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Charles W. Reynolds


Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 11/12/2011 at 09:57:00

CHARLES W. REYNOLDS, one of the honored veterans of the late war, who resides on section 6, Palermo Township, Grundy County, was born in Monroe County, Mich., January 17, 1843, and is a son of Henry Reynolds, a native of Essex County, N. Y., who there married Miss Eleanor Hayward. The grandfather, Jared Reynolds, served in the Revolutionary War, as did also the maternal grandfather, Ephraim Hayward. After living in Essex County for some years, the father of our subject removed to Monroe County, Mich., and in 1845 became one of the early settlers of Carroll County, Ill. He used to haul grain from there to Chicago before the days of the railroad. He always carried on farming, and was very successful. During the latter part of his life he lived in Lanark, Carroll County. In politics he was a Republican and served as a member of the Board of Supervisors. He was born November 16, 1806, and died May 5, 1878. His wife, who was born November 16, 1808, passed away February 3, 1885. They were the parents of ten children, seven of whom are yet living. William A. served in the late war, and Robert was with John Brown in the Kansas troubles.

Our subject was only two years old when his parents removed to Carroll County, Ill., where he was reared to manhood and educated, attending the public schools at Mr. Carroll Seminary. After the breaking out of the late war, he enlisted, August 11, 1862, in Company I, Ninety-second Illinois Mounted Infantry. April 23, 1864, at Nickajack Gap, Ga., he was taken prisoner, and in a volume entitled the “Ninety-second Illinois Volunteers,” he graphically describes his experience in rebel prisons, where the Union soldiers endured terrible suffering in the midst of dirt, squalor and wretchedness. He was first sent to Atlanta, thence to Andersonville, and with the other prisoners was taken to Charleston, S. C., and placed in the city jail yard under the fire of General Foster’s gunboats, the shells continually bursting around them. They were placed there to keep the Union General from shelling the city, but it did not prevent the iron hail from sweeping the street of Charleston. For about six weeks they were held prisoners in the Charleston Fair Grounds, and on October 4 were sent on the cars to Florence, S. C., where they were placed in a stockade and held until February 15, 1865. They were then taken to Pemberton Prison, in Richmond, Va., and though many of the troops were barefooted and almost destitute of clothing, they were marched over the frozen streets of that city to the place of confinement. The following day, however, they were sent down the James River and exchanged, and with glad hearts once more found themselves under the protection of the Stars and Stripes. Mr. Reynolds returned to his regiment in May, 1865, and continued with his command until mustered out, June 21.

After the war, Mr. Reynolds returned to Carroll County, where for two years he farmed through the summer and in the winter engaged in clerking. He then came to Iowa and purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 5, Washington Township, Grundy County, at $4.50 per acre. The prairie was unbroken and no improvements had been made. He has since extended the boundaries of his farm and now owns two hundred acres in Palermo Township, and one hundred and sixty acres in Washington Township. As a companion and helpmate on life’s journey, he chose Miss Sallie M., daughter of Elias Woodin. She was born in Connecticut, and with her parents went to Illinois in an early day. Their marriage was celebrated December 3, 1872, and they have two children, J. H. and N. W.

Mr. Reynolds carries on general farming and stock-raising with good success, and has the finest herd of blooded Short-horn cattle in the county. In politics he is a stalwart Republican. In 1872 he was appointed Postmaster of Grundy Centre under President Grant, and held the office until Cleveland took his place in the executive chair. He sent in his resignation March 4, 1885. He has been an untiring worker in the interests of the Republican party, has served as delegate to state and congressional conventions, and during the Presidential campaign of 1892 was Chairman of the Republican Central Committee of Grundy County. Four years before it had given a Democratic majority, but in the last campaign it gave Harrison a majority. November 7, 1893, Mr. Reynolds was elected Sheriff by a majority of one hundred and forty-seven, and he is ably discharging the duties of the office, for he has always been found true to the trust reposed in him. For three years he has been a member of the School Board of Grundy Centre. He holds membership with Emerald Lodge No. 334, A. F. & A. M., of Grundy Centre, for several years served as Worshipful Master, and has taken a prominent part in the work of the fraternity. He also belongs to Ionic Chapter, R. A. M., and is a charter member, and has served as Commander of Wilson Post No. 71, G. A. R.

During his service as Postmaster, Mr. Reynolds also carried on a drug, book and stationery store. On resigning the office he purchased his farm in Palermo Township, and has since devoted his energies to its further development. His land is under a high state of cultivation and well improved with all the accessories of a model farm. His life has been a busy and useful one, and by arduous labor, perseverance and good management he has acquired a handsome competence. Although he was disabled by his service in the war, he will not accept a pension. The people of the community repose to him the utmost confidence and hold him in the highest regard. His public and private life are alike above reproach, and in days of peace, as in days of war, he is faithful to the country over which the Stars and Stripes now float triumphantly.

Portrait and Biographical Record
of Jasper, Marshall and Grundy Counties, Iowa


Grundy Biographies maintained by Tammy D. Mount.
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