The Reese Family of Bozeman

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“Rosamond said his parents followed my grandfather, John L. Reese, to Helena from Missouri In the spring of 1884.” The family lived in the Sixth ward for three
years before moving to the Sanford and Evans building.”

http://montanaranchandrecreation.blogspot.com/2014/06/gallatin-county-history-of-reese-creek.html

The gentleman in the photo above is my kin.  Here are my Lost People I found along the Lost Road on my way to Rose Mountain. The Reese (Rhys) family was recruited by Mormon Missionaries in Wales, and sailed to America. They took a covered Wagon across the plains.  Their destination was California. They ended up founding a settlement outside Bozeman. This family is buried in Bozeman, and members of the Reese family live there this very day. I have found a whole new branch of my family. They have a creek named after them just outside Bozeman. I am going to take my shoes off and wade in this creek.

Also, my aunt and uncle, Vincent Rice, is a Rhys. I recall seeing his cote of arms on the wall with three ravens. He told me his folks were from Wales. I bought my 1972 Ford truck with money Vincent left me and my kin in a trust. I paid him back by caring about our family tree.

rice_large

 

gregg2

 

https://rosamondpress.com/2013/08/22/royal-rosamond-fanny-y-cory/

I will soon be taking the train to Montana to continue the Genealogical Search Royal Rosamond began. I might end up in Wales, climbing a mountain.

The poem ‘Idwal’ is the continuation of William Morris’ ‘The House of Wolfings’.  Written in 1817,  the  first part is titled ‘The Hostages’.

https://books.google.com/books/about/Idwal.html?id=tYg_AQAAMAAJ&hl=en

https://rosamondpress.com/2013/04/08/holy-grail-house-of-wolfings/

“Now Rosamond approached the chest to view – All the handmaidens in wonder drew – A wondrous chest it was of fashion fair.”

Come to Rose Mountain

Jon Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

Copyright 2015

THE RESSE FAMILY

Missionaries from the United States arrived into Wales at some point during this time, who were of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from Illinois begun by Joseph Smith. Both John and Mary accepted membership (13) into the RLDS church, for in the Fall of 1848, John was baptised (11).

John E. Reese had accepted what was called at that time the Restored Gospel while working as a mine official in the coal fields in Wales. Per translation and work done by James Sorenson (see 10 and 11), using John E. Rees’s own Journal, we learn the following about a period of John’s life, from the years 1848 until 1852.

http://welshmormon.byu.edu/

http://gamelandes.com/?page_id=59

http://www.reesnet.com/heraldry/lvl00000.htm

“Voyage of the Rees Family to America

During the summer of 1856, John E. Rees paid a deposit of 6 pounds to secure space for his family on the first Latter Day Saint chartered ship going to America from Liverpool, England in the 1856-1857 season. At the time of his deposit, the name of the ship and its sailing date was most probably unknown. His family was the 43rd family unit (of a total of 81) listed in the LDS application book and identified as: John E Rees, 38 (of Cwmamman, Carmarthenshire), Mary 43, John 14, Thomas 13, Evan 10 and Jane 8.. On October 25, John E. signed in the book for the refund of his deposit and at some point, the notation “emigrated” was placed on the far right of the page opposite his name. Of the 237 people who had applied to the church for this sailing, only about 220 were on board the Columbia when she departed Liverpool docks on 16 Nov 1856 and reached New York City on 1 Jan 1857. Unfortunately, the LDS index for the Columbia shows all 237 as having sailed with her. The reasons given by others for not going on the Columbia were sickness, death or being unprepared. However, the Rees family was the only one who had decided to leave earlier. Their reason was most likely that Mary was with child (their son Gomer was born 18 Feb 1857) and did not want to risk an early delivery on a crowded ship.

John Reese and family were among some of the first people to permanently settle in the area now known as Reese Creek.  Originally from Wales, the family migrated to the Untied states in 1840, starting in Pennsylvania and then heading toward Utah following their congregation as part of the Mormon church.  Differences developed between the church creed and the Reese family, they decided to leave the area.  General Conner of Fort Douglas near what is now Salt Lake City offered to escort the family to the Montana territory.  It was an offer the family couldn’t refuse.

The family followed the gold rush and temporarily set up in Virginia City where Mrs. Reese set up a successful washing business, they continued on to the Gallatin Valley and settled near what is now known as Resse Creek.   The men of the family set up a homestead and Mrs. Resse used the money she made in Virginia City to purchase cows.  They built a church and established a community called Courts.

Throughout his life, John Reese was a staunch member of the Reorganized Latter Day Saints Church, where he served as a leader.  They became prominent pioneer citizens of Gallatin County.  John died in 1900 (just sixteen months after his wife) and they are both buried in the Reese Creek Cemetery.   Many of the decedents of John and Mary Reese still call Gallatin County home.

http://www.morphotoarchive.org/collection_jpeg_rec.php?objno=84.128.17

“Rosamond recalls that Jack Cory and his sister Fanny Y. Cory, cartoonist, started him on his writing career.”

In looking for traces of my Muse, Rena Easton, in Montana, I found what can be described as the Rosamond Holy Grail in Helena Montana. My grandfather lived in Helena and says he was inspired to write by Jack Cory, a political cartoonist and equestrian artist, and his sister Fanny Y. Cory, a famous illustrator who lived in a secluded ranch in Montana.

There was an art show of four generations of this family. This is the vision I had for my family when I became a Pre-Raphaelite. Christine Rosamond Benton did several Fairy paintings, as did Drew, who is employed rendering avatars for fantasy games.

Alas we have a true genealogy that traces the Rosamond Family Muse from the Cory family, to my grandfather, to me, to my sister, and to her daughter Drew Benton whose father was the famous muralist, Garth Benton, the cousin of the artist, Thomas Hart Benton. This is the convergence of three creative families – that is unheard of! The Great Muses are at work here. Consider our DNA!

If I had not been following my Muse wherever she leads me, then I would not have made this profound discovery that cast out the outsider from Rosamond Creative Legacy, those parasites who dare title themselves “caretakers” of Rosamond’s art and life story. If my grandfather came back from the dead, he would take a bullwhip to these usurpers – of his history! Fanny was a very famous woman artist – before Christine was born!

Thank you my dear grandfather, whom I never met, for laying down the true stepping stones of our family history.

Royal wrote a short story about a bullfight in Montana where his sister lived. It appears their father adopted these sibling out to W.S. Spaulding after his wife died.

The top two images were done by Drew Benton. The boy with dragon was done by Drew’s mother, Christine Rosamond Benton. The connections I just made – with no ones help – increase the value of all my families creative efforts. This is what real Art Books look like!

I’ve considered doing illustrations for most of my books. C’mon Rena. Show yourself. Do it for Montana! You were Rosamond’s Muse. This is your State History. You got some major bragging rights! Put this in your resame. At least send me copies of photos of you that I can work from to illustrate
‘Capturing Beauty’. I want your side of the story! I will got to the Governor and have you declared Montana’s State Treasure who brought the history of Royal Rosamond and Fanny Cory, together!

Jon Presco

Copyright 2013

https://rosamondpress.com/2013/08/22/royal-rosamond-fanny-y-cory/

INDEPENDENT RECORD NOVEMBER 26, 1950

Royal Rosamond, Helena native, is Planning Book About
Home City, Chamber Is Told
Royal Rosamond, widely known
author and Helena native, is planning
a book about the city according
to a letter received by the
Helena Chamber of Commerce
from the resident of Oklahoma
City.
Rosamond said the book will
be based on recollections of his
childhood in the city. He asked
the chamber for assistance with
additional material about the city
and the surrounding area.
Rosamond said his parents followed
my grandfather, John L.
Reese, to Helena from Missouri
In the spring of 1884.” The family
lived in the Sixth ward for three
years before moving to the Sanford
and Evans building.
His father, W. S. Spaulding,
and Gary Cooper’s father were
Business partners with a shop on
the lot where the post office now
stands. When he was six years old,
Rosamond said, he was a playmate
of Tommy Cruse’s little boy,
about the time the elder Cruse
was financed with a grub stake by
a local grocer and struck it rich
at Marysville. .
Rosamond asked the name of
the grocer and wanted to know
the Cruse boy’s name. The letter
said Rosamond attended Hawthorne
school when he was six,
seven and eight years old. “There
was not a bob sled in town that
I had not ridden. . . . I was on
speaking terms .with every horse in
every barn in town. . . . I doted
on pigtailed Chinamen but failed
to win their friendship except for
one, a merchant up the gulch,” he
said.
A frame residence built hy Rosamond’s
father at the head of Walnut
still stands. .The author
visited the city In 1945.
His mother died when he was
nine years old and he moved to
Missouri until he was 18 when he
returned to Helena. Rosamond recalls
that Jack Cory and his sister
Fanny Y. Cory, cartoonist, started
him on his writing career.
Rosamond asked for information
about the earthquake, early gold
operations, a map of the city and
other information which he expects
to include in his book.
One of his novels, “Bound in
Clay” is available at the Helena
public library. He has been called
“Oklahoma’s greatest living humorist,”
and is holder of the international
Mark Twain award for
his contribution to literature.

