. 2, 1889. 

47. Harriet Denison Read Reeves, b. Mar. i, 1872. 

48. Bertha Butler Reeves, b. Oct. 29, 1875. 



fithian, his wife. 

49. Robert Edward Fithian, b. April 21, 1890. 

50. Marjorie Fithian, b. April 7, 1894. 


trenchard reeves, his wife. 

51. Arthur Kennedy Reeves, b. Oct. 27, 1880 ; d. 
Oct. 6, 1885. 



Mara' Reeves Deacon m 
Ellen Reeves Deacon 86 Gerald Hartley Deacon 84 

Alison Cleveland Reeves '^ Emily Reeves Williams « 

Dorothy Williams 88 
Ellen Elizabeth Reeves « Caroline Thompson Reeves « 

Francis Butler Reeves *3 


52. Helen Trenchard Reeves, b. Aug. lo, 1882. 

53. John Franklin Reeves, b. Feb. 9, 1886. 

54. Alfred Kennedy Reeves, b. Sept. 8, 1888. 


55. Edmund Hoffman Reeves, b. Jan. 13, 1886. 

56. Henry Kennedy Reeves, b. Aug. 25, 1887. 

57. Charles Fithian Reeves, b. Nov. 9, 1889 ; d. 
June 22, 1890. 

children of harry reeves and ELIZABETH WEST 

reeves, his wife. 

58. Sarah Walker Reeves, b. Mar. 21, 1887. 

59. Bf^sie Fithian Reeves, b. May 10, 1888 ; d. Sept. 
18, 1888. 

60. Emily Janvier Reeves, b. June 15, 1889. 

61. Chrissie West Reeves, b. Nov. 26, 1890 ; d. Dec. 
6, 1891. 

62. Henry F. West Reeves, b. Jan. 5, 1892 ; d. April 
13, 1892. 

63. Florence Kennedy Reeves, b. July 13, 1894 ; d. 
Jan. 8, 1895. 

64. Frances Wallace Reeves, b. May 25, 1896. 


65. John Burgin Fithian, b. Dec. 13, 1883 ; d. Sept. 
9, 1892. 

66. William Shannon Fithian, b. July 19, 1895. 


67. Esther Hill Fithian, b. April 7, 1883. 

68. Charles Seeley Fithian, b. July 10, 1885. 

69. Mary Hill Fithian, b. Feb. 17, 1888. 

70. Harriet Reeves Fithian, b. Oct. 26, 1894. 


children of chester j. buck and elizabeth reeves 
Dubois buck, his wife. 

71. Carolyn DuBois Buck, b. Feb. 19, i 

72. Mary Reeves Buck, b. Oct. 17, 1892 

children of frank C. brewer and SARAH MULFORD 

Dubois brewer, his wife. 

73. Robert DuBois Brewer, b. Feb. 18, 1881. 

74. Kitty Tyler Brewer, b. Dec. 13, 1886 ; d. Mar. 
II, 1888. 

75. Arthur Witter Brewer, b. Dec. 2, 1889 ; d. 
Dec. 5, 1898. 


BREWER Dubois, his wife. 
76. Anna Louise DuBois, b. Nov. 9, 1887. 

sons of thomas r. janvier and harriet reeves 
Dubois janvier, his wife. 

'J']. John Whilldin Janvier, b. Jan. 31, 1887. 

78. Dudley Reeves Janvier, b. Aug. i, 1889, 


79. Alexander Lewden Robeson, b. Jan. 13, 1885. 

80. George Bush Robeson, b. Mar. 5, 1888. 

81. Nancy Robeson, b. Aug. 18, 1889 ; d. July 19, 

82. Martha Reeves Robeson, b. Aug. 20, 1893. 

83. Anna Burroughs Robeson, b. Mar. 8, 1895. 




Ellen Reeves Deacon ^ 
Age 5 



84. Gerald Hartley Deacon, b. July 25, 1888. 

85. Ellen Reeves Deacon, b. Feb. 15, 1890 ; d. 
Oct. 5, 1896. 

86. Margaret Deacon, b. Dec. 17, 1893 ; d. Dec. 17, 

87. Frank Deacon, b. Jan. 16, 1897. 


88. Dorothy Williams, b. in San Francisco, Cal., 
Sept. 26, 1892. 

89. Alison Reeves Williams, b. in Germantown, 
Dec. 7, 1894. 

90. Elizabeth Williams, b. in Germantown, Aug. 
19, 1896. 


91. JOSEPHINE Primrose Reeves, b. April 28, 1898. 

92. Mary Primrose Reeves, b. Aug. 24, 1899. 




Benjamin Thompson, b. May, 1705 ; m. Amy New- 
comb, , 1732. 

Benjamin Thompson, son of Benjamin Thompson and 
Amy Newcomb Thompson, his wife, b. Ang. 11, 1735 ; m. 
"Phcebe Davis, Nov. 16, 1756. 

Samuel Thompson, son of Benjamin Thompson and 
Phoebe Davis Thompson, b. Dec. 9, 1766 ; m. Ruth 
Riley,* April 25, 1789. 

Newcomb Butler Thompson, son of Samuel and Ruth 
Riley Thompson, b. in Deerfield, N. J., March 15, 1799 5 
m. Harriet Lloyd Peters, of Philadelphia, Oct. 25, 
1827 5 ^- Mar. 17, 1859. Harriet Lloyd Peters Thompson 
d. Feb. I, 1889, in the eighty-second year of her age. 

