REED, CHARLES M. - a representative farmer and stock raiser of Loami Township, Sangamon County, Ill., is a native of the county, born in Cartwright Township, June 24, 1857, son of William and Elizabeth (Allen) Reed, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of New Jersey. Elizabeth Allen was born May 8, 1828, and in 1840 accompanied her father to Butler County, Ohio, where she became acquainted with William Reed, and they were married about 1854, after which the came to Sangamon County and settled on land in what is now Island Grove. His father, John Reed, had seven sons, and bought a large body of land nearby, giving each of his sons a farm. All seven sons married and had children, except Robert, and William was the fifth in order of birth. The only ones of the family now living in Sangamon County are Charles M. and his brother George M.
William became a prominent farmer and was respected by all who knew him. His father died in Island Grove Township about 1861. In politics William Reed was first a Whig and later a Republican. He was a quiet, even tempered man, his wife never seeing him out of humor, and he had many warm personal friends. Children as follows were born to him and his wife: John W., a dairyman of Long Beach, Cal., Charles M.; Mary E., wife of Hugh Pollock, and they have four children - Harry, Elizabeth, Stella and Margaret; Mary, of New Berlin, with whom her mother resides; George M., on the old home farm. Mrs. Elizabeth Reed (second) Joshua Drake, who is deceased, and they had one child, Frank, now Principal of the Edward School in Springfield. William Reed's death occurred in 1863. John Reed was one of the founders of the Presbyterian church at old Berlin and the family have always been in the front in public enterprises. The seven sons of John Reed settled near the home farm and this locality became known as the Reed Settlement.
Charles M. Reed spent his boyhood much the same as other country boys and was educated in the district schools. He helped with the farm work and remained on the home farm after the death of his father, until he reached his majority. He was married, February 13, 1878, to Miss Amy J. Van Doren, and soon after began working by the month. His wife is a daughter of Peter C. and Margaret (Hathaway) Van Doren, the former a native of Ohio and the latter of New Jersey. Mr. Van Doren and his wife were married in 1829 and in 1831 moved to Sangamon County, locating in Curran Township, where they spent the remainder of their lives, he dying in 1903, at the age of eighty-five years, and she died at the age of seventy-two years, having been born in 1820. Both were devout Methodists and reared their children in the same faith. Of their nine children eight still survive: Sarah, widow of S. P. Gibson, of Loami; John M., a farmer of Oklahoma; E. H., died in Wichita, Kan., in 1906; Cornelius, a farmer living near Chatham; hannah M., widow of William Nixon; Barbara H., married John Ebersalt, and they live near Petersburg, Ill.; William L., a farmer near Chatham; Mary, wife of Hiram Alexander, of Chatham; Amy, Mrs. Reed.
In 1880 Charles M. Reed took charge of the home farm and remained there until 1883. He has since operated various large farms in Sangamon County, and has been one of the enterprising and industrious farmers in the vicinity. In 1905 he rented a farm in Loami Township. He has devoted his entire life to agricultural pursuits and has won success through energy and intelligence. He now has 385 acres under his charge, in 1910, having 145 acres in corn, forty in wheat and thirty-five in oats. He raises pure-bred Duroc Jersey hogs, and now has 75 head of these animals that are eligible to registration. For ten years he bought and shipped hogs. He has the Oxford sheep and believes in keeping the best grade of all kinds of stock.
M. Reed and his wife have had children as follows: Linford, born January 8, 1879, a farmer living near Coffeyville, Kan.; Pearl, born September 2, 1883, at home; Blanch, born November 29, 1886, wife of Morris Kessler, manager and superintendent of the light plant at Auburn, and they have one child, Lora Imogene; Ella M., born March 15, 1889, for the past three years one of the most successful teachers in Sangamon County, commands a high salary; Ernest, born August 4, 1891, at home; Edna, born July 19, 1894, a student in Auburn High School; Ida Mary, born September 15, 1896; Helen, born February 25, 1903. Linford Reed was married (first) to Nina Troxwell, who died, leaving one child, Florence E., now living with her Grandfather Reed, and Linford Reed married (second) Miss Bertha Bobe Newman, whose grandfather was one of the noted Methodist Episcopal ministers of early days.
Mr. Reed has always taken an active interest in political matters and stanchly supports the principles of the Republican party, being ready to advance any measure he believes will be of benefit to his community. He served five years as Road Commissioner of Chatham, and soon after locating in Loami Township was chosen as the leader of his party. He was nominated and elected in 1902 to the office of Supervisor on the Republican ticket, receiving a handsome majority against a strong Democratic opponent. During 1907-08 he was one of the strongest members of the Board. In 1909, having secured the entire confidence of the people, received a much larger majority than before. He has served as chairman of the building and printing committee, and in this connection has always lost sight of his personal interests and tastes in his conscientious endeavor to serve the people in the best possible manner. He is a member of the I.O.O.F., in 1890 joined the M.W.A., and both he and his wife are members of the royal Neighbors and the Rebekahs. The family are active members of the Methodist episcopal Church of Loami, and have given generous support to its good work.