Rosamonds 1933 Frank

John Reese, John K. Reese

1st Generation: Evan Reese
2nd Generation: John E. Reese m. Mary E. Davies
3rd Generation: John James Reese m. Polly Ann Anders
4th Generation: John David Reese m. Melva Anna Jenkins (2)
5th Generation: Ira John Reese m. Bernice Francis Gerritz (2)
6th Generation: John K. Reese m. Clara E. Wirkkala (2)

4th Generation: JOHN DAVID REESE m. MELVA ANNA JENKINS

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John David Reese Family

L to R. top to bottom: Marguerite L. Reese, Ira John Reese,
(mother) Melva Anna Jenkins Reese, Howard Ruble Reese, Byrdeen Matilda Reese, (father) John David Reese, and Earl Leroy Reese, front child

John David Reese was born in Reese Creek, MT Novemeber 19, 1869. He was the son of John James and Polly Ann Anders/Andres Reese. John J. Reese and his family had come into Montana, John came from Wales, via Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia City, MT, and Polly was born and came from Nauvoo, Illinois. John David Reese’s father, John James had been the first of 3 children; his 2 siblings were sisters, Mary Elmira Reese and Emma Josepha Reese. Therefore, John David Reese was born into a large family, with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins already there before him and now settling into the area of Reese Creek.

Most of the following data is from an Obituary in The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Bozeman, MT, Tuesday, February 23, 1937.

“John David Reese lived all his life in Montana. He married Melva Ann [the middle name was ‘Anna’ not ‘Ann’ in the article] Jenkins January 16, 1895. She was born September 5, 1877 in Spirit Lake, Dickinson Co., Iowa. Melva’s parents were John and Matilda Graham Jenkins. Melva outlived John by many years [see photo below of family gathering at the time of John Jenkins funeral]. There were 5 children in the family, according to the obituary: Margaret L. Reese to become Mrs. T. B. Pollard, Ira J. Reese, another daughter (by then with the name of) Mrs. W. D. Pasha of Bozeman, Howard R. Reese and Earl L. Reese. When John David Reese died, February 21, 1937, his wife, 5 children, 6 grandchildren, and one sister, Ella Esgar then in California, had survived him at his death. John David Reese’s remains were interred at Reese Creek Cemetery, Gallatin Co., MT. Melvina Anna Reese passed away March 4, 1959 in Long Beach, CA.”

A last note from Resource 3 (below) about Melvina Ann Reese ends with: “Melva’s house is still standing. Go up Church Street, it turns into Sourdough Creek Road, the house by Bozeman Creek on the right, in Bozeman MT.”

john-d-jane-paul-reese.jpg

JOHN DAVID REESE FAMILY GROUP RECORD

__________________________________________________________________
HUSBAND: JOHN DAVID REESE
Birth: 19 NOV 1869, REESE CREEK, GALLATIN Co., MT
Christening/Baptism:
Marriage Date:16 JANUARY 1895, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN CO., MT
(One marriage only to below)
Death: 21 FEBRUARY 1937, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN Co., MT
Burial: REESE CREEK CEMETERY, GALLATIN Co., MT
Comments:
___________________________________________________________________
jd-reese-family-m-b_2.jpg

MELVA ANNA JENKINS
Birth: 5 SEPT 1877, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN Co., MT
Christening/Baptism:
Death: 4 MARCH 1959, LONG BEACH, CA
Burial:
Comments:  Melva’s house is still standing in Bozeman, MT.  Go up Church Street.  It turns into Sourdough Creek Road.  The house sits by Bozeman Creek on the right.(3)
_____________________________________________________________________
CHILDREN:
_____________________________________________________________________
1. MARGUERITE LEONA REESE
Gender: FEMALE
Birth: 12 NOV 1896
Christening/Baptism:
Marriage Date: 7 MAR 1917, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN Co., MT
To Whom: THOMAS B. POLLARD, Sr., b 22 FEB ? yr.
Death: AUBURN, KING Co., WA
Burial:
Comments: Lived after April 1, 1917 in Tindall, Montana
_____________________________________________________________
2. IRA JOHN REESE – see Generation #5 below to continue this family line
Gender: MALE
Birth: 21 OCT 1901, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN Co., MT
Christening/Baptism:
Marriage Date: 7 SEPT 1927, SULPHUR SPRINGS, MT.
To Whom: BERNICE FRANCIS GERRITZ, b. 8 May, 1908, Tacoma, Pierce Co., WA, d. 8 MAY 1999, Tacoma, Pierce Co., WA
Death: 15 FEB 1961, TACOMA, PIERCE Co., WA
Burial: 18 FEB 1961, WOODBINE CEMETERY, PUYALLUP, WA
Comments:
_____________________________________________________________
jd-reese-family-m-b_3.jpgBYRDEEN MATILDA REESE (3)
Gender: FEMALE
Birth: 24 FEB 1908, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN Co., MT
Christening/Baptism:
Marriage Date: 7 FEB 1929, BOZEMAN, MT
To Whom: WILLIAM DONALD PASHA, b. 29 DEC 1905, Bozeman, MT, d. 6 Jan. 1994, Bozeman, Gallatin Co., MT; Interment – Sunset Hills Cemetery, Bozeman, Gallatin Co., MT
Death: 1983
Burial: Sunset Hills Cemetery, Bozeman, Gallatin Co., MT
Comments: About Byrdeen Matilda Reese’s marriage, from Bozeman paper.  “Pasha Reese Home Wedding – Bozeman Couple Wed Thursday and Will Make Their Home on Ranch Near City. – The home of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Reese on Church Avenue South was the scene of a simple but pretty home wedding on Thursday evening, when their daughter Miss Byrdeen Reese became the bride of William Pasha, the Rev. P. P. Smith officiating with the double ring ceremony, in the presence of about 25 guests, relatives and close friends of the bride and groom.  Before the ceremony, Miss Grace Williamson sand, “Oh, Promise Me” and “I Love You Truly.”  Miss Wilma Westlake playing the accompaniment and also playing the Medelssohn wedding march.  The bride was attended by Miss Winifred Rush, while Hpward Reese, a brother of the bride, was best man.  The bide was attired in a simple but pretty wedding dress of white crepe satin, and she carried a bouquet of bride’s roses.  The bridesmaid wore a neat maize crepe satin dress and carried a bouquet of lavender and white sweet peas.  After the ceremony, and congratulations were extended to the newly wedded couple, refreshments were served to the bridal party and guests, the serving being done by three friends of the bride, Wilma Westlake, Grace Williamson and Marian Hart.  A pretty bower was arranged in one corner of the living room with roses and ferns, and with floor lamps where the marriage ceremony took place and where the bridal party took their places after the ceremony.  The bride has grown into womanhood in Bozeman, and she is a grand-daughter of early pioneers of the Gallatin county.  She is a graduate of Gallatin County High School, and a young woman who is highly esteemed by all who know her.  The groom is a son of Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Pasha, and a grandson of Mrs. Mary Stuckey, for many years residents of Bozeman and vacinity.  He was formerly a student at Gallatin County High School, and has grown to manhood in and near Bozeman.  He has many friends in the community.  Mr. and Mrs. Pasha will reside on nthe ranch of his parents until they return from California, where they went on the Montana Special, the bride and grrom to move to their own ranch near Bozeman about the first of April.”(3)

