For more than thirty years Henry B. Reese was in the employ of the government in the capacity of paymaster and over the record of his public career there falls no shadow of wrong or suspicion of evil. He was most prompt, reliable and faithful in the discharge of his duties and is a representative of a high type of American citizenship. He is now living retired in Lancaster, enjoying a well merited rest. He was born in this city, April 21, 1832, and is a representative of a prominent family of Fairfield county. William J. Reese, his father, was born in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on the 5th of August, 1804, and pursued his education in Washington, D. C, where be continued his studies for several years. In October, 1829, the Rev. John Wright performed the marriage ceremony which united the destinies of William J. Reese and Mary E. Sherman, a daughter of Judge Sherman and throughout the period of their married life they resided in Lancaster, where Mr. Reese had located in 1827. In his political views he was a Republican and was a man of wide influence. He possessed many sterling traits of character and was held in high esteem for his genuine worth. A leader of public thought and opinion his influence was felt in behalf of progress and improvement. He attained to the advanced age of eighty years, passing away in Lancaster in December, 1883. His wife, surviving him for several years, died on the 29th of August, 1900, in her eighty-eighth year. In their family were five children: Henry B., of this review; Rosanna, who is now Mrs. Hoyt, of New York city; M. M., the wife of Joseph S. Reber, of St. Louis, Missouri; Mary H., the wife of M. N. Granger, of Zanesville, Ohio; and Julia L., of Chicago.


In the city of Lancaster Henry B. Reese acquired his early education and supplemented his primary training by study in the city of Philadelphia. At the end of that period he went to Mansfield, Ohio, where he entered the law office of Judge T. W. Bartley as a student, though his studies were terminated in the office of Charles and John Sherman. He then returned to Lancaster and was united in marriage to Ellen Kirk, a daughter of William Kirk, of Philadelphia. Taking up his abode in the city of his birth he entered the employ of the Hocking Valley Bank, but at the outbreak of the Civil war his patriotic spirit was aroused and he offered his services to his country and became a member of the First Ohio Infantry and was elected captain of the company and soon afterward was appointed by President Lincoln, major and paymaster for the three months troops of Ohio. On the expiration of that period he was appointed paymaster of the army and served in that capacity continuously from 1861 until July 5, 1888, covering twenty-seven consecutive years. During that time millions of dollars passed through his hands and every cent was faithfully accounted for. He is a man of unquestioned honesty, whose word was as good as any bond solemnized by signature or seal. He regards a public office as a public trust and no trust ever reposed in him has been betrayed in the slightest degree.


The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Reese was blessed with five children, but they lost one in infancy. The others are William H., Hattie E., Mary E. and Helen C. The family has ever occupied a leading and enviable place in social circles, where true worth and intelligence are received as the passports in good society. In his fraternal relations Mr. Reese is a Knight Templar and in politics is a pronounced Republican, unswerving in his fidelity to the party and active in his efforts to promote its growth and success. He resides at the old home of his father's on Wheeling street, and is one of the most respected residents of Lancaster. .Mr. Reese is widely and favorably known throughout the state, his abilities well fitting him for leadership in political and social life. The terms progress and patriotism might be considered the keynote of his character, for throughout his career he has labored for the improvement of every line of business or public interest with which he has been associated, and at all times has been actuated by a fidelity to his country and her welfare.

 

From A Biographical Record of Fairfield County, Ohio, S. J. Clarke Publishing, New York and Chicago, 1902