- Born: May 14, 1793, Franklin County, Virginia 174
- Marriage: Sarah Beeson
- Died: Jul 21, 1858, Reelsville, Putnam County, Indiana at age 65 175
1850 Indiana census (Putnam county) lists his occupation as "miller", and his real-estate value at $8000.
John Reel, born in Virginia, subsequently moved to Montgomery Co., OH. where he married and lived until he came to Putnam County in June, 1826 with his wife and four children. He located on the east side of Walnut Fork of Eel River 1/4 mile east of Reelsville but, feeling that side unhealthy, he built on the opposite side where Daniel now lives and the house he built is still standing and is used for a storeroom by his son. In this house John Reel breathed his last and lies buried in Reelsville cemetary, the land being donated by him. (Reelsville was platted by John Reel and laid out by county surveyor, Wm. Shields. Mr. Reel erected the first building before it was laid out and then built another dwelling and a storehouse, later used by Geo. M. Foster.)
John and his brother, Henry Reel, now of Harrison County; Iowa, at one time built a keel-boat and loaded it with various supplies of meat, flour, meal and whiskey and started down the Ohio River, thence down the Mississippi River and up the Arkansas to Little Rock where they sold the supplies and boat. They bought a mule which they loaded with guns and provisions and started the return trip on the Miami whence they had started. They came aaoss the Wabash near where Vincennes is now and struck the Eel River near Bowling Green and coming up the stream they found James Athey, a white man, and stayed overnight. He selected the site of a mill where Reelsville now is. It was in the fall of 1824 they passed through this part of Putnam County and In June, 1826 John Reel brought Ms family here. In November of the following year he built a log mill and commenced to grind corn about the middle of the month. He had one run of burrs, made of boulders, called "nigger heads" and these ran the mill for about 10 years. He then built a frame mill 5 x 54 feet and 3 run of stone which was swept away by a flood August, 1875. At that time the mill was owned by Daniel Reel. Daniel rebuilt the mill in 1876.
John Reel was the father of 11 children of whom 4 are living-Daniel, John A, Joseph H, and Elizabeth. His wife, Sarah Beason, was born in SC and, when a child, in 1808 emigrated to Montogmery Co., OH with her parents where she was reared and was married She survived her husband 2 years.
During the war of 1812 John ran away to join the army. He carried his gun and swam the Miami River in order to accomplish his purpose. The money that was paid him for his services was afterward used in Putnam Co. He paid $75 of this money to buy a skillet that could now be purchased for 50 cents.
John married Sarah Beeson, daughter of Joseph Beeson and Unknown. (Sarah Beeson was born about 1794 in North Carolina 175,173,176 and died in 1860 in Reelsville, Putnam County, Indiana 175.)