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Biography of John J. Reynolds
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John J. Reynolds is one of the progressive agriculturists of Champaign County, with a well improved place in Sidney Township on Rural Route No. 57.
Mr. Reynolds is a native of this county, born in Rantoul Township, March 9, 1881, a son of Isaac W. and Mary (Stephenson) Reynolds. The parents were both natives of Pennsylvania and his father spent his boyhood days in Ohio and identified himself with Champaign County in 1862. He broke some of the first prairie sod near Rantoul, and though beginning comparatively poor accumulated three fine farms and spent his last years in comfortable retirement at Urbana, where he died January 1, 1917. His widow is now making her home with her son John. John J. Reynolds was the only child of his parents, but his mother by a previous marriage to Mr. McCowan had one daughter, Nora, now the wife of John Norton of Shell City, Missouri.
At the age of nineteen John J. Reynolds left the high school, where he completed his education, and began work in a department store at Urbana. After that he was in the grocery business for about four years, and in 1907 he bought out the Kilpatrick Department Store and was at the head of that well known business in Urbana for four and a half years. He gave up his successful career as a merchant to resume the occupation which he had followed as a boy, farming, and has since lived on his farm in section 2 of Sidney Township. He also owns thirty-five acres in section 11, eighty acres in section 32 and eighty acres in section 33, Urbana Township, eighty acres in Wayne County, and has considerable town property in Urbana.
On May 17, 1902, he married Fay Shepherd, who was born at Pesotum, in Champaign County, March 20, 1882. They have three young children, Helen M., Keith Isaac and Mary, and these children are receiving good school advantages and the best of home training.
Mr. Reynolds is a Republican in politics. He has served as secretary of the township high school, has been constable and has filled various minor offices. He is a Mason, a Mystic Shriner and present worthy patron of the chapter of the Eastern Star at Sidney. He is also a member of the Knights of Pythias fraternity at Sidney. He and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
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