Descendants of William Rea


21. Samuel Rea

Samuel assumed the responsibility of caring for the family after his father's death, February 6, 1829. He may have been teaching prior to the family's short-lived sojourn in Indiana in 1827-28. On the return trip, Samuel and his younger brother travelled on foot via Zanesville, Ohio in order to visit their uncle Rev. James Culbertson. Samuel conducted a school at Sharp's Mill, not far from Fayetteville, during the term of 1829-30. He spent the next term teaching in Lycoming County. His mother and younger brothers were with him at Sharp's Mill, but he left them and rented quarters in Fayetteville when he went to Lycoming County.

Why Samuel left the teaching profession is unknown. By 1832 he had become a clerk for Dr. Peter Shoenberger Iron company, first at Sarah Furnace and then at Maria Forges in southeastern Bedford County where his mother joined hin in 1833. He became manager of the Schoenberger Upper Maria Forges on April 1, 1836. His contract was for one year and the annual stipend was $500, which was far better than a teaching salary. Samuel came to Pittsburgh late in 1837. It is unknown what he did for his first employment there. An 1839 letter from his brother Andrew indicates he was working for a comany called Graff.

Samuel's mother died in April 1836 and he married Elizabeth McKee in September of the same year.

Samuel's brother, Dr. John P. Rea had preceeded him in coming to Pittsburgh. Elizabeth and William evidently came with Samuel to Pittsburgh. Samuel's first employment there was as a clerk in the firm John Rea, Forwarding Agent, according to an 1839 directory of Pittsburgh. The directory lists the firm's address as "Washington near Prospect." In 1841, Samuel was an associate of H. & P. Graff, owners of the Union Boat Line, with nine boats operating. In the 1857-58 directory of Pittsburgh, Samuel is listed as Samuel Rea of Graff, Rea & Company, Iron & Coal Merchants, with offices at 47 Water Street. Samuel was a principle in the firm until 1850, when he was named secretary of the Citizens Insurance Company, insurers of steamboats and their cargo. He continued in that position until 1865 when he was elected President and a member of the board of directors of the newly chartered Peoples National Bank. It is believed that while he was president of the bank, his coal business partner caused Samuel's financial ruin. In order to satisfy his creditors Samuel liquidated his assets and resigned his position as president of the bank, against the wishes of the board of directors.

Henry Oliver Rea believed that Samuel may have sold a small parcel of land he inherited from his step-grandmother(?) in order to help pay for his brother John P. Rea's medical school education at the University of Maryland. This inheritance was 15 acres and 2 perches and was limited by the stipulation that Elizabeth Lewis, Martha Rea's daughter, should receive any income from the property during her life time. Samuel exchanged his inheritance for the outright ownership of eight acres and 57 perches, a tract which he sold immediately on April 2, 1831.

Samuel's mother lived with him from 1833 until her death in April, 1836. His brother William had moved in, also, in 1835 and Samuel's sister Elizabeth spent her summers at his home at Maria Forges and lived with Samuel in Pittsburgh until her marriage. His success in the business and financial world assured he and his family a comfortable living. December 2, 1840 Samuel rented a house for the year April 1841-42. During 1857 to 1859, his home was at 14 Pike Street and from 1860 the family lived at 109 Liberty Street.

Elizabeth Jane McKee

After her husband's death, Elizabeth lived with her daughter, Mary Laughlin Rea Ayers.

On March 19, 1886, Elizabeth transferred her church membership from First Presbyterian to East Liberty Presbyterian Church. She devoted much of her time to religious activities.

92. James Culbertson Rea

Never married. James attnded Princeton in 1869, the University of Pennsylvania Medical School (M.D., 1872) and, following his internship at Bellevue Hospital, he engaged in private practice in Pittsburgh, until ill health forced his retirement. Dr. Rea was an accomplished musician.

22. Dr. John P. Rea

Dr. John P. Rea was both a physician and a businessman. The Pittsburgh directory of 1839 shows him as a forwarding agent. He was later a commission merchant and wholesale grocer and prcaticed medicine in Shellsburg, Dickinson and Pittsburgh. He served as an army surgeon during the Civl War.