Ellen Bernard Thompson, daughter of Newcomb 
Butler Thompson and Harriet Lloyd Peters Thompson, b. 
July 30, 1837; m. Francis Brewster Reeves", April 
26, i860. 

* Ruth Riley was a sister of Mark Riley, father of Elizabeth Riley Reeves, wife of 
Johnson Reeves ^. 





Ellen Bernard Thompson Rkeves 
Caroline Thompson Reeves *2 


ASTOU. LCN"- ' --^ 



Thesk leaves are inserted that the g-enealog}- of collateral 
branches, or subsequent births, deaths, and marriages may be 






The following verses were written by John Reeves^ 
and published in The Presbyterian: — 


In daily walk through city street, 
These words on every hand we meet , 
They seem to speak to each and all, 
From lowly hut to princely hall ; 
There's work for willing hands to do — 
The harvest's great, the labourers few. 

Wanted — till life its turmoil cease, 
The restless spirit finds release — 
A hand, responsive to the heart 
That feels for every human smart; 
And where the tear of sorrow flows. 
Has tears to give for others' woes. 

Wanted — within the sacred gates 
Where Jesus, King of Zion, waits 
With golden sceptre — to bestow 
Blessings that from His presence flow ; 
Where Christians meet to praise and pray, 
And cheer each other in the way. 

Wanted — the fallen one to raise — 

To pour the oil of heavenly grace 

Into the stricken heart's recess ; — 

To feed the poor, his wrongs redress — 

To point to Him for sinners slain, 

In whom, though dead, we live again. 

Wanted — in home and Sabbath-school, 
To teach the safe, unerring rule ; 
The budding intellect to form. 
The life to cheer, the heart to warm; 
To recommend by winning art. 
The narrow way— the better part. 

Wanted— upon the great highway 

Of kingdoms waiting for the day ; 

To visit with celestial bread. 

The nations pining to be fed; 

To break through superstition's chains. 

And scatter light where darkness reigns. 




(Descendants op Abraham Reeves), 

Down to April 26, 1900. 



*JOHN Reeves 1726 

*Mabel Johnson 1732 


*JoHNSON Reeves 1751 

*Zerviah Berreman 1760 


*John Reeves (second) 1778 

*Martha Reeves i779 


*JoHNSON Reeves (second) i799 

*Elizabeth Riley 1800 


Henry Reeves, D.D 1823 

^Harriet Newell Reeves Fithian 1824 

Ruth Riley Reeves DuBois 1826 

*Martha Reeves 1829 

*John Reeves 1832 

Martha Pierson Reeves Bush 1834 

Francis Brewster Reeves 1836 

James Johnson Reeves 1839 

* Deceased. 




*john burgin fithian 1847 

*Henry Reeves Fithian 1849 

*Charles Seeley Fithian 1851 

Elizabeth DuBois Buck 1852 

Bessie Reeves Fithian 1852 

William Shannon Fithian 1852 

Sarah Mulford DuBois Brewer 1853 

P. Kennedy Reeves 1854 

Francis Reeves Fithian 1855 

John Lewden Robeson 1855 

Robert DuBois 1855 

Charles Fithian Reeves 1856 

John Howard Reeves, M. D 1857 

*Francis Brewster Robeson 1857 

*Jane Davis Fithian 1858 

*WiLLiAM Henry Green Reeves 1858 

Harriet DuBois Janvier 1859 

*Mary Elizabeth Robeson 1859 

Harry Reeves i860 

Lizzie West Reeves i860 

Mary Primrose Reeves Deacon 1861 

Martha Pierson Reeves 1861 

*Arthur Erwin Reeves 1861 

*Alison Cleveland Reeves 1862 

Alexander Robeson Fithian 1863 

Emily Thompson Reeves Williams 1864 

Anna Robeson Reeves 1865 

Hugh Laing Reeves 1866 

Henry Reeves DuBois 1866 

*Sarah Caldwell Reeves 1S67 

*Francis Brewster Reeves, Jr 1868 

*Caroline Thompson Reeves 1869 

Elizabeth Robison Reeves 1869 

Harriet Denison Read Reeves 1872 

Francis Butler Reeves 1873 

Bertha Butler Reeves 1875 

Ellen Elizabeth Reeves 1878 


*Arthur Kennedy Reeves 1880 

Robert DuBois Brewer 1881 

Helen Trenchard Reeves 1882 

* Deceased. 


Esther Hill Fithian 1883 

*JoHN BuRGiN Fithian 1883 

Alexander Lewden Robeson 1885 

Charles Seeley Fithian 1885 

Edmund Hoffman Reeves 1886 

John Franklin Reeves 1886 

*KiTTY Tyler Brewer 1886 

John Whilldin Janvier 1887 

Sarah Walker Reeves 1887 

Henry Kennedy Reeves 1S87 

Anna Louise DuBois 1887 

Mary Hill Fithian 1888 

Carolyn DuBois Buck 1888 

George Bush Robeson 188S 

Gerald Hartley Deacon 1888 

*Bessie Fithian Reeves 1888 

Alfred Kennedy Reeves 1888 

Emily Janvier Reeves 1889 

*Nancy Robeson 1889 

Dudley Reeves Janvier 1889 

^Arthur Witter Brewer 1889 

*Charles Fithian Reeves 1889 

*Ellen Reeves Deacon 1890 

Robert Edward Fithian 1890 

*Chrissie West Reeves 1890 

Dorothy Williams 1892 

*Henry F. West Reeves 1892 

Mary Reeves Buck . 1892 

Martha Reeves Robeson 1893 

*Margaret Deacon 1893 

Marjorie Fithian 1894 

Alison Reeves Williams 1894 

*Florence Kennedy Reeves 1894 

Harriet Reeves Fithian 1894 

Anna Burroughs Robeson 1895 

William Shannon Fithian, Jr 1895 

Frances Wallace Reeves 1896 

Elizabeth Williams 1896 

Frank Deacon 1897 

Josephine Primrose Reeves 1898 

Mary Primrose Reeves 1899 

* Deceased. 




