JOSEPH LEVI REED (1849-1914)

From "History of Idaho, The Gem of the Mountains," Vol. II, pg. 784. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. Chicago, 1920.

Joseph Levi Reed became one of the pioneers of the northwest of 1865 and from that time until his death, which occurred on the 15th of December, 1914, he was keenly interested in this section of the country and ever bore his part in the work of general progress and improvement. He was born at Fayette, Wisconsin, January 17, 1849, and spent the first fourteen years of his life In the state of his nativity. He then crossed the plains with his mother and sisters, making the trip with a large train of immigrants. They experienced all of the hardships and trials of such a journey but at length reached their destination in safety. Mr. Reed drove an on team all the way and in 1865 arrived in Boise, having been six months en route. He made his home in Idaho for a time and then went to Oregon, where he resided for about eleven years. He next lived in the state of Washington for about two years, after which he returned to Idaho.

It was while residing in Oregon that Mr. Reed was united in marriage on the 9th of November, 1870, to Miss Anna A. Sawyer and to them were born three sons who survive the father, while two daughters had passed away. The sons are Oscar P., William Edgar and Ralph Archie, all residents of Idaho.

In the year 1883 Mr. Reed returned from Washington to Idaho and took up his abode at Emmett, where he continued to make his home throughout the remainder of his life. He operated a sawmill on Dry Buck for sixteen years and retired about three years prior to his demise, spending his last days in the enjoyment of a well earned rest. In all business affairs he was energetic and enterprising and as the years passed he won a substantial competence and was thus able to leave his family in comfortable financial circumstances.

In all community affairs Mr. Reed took a deep interest and never withheld his support from any plan or measure that he believed would prove of benefit in the upbuilding of town, county or state. He was for twenty-two years a consistent and active member and generous supporter of the Methodist church and when on the 15th of December, 1914, he was called to the home beyond, the pastor of the church, Rev. C. L. Walker, conducted a most impressive funeral service. Mr. Reed had been in ill health for some time and himself made the plans for his funeral, selecting the hymns to be sung. Of him the Emmett Index said: "Few men have been blessed with so many friends and none bound them to himself with stronger ties. He was a man of sturdy character and honesty and uprightness of purpose. As a citizen he was patriotic and progressive. On public and moral questions he had firm convictions and he was generally right." He was also a devoted husband and father, counting no effort or sacrifice on his part too great if it would promote the welfare and happiness of his family. His circle of friends was an extensive one and all who knew him held him in the highest esteem.

Nellie Ireton Mills. All Along the River/Territorial and Pioneer Days on the Payette. Privately printed for Payette Radio Limited, 1963. (p. 63f)

Spending a few years in Oregon as a young man, Joe Reed, born in 1849, became a millwright and always worked in the lumbering industry. . . In 1883, he returned to Idaho and built a home on West Main in Emmettsville, just below where the canal crosses the street. For years Joe brought log drives down the river and operated sawmills in Emmett. He also had a sawmill on Dry Buck, above Sweet. Of his five children, only two are still living, Ed and Ralph, both of Boise.

1892 map of Dry Buck showing sawmills
Reed's Sawmill and Reeds' Logging Crew

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