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Biography of A. H. Reynolds

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A.H. REYNOLDS. – This pioneer of Walla Walla, Washington, is a bank director, a large real-estate owner, and has been active in many of the early enterprises, not only of that city, but of Oregon and California.

He was born in 1808, in St. Lawrence county, New York; and his memories of early life are deeply tinged with the exciting events of the war of 1812, in which his parents had an active part. Receiving the rigid and economical training of the old times, he added to his education by efforts of his own, and qualified himself for active life by learning the trade of a millwright. After a number of years spent in the old West, he crossed the plains to California in 1850 by the old trail. His health failing, he decided to go to Chile, but by the persuasion of a friend came to Trinidad.

Drifting up the coast, he came through Yreka to Oregon, and so far recovered his health as to engage in building mills. He put up flour mills in Benton and Polk counties, and did extensive work on the first woolen mill at Salem. With the money thus earned he went to Portland and engaged in financial enterprises and money-loaning. In 1859 he came to Walla Walla, on the second trip that the Colonel Wright made to Wallula. In that valley he set to work with his hands and brain, building flour mills, for which he received a one-third interest in the various mills he constructed. Near Walla Walla he built the Symes mill, the first one east of the Cascade Mountains.

His period of mill-building ending in the early sixties, he went into the money-loaning business, opening a private bank in 1872. That was the ancestor of the present First National Bank. His interest in some of his mills, notably the one at Dayton, still continues. Although not now in active business, he is a director of the First National Bank at Walla Walla, and of the bank at Dayton, and interested in that at Pendleton.

He was married in 1861, his wife being an Oregonian who had crossed the plains in the famous company of 1843. He was two sons, – Harry, who graduated recently at Michigan University, Ann Arbor and Allen, who is now in attendance at Whitman College, Walla Walla. He gives his sons the best of advantages, and is known and respected in all parts of the Inland Empire.

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