William Donald Pasha: Passed away @ the age of 88. Son of Ronald and Emma Stucky Pasha. He grew up and attended Middle Creek School and the Bozeman Public Schools. He worked on the family farm. After marriage to Byrdeen, he farmed in the Gallatin Valley until retirement in 1989. He was a member of the Bozeman Lodge No. 18 AF & AM Scottish Rite Bodies of Livingston, Al Bedoo Shrine Temple of Billlings, Bozeman Elks Lodge No. 436, Bozeman Eagles Lodge Aerie no 326 and was a charter member of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Posse. He was a resident of Bozeman Care Center from 1989 until his passing. On that date he was survived by one son and daughter-in-law (William Donald, Jr. and Betty Pasha (of Bozeman, MT), one daughter and son-in-law, Laura Mae and Roberts Bellows of Miles City, one sister Edith Hughs of Fairchild, 7 grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. (Names of Ken Pasha and Steve Pasha are in his Obituary information.)(3)
_____________________________________________________________
4. HOWARD RUBLE REESE
Gender: MALE
Birth: 15 SEP 1910,  MOORE, GALLATIN Co., MT.
Christening/Baptism:
Marriage Date:  25 DEC 1929, SEATTLE, KING Co., WA
To Whom:  MARY ADELAIDE HART, b. SEPT., 1907, DENVER, CO., d. 14 APR1980, ANAHEIM, CA; Interred at Westminster Memorial Park, Westminster, CA
Death: 25 JULY 1976, Pomona, CA
Burial: 31 JULY 1976, Westminster Memorial Park, Westminster, CA
Comments: Howard was robbed, kidnapped and murdered on 25 July 1976. His body was found July 27, 1976.
_____________________________________________________________

5. EARL LE ROY REESE (source – from photo of John D. Reese family)
Gender: MALE
Birth: 11 Jan 1913, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN Co., MT
Christening/Baptism:
1st Marriage:  To “Helen”
2nd Marriage/Date: 19 OCT, 1948, LAS VEGAS, NV
2nd wife: HELEN HOFMANN, b. 19 March 1918, Greenfield, IA, d 25 APR 1984, Greenfield,IA
Death: OCT., 1999, MILES CITY, MT
Burial:
Comments: One child, Dennis Le Roy Reese, died @ birth
_____________________________________________________________

5th Generation: IRA JOHN REESE married BERNICE FRANCIS GERRITZ

ira-j-reese.jpg

Ira John Reese was born 21 October 1901, in Bozeman, Gallatin Co., MT He was the son of John David Reese and Melva Anna Jenkins, and one of 5 children in his family. He began his life in the Bozeman, MT area. Ira married Bernice Francis Gerritz. Bernice was born in Tacoma, Pierce Co., Wa and lived in the Tacoma area most of her life. Apparently she met and married her husband Ira, in Montana in 1927, on September 27, @ White Sulphur Springs, MT.  They had at least one child know by this date [1/24/09], John K. Reese, who married Clara K. Wirkkala.  Clara Reese, as noted below, has been a primary resource of much of the Reese family entries on this website and we are greatly endebted to her and Mark Turn, also given credit below..  Thank you so much.  Pictured in the “6th Generation..” that follows this paragraph and 5th Generation Family Group Sheet, is a really great photo of John and Clara Reese, taken Ca, 2007 or so.

IRA JOHN REESE FAMILY GROUP RECORD

______________________________________________________________________________
HUSBAND:     IRA JOHN REESE
Birth:    21 OCT 1901, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN CO., MT
Marriage Date:  7 SEP 1927, SULPHUR SPRINGS, MT
Death:  15 FEB 1961, TACOMA, PIERCE Co., WA
Burial:  18 FEB 1961, WOODBINE CEMETERY, PUYALLUP WA
Comments:
____________________________________________________________
WIFE:     BERNICE FRANCIS GERRITZ
Birth:  8 MAY 1908, TACOMA, PIERCE Co., WA
Death:  8 MAY 1999, TACOM, PIERCE Co., WA
Burial:
Comments:
_____________________________________________________________
CHILDREN:
_____________________________________________________________
1.      JOHN K. REESE -  please see Generation #6 below to continue this family line
Gender:  MALE
Birth:
Marriage Date:
To Whom:
Death:
Comments:
_____________________________________________________________
2.
Gender:
Birth:
Marriage Date:
To Whom:
Death:
Comments:
_____________________________________________________________
3.
Gender:
Birth:
Marriage Date:
To Whom:
Death:
Comments:
_____________________________________________________________
4.
Gender:
Birth:
Marriage Date:
To Whom:
Death:
Comments:
_____________________________________________________________
5.
Gender:
Birth:
Marriage Date:
To Whom:
Death:
Comments:

Gomer Reese m. Chloe Malinda Moore

Generation #1: Evan Rees
Generation #2: John E. Rees/e m. Mary E. Davies
Generation #3: Gomer Reese m. Chloe Malinda Moore
Generation #4: Ida Ambrozette Reese m. Reuben A. Young
Generation #5: Merle Young m. Marcella A. Ransen
– – – Generation #6: John Young
– – – Generation #6: Merle Young
Generation #5: Forrest A.Young
Generation #5: Fern Young m. Kerr

zetta-rube-chloe-evan.jpg
Chloe Malinda Moore Reese (wife of Gomer Reese) with their 4th child, “Zetta” (Ida Ambrozetta Reese) and Zetta’s husband Reuban “Rube” A. Young and Gomer and Chloe Reese’s 2nd child, Evan Reese.
Ca. 1931

This is the history of Gomer Reese, the fifth living child of John E. Reese and Mary E. Davies, and the 3rd Generation from the first traceable Rees/Reese. Gomer Reese was born in Pittsfield, Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania on February 18th, 1855, as John and Mary’s only child born in the United States after their immigration from Wales. His three brothers John James, Thomas J. and Evan Reese, as well as his sister Mary Jane Reese, had been born in Carmathenshire, South Wales, Great Britain. His father brought his family in the fall of 1854 across the ocean from Liverpool, England, on the Ship “Columbia” to the port of Castle Green, New York, which landed January 1, 1855. The family began their lives in Pittston, Pennsylvania. After a time, John E. left for La Salle, Illinois with his son John James to sink mines shafts there. John E. wanted to go into Illinois and Missouri where he knew there were others of his faith, the Latter Day Saints’ Church, and Joseph Smith who lead them. The family had traveled with 217 other Latter Day Saints from the Liverpool port, all traveled together. During the time John E. and John James worked in La Salle, Gomer was born, in February, 1857; John J. returned to Pittsfield and then relocated the family to Scranton, Pennsylvania, and planned to work 2 more years until he could outfit his family to travel to Utah. He had learned of Joseph Smith’s death and the migration of the ‘Saints’ by this time and intended that his family join those who had relocated from Missouri to the territory of Utah.In the early Spring of 1860 during the Civil War, the Reese family started by ox team northward out of Scranton, by way of New York State, and then on to Omaha, Nebraska. The people the family traveled with were called the John Smith Company. The entire train was made up of members of the L.D.S. Church with most families of Danish and Welsh origin. Gomer Reese, now three years old, stated in his hand pencil-written Memoirs, that their original goal was California; (seven years later Gomer Wells was born to Mary Jane Reese, who wrote 70 years after that, that his grandfather’s reason to go West was to travel to Utah to find the Church there). Little Gomer Reese remembered stopping at Niagara Falls and seeing it and the suspension bridge over the Niagara River. From there they traveled overland and across the plains, and were free from any trouble with the Indians for their entire trip.

