Matthew Gooding Reed, 1831-1902
Matthew Gooding Reed was the son of Thomas Reed and his wife Jane Robinson, both of whom were the children of some of the first settlers of Union County. Matthew, the oldest of ten children, was born October 31, 1831 on his parents farm in Union Township and he died August 15, 1902 in South Branch precinct, Otoe County, Nebraska.
Matthew left Ohio in 1856, and taught school to pay his way west. While teaching school in Washington County, Iowa he met his first wife, and mother of all his children, Ruth Ann Smith, daughter of Jirah and Avis (Covill/Covell Smith). Before marrying Matthew went a bit further west and took a preemptive claim in Otoe County, Nebraska. Soon after that he returned to Iowa where, on April 30, 1859 he married Miss Smith. The couple waited until 1862 to make the move to Nebraska. By then the first two of their children had been born. The couple had fourteen children, one of whom died at the age of four. Not merely an early settler in Otoe County Matthew became a leader in both the community and his church. Among other things he helped in the construction of Hopewell Church about a mile north of his farm.
According to a biographical sketch dated November 14, 1941 and written by his daughter, Annette Reed Lee, "Matthew Reed went back to Ohio when his mother died and brought back his two younger sisters [Hester Ann and Martha Flora]. The youngest, Martha, who was 15 years old, was under her brother's guardian-ship until she was 18 years old."
After his first wife's tragic death on August 22, 1881, Thomas married Eugenie Purdy, July 20, 1884 in Tecumseh County, Nebraska. Matthew Gooding Reed is buried in the Hopewell Church Cemetery, as are several members of his extended family.
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