Friday, August 14, 2009

George Byron Reed IV is a great-great-great-great grandson of Samuel and Mary Clark Reed. Byron grew up in Greenville, South Carolina, graduating from Greenville High School in 1959, Furman University in 1963, Marine Command and Staff College in 1974, Army War College in 1980, Penn State in 2001. He retired from the army in 1990, from Northrop Grumman in 2002, and from the Methodist church in 2007. He and his wife Sue currently live in Alabama where he is an aerospace consultant on missile systems.

His lineage: Samuel Reed and Mary Clark; John Reed and Julia Odom; John Wiley Reed and Louvisa Clementine Hair; George Byron Reed and Rowella Hydrick; George Byron Reed II and Lena Bailey Humphries; George Byron Reed III and Sara Kiser; George Byron Reed IV.

Byron shares with us some memories of his family. Thank you, Byron!
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My grandfather, George Byron Reed II, was a preacher at the Cameron Baptist Church and at the Baptist church in North, S.C., but died in the Influenza Epidemic of 1918. He had been delivering food to sick church members. My grandmother, Lena Humphries Reed, and the two children (George Byron Reed III & Lena "T") were sick with the flu at the same time. When my Grandfather died, the family was living in the parsonage at Cameron, so my grandmother had to move into a rented room with the kids who were 5 and 7 years old.

When my grandmother left the parsonage, she knew that she would not be able to afford more than a room somewhere. She did not want to sell family keepsakes and have them end up in the hands of others around Cameron, so she built a fire in the backyard of the parsonage and burned everything that she did not give away or did not think would fit in a room with two children. So there are not many historical documents, etc., that were passed from her.

Grandmother got a job as a school teacher, then worked in a mattress factory. She never remarried and sent both kids through college in the Depression. She died in Columbia, S.C. in 1985 at age 97. She and my grandfather are buried at Bull Swamp Baptist Church near North, SC.

“T” was my father’s sister Lena Humphries Reed. She went by the name of "T" to all who knew her. She got that from my Dad when he was young and unable to pronounce her name...he called her "T" did her mother, husband and nieces and nephews.

"T" was a very modern girl to be from Cameron, S.C. of the 1920's. She went with her girlfriends to the Chicago World's Fair. She had serious asthma and went to a doctor's resort in the N.C. mountains and underwent two weeks of treatment using arsenic on her feet. The treatment was very dangerous and was outlawed many years ago, but she was completely cured and was not bothered by asthma ever again. She married Deward Gossett. They had no children, and he died in 1973. "T" retired as a school librarian. She then married W. M. Andrews who was retired in Columbia, S.C. He died in 1988. Lena died in 2003.

My father, George Byron Reed III, was born in Cameron S.C. on July 14, 1913. Cameron was at that time, a small "country town" with a railroad track down the middle.

GB, as he was known, fished in Four Hole Swamp and went with his mother each summer when she tutored math at Furman University in Greenville. He attended Furman, participated in the Glee Club, and graduated in 1934. He married Sarah Elizabeth Kiser in 1940, and they built a house at 5 Claremore Ave. in Greenville. During World War II, GB was an Army Civil Servant working at the Greenville Airport.

After college he had initial jobs at Sears, Thom McAnn shoes, and a mill in Greenville. Then about 1948, GB began working for Crane Company. Twenty years later, with a group of investors, he bought the local branch as it had evolved (Mechanical Supplies, Inc) in Greenville. That company was sold to Hajoca Inc. in 1978.

GB and Sarah had three children: George Byron, Sylvia Jean, and Robert Kiser. George Byron Reed III died August 5, 1979, and is buried beside Sarah in Manning, South Carolina.

George Byron II, III, and IV, Lena H. Reed, and GBR IV’s daughter, Samantha, all went to Furman University in Greenville, SC.

My wife of 43 years is Karon Sue Spendiff Reed. She graduated from Huntingdon College, and we met at her school in Montgomery, AL. We have three daughters: Samantha Hathorn, Kira Wild, and Anna Brown. Anna has one child, Kira has two, and Samantha has one and also three step-children.

Sue and I are very involved in church missions and went to Peru for a short-term mission trip. This is the eighth trip that I have made to the Quechua Panao region of the Andes and Sue's sixth. Sue and I are also involved in the Emmaus Community, and I am involved in Kairos prison ministry in Costa Rica and the US.
Sue & Byron Reed with three of their grandchildren


  1. hi - thanks so much for posting this information. Just happened on your site this evening on a random google search. I am grandson of Jacob Hydrick Reed, younger brother of George Byron II. Has been fascinating reading. Have just been on the phone with my mother sharing your story. She remembers meeting "T" in Columbia and was thrilled to learn additional detail of GB I and Rowella. GB 1 had passed before my mother was born and Rowella died when my mother was ony 4 - so she had no real memories.

  2. Todd, it's great to hear from you! I just spoke with my father (Joe Reed here in Columbia) and asked him if he knew of a daughter of Hydrick's who married a Turner. Oh yes, of course, he did! He even knows you, or at least about you. And I see you joined the Facebook group. Thank you! I'll leave you a note there.

    1. Hello and thanks for sharing. I am a cousin of Todd (above) and granddaughter of Jacob "Hydrick" Reed, eldest daughter of George Hydrick Reed (Sept 10, 1927 - Sept 18, 1974). My father, Aunt Patsy and Aunt Jo were so very close and made certain "we cousins" were the same. That love is still strong today, although we don't see each other frequently, the love pours over for one another. It would be great to have a Reed gathering in the near future. So proud and blessed to be a Reed!

    2. It's great to hear from you, Mitzi! Thank you for the information on your father with which I was able to correct my tree.

      Please contact me at samuelreed AT gmail DOT com to discuss a gathering. I've met some of your closer cousins lately (descendants of George Byron Reed) who would be interested, too.