The wagon train they traveled in was comprised of ox teams and even had a few cows. The Reeses’ had one cow which, at one point, had to be yoked with an ox to help pull their wagon. The room in each wagon was restricted, with just enough room for only a few to ride. One son of John’s suffered from rheumatism and needed to ride more than his other brothers or sister. Therefore, Mary Jane Reese, then 12 years old was one who had to walk, and much of the time had to carry her three year old baby brother Gomer across the plains of the United States. Some years later this same Gomer, in a few sheets of writing, remembers the people on the train as very happy. He wrote of their singing together in the evenings, around a lighted fire made of sagebrush wood and singing the old time songs and Hymns. One in particular he remembers is: “The upper California, oh thank the Lord for me. It lays between the mountains and the great Pacific Sea.” Gomer also tells about an old gentleman, a Welsh man, by the name of Theophelus Williams. He was “given to joking at times,” Gomer remembers. When he would come out of his tent in the morning, he would look toward Utah and would raise his head and act as though he could smell something “very bad.” Gomer writes, “My father would ask him, ‘Theophelus, what do you smell?’ Whereupon he would answer, ‘I smell the devil!’, and to our sorrow, we found out later, he was right.” The California route from Illinois traveled through Salt Lake City, Utah. (6) (This site author when to the record of the John Smith Company, and found Theophelus Williams. He was 57 years old, within the same company as the Reese family.)

It took all summer and and into the fall to arrive in the mountains by October, 1860, which was the Salt Lake City area, and being out of provisions and money, Gomer Reese wrote, they had to winter in Utah. With winter threatening, they stopped at a place 3 miles north of Brigham City, a town with a population of 2,500. They could not afford to rent or buy a house and it was too late to build, so they lived in a kind of dugout in the side of a hill, into which they moved their family and spent the winter.

By this time John E. Reese’s funds were exhausted, and it was impossible to go farther. Using the same location, that Spring he got timber out of the mountain and built a log cabin there. Provisions were scarce and times were hard. The family apparently engaged in farming to get by.

Their time in Salt Lake City was not as they had expected it. Please read this portion in Gomer Reese’s father John E. Rees/Reese’s history, by clicking on this note.

From Salt Lake City they were able to travel north under the protection of General Conner. Gomer and his family went of a time to the gold rush area of Alder Gulch and Virginia City, Montana, then ‘one of the greatest mining camps in the world” (1). These years of 1860 through 1863, were those of living among the miners, trying to gain enough gold dust and funds from doing miner’s laundry to travel on. Several of his brothers stayed there while in 1863, John E. took his son Gomer, went north to Gallatin Valley, MT, and gained a land holding there, at the north end of the Gallatin Valley then called Courts, a small settlement named after P. O. Courts. It eventually changed its name to Reese Creek. John E. Reese and his family established farm lands and the community grew.

Young Gomer Reese was educated in private schools in Bozeman, MT, several miles south east from his home. He continued his studies until he was 17. Thereafter he continued in farm work at the parental homestesd until he was 21 yrs. old. On December 20, 1875, Gomer Reese united in marriage with Chloe Malinda Moore; Dry Creek, Gallatin Co., MT (per “Old Tombstone Records, Gallatin Co., MT” LDS). Chloe M. Moore had been born in Payson, Utah on November 9th, 1859. She was the daughter of Amos B. Moore and Celia Young, at one time an extensive farmer and stockman of the Gallatin County and member of the territorial legislature of Montana in 1875, as a representative of the Democracy. Amos B. Moore later lived in Oregan.

“In 1878 he took up a claim 160 acres located on Reese Creek, two miles distant from his father’s ranch. He proved up the property, sold the same in 1882 and went to South Dakota, where he purchased and operated a wheat farm until 1885, when he sold out and returned to Gallatin County. He then purchsed a tract of 320 acres, on Reese Creek, about 15 miles north of Bozeman…”

During the above years from 1878 until 1896, Gomer and his wife Chloe Malinda had a total of 9 children. (See Family Group Sheet below.) Two of the children, Mary Jane Reese and Autie Lester Reese died in February, 1879, Mary on the 16th and Autie on the 28th. A newspaper article stated the following: ” We learn that scarlet fever has prevailed in East Gallatin to a considerable extent during the past winter, and that it has not yet abated. Among recent victims to this dreaded scourge were two children of Mr. Gomer Rees – a daughter and a son, aged one year and three years respectively. The bereaved parents have our sincere sympathy in this great affliction.”(1) The funeral service for little Mary Jane Reese was performed by Elder E. C. Brand, on March 7, 1879. (Site author’s note – one should also note, since her near 1 yr. old brother had died just days before this service, that the funeral service may very easily have been for both children.) Gomer Reese wrote the following, which was read at his 3 yr. old daughter’s funeral.

“Our little one has gone to rest,
And with the dead is now numbered;
But soon again we know she’ll rise,
When the trump of God is sounded.

Now she rests on Jesus’ bosom.
Free from every pain and care;
Though we weep when her tomb we gaze on,
But the spirit whispers, “She’s not there”.

O, may we live that we might meet her,
When this earth is free from sin;
Then with joy and peace we’ll greet her,
At the marriage supper enter in. G.R.” [Gomer Reese]

Gomer’s father, John E. Reese had early on established a church group for his family and friends in the Reese Creek area. It was written that “the RLDS Church [in Reese Creek] was one of the earliest established in the Gallatin Valley of Montana”, when John E. Reese had come in 1863. That was a year before Montana was made a territory and two years before Gallatin County was created by an act of the legislative assembly @ Bannack, on Fefruary 2, 1865. The writing went on that “The Reese family came from Wales…and finally settled approximately 16 miles from….Bozeman. John Reese, his four sons and one daughter – Evan, John J., Tom Gomer and Jane – helped build the community which came to be known as Reese Creek.” Burlinggame refers to this early settlement as ‘A small number of Mormon – Josephites they were called locally – who came in 1863, including Reese, Warwood and Ross families. A church and a school has held the Reese Creek community together for many years.’ John E. Reese wrote..[on] August 4, 1868, that the RLDS Church Branch had been organized the fall before. The first services were held in a log house which had a dirt floor and dirt roof. In 1884 the church building was completed. In ’54 Years Ago’ in the Bozeman newspaper was an article: ‘Thomas Reese has been circulating a subscription list for some time past looking toward erection of a church edifice for the society of the Reorganized Church of the Latter Day Saints on Reese Creek. Mr. Reese met with heavy responses on every hand, the amount already subscribed being over $800. The lumber for the church was to come from George Flanders Lumber Mill. The church was built by Bill Shepherd.

In 1888 the Montana District (of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) was organized.” Gomer Reese was chosen president of the District. He also received the same year, on April 6, 1888, a missionary appointment from his church’s headquarters General Church Conference, Independence, MO. He was ordained Elder August 1, 1888, and became a Seventy of his church, June 2, 1897. If appears that Gomer Reese was most instrumental in holding the church together at his home place of Reese Creek, MT.

Gomer provided well for his wife and children. He was active in his church along with other family members, and his ranch successful. It was called “one of the finest farms to be found in this beautiful, fertile and prolific valley, improvements” were of the “best” of the section. His crops were chiefly wheat and hay” for which there was always a ready market, and the yield of wheat often reached an average of 58 bushels to the acre. He also raised livestock, but not extensively. He was called “thoroughly public spirited, and ever ready to lend his influence to any undertaking or legitimate project which would further the material prosperity and advancement of the section. His political support was given to the Republican Party, in whose cause he was an active worker. Fraternally, he held membership in the Woodmen of the World, and the Modem Woodmen of America, and Bozeman Castle of the Order of American Yeoman. (7)

Later Gomer purchased a home in Bozeman, where he and his family lived in order to send his children to school. During this time in Bozeman, he engaged in farming in the Potter Basin area. Thereafter, he and his wife went to California, where they lived for 5 years, then returned to Bozeman where they made their home at 23 North Seventh. It was in this house that Gomer Reese passed away on December 19, 1930. His body was interrred @ Reese Creek Cemetery, Gallatin C., MT.

His wife, Chloe Malinda Reese survived her husband by a little over 2 years and 1 month. She had been cared for by her daughter Mrs. William (Pleasant) Newton. Her son Percy Reese had traveled from Denton, MT to be with his mother on her passing. There were 10 grandchildren, as well as 3 of her brothers and 3 sisters, who survied her. She passed away on February 5, 1932.