Francis Brewster Reeves " 
Age 42 
— ' Francis Butler Reeves** 

Age 6 



5th. Henry F. West Reeves 1892 

nth. John Burgin Fithian 1847 

13th. Alexander Lewden Robeson 1885 

13th. Edmund Hoffman Reeves 1886 

15th. Clara Elizabeth Hoffman Reeves 1862 

i6th. Frank Deacon 1897 

30th. John Reeves (first) 1726 

30th. Harry Reeves i860 

31st. John Whilldin Janvier 1887 


2d. Elizabeth DuBois Buck 1852 

4th. Henry Reeves Fithian 1849 

5th. Henry Reeves 1823 

9th. John Franklin Reeves 1886 

loth. Hannah Trenchard Reeves 1858 

i2th. Bessie Reeves Fithian 1852 

15th. Ellen Reeves Deacon 1890 

17th. Mary Hill Fithian 1888 

i8th. Robert DuBois Brewer 1881 

19th. Carolyn DuBois Buck 1888 

2 1st. Francis Brewster Reeves (second) 1868 


ist. John Howard Reeves 1857 

ist. Harriet Denison Read Reeves 1872 

1st. Ellen Elizabeth Reeves 1878 

5th. George Bush Robeson 1888 

7th. Harriet DuBois Janvier 1859 

7th. Mary Caldwell Butler Reeves 1841 

8th. Anna Burroughs Robeson 1895 

9th. John Reeves (third) 1832 

i6th. Phineas Kennedy Reeves 1854 

17th. Elizabeth Riley Reeves 1800 

2ist. Sarah Walker Reeves 1887 

28th. Mary Primrose Reeves Deacon 1861 

29th. Jane Davis Fithian 1858 

30th. Anna Robeson Reeves 1865 

31st. Anna Burroughs Robeson 1859 





7th. Esther Hill Fithian 1883 

7th. Marjorie Fithian 1894 

13th. Charles Fithian Reeves 1856 

20th. William Henry Green Reeves 1858 

2ist. Robert Edward Fithian 1890 

28th. Josephine Primrose Reeves 1898 


7th. Martha Pierson Reeves (second) 1861 

7th. Hugh Laing Reeves 1866 

loth. Bessie Fithian Reeves 1S88 

20th. Francis Butler Reeves 1873 

23d. Francis Reeves Fithian 1855 

25th. Martha Pierson Reeves Bush 1834 

25th. Frances Wallace Reeves 1896 


ist. Lizzie West Reeves i860 

6th. Martha Reeves 1779 

15th. Emily Janvier Reeves 1889 

15th. Lillian Primrose Reeves 1873 


3d. Mabel Johnson Reeves 1732 

7th. John Lewden Robeson . 1855 

loth. Charles Seeley Fithian (second) 1885 

13th. Florence Kennedy Reeves 1S94 

19th. William Shannon Fithian (second) 1895 

25th. Gerald Hartley Deacon 1888 

30th. Ellen Bernard Thompson Reeves 1837 


1st. Dudley Reeves Janvier 1889 

loth. Helen Trenchard Reeves 1882 

nth. Johnson Reeves (first) 1751 

i2th. Sarah Mulford DuBois Brewer 1853 

i6th. Margaret Lambert Fithian 1859 

i8th. Nancy Robeson 1889 

19th. Elizabeth Williams 1896 

20th. Martha Reeves 1829 

20th. Martha Reeves Robeson 1893 

24th. Mary Primrose Reeves (second) 1S99 

24th. Alexander Robeson Fithian 1863 

25th. Henry Kennedy Reeves 1887 



2d. Caroline Thompson Reeves 1869 

6th. John Reeves (second) 1778 

8th. Alfred Kennedy Reeves 1888 

9th. James Johnson Reeves 1839 

nth. Francis Brewster Robeson 1857 

26th. Dorothy Williams 1892 

29th. Charles Seeley Fithian 1851 


7th. Sarah Caldwell Reeves 1867 

loth. Francis Brewster Reeves 1836 

i6th. Johnson Reeves (second) 1799 

17th. Mary Reeves Buck 1892 

19th. Arthur Erwin Reeves 1861 

20th. William Shannon Fithian 1852 

24th. Kate Mills Robison Reeves 1837 

26th. Mary Elizabeth Robeson 1859 

26th. Harriet Reeves Fithian 1894 

27th. Arthur Kennedy Reeves 1880 

29th. Bertha Butler Reeves 1875 


2d. Emily Thompson Reeves Williams . 1864 

6th. Harriet Newell Reeves 1824 

9th. Henry Reeves DuBois 1866 

9th. Anna Louise DuBois 1887 

9th. Charles Fithian Reeves 1889 

26th. Chrissie West Reeves 1890 

27th. Elizabeth Robison Reeves 1869 


2d. Arthur Witter Brewer 1889 

7th. Alison Reeves Williams 1894 

nth. Robert DuBois 1855 

13th. Alison Cleveland Reeves 1862 

13th. John Burgin Fithian (second) 1883 

13th. Kitty Tyler Brewer 1886 

17th. Sarah J. Kennedy Reeves 1827 

17th. Margaret Deacon 1893 

20th. Ruth Riley Reeves 1826 

22d. Kate Brewer DuBois i860 



Preached in the First Presbyterian Church, Bridgeton, N. J., 
Sunday Morning, August 9TH, i860. 

