Lillian (Hemenway) Reed (1848-1923) Obituary

March 4, 2018 0 Comments

November 1923



Passing, Thursday November 1, Mrs. Edwin E. Reed, three quarters of a century. Reminiscent of this locality in the death Thursday, November 1 of Mrs. Edwin E. Reed of this city there passes from our midst a personality of estimable appreciation in this community, for three-quarters of a century identified with the line of this locality and mother of a family who in credit to her maternal influence have achieved successes in various scores. Mrs. Reed succumbed to an attack neuralgia of the heart to which affiliction she had been long subject. The end transpiring while conversing with a neighbor and got almost instant finality Lillian Beulah Hemenway was born in Nashua Township, Ogle County, Illinois, December 26, 1848. Her father was Benjamin Eaton Hemenway, a native of Gilsum, N. H. who lived only a litttle over a year after her birth. Her mother was Phoebe Catherine Murphy who was one of the earliest children born in Edgar County Illinois.

Some of the qualities that made up the unusual personality of Mrs. Reed can be trace(d) to the union of two families, one from the South and the other from the North who with their ancestors had lived in America from colonial days. The father was from a prominent New England family and the mother from a Virginia family that had emancipated their slaves and moved to Illinois to escape the insititution of slavery. Wm. (should be James, William is James brother; see mother’s obituary) Murphy, Mrs. Reed ís maternal grandfather who given his slaves their freedom was one of the earliest settlers of Edgar County and his children had a played a prominent part in the early establishment of the city of Danville. The father, Benjamin Hemenway had come out to Ogle County with his brother, Luke Hemenway, a New York ship owner to help him build his summer home, the Hemenway Place, on Rock River then known as Point Bluff now incorporated into the residence of Frank O. Lowden and it was from that Beulah Hemenway was born and passed her early girlhood until some time after the death of her father. The father passed away at the early age of twenty-five years was of a frank, jovealtie, idealistic sync while from her mother’s side came an uncompromising adeherence to principle and conviction and willingness to brave obloquoy to establish them.

After leaving the Hemenway Homestead Beulah Hemenway passed part of her girlhood with the Carpenter family near Watertown with whom she was much beloved and also with her maternal grandmother, Cella (sic) Bromley Murphy, at Georgetown, near Danville, of whom she was very fond. She was a New England school teacher who had met Wm (sic) Murphy in Virginia and her tender and humane disposition undoubtedly had a great influence in determining her husbands opposiiton to the insitution of slavery. Later she lived in St. Charles with her mother and was on one of her visits to the Chamberlin whom in Nashua met Edwin E. Reed who had lately returned from the war and to whom she was married April 16, 1870. The first years of her married life were spent in Daysville but upon the election of her husband to the office of County Treasurer in 1875 they moved to Oregon and for nearly fifty years resided in the Reed homestead on South Fourth street and from the old nest home have gone out five children who have themselves six children. Otto Hemenway is the oldest and the only one now remaining at home. Evan Laforrest lives at Danville, and has three children. Bayard, Robert, Forrest; Beulah Edwina, the only girl in the family lives at Kelham, S. D., Arthur Delbert who has two children, Lillian and Owen lives in Schenectady, N. Y., and the youngest John Gale with one child Edwina lives in Chicago.

By her mother’s second marriage she had three half sisters, one of whom Mrs. J. C. Langemak of Sturgeon Bay, Wisc. whose maiden name was Idella Moore recently made her a long visit which was a great pleasure to her. Two other sisters, Daisy Moore who married Edward (sic) Hurd and Eva LaFrancis Moore who married Perly Hurd -died a number of years ago. A number of their children and grandchildren however over for whom she had a great affection resided in the county and were frequent callers upon her. If the term could be applied to one as sensitive and loveable as Mrs. Reed it can be said that she was possessed of almost savage maternal instinct. She was known about the neighborhood as Mother Reed and to her family and to those who came in intimate contact with her no sacrifice was spared that she could make, the greatest suffering endured her whole thoughts occupied with the welfare of others and the hardest task of those about her was to permit a sharing of her burdens. For years she had been troubled with all torments that gave her great pain but was only made apparent by the involuntary expression of her facial muscles and to the very last she remained on her feet.

She was possessed of unusual intelligence and power of expression and had she desired to be known to any other world that her family and neighborhood could have made a marked impress upon otther field. But her omniverous reading was almost her only contact with the outside world and while she always was concerned in remeding the wrongs in our national and civic life she was content to watch through her family and seldom left the neighborhood where her advice, charity, sweetness, and healing minstrations were greatly appreciated. Having a geat interest in the healing art and widely read on it for years she was consulted by the neighbors and gave freely of her time, experience, and means to all who required it . Of her it can be truly said ìShe went about doing good. In early life she was a member of the Christian Church but in later life her belief out grew the bonds of creed yet she possessed the profoundest belief in the beneficence and of the justness of the infinite and the blessedness of the message of Christianity. If she gave lip service to the forns of religion her whole life in its sacrifice, self-effacingness, tolerance, sympathy, and tenderness with the weak and helpless was an exemplification of the doctrine of service incolcated by the Master.

The funeral service held Sunday afternoon from the house was in charge of Rev. George A. Brown, civil war comrade of the bereaved husband and whose memorial expressing sympathy for the family touched likewise upon the chords of unusual sustenance and solace prevailing among the veterans whose memories extend back to that former vital epoch in our national life. Interment was made in Daysville Cemetery near the grave of Mrs. Reed’s father and husband’s relatives and adjacent to her early home at the old Hemingway place. The family of Mrs. Reed who were all present except the daugher Mrs. Griffith who was unable to come from her distant home desire expression of their grateful appreciation of the kindness of friends and neighbors accorded them in their time of grief.

Submitted by Orvill Paller

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