3rd Generation: GOMER REESE married CHLOE MALINDA MOORE

__________________________________________________________
Husband: GOMER REESE
Birth: 18 FEB 1857, PITTSTON, LUCERNE Co., PA
Marriage Date: 20 DEC 1875, DRY CREEK, GALLATIN Co., MT
Death: 19 DEC 1930, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN Co., MT
Buried: REESE CREEK CEMETERY, SPRINGHILL RD., REESE CREEK, GALLATIN CO., MT (9)
__________________________________________________________
Wife: CHLOE MALINDA MOORE (per author’s mother – “Aunt Lindy”)
Birth: 9 NOV 1859, PAYSON, UT (Bozeman Chronicle Obituary, Feb. 6, 1932 gives birth place as San Jose, CA)
Death: 5 FEB 1932, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN Co., MT
Interment: REESE CREEK CEMETERY, SPRINGHILL RD., REESE CREEK, GALLATIN CO., MT (9)
Parent: Amos B. Moore – father
__________________________________________________________
CHILDREN:
__________________________________________________________
1.MARY JANE REESE
Birth:3 DEC 1876, REESE CREEK, GALLATIN Co., MT
Death:16 FEB 1879, REESE CREEK, GALLATIN Co., MT
Interrment: REESE CREEK CEMETERY, SPRINGHILL RD., REESE CREEK, GALLATIN CO., MT (9)
__________________________________________________________

2.EVAN WALTER REESE
Birth:26 DEC 1877(10), REESE CREEK, GALLATIN Co., MT
Death: 27 MAY 1967, INNISFAIL, ALBERTA, CANADA
Comments: By 1932 he lived in Didsbury, Canada
__________________________________________________________

3. AUTIE LESTER REESE
Birth:31 OCT 1878, REESE CREEK, GALLATIN Co., MT
Death:28 FEB 1879 (1880 per [9]), REESE CREEK, GALLATIN Co., MT
Interrment: REESE CREEK CEMETERY, SPRINGHILL RD., REESE CREEK, GALLATIN CO., MT (9)

Descendants of Evan Reese
Generation No. 1
1. EVAN1 REESE
Notes for EVAN REESE:
Source:
Certified copy of an Entry of Marriage for John Rees and Mary Davies, November 29th, 1840, Parish Church in
the Parish of Llangyfelsch, County of Glamorgan
Given at the General Register Office, London
Application Number 414614
at Swansea, County Glamorgan, South Wales – 1st December 1987
Evan Rees profession was a Collier
Child of EVAN REESE is:
2. i. JOHN E2 REESE, b. June 12, 1818, Carmenthenshire, Wales; d. March 21, 1900, Bozeman, Gallatin Co,
MT.
Generation No. 2
2. JOHN E2 REESE (EVAN1)1,2 was born June 12, 1818 in Carmenthenshire, Wales3,4, and died March 21, 1900 in
Bozeman, Gallatin Co. MT. He married (1) MARY J DAVIES November 29, 1840 in Parish of Llangyfelsch. County
of Glamorgan, South Wales, daughter of THOMAS DAVIES. She was born April 20, 1811 in Swansea, Wales, and
died November 15, 1898 in Bozeman, Gallatin Co, MT (age 87yrs, 6mo. 25days). He married (2) MARY E DAVIES5,6
December 15, 1840 in Carmarthenshire, Morriston, Wales7,8. She was born April 20, 1811 in Swansea, Wales9,10, and
died November 15, 1898 in Bozeman, Gallatin Co, MT (age 87yrs, 6mo, 25days)11,12.
Notes for JOHN E REESE:
PIONEER
John E. Reese
John E. Rees (spelled Reese after coming to the United States) and Mary Davis Rees were both of Welsh nationality.
John, born June 12, 1818, married Mary, born April 20, 1811. in Wales in 1840. They accepted membership in the
RLDS church there and emigrated to the U. S. in 1856, settling briefly in Pittston, Pennsylvania, with their children
John J., Thomas, Evan, and Mary Jane. Another son, Gomer, was born in Pittston.
John, being a mining engineer, journeyed to LaSalle County, Illinois. where the first shaft he sank produced an
excellent vein of coal. For this work he received enough money to pay for an outfit of a team of oxen, a wagon, and the
other necessities for the trip West. The family crossed the plains in 1860, part of a wagon train to Utah where the
people hoped to find church fellowship.
After wintering in a dugout and moving into a cabin built the next spring, the Reese’s tried for a time to live in Utah.
Unable to accept the differences in church creed that had developed, they were anxious to get away.
When General Conner of Fort Douglas near Salt Lake City offered an escort of soldiers to help a caravan leave the
area, the Reese’s gladly began part of the group. The calvary soldiers stayed with the caravan until it crossed the Snake
River into the Utah territory.
Hearing of the discovery of gold in Montana Territory, the family made its way to Bannack and later to Virginia City
where they spent the winter. Mary and her young daughter, Jane, took in miner’s washing and were so successful that
when they left Virginia City diggings in the spring, Mary had $1100 in gold dust in a little leather pouch. They reached
the Gallatin Valley soon after.
18

Reese Descendants
John, Mary, their four sons and one daughter settled on the creek, since named Reese Creek for him, While John and
the boys built the homestead, Mary bought cows with her gold dust. Young Jane’s duty was to milk them and herd
them. keeping them off the newly established grain fields. Sturdy log cabin was also built as a house of worship and for
other gatherings. More settlers began to move in, and the community, called Courts, was established.
John Harvey Wells, a young caravan freighter from Missouri was a new arrival in the Gallatin Valley. He met Jane
Reese at a gathering in the meeting house, and they fell in love. Jane’s father, however, forbade Harvey from visiting
his daughter. Wells was a hated “Missourian”; hated by John Reese because of the history of religious persecution of
early members of John’s church by Missouri people. His attitude remained harsh and uncompromising. Elopement for
the young people was necessary. On September 16, 1866, eighteen year old Jane helped milk the fourteen cows.
Her mother, completely in sympathy, had left warm milk and toast for her in the milkhouse – – but Jane was to
excited to eat. Her nine year old brother, Gomer, had hidden her bundle of clothes and her pony for her. With these,
Jane rode away to meet Harvey and some friends and to ride swiftly to Bozeman, where they were married.
When John Reese came in from the fields at noon and discovered his daughter had eloped, he hastily gathered a
“posse” of friends and set off in pursuit. On the ride, his friends talked him out of making his daughter a “widow”. The
group returned home, but John Reese was a very bitter and angry man.
The young couple, after making the necessary purchases in Helena, settled on a homestead ten miles west of her
folks. For over a year Jane saw no member of her family. Then there was an astonishing reversal of feeling on the part
of her father, the two households were reconciled, and for the first time John and Mary saw their first grandson, Gomer
Wells.
In the remaining years of their lives in the Reese Creek community, John and Mary were staunch members of the
Reorganized Latter Day Saints Church in which he served as an Elder. He returned once to Wales in 1871 for a year’s
missionary effort. His reputation was that of a rancher, a stock man, a prominent pioneer citizen of the Gallatin Valley.
Mary died November 15, 1898. John survived her by sixteen months, passing away quite sudden on March 21, 1900.
They were buried side by side in the Reese Creek Cemetery.
John J. Reese, son of John E. and Mary Reese was born October 22, 1841. He married Miss Polly Ann Anders of
Nauvoo, Illinois on November 19, 1864. They had three children: John, Mary Elmira, married Edward Turner of
Springfield, Missouri, and Emma Josepha married Samuel Esgar. Thomas Reese, son of John E. and Mary Reese, was
a prominent rancher and farmer in the Gallatin Valley. He lived at 546 Babcock street in Bozeman with his wife, the
former Miss Mary Jane Green. She was born in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, June 7, 1852, and came with her parents
to Montana, first settling in Alder Gulch then moving to homestead on Willow Creek. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Reese had
six children:
Oliver Lee, born December 3, 1871
Melissa, born April 26, 1873; died June 13, 1877
Joseph Alma, born January 5, 1874
Arthur Quinton, born July 17, 1877
Thomas Lester, born August 28, 1882
Meggie Jane, born July 13, 1888
Mary Jane Reese was born in Owmaman, Wales on May 15, 1848. She married John Harvey Wells, born June 23,
1842, son of Colonel Ramson Wells of Knobnoster, Missouri. They eloped on September 16, 1866, to Bozeman,
Montana. Jane Reese Wells died in Bozeman June 2, 1913, and John Harvey Wells died in Bozeman approximately six
years later. Their children were:
Gomer Wells, born July 10, 1867
Alice born November 13, 1869; died October 14, 1874.
Perry Wells born September 20, 1871
Reese Wells, born January 11, 1875; married Amy James.
Mary Lena Wells, born July 11, 1878; married Robert Esgar
Chloe Bertha Wells, born July 31, 1882; married Henry Isaac Jacobs
Chloe Bertha Wells, daughter of J. Harvey and Jane Wells was born in Knobnoster, Missouri on July 31, 1882. She
was married to Henry Isaac Jacobs on December 2, 1903 with her great uncle, Gomer Reese, officiating as minister.
Their children are:
Alice Erlene, born October 25, 1904; married Dr. Jerome Eli Andes.
Cloe Veda, born April 22, 1916