The death of good men a just ground for 
great lamentation. 

'■'■And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and 
made great lament atiojt over him.'''' — Acts viii. 2. 

These words record the burial of the first Christian 
martyr, and probably of the first man who died a mem- 
ber of the Christian Church. The record is very brief 
and simple, yet very suggestive. It not only suggests 
much that is edifying, when it tells us what was done, but 
it suggests valuable reflections by its silence as to what 
some might imagine was done. It makes no mention of 
any funeral discourse delivered on the occasion ; and we 
may be almost sure there was none. 

Funeral sermons have no warrant in apostolic precept 
or example. Frequent and various as were the occasions 
on which the apostles preached, we never hear of their 
preaching at the grave. Although all the apostles were 
present in Jerusalem at the death of Stephen ; and though 




Rev. Samuel Beach Jones, D. D. 


,3101' -.ENOX AND 


he was evidently buried in or near the city, not one of 
the twelve delivered a discourse at his grave. The custom 
of delivering sermons on such occasions was of later origin, 
and has always been limited in extent. In by far the 
larger portion of the Christian world the usage is un- 
known ; and whoever has taken the pains to ascertain the 
fruits of funeral sermons will not be surprised at the 
limited extent to which the usage prevails. If we were 
asked our opinion as to what class of sermons professedly 
Christian were least profitable, we should say unhesitat- 
ingly — -funeral sermojis. If any man wishes to test the 
soundness of this opinion, let him but ask himself of how 
many instances he has ever known, or heard, or read, in 
which souls were awakened and converted under funeral 
sermons? Most men cannot refer even to a solitary 
instance of such conversion ; and that, too, where the 
preacher has, on other occasions, been instrumental in the 
conversion of many. It is urged in support of the cus- 
tom, that at funerals many are reached by the preacher 
who will not attend upon the stated preaching of the 
Gospel ; and it is imagined that the solemnities of death 
and the grave will predispose the mind to a favorable at- 
tention to the Gospel. There is a plausibility in this 
reasoning ; yet facts prove that it is specious. Why it is 
so, we may learn by a little reflection. 

In the first place, it may be said respecting those who 
never hear preachers of the Gospel except at funerals, that 
God is not likely to bless His Word to those who habitually 
treat it with designed and open contempt. The preaching 
of the Gospel is God's chosen and declared means of saving 


souls. If a man refuse to hear that Gospel as God^s 
Gospel^ and will only listen to it when respect for a neigh- 
bor compels him to hear it at his funeral, there is the 
slenderest probability, there is only a bare possibility, that 
God's Spirit will make it effectual to his salvation. We 
have yet to know of the first instance in which an infidel 
has been converted under a funeral sermon. 

In the second place, even those who reverence the Gos- 
pel, and habitually attend its ministration, profit less by 
funeral than other sermons ; because in attending funerals 
the primary and avowed object of attendance is, respect 
for a deceased mortal, not a desire to listen to the Word of 
the living God. On all ordinary occasions upon which 
men repair to the place of preaching, they do so with at 
least Q. professed intention to "hear what God the Lord 
will speak;" and thus they assume the attitude of lis- 
teners to Him. 

But at funerals this is not the case. The avowed object 
of attendance is respect for the dead and sympathy for 
the bereaved. Those who attend would do so, were there 
to be but a simple burial, and no preaching at all. This 
being the case, the very posture of the soul is unfavorable 
to profitable hearing, because God is thus made subordi- 
nate to man, and reverence for His Word secondary in im- 
portance to friendly respect and condolence. This we have 
long believed to be the great secret of the comparative 
uselessness of funeral sermons. 

But there is still a third reason for the fruitlessness of 
funeral discourses. In most cases funeral discourses are 
desired because they are expected to be eulogistic histories 


of the deceased, and in this way prove a means of gratify- 
ing self-love. To have a discourse delivered at the burial 
of one's relative is deemed essential to one's respectability, 
and hence irreligious men, who never enter a sanctuary, 
will call in the services of a Christian minister at the 
burial of one of their family, lest they should appear less 
respectable than their neighbors. And even Christian 
families, who have reason to doubt the utility of funeral 
discourses, will not dispense with one, lest they should 
appear wanting in respect to the dead and to themselves. 
The kind of discourse coveted by many, is not an evan- 
gelical sermon, in which death is shown to be the baleful 
fruit of sin, and Christ is preached as the only hope of 
deliverance from eternal death, and the only source of 
consolation under affliction, but a discourse which shall 
recount and eulogize the excellencies of the deceased. 

Where such a eulogy is wanting, the most desirable part 
of the service seems to be omitted. Such eulogies are 
expected, even where there was nothing in the subject to 
justify, eulogy. 

It is obvious, that where a funeral discourse consists of a 
eulogy of the dead, more than in a proclamation of the 
grace of God in Christ, spiritual improvement cannot be 
expected. The indiscriminate and lavish bestowal of 
eulogy, the prominence given to human excellence, rather 
than to the grace of God, in many funeral discourses is 
doubtless one reason of their fruitlessness. 