When the family migrated to Indiana, John stayed behind when the family returned to Pennsylvania. He studied at South Hanover College (today known as Hanover College, near Madison, Indiana). By 1831 he was studying was studying with a prominent Chambersburg physician, Dr. Cummings, and in 1832 he completed his medical education at the University of Maryland. His first practice was in association with Dr. Bramwell in Schellsburg (not far from Bedford) in 1833. This arrangement was for six months, afterwhich Dr. Bramwell turned over his entire practice to John. In 1835 he was joined by his brothers James and Charles, but, he was soon forced to leave Schellsburg because the area was too healthy and didn't need a physician!

From 1839 to 1857, John devoted his time to medical practice with offices in the United States Hotel (1841), at 45 Third Street in Pittsburgh (1844) and later at his home, 126 Penn Street. The Pittsburg Directory for 1856-57 reveals that he was not only practicing medicine but was also in partnership with his brother William in the forwarding and commission business. This partnership dissolved in 1859, and John retired from medical practice and entered into the commission and wholesale grocery business, with the firm Rea, Lloyd & Forsythe. This business lasted only a short time and, in 1862, "John Rea, M.D." was living on "Greenburg Road, north of Two Mile Run," ( the Lawrenceville section of Pittsburg). In 1863 he took up residence at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital and in 1864 was named Army Surgeon, or surgeon-in-chief of the regional army hospital located in the Western Pennsylvania Hospital.

Shortly after the Civil War, Dr. Rea retired permanently from the field of medicine, was elected secretary of the Citizens Insurance Company, a position vacated by his brother Samuel, and remained in that position until shortly before his death. It is believed that his "in-and-out" medical career was caused by ill health.

97. Mary A. Rea

Never married.

98. Elizabeth Laughlin Rea

Edward and Elizabeth had no children.

Edward Lewis Simonds

Edward and Elizabeth had no children.

23. James D. Rea

James was forced to abandon his teaching career due to poor health. It is believed he began teaching in 1829, after his father's death, probably in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. It is known that he taught there from 1832 to 1834. Late in 1834 he left teaching to enter the retail trade, but by the next year he had resumed teaching in Shellsburg, where his brother Dr. John P. Rea was practicing medicine. His teaching had dual purposes, as it was a source of income and also provided an education for his youngest brother, Charles. Charles was with him for some time in Mercersburg and also in Shellsburg. After 1835, James was employed, at times, by the Pennsylvania Canal Company and/or the Union Boat Line and also in merchandising, having his own store in Hollidaysburg. At one time James intended to settle in Pittsburgh where his brothers Samuel, William and John were established. He was in Pittsburgh in 1840, in the employ of the Canal Company, but evidently he preferred a business of his own. By 1841 he was well established in merchandising in Hollidaysburg and remained there for the rest of his life. From July 25, 1854 to October, 1855 he served as an Associate Judge for Blair County.

Ruth Blair Moore

After the death of her husband, Ruth and her children came to Pittsburgh, where her son Thomas had obtained a position.

99. Jane Moore Rea

Never married.

100. Elizabeth Culbertson Rea

Died as an infant.

24. Andrew Jackson Rea

Jackson (Andrew went by his middle name, Jackson) was only 13 when his father died and was apprenticed, on July 1, 1830, for a term of six years, to the merchandising firm, Baugh Brothers, in Emmetsburg, Maryland. At the end of his apprenticeship, he was to receive $300, in addition to his "keep" during the apprenticeship term. The Baugh Brothers dissolved their partnership on July 1, 1835, before the termination of Jackson's contract, and so he received $485, an upward adjustment to compensate for the sixth year's board. With his money he formed a partnership with one of tyhe Baugh Brothers, but the business did not prosper. Next, he entered into partnership with a fellow worker in a retail store in Woodsboro, Maryland, but that business failed. After a short trial as an independent merchant, Jackson decided decided to quit Maryland and come to Hollidaysburg or Pittsburgh, wher his brothers were living. His final decision was to open a retail store in Hollidaysburg, where James was already successful in the same enterprise. Jackson, his brother Charles, his wife and their two small children arrived in Hollidaysburg by April 27, 1841. With him he brought retail stock valued at $2,000. Both Jackson and his elder son Charles were very ill and before the stock was unpacked and housekeeping set up, both passed away. Jackson's wife, Jane Maloney Rea, whom he had married in Emmetsburg, was a native of Maryland. It is believed she survived her husband by many years and lived for a time with her son James Newton Rea, in Johnstown. James Newton Rea had one child, a son, who died without issue, so this line then became extinct.

