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NYPL RESEARCH LIBRARIES
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1700 TO 1900
Hnccstr^ anb posterity
Born October i6, 1799
Died July 19, i860
A MEMORIAL SERMON
Rfa'. Samuel Beach Jones, D. D.
Printed by Allen, Lane & Scott
THE NEW YORK
ASTOB. LDNOX AND
TlLUaN FOU? DATIONS
K ii>51 L
*' Honor thy Father and thy Mother, that thy
DAYS may be long UPON THE LAND WHICH
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."
FRANCIS B. REEVES.
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 It is obsolete except in compounds,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
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>^
THE NEW YORK
ASTnjJ. LENUX AKo
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-
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
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-
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
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, 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
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-
■^STOlt. UKSOX AND
Ellen Bernard Thompson
'' Age 21
Mary Reeves Deacon 38
Frank Deacon 87
Ellen Elizabeth Reeves'"
Frank Deacon 87
Francis Brewster Reeves ^i
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 : —
SON OF ABRAHAM REEVES AND DAMARIS 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.
SON OF JOHN REEVES AND MABEL JOHNSON REEVES,
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.
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 ;
SON OF JOHNSON REEVES AND ZERVIAH BERREMAN
REEVES, HIS WIFE.
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.
FIRST-BORN SON OF JOHN REEVES AND MARTHA REEVES,
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.
CHILDREN OF JOHNSON REEVES AND ELIZABETH
RILEY REEVES, HIS WIFE.
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,
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
(See ', page 24.)
ASTOK, tELVOX \>B I
' ^ 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.
CHILDREN OF REV. HENRY REEVES, D. D., AND SARAH J.
KENNEDY REEVES, HIS WIFE.
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
19. Anna Robeson Reeves, b. Mar. 30, 1865.
CHIlvDREN OF CHARLES SEELEY FITHIAN AND HARRIET
NEWELL REEVES FITHIAN, HIS WIFE.
20. John Burgin Fithian, b. Jan. 11, 1847 ; d. July
21. Henry Reeves Fithian, b. Feb. 4, 1849 ; d. Oct.
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.
26. Alexander Robeson Fithian, b. Aug. 24, 1863.
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
CHILDREN OF ROBERT DuBOIS AND RUTH REEVES DuBOIS,
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.
CHILDREN OF JOHN REEVES AND KATE ROBISON REEVES,
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.
CHILDREN OF ALEXANDER LEWDEN ROBESON AND MARTHA
PIERSON REEVES ROBESON, HIS WIFE.
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.
CHILDREN OF FRANCIS BREWSTER REEVES AND ELLEN
BERNARD THOMPSON REEVES, HIS WIFE.
38. Mary Primrose Reeves, b. Mar. 28, 1861 ; m.
George Hartley Deacon, teacher of mathematics in
Germantown Academy, Nov. 9, 1886.
CHILDREN OF ROBERT DuBOIS AND RUTH REEVES DuBOIS,
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.
children of JOHN REEVES AND KATE ROBISON REEVES,
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.
CHILDREN of ALEXANDER LEWDEN ROBESON AND MARTHA
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.
children of FRANCIS BREWSTER REEVES AND ELLEN
BERNARD THOMPSON REEVES, HIS WIFE.
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.
children of JAMES JOHNSON REEVES AND MARY
CALDWELL BUTLER REEVES, HIS WIFE.
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.
children of EDWARD M. FITHIAN AND BESSIE REEVES
fithian, his wife.
49. Robert Edward Fithian, b. April 21, 1890.
50. Marjorie Fithian, b. April 7, 1894.
children of PHINEAS KENNEDY REEVES AND HANNAH
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.
children of CHARLES FITHIAN REEVES AND CLARA
ELIZABETH HOFFMAN REEVES, HIS WIFE.
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.
60. Emily Janvier Reeves, b. June 15, 1889.
61. Chrissie West Reeves, b. Nov. 26, 1890 ; d. Dec.
62. Henry F. West Reeves, b. Jan. 5, 1892 ; d. April
63. Florence Kennedy Reeves, b. July 13, 1894 ; d.
Jan. 8, 1895.
64. Frances Wallace Reeves, b. May 25, 1896.
children of WILLIAM SHANNON FITHIAN AND
MARGARET L. FITHIAN, HIS WIFE.
65. John Burgin Fithian, b. Dec. 13, 1883 ; d. Sept.
66. William Shannon Fithian, b. July 19, 1895.
children of FRANCIS REEVES FITHIAN AND MARY HILL
FITHIAN, HIS WIFE.
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.
75. Arthur Witter Brewer, b. Dec. 2, 1889 ; d.
Dec. 5, 1898.
DAUGHTER OF ROBERT DuBOIS, Jr., AND KATE TYLER
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,
CHILDREN OF JOHN LEWDEN ROBESON AND ANNA
BURROUGHS ROBESON, HIS WIFE.
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 ^
CHILDREN OF GEORGE HARTLEY DEACON AND MARY
PRIMROSE REEVES DEACON, HIS WIFE.
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.
DAUGHTERS OF SIDNEY WILLIAMS AND EMILY THOMPSON
REEVES WILLIAMS, HIS WIFE.
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.
DAUGHTERS OF FRANCIS BUTLER REEVES AND LILLIAN
PRIMROSE REEVES, HIS WIFE.
91. JOSEPHINE Primrose Reeves, b. April 28, 1898.
92. Mary Primrose Reeves, b. Aug. 24, 1899.
ELLEN BERNARD THOMPSON REEVES, WIFE OF FRANCIS
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
* 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
THE KEW YORK
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.
ARRANGED ACCORDING TO THE YEARS OF THEIR BIRTH.
*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
*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
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
Francis Brewster Reeves "
— ' Francis Butler Reeves**
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
REV. SAMUEL BEACH JONES, D. D.
Preached in the First Presbyterian Church, Bridgeton, N. J.,
Sunday Morning, August 9TH, i860.
The death of good men a just ground for
'■'■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.
THE ^EW YORK
,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
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*
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
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
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-
Alison Reeves Williams'
TITE yEW YORK
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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-
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."