For these and other reasons many preachers of the 
Gospel have found it more profitable to dispense with ser- 
mons at the burial of the dead, and to enforce the lessons 


of death on a future occasion, when the soul is in a better 
attitude for spiritual improvement. This we believe to 
have been the aspostolic usage. Though we never read 
of their preaching a funeral sermon, we do find them on 
other occasions, and in various ways, pressing home upon 
Christians the salutary lessons enforced by the death of 
others. We hear them exhorting Christians to follow the 
faith and to imitate the virtues of those who ' ' sleep in 
Jesus," and inherit His promises ; we hear them exhorting 
to more vigilance, because death comes as a thief in the 
night ; to more diligence, because the time is short ; to 
self-examination, because they may be self-deceived, and 
after all be cast away. The wisdom of such a method 
may be learned by observation. In the course of a min- 
istry extending over more than twenty years, and including 
funeral addresses which may be counted by hundreds, we 
have heard of but a solitary case of conversion at a funeral, 
whilst at a single discourse preached after a funeral, yet 
called forth by it, we have known some five or six savingly 
awakened and hopefully converted. 

We do not wonder, then, that while the Holy Spirit has 
recorded in the verse preceding our text the fact that all 
the apostles were in Jerusalem ; yet in the text itself there 
is no mention of an apostle's preaching at Stephen's 
burial. There is one fact, however, mentioned in con- 
nection with this burial, which does deserve, and was 
designed, to elicit our careful notice. Though no sennon 
was preached at Stephen's burial, "devout men," we are 
told, "made great lamentation over him." This fact, 
deemed of suflBcient importance by the Spirit of God to 


Gerald Hartley Deacons* 

Frank Deacons? 


be permanently recorded in His Holy Word, derives much 
of its interest from our knowledge of who Stephen was^ 
and who were these ^''devout men'''' who "made great 
lamentation over" his grave. When we shall have noticed 
these two points, we shall be the better prepared for the 
consideration of the great lesson suggested by the text. 

Stephen was a Christian Jew, and an officer in the 
Church. His office, however, was an humble one, having 
a reference to the material comfort, rather than the spirit- 
ual welfare of his brethren in Christ. 

As converts to Christ increased there arose a murmuring 
of the foreign Jews against their Christian brethren of 
Palestine, because the widows of the former class ' ' were 
neglected in the daily ministration." To avoid the very 
appearance of unfairness the twelve apostles determined to 
institute a new class of church officers, to whom should be 
intrusted the oversight and distribution of all funds col- 
lected for the poor, and to whom was given the name of 
"deacons" — or servants of the Church. They therefore 
convened the brethren, and directed them to elect ' ' seven 
men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, 
whom they might appoint over this business." The first 
named on the list, thus chosen, was Stephen, "a man full 
of faith and of the Holy Ghost," who, with six others, 
was ordained by prayer and the laying on of the hands of 
the apostles. Full of faith and power, Stephen did great 
wonders and miracles among the people ; and his zeal and 
success soon aroused the hatred of the antichristian Jews. 
Suborning unscrupulous witnesses, they arraigned Stephen 
before the supreme council of the nation, on the charge of 


blaspheming Moses and God. The defense of this faithful 
servant of God I need not recapitulate. You can read it 
in the seventh chapter of this book, as you also can the 
fatal result to himself. Without awaiting the verdict of 
the great court, the fanatical Jews rushed upon their 
victim, dragged him outside the city walls, and stoned 
him to death. Were anything wanting to prove that 
Stephen was full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, we 
might find it in the spirit with which he encountered 
his terrible execution. Like his heavenly Master, in- 
stead of cursing, he prayed for his murderers, with his 
dying breath. 

Such was the man, over whose grave "devout men 
made great lamentation." 

Who were these '■''devout men''''? Our usage of the 
term ' ' devout ' ' fails to convey the true idea of the persons 
thus designated. When we speak of " devouf'' men we 
mean only Christian men, of more than ordinary' religious 
seriousness. But the devout men here referred to were 
not Christians. The term, wherever it occurs in the 
New Testament, denotes the serious and sincere Jews, the 
just and conscientious portion of the nation, as distin- 
guished from the frivolous and hypocritical, the bigoted 
and the fanatical. Christians would not have been allowed 
to bury one of their number while the fury of the fanatics 
was raging ; and the verse before our text tells us they 
were "all scattered abroad," by this persecution in Jeru- 
salem, saving the apostles. These devout Jews, however, 
while they had not yet embraced the Gospel of Christ, 
were conscientious men. They could not approve of so 


ruthless a deed, as the illegal execution of a man who pro- 
fessed the profoundest faith in their own Scriptures. They 
did not agree with Stephen in his views of Jesus of Naza- 
reth ; but they could appreciate his devout spirit ; his bold- 
ness in what he believed true ; his kindness to the poor ; 
his love to his nation ; and his forgiving spirit towards his 
relentless foes. Thej' felt that in the death of such a man 
society suffered a serious loss. Hence, though not them- 
selves Christians, "they took up his body, and buried it," 
"making great lamentation over him." And if even they 
lamented the death of such a man, how much more must 
his brethren in the Church have bewailed their loss ! In 
addition to their sense of what society at large had suffered 
by such a death, they knew that the cause of Christ had 
suffered even more by the extinction of a burning and 
shining light. 

The theme naturally suggested by this passage is, that 
the death of a good man is a just caiise^ as well as the 
common occasion^ of great lamentation. 

Such a death is a severe bereavement to friends^ to 
society at large^ and to the Chtuxh. 

