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Prominent Reavis Men

Frm: The 20th Century Biographical Dict of Notable Americans Vol V 1904

"JAMES BRADLEY REAVIS", Jurist, was born in Boone county, Mo. , Mary 28, 1848, son of John Newton and Elizabeth (Preston) Reavis; grandson of Marcus(Mark) A. and Lucy (Bradley) Reavis and of John and Jane (Ramey) Preston, and a descendant of a refugee, who landed with Ashley Cooper's expedition at Albermarle South, NC (never documented/Barb), and adopted the name of Reavis, and in the maternal line descended from the Lees of Leesburg, Va. He was a student of Kentucky University, 1868-1871, was admitted to the bar at Hannibal, Mo., in 1872, edited the Monroe City, Mo., Appeal, 1872-1874, and in the latter year removed to California. In 1880 he opened a law office in Goldendale, Washington Territory. He was a member of the upper house of the territorial legislature, 1888, and a regent of the Territorial university, 1888-89. On the admission of Washington as a state he was Democratic candidate for justice of the supreme court and was defeated. He was married, May 27, 1891, to Minnie A Freeman, daughter of Smith and Martha (Butler) Freeman of Nashville, Tenn. In 1896 he became chief-justice of the supreme court of Washington Territory

Hx of The Puget Sound County by Prosser pub 1903

HON. JAMES B. REAVIS( John Newton, Marcus, Isham-3)

"Hon. James Bradly Reavis comes frm a long line of Scotch ancestors who emigrated frm England under the auspices of Ashley Cooper and settled in Virginia in the Roanoke valley, later removing to North Carolina. The great-grandfather of our subject, Isham Reavis, was a valiant soldier in the Revolutionary war and among other engagements he participated in the expedition to King Mountain, where the British were so signally defeated. His birth occurred in 1748, in Virginia, and later he was a resident of North Carolina. In 1800 he removed to the growing country of Kentucky, settling in Warren county, and later, in 1817, he took up his residence in Saline county, Missouri, where he was a large landowner and planter. The family were communicants of the Baptist church, and he was one of the pillars of that denomination. His death occurred when he was eighty-five years of age. His wife was a Miss Jones and was a lady of Welsh ancestry. Among their sons was Marcus Reavis, who was born in Virginia in 1772 and came west with his father to Warren county, Kentucky, and then to Missouri. He died in 1835, aged sixty-three years. He was married in North Carolina to Lucy Bradly, who was a descendant of a prominent South Carolina family. They were for many years valued members of the Baptist church. Their family consisted of six sons and four daughters, and of the former was John Newton Reavis, our subject's father. His birth occurred in Warren County, Kentucky, on the 12st of October, 1817, but he later removed with his father to Missouri. He there married Elizabeth Preston, a native of clark county, Kentucky and a daughter of John Preston, a prominent and early settler of that state. Mr Reavis has long been a prominent stock farmer and is now a resident of Monroe County, Missouri, in his eighty-fifth year. His good wife died in 1889, aged seventy-three years. They were always devoted members of the Christian Church.

Of their six children, Judge Reavis was the third child and the only member of the family living in the state of Washington. He was born on the 27th of May, 1848, in Boone county, Missouri, and was reared on his father's farm until his eightenneth year, learning there many valuable lessons to help him in his after life. His education was received in the public schools iand in a private academy, and he also spent three years in the Kentucky University at Lexington. He then read law at Hannibal, Missouri, and was admitted to the bar in 1874. He practiced there until 1875 and then went west to the city of Chico, California. His law practice was continued there until 1880, at which time he settled in Washington territory, at Goldendale, and entered into partnerhsip with Judge Dunbar. They practiced together for several yars, having an office in Yakima and Klickitat counties and they did a large and profitable general law business. In 1884 Judge Reavis was elected a member of the territorial council, his district including the counties of Yakima, Klickitat, Lincoln, Douglas, Spokane and Stevens. He was active in the passage of the law making important changed in the method of taxing railroads and also introduced the bill providing for the building of a school for defective youth of the territory at Vancouver. He was also a regent of the state university from 1888 until the state was admitted in 1889. At the first state election, in 1889, Judge Reavis was a candidate of his party, the Democratic, for judge of the supreme court, being nominated by acclamation, but during the election he was defeated. In 1896 he was elected to the supreme bench and because of the seniority of his commission became chief justice, and since that time has been one of the most able members of the supreme bench, having had the settlement of many important cases of great value to the state and its people.

