Samuel Reed

b. circa 1820, d. circa 1858

Austin College (present-day SHSU Austin Hall)
Drawing by Bernhardt Wall
  • Samuel Reed was born circa 1820 in Pennsylvania probably Philadelphia.
  • James Gillaspie and Susan Farris appeared in the US federal census of 1 June 1850 in Walker County, Texas, he was enumerated as Jas Gillaspey, age 39, brick mason, born in Tennessee, married within the year.. Other members of the household included Samuel Reed, Argyle Gillaspie. Also in the household was blacksmith Charles Oliver, age 21.
  • He married Martha Frances Harrison, daughter of Joseph Percivall Harrison and Lucy Burch, on 18 June 1850 in Walker County, Texas.
  • Sam Reed entered into an agreement on 31 December 1850 with William M. Barrett to do all the brick work of Austin College, for the sum of $750.00, to be completed by 1 January 1852. The building, whose cornerstone was laid on Saint John's day, 24 June 1851, was constructed of soft sand-molded bricks forged at the state penitentiary. It still stands as "Austin Hall" at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. Green Wood's son Campbell attended Austin College from 1855 to 1857. Sam Reed's daughter Mattie married Green Wood's grandson Solomon Wm Wood in 1873, and the following year Sam's daughter Katie married Green's grandson Rush Brevard Wood. On 28 November 1851, Green Wood "Paid Daniel Baker $50, my subscription to Austin College."
    The Austin College building (present-day SHSU Austin Hall) upon completion in 1853
  • On Tuesday, 8 April 1851, Green Wood recorded in his plantation daily account book: "Subscribed 100 Dollars to the Austin College payable 1 & 2 years."
  • Samuel Reed died circa 1858.
  • It is presumed that Sam Reed died about 1858. According to family lore, as told to Cornelia Wood Garvin by her aunt Mattie (Martha Clarana Reed) Wood, "Samuel Reed left his home one day to travel to Crockett, Texas, to collect money for a brick building which he had completed. He spent the night with a friend, and that was the last time he was seen or heard from. His watch fob, which bears the inscription 'Sam Reed, San Jacinto Chapter #7, Texas,' was found about nine miles from his home. It is believed that he met with foul play, as he was a man who was devoted to his family."
  • The following appeared on 19 September 1888 in The Galveston Daily News: (Huntsville, Sept. 18) . . . The corner stone of the new Methodist church was laid on the 12th with Masonic ceremonies. . . The present Methodist church was built in the year 1857. . . .
         William M. Barrett was the contractor. Messers. Chiles and Eichler worked under him; Sam Reed, Sam Jones and Peter Royal did the brick work; G. W. Rather and J. A. Flether did the painting.
         The present seats were paid for by subscription, raised by Dr. T. W. Markham; and the house ceiled overhead by subscription, raised by Dr. G. M. Baker.
         The first person buried from the church was Colonel Henderson Yoakum, a public spirited man, and most active in having the church erected, and who paid in final subscription on the day of dedication $250, on proposition of Erasmus Wynne to be one of five to pay the debt. Robert Wynne was one of the five, and paid his subscription in cotton.
  • Last Edited: 9 May 2015

Family: Martha Frances Harrison b. circa 1830, d. circa 1875