I. It is a bereavement to family and friends. The very- 
love of a good man is a precious blessing ; inasmuch as it 
secures priceless blessings to its objects. We cannot but 
value the love of any friend, though it be but natural 
affection, for love is in itself a good. But the love of a 
good man, "a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost," 
seeks more than mere natural affection aims at. The 
latter may seek our temporal welfare ; the former, while 


it neglects not our present, worldly interests, aspires to 
promote our spiritual and eternal well-being. It leads the 
good man to labor for the conversion and edification of the 
soul. It prompts to those prayers for his family and 
friends, with which their salvation is intimately associated. 
The example, too, of a good man is no small benefit to 
his friends. His Christian virtues are often the most elo- 
quent appeals made to their consciences and hearts. If 
they be careless, it rebukes them. If they be disheartened, 
it encourages them. The living exemplification of Chris- 
tian graces proves to them what a man may become, and 
what they should be. When, therefore, such a man dies, 
his family and friends sustain a grievous loss, and may 
well "make great lamentation over him." 

Society^ too^ is a heavy loser by the death of a good man. 
In a thousand ways — some of which are scarcely valued — 
does a good man contribute to the welfare of a com- 
munity. He serves society by his direct efforts to promote 
its best interests. He befriends the poor ; he helps the 
distressed ; he contributes to the elevation of those around 
him in morality and intelligence. His example promotes 
social virtues. By his fidelity to his relative duties, he 
quietly, yet effectively, teaches others what men owe to 
their neighbors, and how they should and may discharge 
their duties to them. 

A single example of strict truthfulness, sterling integ- 
rity, and real charity is worth more to society than 
millions of dollars where such virtues are absent. Such 
an example is a practical refutation of the opinion that 
solid virtue is an imaginary thing. It rebukes, by ex- 




Dorothy Williams' 

Alison Reeves Williams' 
Elizabeth Williams** 




posing the falsity of the sentiment that all men are equally 
selfish and base, and that circumstances, alone, make a 
difference in character. Well may a community lament 
the death of a man whose services and example contribute 
to the comfort, the safety, and the good feelings of society. 

And well may the Church lament the death of such men. 
Their prayers alone are a boon to the Church. Not until 
the secrets of time are disclosed in eternity, can it be told 
how much the mere fervent prayers of righteous men avail 
for the Church's prosperity. 

But a good man blesses the Church by his example. 
His life is a comment on the doctrines of the Church. 
His observance of the ordinances of the Gospel reminds 
others of their value, and often induces them to follow 
his example. His labors to benefit the Church are even 
more valuable than his contributions to its funds ; and 
when he ceases from his labors, his loss must prove a source 
of lamentation to all who love the Church. Had all the 
funds possessed by the early Church at Jerusalem been 
forcibly and fraudulently snatched away from her, the loss 
had been as nothing, compared with the death of such a 
man as Stephen, her deacon. 

Characters thus valuable to friends, to society, and to 
the Church, are not ideal ; nor are they unknown in our 
day. We occasionally see them now. Perhaps while I 
have been speaking your minds have instinctively reverted 
to such men. Whatever doubt may hang over the char- 
acter of some men, there are those whose goodness none 
dare question ; unless it be that miserable class, who be- 
cause they have none, doubt whether goodness is found in 


There are men whose Christian character is so manifest 
and decided, and whose value to society is so obvious, that 
by common consent they are called and esteemed ^'' good 
meny Even they who are not themselves good, honor 
them while living, and when dead lament them, as the 
devout Jews lamented the Christian Stephen, even while 
unable to appreciate his highest excellencies. 

Such a man was Johnson Reeves. As to the Chris- 
tian character of no one man in this Church or com- 
munity, would there be a greater unanimity of opinion 
than of his. This is no mean praise of a man who for 
more than half a century had lived and moved among this 
people ; who had sustained such various relations in life, 
both social and religious. It is higher praise still, that 
those who knew him longest and knew him best, were 
those who most trusted, honored, and loved him. It is of 
his life-long and most intimate friends that we can most 
safely say, "None knew him but to love;" "None named 
him but to praise." 

Rarely does the Church or society lose a member whose 
loss is more widely or sincerely mourned. And yet, his po- 
sition in this community — though such as any man might 
well covet — was not eminent for official rank, or learned 
education, or ample wealth. He owed his distinction to 
no such adventitious aids. It was to the pre-eminent ex- 
cellence of his moral virtues, and to the rare fidelity with 
which he fulfilled the various duties of his sphere of life. 
Were we required to point to a model of domestic, social 
and religious virtues, we should find it difficult to desig- 
nate one more worthy of imitation than Johnson Reeves. 


In every domestic relation — and his relations were numer- 
ous — his virtues were rare and conspicuous. As a son and 
father, a husband, brother, and friend, his excellence was 
equaled by few, and surpassed by none. 

Early deprived of a father, he early assumed and per- 
formed a father's office to a widowed mother and her 
fatherless children. As the head of his household, he not 
only pointed out to them ' ' the way wherein they should 
go, ' ' but himself walked before them ' ' in all the com- 
mandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." What 
he so sedulously taught by precept, he conscientiously and 
impressively enforced by example. While anxious to see 
his numerous family improve in social refinement, and 
while generously affording them the means of intellectual 
culture, it was the first desire of his affectionate heart for 
every one of them that they should become ' ' new creatures 
in Christ Jesus. " 

Nor were his affections confined to the members of his 
own household. The interests of all his relatives and 
friends were his interests also. Their sorrows were his 
sorrows, and their joys his joys. There are few men of 
whom we may more truthfully say, that he had learned 
"to rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep with them 
that weep." 