The Norman Conquest of Wales was less than conclusive. A testimony to the
Welsh fighting spirit is that there are more castles, or ruins of castles,
to the square mile in Wales than anywhere else in the world. The welsh
tactic was to thrust, then retire to their bleak mountain homes to plan
their next attack. As peace gradually returned to this picturesque country,
the Welsh, attracted by the economic opportunities, moved eastward into the
English cities.
This distinguished Welsh family name Reese, emerged in Carmarthen where
they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated as Lords of the
manor and estates in that shire. They were descended from Urien-Rheged,
Prince of Rheged, who was descended from Coel Codedog, king of the Britons.
He built the Castle of Carmarthen. Descended were Sir Elidir Ddu, Phillip
his son, Griffydd his son, Owen, Morris, to Rees of Llechdwnny in Kidwelly
Land. His son, Rhys, was High Sheriff of Carmarthen in 1615. His son,
Morris Rhys is buried at Kidwelly Church. Hector Rees, his grandson,
declined the offer of a knighthood. Present family seat is at
Killymaenllwyd no Llanelly, prominent amongst the family during the late
middle ages was Sir Elidir Ddu.
For the next two or three centuries the surname Reese flourished and played
an important role in local county politics and in the affairs of Britain in
general.
Religious conflicts followed. The newly found passionate fervor of
Cromwellianism found the Roman assessments, titles and demands imposed a
heavy burden on rich and poor alike. They looked to the New World for their
salvation. Many became pirates who roamed the islands of the West Indies
such as Captain Morgan.
Some were shipped to Ireland where they were known as the Adventurers for
Land. Essentially, they contracted to keep the Protestant faith, being
granted lands for small sums, previously owned by the Catholic Irish. There
is no evidence that the family name migrated to Ireland, but this does not
preclude the possibility of their scattered migration to that country.
The New World also held many attractions. They sailed across the stormy
Atlantic aboard the tiny sailing ships, built for 100 passengers, but
sometimes carrying 400 or 500, ships which were to become known as the
“White Sails”. The overcrowded ships, sometimes spending two months at sea,
were wracked with disease.
Those that survived the elements were often stricken with small pox,
dysentery and typhoid, sometimes landing with only 60 to 70% of the original
passenger list.
In North America, one of the first migrants which could be considered a
kinsman of the Reese family or having a variation of the family surname
spelling, was Henry Reece, settled in Nevis in 1663, along with Jane.
Richard Reece settled in New England in 1668; Barbara, Jacob, Mathew. Thomas
and William Reece all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1870; Edward
Aprees arrived in Delaware in 1682 with his wife and children; Thomas Rees
settled in Virginia in 1623; Bartholomew and Bennett Reese arrived in the
Barbados in 1680 with their servants; Lawrence Reese arrived in the
22
Reese Descendants
Barbados in 1678.
Thee are many notable contemporaries of this name, Albert Rees, Australian
Scientist; Brian Rees, Charterhouse Headmaster; Carl Rees, Professor of
Mathematics; Charles Rees, British Chemist; Elfan Rees, Clergyman;
Florence Rees, British Parasitologist; Leslie Rees, Australian Author,
Merlin Rees, M.P.; Mina Rees, American Mathematician; Thomas Rees,
American Politician; William Rees, Welsh Historian; William Rees,
Psychologist; Addison Reese, American Banker; Thomas Reese, American
Psychologist; Jean Rhys, Novelist.
Whilst researching the family name Coat of Arms, we traced the most ancient
recording and grant of Arms. Those many branch Coat of Arms which were
granted down throughout the ages my also be appropriator to the name.
The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was:
Silver with a chevron between three black ravens.
The Crest was:
A black lion
The ancient family Motto for this distinguished name was
“Spes Melioris Aevi”
COAT OF ARMS
Since the early 13th century, Coats of Arms and Heraldry have been a source
of great fascination as well as a subject of true historical importance. It
is easy to understand why more than half a million Coats of Arms recorded by
individuals with their respective family names are still being researched
and studied after more than seven centuries.
How the term “Coat of Arms” evolved makes an interesting story. Because
wars were almost a continual occurrence during the Middle Ages, more and
more armor was added to a knight’s battle uniform until the medieval warrior
was finally protected from head to toe. The metal suit of armor always
included a helmet to protect the head, thus it was virtually impossible to
tell one knight from another. In order to prevent any mishaps on the
battlefield, such as one friend injuring another, a means of identification
was necessary. A colorful solution first came as knights painted patterns
on their battle shields. These patterns were eventually woven into cloth
surcoats, which were worn over the suit of armor. In fact many a horse was
also seen prancing around in a fancy cloth surcoat with its master’s Coat
of Arms ablaze on the side.
This colorful identification was certainly displayed with great pride. As
more designs were created, it became necessary to register or copyright
these designs, to prevent two knights from using the same insignia. Records
were kept that gave each knight exclusive rights, to his arms. In many
cases, records were then compiled listing the family name and an exact
description of its Coat of Arms. These are called “armorials” or “blazons”.
The word “heraldry” is associated with Coats of Arms due to the role of the
“herald” in recording the blazons, and comes from a common practice at a
medieval sporting event. Tournaments (or jousting contests) were popular
during the days of knighthood, and as each soldier was presented at a
tournament, a herald sounded the trumpet and then announced the knight’s
achievements and described his Arms. The heralds would then record the Arms
as a way of ensuring that a family maintained its protective rights to have
and use its individual Arms.
Source: Certified copy of marriage license
23
Reese Descendants
Source: CENSUS – 1880, 24th day of June – Reese Creek East Gallatin Valley.
David J. Reese – nephew – b. abt. 1850 – Wales
Francis Leemaster – mother-in-law – 54 – b. Tenn
Rettie Cazier – sister-in-law – 18 – b. Utah, mother b. VA, father b. Tenn
Evan Reese – Farmer – 34 yrs – born abt. 1846 Wales
Francis Reese – wife – 20 yrs – born abt. 1860 in Utah, mother b. VA, father b. Tenn
Erma Reese – daughter – 1. 12 April – MT, Wales, Utah
Source: John Graham
It appears that the John E. Reese family, had an Evan Reese traveling with them. He may have been John’s brother, the
one Gomer named his son after. John and Evan were both born in Carmarthen, Wales. Evan arrived in Montana about a
month ahead of John and his family (April 30th 1856) and settled in Beaverhead County, about 100 miles from Reese
Creek.
I have no other details of Evan or his family. How about you? So far I cannot come up with any references to the
Jenkins. I suspect, however, that the Gen. Soc. in Bozeman can be a big help. Tom Graham
<arrgh@arrgh.com>
John Graham JohnG48@AOLCOM
More About JOHN E REESE:
Fact 1: Reese Creek Cemetery, Bozeman, MT13,14

EVAN REES FAMILY GROUP RECORD

___________________________________________________________________

HUSBAND: EVAN REES
Birth: UNKNOWN
Christening/Baptism:
Death: UNKNOWN
Profession: Collier (9)
____________________________________________________________________