Mr Reavis was married in 1891 Miss M. Freeman, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, and a daughter of Smith and Matha (Butler Freeman, of English ancestry and early settlers of New Jersey. The Butlers were of French origin and went to Virginia at an early day. mrs and Mrs Reavis are the parents of two children, Smith Freeman and Ann Preston."

"LOGAN URIAH REAVIS", editor and author, was born in Sangamon Botom, Macon county, Ill., March 26, 1831. He attended the grammar and high schools; taught school 1851`-55; was an editor and part owner of the Gazette, which name he changed to the Central Illinoian, Beardstown, Co., Ill.; 1855-57, resided in Nebraska, 1857-60, repurchased and edited the Central Illinoian 1860-66, and through lectures and otherwsie, inaugurated a movement looking to the removal of the national capital to St. Louis, earning for himself the sobriquet of "The Capital Mover" 1866-79. He also began a movement, 1879 to promote immigration to Missouri; made two lecturing tours of England to further the scheme, and in the same interest published,The New Republic, or the Transition Complete, with an Approaching Change of National Empire. Based upon the Commercial and Industrial Expansion of the Great West (1867); and Change of National Empire, or Arguments for the Removal of the National Capital from Washington to the Mississippi Valley, with maps (1869). He also is the author of: A Representative Life of Horace Greeley, with an Introduction by Cassius M. Clay (1872); Thoughts for the Young Men and Women of America (1873); Life of Gen. William S. Harney (1875); and Railway and River System (1879). He died in St. Louis, Mo April 25, 1889.

Frm: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

"CHARLES FRANK REAVIS" 1870-1932, a Representative from Nebraska; born in Falls City, Richardson County, Nebr., September 5, 1870; attended the public schools and Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill.; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1892 and commenced practice in Falls City; prosecuting attorney of Richardson County 1894-1896; elected as a Republican to the Sixty-fourth and to the three succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1915, to June 3, 1922, when he resigned; appointed in June 1922 special assostant to the Attorney General in the prosecution of so-called war fraud cases and served until June 1, 1924; moved to Lincoln, Nebr., in 1924 and continued the practice of law; died in Lincoln, Nebr., May 26, 1932; interment in Steele Cemetery, Falls City, Nebr.

"W.C. Reavis "1881 In 1955 Il
(Unkn Illinois Hx Source)

W.C. Reavis School was named after William Claude Reavis. Mr. Reavis was born August 18, 1881 Francisca, In., and died June 2, 1955. He started his career as a rurl teacher in Indiana. He later became a Professor of Education at the Univeristy of Chicago. In 1949 he retired from teaching and assumed the chairmanship of the commission on appointments and field services. In that same year, he was hired by District 158 to survey the north side of Lansing (l) to see if a school would be feasible and also to plant the Districts Educational and Building Program. His program has been followed with few exceptions. At that time (1949) he projected what the enrollment would be in 1960 to within 8 students. In 1956 William C. Reavis School opened its door to the children on the north side of Lansing. Thanks to Mr. Reavis, Lansing has efficient, functional schools and we are proud our school carried the name "WILLIAM C. REAVIS".

"TURNER REAVIS" 1812-1872

Sources: The Reavis Family Book by Hall; 1852 letter to friend; Alabama, Her Hx by Brewer; and Hx of Alabama by Owen ..biographical sketches

Turner Reavis was born in Wake County, probably son of William-3, s/o William-2 and a Ms. Turner; at this time his ancestry has not been documented. He is known to have had two sisters, Lethe and _____.

According to Wake County Court Records he was orphaned and apprenticed out to a confectioner, Gabriel Roccairdi in February, 1823.

After serving his apprenticeship he was involved in mercantile business and later studied law, and was admitted to the Bar in 1838. He was Cicuit Judge in Grainesville, Sumter County, Alabama. He served four years in the State Senate.