He was a friend to the friendless, a benefactor to the 
poor, a sympathizer with the afilicted. The bodily and 
temporal wants of those around him, enlisted his interest 
and his willing services. But he was no less faithful to 
the spiritual and eternal welfare of his neighbors. Many a 
word of faithful counsel and warning, many an affectionate 


exhortation, did he address to the impenitent and back- 
sliding ; words which will never be forgotten through 
time or eternity. With strictest truthfulness could he 
have said with Job : "When the ear heard me, then it 
blessed me ; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness 
to me ; because I delivered the poor that cried, and the 
fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The 
blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, 
and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy." He could 
say even more than this : with the patriarch he could 
affirm : " I put on righteousness^ and it clothed me." He 
was clothed with the righteousness of the strictest truth- 
fulness and the most rigid integrity. A man more guile- 
less, more free from all falsehood and deceit, we have 
never known. His tongue was a faithful index to his 
heart ; and a more honest heart never beat in human 
bosom. What he said he meant. The law of truth was 
the law of his tongue ; because integrity was the law of 
his heart. 

A man who knew his character would as soon suspect 
himself of a design to wrong himself, as to suspect Johnson 
Reeves of intentional wrong, or fraud. We should at 
once suspect the honesty of any man, who, knowing his 
character, would charge him with a dishonest act. He 
was a man to whom we could triumphantly point as a 
living proof that honesty had not wholly forsaken this 
fallen world. And he was thus honest, not because dis- 
honesty was base and mean ; but because it was a neces- 
sary part of that righteousness with which a righteous 
God requires His people to be clothed. His truthfulness 


m s\ 


Lillian Primrose Reeves 

Josephine Primrose Reeves "^ 

Mary Primrose Reeves ^ 



and his unbending uprightness were only parts of his 
piety ; the fruits of a vital faith in a holy God. 

How warmly he loved, and how well he served the 
Church of Christ, some of you know. He has left behind 
him no one to whose heart this Church was dearer than it 
was to him ; and perhaps he has left none who have done 
more to advance its prosperity. His very character was a 
source of strength and influence to this Church, in this 
community. We could point to him as an illustration of 
the value of this Church in training men for usefulness 
here and glory hereafter. For six-and-thirty years was he 
enrolled on the list of this Church's communicants ; and 
for that long period did he "adorn the doctrine of God 
his Saviour." Perhaps no member of this Church has 
been more punctual in his attendance on its many services 
than he. 

Busy and laborious as was his life, and actively indus- 
trious as were his habits, he ever found, or made, time to 
turn aside from secular business, even on secular days, 
and to wait upon his God. Whoever might be absent 
from his proper place, all who knew him expected him to 
be there ; and to be there, not as a mere matter of form, 
but as an eager listener to the Word of God ; and often 
as a devout leader of the prayers of his people. For 
many years was he a chosen officer of this congregation ; 
managing its financial interests with his characteristic 
punctuality and integrity, and with no other reward than 
the consciousness of serving the cause which was above 
all others dear to his heart ; the cause of his dear Re- 



When it was determined to elect additional elders, by 
universal conviction he was esteemed a fitting person for 
the office ; though his modesty led him to decline the 
office, because he deemed his physical infirmity * a hin- 
drance to the faithful discharge of its duties. 

But faithfully as he discharged the self-denying and 
comparatively thankless duties of a trustee of this Church, 
this was but a small part of what he was long accustomed 
to do, without fee, or reward, or notoriety. In collecting 
funds for special charitable objects ; in charging himself 
with the care of religious periodicals ; and in numberless 
similar offices, his labors were abundant and disinterested. 
A large part of what he did at the cost of time, and even 
of expense to himself, was known to few ; because it was 
a feature of his piety never to boast of his doings. Many 
are the instances in which from his own funds he has 
made up deficiencies incurred by negligent and delinquent 
subscribers to charitable objects, or religious periodicals. 

We regard these quiet, unobtrusive, and troublesome 
offices as far more worthy of honor and praise, than the 
mere contribution of money, which may cost the giver no 
trouble, and no self-denial. 

But for the grace of liberality he was also conspicuous. 
Though a member of a liberal congregation, it may well 
be doubted, whether, in proportion to his means, any man 
was more liberal than himself And there was a readiness 
and cheerfulness in his benefactions, which in our selfish 
world was truly refreshing. Of no one in this community 
more than of him could we be sure beforehand, that he 

* Deafness. 



George W. Bush 

Born August 31, 1824 
Died June 12, 1900 

(See 1", page 25) 


would give promptly and gladly and liberally to every de- 
serving object. To a cause whose merits he understood, 
it was never necessary to urge him to beneficence ; be- 
cause he gave from love to Christ, and not to get rid of 
importunity, or to acquire a reputation for generosity. 

His charity was manifested in other ways than in the 
liberal bestowal of money. He loved the people of Christ 
because they were his people. To the Presbyterian Church 
his attachment was warm ; as for it his preference was most 
decided. He felt that to its peculiar doctrines and institu- 
tions he owed much that he most valued for himself, his 
family, and society. But his charity joyfully embraced in 
its arms all who bore Christ's image and wore His yoke, 
by whatever name they were called. With his charity 
was beautifully blended the Christian grace of humility. 
With all that he was, and all that he was conscious of 
doing, he was eminently free from an arrogant, assuming 
spirit. Seldom do we find a man so much honored by 
others, and yet so free from boastfulness ; and the secret of 
his humility was his deep consciousness of his own sinful- 
ness, and his exalted views of the reality and greatness of 
Divine Grace. 

