Jacob Reasoner, deceased, was for some years connected with the agricultural interests of Brown county and was known as an enterprising, energetic business man, whose success resulted from his own efforts. His birth occurred in Muskingum county, Ohio, on the 15th of January, 1839. His father, Dr. Jacob S. Reasoner, was a very prominent physician, who practiced for some time in Muskingum county, but afterward removed to Jackson county, Ohio. There he remained for a number of years, subsequently going to Osborne county, Kansas. This was in 1882. He there located on a farm and in November, 1884, while visiting in Brown county, his death occurred. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Nancy Hill, remained with her son, Jacob, until her death in 1885. Both were consistent members of the Baptist church. Their children were Sarah and Rebecca, twins, the former now Mrs. Trussell. and the latter the wife of T. B. Dickason; Mary L.. who died in childhood; Mrs. Henrietta Cunningham; Stephen, who died leaving a family; Calvin, a prominent lecturer of Georgia, whose daughter, Elsie, has been appointed a commissioner to the Paris exposition, representing the associated press; Jacob; Milton, who engaged in merchandising in Reserve until his death; Mrs. Adrianna Miller, of Ohio; Mrs. Candace L. French; Noah, who was a soldier with General Custer's force and has not been heard from since the massacre.
Jacob Reasoner was reared in Adamsville, Muskingum county, Ohio, pursued his education in the public schools and in early life engaged in teaching.
He accompanied his father on the removal to Jackson county and was a student in the State University at Athens, Ohio, when, at the age of twenty years, he enlisted in the Civil war, becoming a member of what was afterward called the famous Thirty-sixth Ohio Infantry. He enlisted as a private, but meritorious conduct won him promotion from time to time and he thus became first lieutenant, captain and adjutant, serving in the latter capacity at the ending of the war. He was in all the hotly contested battles in which the famous Thirty-sixth was engaged. At length the companies of that regiment became so decimated that the command was consolidated with the Thirty-fourth Ohio, the regiment number -- the Thirty-sixth -- being still retained. Mr. Reasoner never missed a battle in which his regiment participated and was always found with his command in the thickest of the fight, loyally defending the old flag and the cause it represented. He participated in the battles of Lewisburg, South Mountain, Antietam, Hoover's Gap, Chickamauga, Mission Ridge, Cloyd Mountain, Kernstown, Berryville, Opequan, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek, and was never taken prisoner. He served for four years, or until the close of the war, when he was mustered out at Wheeling, West Virginia. At that time he received an honorable discharge, and, with a military record of which he could justly be proud, he returned to his home in Jackson county, Ohio.
In 1866 Mr. Reasoner was united in marriage with Miss Sarah M. Staley, who was born in Botetourt, Virginia, January 2, 1846, and is a lady of intelligence and culture. She is a daughter of John and Ada Liza (Tolley) Staley. Her parents were natives of Virginia, in which state they were married and were of German descent. The father was a millwright by trade and followed that occupation in the Old Dominion until his death in 1853. In 1856 the family moved to Ohio. On the maternal side of the family Mrs. Reasoner was descended from prominent people from Virginia. C. V. Tolley. of Virginia, was a farmer and slave owner, who served in the war of 1812, holding the rank of lieutenant, and in recognition of his service he was granted a land warrant. He had a brother, Joseph, who served in the Mexican war. C. V. Tolley married Miss Mary B. Hensley, also a native of Virginia, whose mother belonged to the prominent Hancock family, of Richmond, that state. Mr. Tolley was a tobacco planter and owned a number of slaves. The children born of this union were James M., who served in the Confederate army during the Civil war and married Harriet Openchain; Ada Liza, the mother of Mrs. Reasoner; Sarah A., who became the wife of Joseph Bierly; Samuel D., who wedded Elsie Graddy and was a strong Union man during the Civil war, serving in the Twenty-seventh Ohio Infantry; Amanda J., who became the wife of Samuel Bierly; William H., who wedded Eunice M. Grover; Margaret; and Whitfield A., who wedded Sarah C. Badgley.
Unto John and Ada Liza Staley were born four children: Mary A. E., who became the wife of David Gall; Sarah M., the wife of Mr. Reasoner; Marcus L., a resident of Hiawatha, Kansas, who wedded Lotta Stiles; and John W., who died in California. Mrs. Ada Liza Staley was next married to Riply McCarley, of Ohio. One daughter was born of this union, Joan, who is married to Perry Stiles. The latter are residents of Fernwood, Mississippi. Mrs. Staley made her home with her daughter, Sarah, for twenty-five years and died January 10, 1900, at the age of seventy-eight years. She was born in Rockbridge county, Virginia, and during the greater part of her life was a faithful and consistent member of the Christian church.
After his marriage Mr. Reasoner engaged in the operation of a sawmill and carried on the lumber business. He also followed school teaching to some extent, but subsequently he turned his attention to farming and in 1869 came to Kansas, locating in Brown county upon a tract of wild land on section 22, Hamlin township. There he established a farm, which he operated until 1883, when he sold that property and engaged in general merchandising and in the lumber business in Reserve. Mr. Reasoner lost very heavily in a cyclone that destroyed Reserve on May 17, 1896, crippling him financially. He was connected with commercial interests until a short time prior to his death, when he closed out his business affairs. While upon the farm he devoted his energies to the cultivation of grain and the raising of stock, and in both lines of his business was successful. He prospered in all his ventures, made judicious investments in property and left to his family a good estate.
Mr. and Mrs. Reasoner became the parents of six children: Frederick K., an agent of the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, who married Miss Cora M. Carr, and they have two children, Helen and Margaret; Bertha, the wife of Arthur H. Beamguard, who have one child, Ralph R.; Charles H., who served with Company A, Twentieth Kansas Infantry, in the Philippines, and is now engaged in merchandising in Highland as a member of the firm of Beamguard, Reasoner & Company; Alden E., John Chandos and Alice M., who are at home with their mother in Reserve, Kansas.
The father of these children died June 2, 1899, and his death was widely and deeply mourned. He was a leading and influential supporter of the Republican party, attended its conventions, kept well informed on the issues of the day and did all in his power to promote its growth and insure its success, yet never sought office. He held a few minor township offices, but preferred to give his time and energies to his business interests. In the Masonic fraternity he attained the Knight Templar degree, was a prominent member of the Christian church and by his well spent life and many virtues commanded the respect and regard of all who knew him. He was always strictly honorable and just in his business dealings and in his home and among his friends was genial and kindly. Mrs. Reasoner is also a faithful member of the Christian church and has taught her children habits of industry and honesty so that they have become leading and responsible members of society. The family occupy a leading place in public affairs and well deserve mention in this volume.