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Ervin E. Reed
Born June 15, 1873


Ervin E. Reed, one of the successful young lawyers of Monticello, was born in South Fork township, Delaware county, Iowa, June 15, 1873. His father, John S. Reed, was a farmer, who settled in that township in 1848, when it was first opened by the government for colonization. His mother, whose maiden name was Christiana McDonald, was also one of the early settlers of Iowa, having come to the state in 1854 and to Scotch Grove township two years later. The father was of Scotch-Irish descent and the mother of Scottish ancestry.
After the death of John S. Reed in 1887, his widow removed from the old homestead in Delaware county to Monticello, where Ervin E. Reed was sent to the public schools. He was graduated from the high school in 1891 and after teaching for a period in the rural schools of the county he matriculated in the Iowa State College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts at Ames. From the scientific course of that institution he was graduated in November, 1895, and in 1898 he received his degree of LL.B. from the law department of Drake University at Des Moines, having completed the course in that school.
While a student Mr. Reed pursued a systematic and thorough course in military science in connection with his regular collegiate work and in 1894 be was detailed-to act as battalion adjutant of the First Regiment Iowa National Guard during its annual encampment. Immediately after the encampment he was appointed to fill that position with the rank of first lieutenant, serving as such at the opening of the Spanish-American war. In April, 1898, be was ordered into the United States service with his regiment, which was rechristened the Forty-ninth Iowa Infantry Volunteers when it was mustered in. It was ordered to Jackson ville, Florida, where a military camp had been established under the name of Camp Cuba Libre. There the Forty-ninth Iowa Infantry remained until October, when it moved to Savannah, Georgia. In December it was sent to Havana, Cuba, and became a part of the American Army of Occupation under Major General Fitzhugh Lee. When the regiment arrived at Camp Cuba Libre it was only partially equipped and the work of providing the new recruits with the necessary accouterments for active campaigning was delayed because of the confusion due to the lack of trained and competent men in the quartermaster's department. In August Lieutenant Reed was made quartermaster of his regiment and with the capacity for organization that has ever distinguished him he proceeded to bring order out of the confusion and complete the equipment of his men for field work. So well were his duties performed that when the regiment moved into Cuba it was among the best prepared body of men in the army. Lieutenant Reed was present with his regiment every day from the time when at Des Moines he received telegraphic orders to join it until he was mustered out of the service at Savannah, Georgia, in May, 1899, five months of that time having been spent on the island of Cuba. At the close of the war Mr. Reed engaged in the practice of law in Monticello and has since devoted himself continuously to that profession, in which a large and remunerative practice indicates his success.
In 1901 Mr. Reed was married to Miss Gwendolen Doxsee, of Rolfe, Iowa, a graduate of the Iowa State College of the class of 1897. Three children have been born of this union: Elaine, Alfreda and Alice Miriam. In politics Mr. Reed has given his unqualified support to the republican party and is at present chairman of the republican county central committee. His devotion to the interests of his clients and the pronounced ability which has ever distinguished his conduct of cases secured for him election as city attorney of his home town, a position he held through two terms. In 1901 and 1902 he was county attorney of Jones county, again proving that he was a most competent exponent of the laws of the state and country.

Source: History of Jones County, Iowa, Past and Present, R. M. Corbitt, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1910, p. 223.

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