His first marriage in 1835 was to Sarah Catherine Gatlin, grand-daugher of Caolina's colonial governor Richard Caswell, and daughter of John Gatlin. She died two days after giving birth to a daughter, Susan Gatlin Reavis, Mar 12, 1838.

He married second Mary Stratham(Barrett) Jesse, by whom he had daughters; Lucy Barret and Mittie.

His third marriage was to Sarah Jane Mosby, in 1871. Their only child, Sallie Turner Reavis was born June 15, 1872, and he died two days earlier on Jun 13, 1872.

From In Alabama, Her History, Etc.; pg 531 "Stoutly built, features well developed, manner cordial and courteous, a profound lawyer, thoroughly read in ancient and modern literature, his library being the best in the state. As a speaker, he was plain, argumentative, clear and correct. Love of order and method.........................."

In a letter he wrote to his friend, H.W. Husted, attorney at law in Raleigh, N.C., who was going to write about him; Turner said this about his family, "I was born in Wake County on the 18th of June, 1812. There is nothing in my birth, parentage, or early education, upon which I can felicitate myself, or which I take pleasure in remembering. I do not desire, therefore, that they shall be dragged from their obscurity. Whatever of education I possess, I have acquired myself, unaided, never having gone to school twelve monthis in my life".

He compiled the Alabama Digest of Laws in 1847, and revised it in 1850. He had "written and published a great many articles, both prose and verse, of all qualities and on all subjects, humerous, didactic, legal, political, and critical; probably in all enough to form a volume of work to be published entitled, "American Essayists"; and he says "there is a specimen of my verses in the 1st volume of the Southern Literary Messenger".


A Lawyer and a Judge, County Clerk of Wallowa County, Oregon. During the Bannock and Nez Perce Indian uprising of 1876>, he organized the Captain David B. Reavis Company of Oregon Volunteers.

"JOHN NEWTON REAVIS", attorney and Chief Justice of Washington.


School teacher and book binding business

"ISAAC CALVIN REAVIS" 1814-1876 - Physician


Missionary and educational work; VP of American College of Buenos Aires. Asst Prof of Roman Languages at Butler Univ., Prof of church History and Prof of Sociolgy.


Supt. of Schools at Giradeau Mo, State Inspector of High schools for Missouri, and other prominent educational positions.

He was a three-term state legislator, serving terms in the Senate starting in 1953 and 1959; and a term in the House in 1956. He was Yadkin Co NC Sheriff for two terms starting in 1930. He was also a farmer and a teacher.

Graduated frm George Washinton University and the National Law School in Washington, DC. He was head of the U.S. Maritime Commission.

LEROY REAVIS 1922-1986
Sheriff of Iredell county, NC for 16 years. He was also president of the Reavis Funeral Home of Statesville, NC; founded by his father Cyrus Bruce Reavis in Harmoney, northern Iredell co in 1931.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN REAVIS(s/o Wm-5, Joseph-4, Dav-3 Jas-2) was born 1838 Cooper Co Mo. He organized The Bank of Tipton, Tipton, Mo in 1873, and was president of said bank. He and his bro Andrew Jackson also had a business there. This may or may not be the Reavis & Walter company, or another one.

ISHAM REAVIS-6 b 1836 Il d 1914 Nebraska He was a prominent attorney, admitted to the Bar 1857 in Il, then went to Nebraska. He was Justice of the Supreme Count of Arizona Territory 1869-1872, appointed by President Grant, and then returned to Nebraska where he practiced his profession.

A letter preserved in the family frm Abraham Lincoln follows, dated November 5, 1855 Illinois

My dear Sir: I have just reached home, and found your letter of the 23rd ult. I am frm home too much of my time, for a young man to read law with me, advantageously. If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the think is more than half done already. It is but a small matter whether you read with any body or not. I did not read with any one. Get the books, and read and study tham till, you understand them in their principal features, and that is the main thig. It is of no consequence to be in a large town while you are reading. I read at New-Salem, which never had three hundred people living in it. The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places. Mr. Dummer is a very clever man, and an excellent lawyer (much better than I, in law learning), and I have no doubt he will cheerfully tell you what books to read, and also loan you the books.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing. Very truly Your friend.
A. Lincoln