This came from The History of Wayne, Fayette, Union, and Franklin Counties.
William D. Reid, who is one of the best known citizens of Richmond, comes of good old Protestant Irish stock, his ancestors having been prominent and influential in County Donegal, Ireland. His great-grandfather, John Reid, was born in the early part of the 1700s and spent his whole life in Donegal, his native county.
His son, Patrick, the next in line of descent, was born near Chruchtown, in the same county, in 1744, and for a period of forty years was the presiding elder in the Episcopal Church of that place. In 1822 he emigrated to the United States and for the following seven years re resided near Wilmington, Delaware, whence he then removed to a farm one and a half miles north of Richmond. He had learned the trade of a stonemason, but after coming to this locality he devoted himself exclusively to agriculture. In the Richmond Episcopal Church he was the first communicant, and was ever afterward one of the most influential members. A thorough Bible scholar, -- one of the best in the country, in fact, -- few cared to meet him in an argument, and many a minister, even, was defeated by him when discussions arose as to the truths and doctrines presented in the Scriptures. Yet for his day he was liberal in his views, and was the possessor of an extensive fund of general knowledge and information. He lived to the extreme age of ninety-six years, dying in 1840.
His wife, whose maiden name was Elizabeth McCauley, and all of their children, were born in County Donegal. The children were five in number, namely: Francis, Eleanor, Sarah, Alexander and Jane, all are deceased. Sarah, the wife of William Donan, started to come to the United States in 1812, but was taken prisoner by the British (as war had been declared between the two countries) and was kept at St. Johns, Newfoundland, until after the decisive Battle of new Orleans, January 8, 1815, after which she went to Wilmington, Delaware. Her husband died in 1828, and she never married again, though she lived until 1890, when she died at Port Orange, Florida.
Alexander Reid, the father of our subject, was a man of high standing in Donegal, taking a leading part in local affairs. After the famous rebellion of 1798, in Ireland, he was appointed by the government to collect the arms and ammunition of the defeated insurgents, and discharged his duties with fidelity. He cast in his lot with the people of the United States in 1821, and was quietly engaged in farming in the vicinity of Wilmington, Delaware, until 1843, when he removed to Whitley County, Indiana, where he lived until his death, in 1869. As a raiser of wheat he was especially successful, and in his various transactions he generally was prospered. Both he and his sons allied themselves with the Republican Party upon its formation, and were thenceforth zealous and enthusiastic workers in the organization, though never office seekers. Like his father, he was an earnest member of the Episcopal Church, and the regard of all who were associated with him in any manner was his in an enviable degree.
William C. Reid, a son of Alexander and Mary (Hannah) Reid, was born in Newcastle County, Delaware, on a farm three miles north of Wilmington, July 6, 1823. The young man removed to this state with his family. The mother died when William D. was twenty-eight years months old, and, as his father never married again, they continued to live together, as just stated. Our subject remained in Whitley County, busily engaged in farming, until March 1879, when he removed to a homestead a mile and a half north of Richmond. He now owns a valuable farm in Spring Grove borough, and aided by his sons, he carries on the place successfully. While a resident of Whitley County he was one of the projectors, stock holders and directors of the Eel River Railroad, which was constructed in 1873 and is now owned by the Wabash. Just fifty years to the day after his grandfather, the first communicant of the Richmond Episcopal Church, had joined it, William D. Reid became a member of the congregation and an active worker in the cause of Christianity. He cast his first presidential ballot for Henry Clay, and has been a stanch defender of the Republican Party for more that two-score years. His live has been one of modest, unassuming worth - a well rounded and fitting example to be held up for the emulation of the young.
On the 15th of June 1851, Mr. Reid married Fannie F. Reid, and five children blessed their union. Mary C., the fourth child, married Benjamin F. Simmons, and died in 1879. The others, Jennie E., David L, Alexander S. and William A., still spend much of their time at the old homestead, in loving companionship with their father, their mother having died in 1874. Alexander Reid, who for several years was a successful teacher, and for the past eighteen years has been a trusted bookkeeper in the employ of John W. Grubb & Company, wholesale grocers of Richmond, was honored by election to the responsible office of County Auditor in November 1898. He ran ahead of his ticket, county and state, fifty votes, a fact that attests his great popularity and the confidence of the people in his capability and trustworthiness. He was married in 1889 to Anna Cadwallader, who died about two years later. Like his brothers and sisters, his parents and forefathers, the newly elected Auditor is deeply interested in the up building of the Episcopal Church and the propagation of the doctrines of Christianity. In short, he stands on the side of progress, advancement and civilization, favoring education, religion, law and order, and whatever makes for the good of the people as individuals and as communities.