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Memoir Reavistown by Sue Pearson

In the year 1852, Messrs. John and Sandy (Alexander) Reavis came from YadkinCounty, N.C. and settled on Meadow Creek. They were men of great energy, genius and vision. They built one of the best flour mills in this part of the state. They build a good saw-mill, and these mills provided profitable investment and a great blessing to the people of a large are of Grayson County. Mr. John Reavis devoted most of his time to making and repairing guns. At that time most of this country was forest. Hunting was profitable-combined with sport.

Sandy Reavis build a foundry. He made ploughs, plough points, cornshellers, cider mills, and many things the people needed but never had been able to get. A large store was added and Reavistown because the most useful place in Grayson County.

It would have been nearly impossible to get repairs and parts of machines but for Reavistown. Few people knew or cared where sewing machines, threshing machines were made a no supply house furnished repairs. It mattered not what part of any machine broke the Reavises would make or mend it, fix it and polish it with the skill of a master.

These men raised large families and their sons were fine mechanics.

The Southern States devoted all their atention to cotton and tobacco. Not a hat, tin pan, nail, horse-shoe or shoe-peg was made in the South. All manufactured articles came from the North.

When war was declared between the North and South, there was but one small machine in the South grinding and polishing bomb-shells and fitting them for use.

The Southern Government sent to Reavistown and called Sandy Reavis to make and operate a machine for polishing shells. The many victories won by Lee, Jackson and the Southern boys were due greatly to the genius and patriotism of the unassuming, jolly, good man.

These old men passed to the mysterious beyond:

James C. Reavis, of Galax, with the energy and skill of his father, continued the work until 1901. Then came the flood that nearly destroyed the town, his foundry, machine shop, patterns and many fine tools were lost or ruined. A large store and all the goods went on the flood of water. James C. Reavis with sad heart and financial ruin, moved and left a void that has not and will not be filled.

Wm. Hardin Reavis, third son of John and Frances Harbin Reavis, was born January 13, 1858 and died October 19, 1924, aged 66 years 9 months adn 6 days.

In 1878, he was married to Miss Harriet, daughter of Elias and Mary David. He leaves his devoted widow and five children: Mrs. Mary Reavis Gordon of Galax, Mrs. Pearl Reavis Phillips of Reavistown, Mrs. Myrtle Reavis Higgins of Battle Creek, Neb., Mr. Bruce Reavis of Fries and Mrs. Grave Reavis Jennings of Galax.

He leaves the following brothers and sisters: P.A. Reavis of Reavistown, Mrs. Cenia Reavis Foy of Mt. Airy, NC; Mrs. Linnie Reavis Todd of Galax and many other relatives

Harding Reavis-everybody called him Hard-was one of our very best and most useful citizens. When his father died he took charge of the shop. He devloped into a fine gun smith. When he finished a rifle it was a perfect and accurate as human skill could make it. His marksmanship was the envy of all who hunted with him. High neighbor, Mr. Green, went with him to hunt, birds flew up, Hard shot one flying west, turned on the rails and shot another flying east. Mr. Green laid down his gun and said "He wound carry the game."

He loved nature and studied the habits of birds and game of the forest. At peep of day he would be in the forest knowing the squirrels early habits. He shot with unerring aim as the squirrel leaped from limb tolimb, or from tree to tree. He would be back in his shop before most hunters would start for the forest. Hardin was a fine mechanic. He seemed equally good in wood and metal. Many of the fine fronts in the stores of Galax were drafted by Mr. George Phillips and finished by Hardin Reavis.

The day he was buried Mr. Nuckolls told me the creek often washed out the water gaps adn stock got in his meadow. Hardin would quit his work, drive out the stock, fix the gap and never mention it.

He was the superlative of veracity, honesty, character, and kindness. On this good foundation he built a noble Christian character.

He was a devoted husband, a kind loving father and a true friend. In his last years he was badly afflicted, but he bore his suffering with the fortitude and patience of a Chrisitan martyr. His wife, a ministering angel of love and devotion, was ever at his side, to care for and guide him.

When Death came, he fearlessly entered the Phantom Bark, to cross the Mystic River to be at rest with God.

The widow and children expresss their thanks to their many friends for kindness and aid during the sickness and death of this good man.

A.C. Painter Taken from "Galax Post-Herald" published in Galax, Va November 20, 1924

Note handwritten on the back of the first page: James C. Reavis moved from Reavistown-3 miles to East to a new Town-Galax(Grayson C) Va., and operated wood working mill where he and his son Charles Reavis carried on a very progressive business.

At James C. death his sons Charles A., and J. Lee carried on the business. At Charles death he having no heirs willed this part to James Penn Reavis, eldest son of J.Lee Sr. At Lee's death the business is now owned by James Penn and J. Lee, Jr. Reavis who are carried on the business which has always been in the Reavis family and a business that has never ceased since the arrival of John and Sandy in the year of 1852.

(This article was found in the Bible of Mary Malinda "Linnie" Reavis Todd, and the above note not signed, but possibly the handwriting of Linnie. She died 19 January 1947.

A.P. Painter was the father-in-law of Lettie Mae Reavis, d/o Perry Anderson Reavis (known as Anderson), Granddaughter of John Reavis, Linnie's father. Sue Pearson, grandauther of Linnie Reavis Todd)

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