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Mark E. Reeves (1811-1883)

Mark E. Reeves

Mark Ewan Reeves was born on January 11, 1811 in New Jersey and arrived in Richmond with his family in 1823.  Because his father was in ill health, he went to work early in life, working first in a brickyard, then as a clerk in a store owned by Robert Morrisson.  By the age of nineteen he first entered into the mercantile business by borrowing $1000 worth of stock from Mr. Morrisson, opening a store in Washington (now Greensfork), and hiring his younger brother, James, as clerk.  In 1836, he and James bought a store in Hagerstown.  In 1847, they started businesses in Cincinnati.  James returned to Richmond in 1855, but Mark remained until 1867.

Reeves was a very successful businessman and longtime friend of Oliver P. Morton, Indiana’s governor during the Civil War.  Near the beginning of the war, he helped Gov. Morton finance six new regiments to fight for the Union.  Morton telegraphed Reeves in Cincinnati asking to borrow $100,000 with which to pay the new recruits.  By the end of the day, Reeves had collected the entire amount on his personal credit and had it on its way to Indianapolis.  Reeves was also very active in the Cincinnati Branch of the United States Sanitary Commission.

In 1867, Reeves retired from business and returned to Richmond, settling on the 90-acre farm southeast of town, where he remained until he died on May 13, 1883.  In 1892, his wife, Caroline Middleton Reeves, donated $30,000 to the Morrisson Library in his memory, after which it became the Morrisson-Reeves Library.  After Caroline’s death in 1911, the farm was subdivided and became the area now known as Reeveston.