He was born in Nelson County, Va., on November 5, 1876. His father, Paul W. Reed was a railway construction foreman, and was the son of Rev. Williams Reed and his wife Amelia. The mother of our subject was, before her marriage, Miss Mary Ann Green, daughter of Jesse and Martha Green.
Mr. Reed was married on December 20, 1899 to Miss Maggie Early, daughter of John and Eliza Early. They have four children; Emma E., a graduate of the West Virginia Collegiate Institute, H. Milton Carlisle, now attending Garnett High School, "Senior Year," John Paul and Mary Eliza Reed. As a boy young Reed attended the public schools of Virginia. Speaking of his career he says, "I came to this State (West Virginia) in the spring of 1893, having attended the public schools of my neighborhood under two white and several colored teachers. Having reached the highest ambition at that time of the people of my acquaintance, that of getting enough education to teach public school, I soon found out that the pay in other lines was better than that of the country school teacher, which I had selected for a career. I came to West Virginia in '93, and began work for the Mr. Carbon Colliery Co., Ltd., Powellton, W. Va., in 1893. When I began at the bottom, I secured employment as a charger, or assistant on the charging car. Being diligent I soon worked my way up. In 1895 I had advanced to the position of coke burner. From that position I was promoted to that of stationery engineer, and later to locomotive fireman. At intervals I held the position of yard foreman, stock clerk, office boy, delivery man, and railway engineer.
In March 1896, I received my third degree in the order of Knights of Pythians and in the month of September, 1897, having received the Grand Lodge degree in the month of July, I moved to Rushrun, W. Va., was commissioned a Deputy Grand Chancellor, and in January 1898, I, with the Grand Chancellor, Sir S. W. Starks, and Past Chancellor S. M. Boyd, instituted by first K. of P. Lodge. From that time until now I have been interested in fraternal work and have advanced in the K. of P. lodge, U. R. K. of P. to the rank of Brigade Chaplain, Past District Grand Lecturer of the Most Wonderful Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of West Virginia, Grand Chaplain of District Grand Lodge No. 31 G. U. O. of O. F., of West Virginia, and Past Worthy Counselor of the order O. O. C. of West Virginia. While in the Quinnemont District, Fayette County, where I lived from September 1897 to September, 1907, I mixed some in politics, having a number of years been a member of the Executive Committee of the Quinnemont District. In the fall of 1907 I left Fayette County and located in Kanawha County and for two years had very little to do with public affairs, save once assisting Sir. S. M. Davis, in reinstating a K. of P. lodge at Carbon, W. Va., I was then living at what was known as West Virginia No. 1, where I remained till August 1909. I moved to Carbon in August, 1909, and was called to preach in March, 1910, and licensed April, 1910. I then began to study for the ministry, I was called to the charge at Keeferton, now called Westerly, in April, 1911. I organized this church which was the first church I pastored. In the month of June that same year, the pulpit of the Mt. Nebo Baptist Church became vacant, and I was elected supply pastor. In September, 1911, the Mt. Nebo Baptist church called an examining council to examine me for ordination. The council organized by electing the late Dr. S. E. Williams president, Deacon Robert Austin, clerk and Rev. R. D. W. Meadows, official catechiser. This council consisting of four churches and several representatives set me apart to the work of the Gospel ministry. In January, 1912, I was called to the pastorate of this church, which position I still hold, shortly, however, I was called to the pastorate of the Wake Forest Baptist Church, Wake Forrest, W. Va., where I served for four years. In February, 1914, I was called to the Mt. Zion Church at Wevaco of which I am still pastor, giving these two churches full time. I have had correspondence study from the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago, Schofield Course, A graduate of the Kleiser English Course, Cody's 100 per cent English, Sherwin Cody School of English, Rochester, N. Y. Besides I have Special Summer Work in several colleges." Mr. Reed is Secretary of the Ministers' Union of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Association, Corresponding Secretary of the State Sunday School Convention, Clerk of the Mt. Olivet Baptist Association, the oldest Baptist Association in West Virginia, and is President of the Sixth District Sunday School Union of the West Virginia B. S. S. Convention. Also a member of the Executive Board of the West Virginia B. S. C. Mr. Reed has been a hard worker all his life and has been an intelligent observer of conditions among the people. He is of the opinion that the race needs most of all, "more and better prepared leaders, selected because of their ability to do the work in hand and not on account of personal likes and dislikes." He believes that with trust in God, the determination not to swerve from the right to the wrong an unending search in ourselves to find our most dangerous enemy, that we shall be able to do many things, some that seem almost impossible, to the glory of God, the edification of God's people, and the advancement of the things we date attempt to do."
History of the American Negro Index
West Virginia History Center