H.L. Reed arrives in Mansfield

In an earlier post, we looked at the early life of Horace Lafayette Reed before his arrival in Mansfield.  At the end of the Civil War, Captain H. L. Reed made his way to Mansfield and began working with his older brother, John Henry Reed.  J. H. Reed, a few years earlier, had taken over the popular business of Sturges & Pritchard, dealers in books, stationery, and wallpaper.  It didn’t take long for the business to be known as J. H. Reed & Brother and, in 1868, the total sales for the business were $92,724.64.  In 1872 the business began operating on the corner of Main and North Park Streets on a site purchased from the Sturges Family.  The business suffered for some reason and an ad in the Mansfield Herald on September 3, 1874, shows the business was taken over by C. N. Pendleton.  J. H. Reed stayed in Mansfield for a few more years before heading out to Nebraska and eventually Riverside, California, where he planted oranges and became instrumental in the citrus industry.  John Henry Reed died in Riverside, California on February 20, 1920.

Page 3 of Mansfield Herald,published in Mansfield, Ohio on Wednesday, May 25th, 1864

Mansfield Herald, Wednesday, May 25th, 1864, p. 3


John Henry Reed

Captain H. L. Reed wasn’t discouraged and, in 1875, went into business with John B. Ink and Pinkey Lewis, opening Reed, Ink, and Lewis.  The business did well and, in 1879, posted sales of $74,580.  On January 3, 1884, it was reported in the Mansfield Herald that Pinkey Lewis was retiring from the firm.  John Ink stayed on for another 10 years, leaving in 1894.  After this, the firm became known as H. L. Reed and Company and Reed took on a new partner, his son-in-law, James L. Lauck.  The store continued to be successful and on February 7, 1903, The H. L. Reed Company was incorporated, with Reed serving as both president and treasurer and Lauck serving as secretary and assistant treasurer.  Henry Goetz, who had started with the firm in 1880 when he was 14 years old, was named the manager of the new company.  By this time Reed was suffering greatly from his Civil War wounds, one leg had been amputated and he was confined to a wheelchair.  His health began to fail and on September 17, 1915, Captain Horace Lafayette Reed died.

P-25 Horace reed portrait

Horace Lafayette Reed

Reed was not only a well-respected businessman but, according to his obituary, a senior deacon of the First Congregational Church.  He was especially interested in the Sunday School at the Mayflower Congregational Church, which he attended and aided in all possible ways.  He was the first president of the Mansfield Chamber of Commerce, a member of the executive committee of the Mansfield Savings Bank, and had a life membership in the Loyal Legion of the G. A. R., which was one of his most prized possessions.  The store would survive for another 78 years until on Monday, April 19, 1993, Reed’s Department store closed its doors for the last time.

Reeds google

In Douglas Cook’s book Reeds… A Tale of the American Spirit, he reprints a poem by an anonymous author which was written and circulated at the time of H. L. Reed’s death titled “Our Gallant Captain’s Final Muster Out.”

Another of our Boys in Blue has crossed the great divide,
He’d served his country all these years ‘till arms were laid aside.
He smiling answered Lincoln’s call “Three hundred thousand more”
And as smilingly the Saviour’s calling from the Other Shore.

A Christian, sunbeam Captain in life’s battle every day
Scattering helpful sunshine all along the weary way
The poor man’s stay and comfort, the mourner’s soothing friend,
Thinking still of others to his own life’s peaceful end.

His battles were not ended with our peace declared,
He kept God’s armor buckled on all his conquest shared,
The soldier boy is going home with no more foes to rout,
And the angels smiled this morning at his final muster out.

The march through death’s dark valley had no terror for his soul.
For he knew the Christ was with him, clear to the shining goal,
Green pastures all before him with heaven all about
And God’s smile answering his own at his final muster out.


The Early Life of H. L. Reed

Horace Lafayette Reed was born in Rootstown, Portage County, Ohio on November 13, 1840.  He attended school in the area, became a teacher, and was to begin teaching in the fall of 1862 when he decided to answer President Lincoln’s second call for troops in June of 1862.  Reed enlisted on August 1, 1862 as a private in company I of the 104th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  The regiment, comprised of soldiers from Stark, Columbia, Summit and Portage counties, was organized at Camp Massillon and was mustered into service on August 30, 1862.

P-25 Horace reed portrait

H. L. Reed in 1896

On September 1st the regiment left for Cincinnati and assisted in defending the city when they crossed the Ohio River into Covington, KY.  It was here they saw their first action resulting in one soldier being killed and five others wounded.  These were the only casualties of the conflict.  On September 12th the regiment marched in pursuit of the Confederate Army towards Lexington.  They reached Lexington on October 15th shortly after the Confederates had evacuated.  The regiment stayed there until December 6th when they marched to Richmond, KY, then to Danville, Harrodsburg and back to Danville where they expected to engage the enemy, but found little resistance.

The regiment stayed in this area of Kentucky, during which time Horace Reed was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, until they made their way to Knoxville, TN in early September of 1863.  The regiment joined General Burnside’s army in East Tennessee and saw little action until the Siege of Knoxville in late November 1863, where a number of men were lost and wounded.  They stayed in this portion of Tennessee until April of 1864 when they were ordered to Cleveland, TN to prepare for the Atlanta Campaign.  The first major conflict of the Atlanta Campaign for the 104th was the Battle of Utoy Creek.  Twenty-six men were either killed or wounded, in a desperate assault made on the 6th of August.  It was shortly after this that Reed was made 1st Lieutenant on August 19, 1864.


Battle of Franklin, by Kurz and Allison (1891).

The regiment marched through Georgia, Alabama and back to Tennessee tearing up railroads and guarding communication lines.  The 104th made its way to Franklin, TN and participated in the Battle of Franklin on November 30, 1864, where the Union Army lost 2,326 men (189 Killed) and the Confederates lost 6,252 men (1,750 killed).   Of these, 60 were killed or wounded from the 104th OVI, including Captain David D. Bard of Company I.  After the battle, the regiment marched to Nashville, TN, reaching the city on December 1st.  They participated in a small skirmish on the 15th and 16th of December pursuing the enemy to Clifton, TN where they remained until January 16th.


1865 Map of Fort Anderson, NC

On February 16, 1865, the 104th crossed the Cape Fear River and landed in Smithville, NC.  On February 18th, Reed led troops toward Fort Anderson and had a skirmish with the Confederate Army.  Two men were killed and 20 other wounded.  One of those 20 was 1st Lieutenant Horace L. Reed who was shot through both his legs below the knees.  Reed was discharged May 15, 1865 for wounds received at Fort Anderson.  The regiment participated in one more conflict at Town Creek, NC on February 20, 1865 before being mustered out on June 17, 1865.

Reed made his way to Mansfield shortly after the war and went into business with his brother J. H. Reed, eventually becoming one of the most successful and respected merchants in the city.


Baughman, A. J. (1908) History of Richland County, Vol. 2.
Official Roster of the Soldiers of the State of Ohio in the War of the Rebellion, Vol. 7.
Pinney, N. A. (1886). History of the 104th regiment Ohio volunteer infantry from 1862 to 1865.
Reid, Whitelaw. (1868) Ohio in the War, Vol. 2.