Transcribed from "An Illustrated History of The Big Bend Country, embracing
Lincoln, Douglas, Adams and Franklin counties, State of Washington",
published by Western Historical Publishing Co., 1904.
ROLLIN J. REEVES, who at the
present time is United States commissioner residing in Wilbur, Washington,
was born in Fort Madison, Iowa, November 25, 1846. His parents, Joseph
P. and Mary A. (Chamberlin) Reeves, natives of Ohio and New York, respectively,
were early pioneers of Madison county, the mother having lived there for
sixty years, dying in 1902. The father also is dead. The only
member of the immediate family, other than the subject of this sketch,
who is now living, is a sister, Mrs. Josephine Stewart, wife of a Los Angeles
Mr. Reeves spent his boyhood in his native
county, where he attended the district school until reaching the age of
fourteen, when he entered the high school in Chicago. He was graduated
from this school, and from the civil engineering department of the University
of Michigan, in the class of 1868, and is now president of the alumni association
of his Alma Mater for eastern Washington. After leaving college he
was employed for one year as a civil engineer by the Cairo & Vincennes
railroad, then with a college classmate spent a year touring Europe.
Returning to America in the fall of 1870, he resumed the practice of his
profession. In the employ of the United States government, he surveyed
the following state and territory boundary lines. In 1871, between
Minnesota and Dakota; 1873, between Washington and Idaho; in 1877, between
Dakota and Wyoming; 1878-9 between Colorado and Utah; 1880-1-2, between
Wyoming and Montana. In 1883 in company with Levi Ankeny, Messrs.
Dolph, Thompson, and Burrell, he established the First National Bank of
Baker City, Oregon, and was made cashier of the institution. In 1886
he came to Spokane and for two years was engaged in the real estate business,
after which he formed a partnership with Samuel Wilson Condit, a well known
western character, familiarly known by his sobriquet "Wild Goose Bill"
and with him surveyed and platted the townsite of Wilbur. Since that
time Mr. Reeves has been closely identified with the growth and development
of the little city which it may be said with truth was founded by "Wild
On December 6, 1893, Mr. Reeves was married
to Nina Stuart, of Wilbur, the daughter of J. L. and Alice Stuart, and
to them have been born three children, as follows; Eugenia, born December
18, 1896; Ruth and Rolina, twins, born October 22, 1899.
Mr. Reeves is rated as being well-to-do financially,
owning quite extensive tracts of farm property, and a large amount of city
real estate. He is a man of wide acquaintance, has hosts of friends
and is known by all as a good citizen.