WIFE: UNKNOWN
____________________________________________________________________

CHILDREN
____________________________________________________________________

1. JOHN EVAN(‘Evan’/10) REES/REESE
Gender: MALE
Birth: 12 JUNE 1818, CARMARTHENSHIRE, WALES
Christening/Baptism: was married in PARISH CHURCH IN THE PARISH OF LLANGYFELSCH, COUNTY OF GLAMORGAN
Marriage Date: 29 NOV 1840, married @, as above
To Whom: MARY E. DAVIES
Death: 21 MARCH 1900, BOZEMAN, GALLATIN CO., MT
Burial:
Comments: Certified copy of an Entry of Marriage for John Rees and Mary Davies, is in Parish Church in the Parish of Llangyfelsch, County of Glamorgan, dated 29 November 1840
_____________________________________________________________
2. UNKNOWN REES
Gender: UNKNOWN
Birth: ABT. 1830, WALES

Comments: It is known that John E. Reese had a NEPHEW: DAVID REES. therefore he had another sibling, who had a child, who was John’s nephew. David Rees, 30 yrs. old, is found listed on the 1880 U. S. Census, Reese Creek, MT. He was born abt. 1850, in Wales. But he did not travel with his uncle John E. Rees to the United States, as the Columbia ship records do not list his name on the same passage, which left Liverpool, England in 1856.
___________________________________________________________

2nd Generation: JOHN EVAN REES/REESE m. MARY E. DAVIES

8.jpgdcp_3815.JPG
JOHN EVAN REESE and MARY E. Davies REESE
from original tin type scans

(This history is from a combination of all the resources below.) Both John Evan Rees/Reese and Mary E. Davies were born in Wales. John E. Reese was born 12 June 1818, in Carmarthenshire, Wales. “Carbont is mentioned as the birthplace of John Evan Rees twice in the Journal, both times as being within Llandilo Fawr Parish. …. “Llandilo Fawr is no longer to be found on the map [of Wales], although a map from the 1930’s shows it to be the same as today’s Llandeilo, about 15 miles NE of the city of Carmarthen. This has been confrirmed with other publications.

His wife, Mary Davis/Davies, on 20 April 1811, in Swansea, Glamorgenshire, Wales. Mary Davies Rees/Reese’s birth is recorded on a family hand-work piece, still owned by Maxine Esgar Myrick, as being in the LLangyselach Parish; the town was named Owmanan, near Swansea. This was within Glamorganshire, South Wales, part of Great Britain. The hand-work piece also sites a favorite scripture:

John 17:1 “These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His
eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour has
come; glorify the Son, that thy Son may also
glorify thee.”

John E. Rees and Mary Davies were married 15 November 1840 in Wales. Mary came from a family also in the same industry as John was. Her father Thomas Davies was apparently a copperman, who later died in 1841 (9). At least four children were born while the couple was still in Wales: John, Thomas, Evan and Mary Jane. Two other children are recorded by on line resource, as having also been born in Wales, a Joseph and Mary Ann – both ‘died in infancy’; Joseph as their first born child, and Mary Ann, their second (per Descendants of Evan Rees, Mary Jane’s birthdate was 15 May, 1848).

Missionaries from the United States arrived into Wales at some point during this time, who were of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from Illinois begun by Joseph Smith. Both John and Mary accepted membership (13) into the RLDS church, for in the Fall of 1848, John was baptised (11).

John E. Reese had accepted what was called at that time the Restored Gospel while working as a mine official in the coal fields in Wales. Per translation and work done by James Sorenson (see 10 and 11), using John E. Rees’s own Journal, we learn the following about a period of John’s life, from the years 1848 until 1852.
Date Year LDS Ordinance – Officiating
_______________________________________________

Sept. 2, 1848 Baptized – by David William

Sept. 3, 1848 Confirmed – by James Phillips

Jan. 7, 1849 Ordained Teacher by John Griffith

Apr 26 1849 Ordained Priest by John Griffith

July 22 1849 Ordained Elder by David Jeremy

May 2 1852 In Llanelli, moved
to be Branch President – by Abredney Jones
May 2 1852 Anointed as Branch
President, Cwmaman – by William Levier Carewye

Desiring to live in the United States, and probably in Illinois, with other members of the Latter Day Saint Church there, John relocated his family to the United States in 1856. He. with his family and 217 others of the Latter Day Saints Church, left Liverpool, England in November, 1856. They traveled on the ship “Columbia” and arrived at Castle Green, New York on 1 Jan 1857 (9). Their names are recorded by ship records as the following: John E. Reese – age 38, Mary J. Reese – age 43, John J. Reese – age 14, Thomas J. Reese – age 13, Evan Reese – age 10, and Mary Jane Reese – age 8.(5) Mary Jane was eight years old at the time of the crossing, and remembered that the voyage across the ocean had taken seven weeks. Also of note, is that Mary Rees/Reese was 7 to 8 months pregnant with their last child, to be born in February, 1857. – These people were certainly of fearless blood, and determined to go where they felt God had called them.

(See reference #14 below for source of this information)  “Voyage of the Rees Family to America

During the summer of 1856, John E. Rees paid a deposit of 6 pounds to secure space for his family on the first Latter Day Saint chartered ship going to America from Liverpool, England in the 1856-1857 season. At the time of his deposit, the name of the ship and its sailing date was most probably unknown. His family was the 43rd family unit (of a total of 81) listed in the LDS application book and identified as: John E Rees, 38 (of Cwmamman, Carmarthenshire), Mary 43, John 14, Thomas 13, Evan 10 and Jane 8.. On October 25, John E. signed in the book for the refund of his deposit and at some point, the notation “emigrated” was placed on the far right of the page opposite his name. Of the 237 people who had applied to the church for this sailing, only about 220 were on board the Columbia when she departed Liverpool docks on 16 Nov 1856 and reached New York City on 1 Jan 1857. Unfortunately, the LDS index for the Columbia shows all 237 as having sailed with her. The reasons given by others for not going on the Columbia were sickness, death or being unprepared. However, the Rees family was the only one who had decided to leave earlier. Their reason was most likely that Mary was with child (their son Gomer was born 18 Feb 1857) and did not want to risk an early delivery on a crowded ship.

The ship they selected was the 1320 ton Albion under Captain Williams operated by Tapscott & Co. It was advertised as being new in 1854 and was still advertised as new in 1856. She had arrived in Liverpool from New York on 13 Oct 1856, departed Liverpool on 30 Oct 1856 and arrived in New York on 25 Nov 1856. A 26 Dec 1856 advertisement for her return trip to Liverpool referred to her as “the celebrated clipper ship Albion”. Her New York passenger list shows the family as: John E Reesa 38, Mary 43, John 14, Thos 13, Enoc 10 and Jane 8.”

After their arrival into the United States, the family traveled on as far as Pittsfield or Pittston (13), Pennsylvania. Their last child, Gomer Reese, was born there in Pittsfield or Pittston (13), 2 February 1857. John E., still desiring to live in Illinois and being a mining engineer (13), apparently had heard of the mining possibilities there. The Illinois/Missouri area was where Joseph Smith and the L.D.S. Church had begun, and as far as he knew, the “Church” was still there. He and John, his first son, left the family for the winter of 1857 to go to on the town of Lasalle, Illinois, where John E. Reese sunk the first mining shaft in the area. His son also worked beside him as a coal miner until the Spring of 1858. During that time, John E. found that Joseph Smith, the originator and ‘prophet’ of the L. D. S. had been killed and that the Church had gone West into Utah Territory.

From this “first contact” of work in Lasalle, IL, John E. Reese had made enough money to outfit himself and his family to continue on a wagon trip to the West, to be with “The Saints” there. That Spring, he and his son left Laselle and returned back to their family at Pittston. The entire family relocated to Scranton, Pennsylvania and stayed 2 more years there before moving on, however.

