- Born: Apr 22, 1833, Putnam County, Indiana 176
- Marriage: Amanda Jones on Mar 12, 1853 176
- Died: Jul 14, 1909, Logan, Harrison County, Iowa at age 76 175
From the 1891 History of Harrison County, Iowa:
REEL - John A. REEL - a highly respected farmer of St. John's Township came to Harrison County in 1854 with the vanguard of civilization. He came overland in a covered wagon from Putnam County, Indiana, making the journey in twenty-three days. His first location was on section 15, where he claimed one hundred and twenty acres, which is now included within the corporation of Missouri Valley, and at one time he owned the land where now stands the depot and switch yards. Our subject made some improvements on this land and in 1857 sold it to T. H. COOK, and purchased a quarter section of land on section 28, the site of his present home, and forty acres of timber land in
Pottawattamie County, Iowa.
When he bought his place the plowshare of modern civilization had never turned a furrow and in many places the grass was two feet higher than a man's head. He paid $4 per acre for his land, built a small frame house upon the place in 1857, building his present (1891) farmhouse in 1879. He now owns two hundred acres in the county, all enclosed with a good fence, and one hundred and sixty acres under cultivation.
At the time of his coming there were but two trees to be seen on the bottomlands where he now lives, the groves which adorn that locality having all been planted by pioneer hands. There were but two houses between the Willow and Boyer Rivers. The nearest milling point was "over the Pigeon," and all marketing had to be done at Council Bluffs. Our subject lived where Missouri Valley now stands during the winter of 1856-57, in a log cabin, with a clapboard roof through which the snow would drift, half filling their humble home. His stable was only sixty yards from the cabin, but the snow was drifted in such mountain-like piles that he could not get to his stock to attend them, and as a result lost three head of cattle which at that time were highly prized by our subject.
Our subject traces his ancestry back to Henry REEL, a native of Germany, who came to Muskingham County, Ohio, in 1803, where he followed farming. He married a German lady, and had eight children, among whom was the father of our subject, John REEL Sr., who was born in Virginia in 1793, and spent his early life in the Old Dominion State, coming to Ohio with his parents when he was ten years of age. John married Miss Sarah BEESON, of North Carolina, the daughter of Joseph BEESON. By this union eight children were born -- Mary, Martha, William, Jane, Daniel, Elizabeth, John (our subject) and Joseph, in Kansas City.
Our subject was born April 22, 1833. His early life was spent in Putnam County, Ind., where he attended the common schools. His father (John Sr.) was a miller and John assisted him in the mill, remaining at home until he was of age. He was united in marriage March 12, 1853, in Putnam County, Ind., to Miss Amanda JONES, the daughter of Hardin and Asenath (DEWEESE) JONES, of German descent, but from Kentucky. Eleven children have been born to our subject and his wife, ten of whom still survive -- Dorphas M., born June 22, 1854 and died February 17, 1866; Sarah A., Mrs. MATTOX, born September 3, 1856, now living in Pottawattamie County; Viola C., Mrs. JONES, born October 5, 1858, now living in Pott. County; John H., born February 11, 1861, also living in that county; Henry M., at home, born December 8, 1862; he married Laura WEST, September 25, 1884, a native of Harrison County, born June 5, 1864 - they had two children, Lena and Jesse; Mary A., - Mrs. JONES, now of Missouri Valley, born June 4, 1866; Martha J., now Mrs MOSS, of Missouri Valley, born February 27, 1868; William L., born March 13, 1870, now in Missouri Valley; George D., at home, born December 17, 1871; Daniel C., at home, born April 17, 1874; and Florence A., at home, born January 10, 1878.
Since coming to Harrison County, Mr. REEL has taken an active part in education matters, and has been President of the School Board and School Treasurer of his township for several years. Politically he affiliates with the Republican party. His wife belongs to the Baptist Church at Loveland.
John married Amanda Jones, daughter of William Hardin Jones and Asenath Deweese, on Mar 12, 1853.176 (Amanda Jones was born about 1837 in Indiana.)