He could not but have known that he had a high repu- 
tation for worth ; he knew that he had a title to heavenly 
glory; but with all his heart could he say with Paul, "By 
the grace of God, I am what I am." The vilest sinner 
plucked as a brand from the burning, even at the eleventh 
hour, does not more entirely rely on the merits of Christ 
for salvation, than did this servant of Christ, after so long 
a life of holy usefulness. 


It was not permitted him, as is sometimes the case, to 
bear his dying testimony to the grace of God, even down 
to death. Bnt we are in no way doubtful as to what that 
testimony would have been. Far rather would we rely on 
the testimony of such a man's life, than on all the utter- 
ances of his lips in his last mortal struggle. The vilest 
wretches who expiate a lifetime of crime upon the gallows, 
are as confident in the utterance of a Christian hope as 
any. Only the sincere believer in Christ can leave behind 
him such a testimony to the power of grace, as we have in 
the life of this man of God. 

When such a man dies his death is a just ground of 
great lamentation. Human training can never furnish 
successors to him. The grace of God alone moulds and 
sustains such characters ; and it is not often that grace 
itself thus displays its power. If any one doubt this, let 
him but cast his eye even over those whom he esteems 
sincerely good, and then say how many he can number, 
who in all respects equal this humble child of God. 

In speaking of his character and life, I have endeavored 
to keep within the limits of sober truth. Had I indulged 
in fulsome flatter}-, or extravagant eulogy, the humble and 
tnithful spirit of the deceased would rebuke me. All that 
I have described in him I believe him to have been, but I 
as much believe that it was not due to nature and inherent 
worth, it was the Gospel of Christ and the Spirit of God 
that made our friend such as he was, and hence we should 
"Glorify God in him." If there w^as one man in our 
midst who owed his respectability and his success in life to 
true religion, that man was Johnson Reeves. His case 


signally exemplifies the Divine declarations — "Them that 
honor me, I will honor," and "Godliness hath the promise 
of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 

To a rare degree, Johnson Reeves sought the honor 
of God, and not his own ; and for this very reason God 
honored /^^>;^, by giving him such honor from men, as none 
who seek their own honor alone can ever attain. He zvas 
honored in men'' s hearts, because he was a man of rieid 
veracity, sterling honesty, and unfeigned piety. He is 
lamented, not because he has vacated a high office, but 
because he has left void a sphere which he filled and 
adorned with Christian virtues. A man ambitious of 
human honor could not covet a higher meed than such 
honor, because it was heartfelt and unbought. 

And how truly did his godliness prove "profitable" 
even for the life that now is ! Compelled in early life to 
struggle with adverse fortune, his Christian virtues and 
habits enabled him to reach a position of worldly com- 
petency, of social influence, and of rare domestic hap- 

How seldom do the fathers of so numerous a family die, 
leaving all their children with characters, and in circum- 
stances, like those of our departed friend. He trained that 
family for Christ, and Christ permitted him, ere he closed 
his eyes on earth, to see six of his seven children pro- 
fessedly and openly the followers of Christ,* and some of 
them filling stations of honor and of trust. 

"Verily, there is a reward for the righteous," even in 

*Tlie seventh has been a ruHng elder in the Church of his father since 
April, 1868. 


this life, and if every member of this Church would share 
in this reward, his surest means is found in an imitation of 
the example of their departed brother. Had he lived as 
some members live, his Christian character, his unques- 
tioned truthfulness and honesty, would never have been 
established in the convictions of this community as they 
now are. 

But higher motives urge you to imitate his virtues. 
His death is a fearful loss to your Church. It has greatly 
impaired its strength. It has quenched a shining light in 
this community. It has silenced the effectual, fervent 
prayers of a righteous man. It has devolved many and 
important ser\'ices on you that survive. Who will take up 
and wear the mantle of him, whom God has translated to 
a higher sphere ? Of old members who have hitherto done 
little, we have slight hope. We depend on the young. 
In early manhood Johnson Reeves commenced his life of 
Christian service. Does he now regret so early a begin- 
ning, and so long a ser\'ice ? 

Does he now deem the strictness of his Christian walk 
a needless strictness? Were he to return and live over 
his Christian life, would he be more self-indulgent, and 
less zealous for Christ? Or would he not rather entreat 
every young man in this congregation to choose the serv- 
ice of that Saviour, who blessed liim and rewarded him 
in life, and who after death has exalted him to glor}' ever- 
lasting ? 

But the older members of this Church may lay to heart 
a lesson from this death. His decease was sudden and 
unexpected. Had he put off preparation, as many pro- 


fessed Christians do, no preparation could have been 
made ; and we could have no valid hope of him. With 
him, however, preparation for death was the habitual 
work of life ; and he prepared for death, not by working 
his soul up into a state of religious ecstasy, but by labori- 
ously serving Christ in his family, in society, in the 
Church ; by diligent attendance on Christ's ordinances ; 
by growing from year to year in Christian knowledge and 
in grace. This was his mode of preparation for death, and 
it is the true and safest mode. This is what you must do ; 
or you will be found, like the foolish virgins, unprepared 
to meet the Bridegroom. We know where the martyr 
Stephen has gone ; not because with his dying breath he 
prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit," but because 
Stephen's life was one of constant service to Christ. We 
may know where Johnson Reeves has gone, because he 
was a faithful steward of his talents, and stood ready from 
year to year to give up his account to his Lord. Well is 
it with you if, with so good a foundation as he, you can be 
waiting for the final verdict, "Well done, good and faith- 
ful servant ; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."