On the 22nd of June, 1860, immediately before onset of the Civil War, the Reese family started by ox team northward out of Scranton, by way of New York State, and then on to Omaha, Nebraska. The group of people the family traveled with was called the John Smith Company. This entire train was made up of members of the L.D.S. Church with most families of Danish and Welsh origin. During those years, many wagons trains, such as this one, were ‘sponsored’ by Brigham Young and the L.D.S Chruch, in order to assist in their travel into the Salt Lake City area from the midwest and the eastern parts of the United States. Gomer Reese, then three years old, stated in his hand pencil-written Memoirs, that their original goal was California; (seven years later Gomer Wells was born to Mary Jane Reese, who wrote 70 years after that, that his grandfather’s reason to go West was to travel to Utah to find the Church there). Little Gomer Reese remembered stopping at Niagara Falls and seeing it and the suspension bridge over the Niagara River. From there they traveled overland and across the plains, and were free from any “trouble with the Indians” for their entire trip.

The wagon train they traveled in was comprised of ox teams and even had a few cows which pulled the wagons. The Reeses’ had one cow which, at one point, had to be yoked with an ox to help pull their wagon. The room in each wagon was restricted, with just enough room for only a few to ride. One son of John’s suffered from rheumatism and needed to ride more than his other brothers or sister. Therefore, Mary Jane Reese, then 12 years old was one who had to walk, and much of the time had to carry her three year old baby brother Gomer across the plains of the United States. Some years later this same Gomer, in a few sheets of writing, remembers the people on the train as very happy. He wrote of their singing together in the evenings, around a lighted fire made of sagebrush wood and singing the old time songs and Hymns. One in particular he remembers is: “The upper California, oh thank the Lord for me. It lays between the mountains and the great Pacific Sea.” Gomer also tells about an old gentleman, a Welsh man, by the name of Theophelus Williams. He was “given to joking at times,” Gomer remembers. When he would come out of his tent in the morning, he would look toward Utah and would raise his head and act as though he could smell something “very bad.” Gomer writes, “My father would ask him, ‘Theophelus, what do you smell?’ Whereupon he would answer, ‘I smell the devil!’, and to our sorrow, we found out later, he was right.” The California route from Illinois traveled through Salt Lake City, Utah. And this family’s joy would soon turn to sorrow.

It took all summer and and into the fall to arrive in the mountains by October, 1860, which was the Salt Lake City area, and being out of provisions and money, his son Gomer hand-wrote, they had to winter in Utah. With weather threatening, they stopped at a place 3 miles north of Brigham City, a town with a population of 2,500. They could not afford to rent or buy a house and it was too late to build, so they lived in a dugout in the side of a hill, into which they moved their family and spent the winter.

By this time John E. Reese’s funds were exhausted, and it was impossible to go farther. Using the same location, that Spring he got timber out of the mountain and built a log cabin there. Provisions were scarce and times were hard. The family apparently engaged in farming to get by.

However, once there John E. saw glaring problems with the Utah L.D.S. Church movement, which he hadn’t expected or dreamed about when back in Wales. John E. Reese was a gentleman of faith, and held to virtues of charity, humility, patience and honest dealings; these virtues he sensed were not in Brigham Young’s people. When he expressed his disappointment and his objections to this and the problem of polygamy, “he was met with coldness that froze in his heart”. He was sure that the Church he had joined had failed, and his happiness was gone. During 1861 and through 1862, John E. was associated with those becoming opposed to the Utah Church and a Joseph Morris, who preached against polygamy and Brigham Young’s leadership. Brigham Young opposed this kind of dissension; Young apparently had what was called “an alarming dictatorial policy”.

In desperation, John E. Reese joined the Morrisite movement, who were in disfavor but were about to move out of the area. This Joseph Morris claimed to also be a prophet, however, and had given revelations specifically against Brigham Young. The group colonized an area 40 miles north of Salt Lake City, located on the Weber River in Utah. There were 75 in the group at the time. Writings tell that this small group was continually harassed and illegally arrested. Finally they were surrounded for three days by a sheriff and his men sent by Brigham Young, and fired on with light arms as well as with canons. The group surrendered using a white flag but Morris, who resisted, was shot. Mary Jane Reese heard a woman cry, “My God, is this to be another Mountain Meadow Massacre!” and she was immediately shot. There apparently were horrors remembered from this siege, that Gomer, now 5 years old and looking on, saw. Mary Jane and the other brothers also saw their own father John E. Reese taken prisoner with some of the other men, and taken back to Salt Lake City. They were tried in a court martial and placed in prison, by the governing officials of the L.D.S. Church, under the authority of Brigham Young. At some point during this encounter, a corral was used to imprison the men; the corral was located in the area of what is now the Salt Lake City Square, close to what the L. D. S. Church calls, “The Temple”.

A new Governor, Harding, had arrived in the Salt Lake City area from Washington, D.C. to govern the Utah Territory. Some of the wives and mothers of these jailed men went to see Harding to plead for their husbands’ release. A man by the name of Bill Hickman, though he himself a Mormon, also assisted in their release by expressing his sympathies to the new Governor. Pardons were given but the problems did not end. The Mormon people held meetings which resulted in a demand that this U.S. Governor Harding and his Justices leave the Territory. In response, General Conner was sent by the United States government from a nearby installation of Fort Douglas near Salt Lake City. He located his artillery and canons on a hill near the Brigham Young residence. Conner’s troops were located in the hills which surround the Salt Lake City area in order for these people, as well as their families, to be given the freedom to leave. For this the Federal authorities were criticized, but did not relent.

Under the protection of part of the General Conner troops given to accompany them, John E. Reese, his wife and children were with the caravan that went North, able to leave the city, under the troops’ protection. They traveled directly into what was then the Idaho Territory. Apparently, Conner’s troops escorted them all the way to the banks of the Snake River, to protect them from anticipated and expected raids from the Mormons who had followed with the intent to kill them. They crossed the Snake River in safety and continued into the Montana Territory, stopping for the summer in Bannock, and in the fall, at Virginia City. The word that gold had been found there drew John E.; he knew he would be able to return to the work of mining he knew something about. In crude cabin quarters, the family spent the winter in Virginia City, in Alder Gulch. It is recorded that Mary Jane’s brothers did their best to get what they could by mining the gold, or of the work there with others who mined. Mary Jane and her mother helped by doing wash for the mining camp workers. Because of scarcity of this service, a sum of $1100 was collected. It is recorded that Mary Jane Davies Reese collected and carried this in a small leather pouch attached to her waist.

In the Spring of 1864, the family was able to move on. They traveled northwest coming to the end of the Bridger Range, and there found the beautiful Gallatin Valley. Under the shadow of the Sacajewia Peak and Ross Point, John E. Reese stopped their wagons at what in now called Reese Creek, and there they homesteaded. It appears that Mary Jane’s oldest brothers John and Thomas, as well, may not have been with them at this time, but the younger Evan did homestead by the family later, and so did Thomas. Son John James Reese stayed on in Alder Gulch, and later rejoined is family in Montana in 1866. Apparently the Gallatin Valley, to which they had traveled and laid claim, is quite similiar to the central and northern parts of Wales, the southern Glamorgenshire, being somewhat different. But it seems that John E. returned to an area that reminded him of the Wales he and his family had left 10 years earlier.

John E. put his money into the homestead and with her gold dust, his wife bought the cows. Mary Jane, now sixteen years old, remembers being put in charge of keeping these cows out of the growing wheat and oat fields which were later planted. A sturdy log house John E. built for his family, and this also served as a common meeting place for worship and other community gatherings.

It was built on the southeast corner of 10 acres, and John farmed the rest with wheat and oats. The present corner where this acreage is, is diagonally across the crossroads (where the present day Spring Hill Road ends) from the present day Reese Creek Cemetery land. The Reese Creek Church since then was built, and it was across the road from their property directly North.

John E. Reese devoted his general attention to general farming and stock raising to give his family a secure life. He was a ‘stationary engineer’ by profession and to that and to coal mining he had devoted his attention until locating his farm here in the Gallatin Valley. Both John E. Reese and his wife, Mary E. Davies Reese “were both of sterling character and kindly by nature, and none were held in deeper affection and esteem.”

John E. Reese cared for his family on his farm, in the community and by the Creek named after him, with his son’s, their families and the relatives close by all his life. He died March 21, 1900, after living until the age of 82 years. His body was interred beside that of his wife @ the Reese Creek Cemetery, up the road from where he had lived.

(Go to: Wells Family History, John Harvey Wells married Mary Jane Reese section, to continue this story, with the line of Mary Jane Reese and John H. Wells.)

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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