103. Charles Rea

Both Charles and his father died of an illness just after the family moved from Emmetsburg, Maryland to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania.

26. Elizabeth McClay Rea

Moved to St. Louis, Missouri with her husband William, where she was still living in 1893 at the age of 75. This information is from page 141 of the 1923 Culbertson genealogy by Dr. Lewis Rogers Culbertson, M.D., of Zanesville, Ohio.

According to her own recollections, Elizabeth "drifted along like a thoughtless child" in the years after her father's death. She was the only sister of six brothers and, although the family was in reduced circumstances, her older brothers managed to pay her tuition at the leading girl's school in Southeastern Pennsylvania. She attended Misses Penroe's School, founded in 1815 by Mary and Eunecia Penroe, daughters of a New England clergyman. When her brother Samuel moved to Pittsburgh in 1837, Elizabeth came with him and continued to live with him until 1851, when she married William C. Scott and went to live in St. Louis, Missouri. She devoted much of her married life to religious activities.

27. William Rea

William was a banker and industrialist who began his career in 1835 as a clerk for the Upper Maria Forges of the Schoenberger Iron interests in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. Of the family left fatherless in 1829, William had the least advantage. His older brothers were self-supporting and, in addition they provided a meagre existence for their mother and the younger children, for a few years. When the family was broken up, in 1833, Charles went to live with his brother James in Mercersburg, Elizabeth remained in boarding school in Chambersburg, but William was left homeless in Fayetteville. In a letter to James, dated July 1, 1834, his mother wrote of this circumstance: "William, you know, has no place but living on his friends, and friends too that will be vey ready to complain, though I know they don't keep him idle, nor do I wish them, he ought to be engaged in something. I am afraid he gets out of clothes and he won't know how to supply himself. I never thought I could have left one of my children in so desolute a situation." Apparently, William did not live always with friends, but spent part of the time with his uncle John Thomson.

Up to the time William had to fend for himself, he had the advantages of education. He attended the local Classical Schools, had attended his brothers' schools in Fayetteville and Sharp's Mill, and had studied Latin and Greek under an Irish tutor, Mr. Buchanan of Fayetteville. After two years alone in or near Fayetteville and upon realising that any further educational or business opportunities were nil, William made his first major decision. Shortly before he died he wrote of it as follows:

"In 1835 I left Uncle Thomason's and started for Maria Forges to join Mother with three dollars in my pocket. Sister Elizabeth was at school in Chambersburg at the Misses Penroe's at the time and gave me the money, so I bade her good-bye and started for there on foot. Walked to Loudon (Fort Loudon), stayed there over night, took the stage thence to Bedford and Shellsburg, where brothers John, James and Charles were then living. John practicing medicine, James teaching and Charles attending school...I stayed with them a few days and then went to Maria Forges glad to see my mother."

At Maria Forges, he obtained a clerk position in the Iron Works where Samuel held a reposnible position. When Samuel and his wife came to Pittsburgh late in 1837, William came with him. It is believed that the brothers worked first for the Graff brothers, owners of the Union Boat Line, but the next year William had begun an independent business, commission merchandising. In 1855 he joined interest with his brother Dr. John who had a forwarding (freight transfer) concern. This partnership, J. & W. Rea, Commission & Forwarding Agents, had quarters at Nos. 74 and 76 Water Street. But the very next year the brothers abandoned the freight aganecy and engaged in commission merchandising exclusively, with offices at Nos. 93 and 95 First Street and the warehouse, "Commission House, Produce," at No. 75 Water Street.

Matilda Anne Robinson

Matilda was a daughter of industrialist William C. Robinson. She and William Rea were married at the Robinson's home, 165 Third Street in Pittsburgh. William and Matilda's first home was in Pittsburgh, on Federal Street. They later lived at 99 Penn Street (1857-58), "Coal Hill" (present day Mt. Washington; 1858-59), Woods Run Station (1859-61), Spring Street in East Liberty (1861-65). After living a year in Lower St. Clair Township, they purchased land on Penn Avenue, near presnt day Lang Avenue. Here William built his final home in 1888-89 (the first house on the site was destroyed by fire in 1886).

28. Charles Rea

Lived in Pittsburgh. Served three years (1862-65) in the Civil War, as a Private in Company F, 46th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. This information is from page 141 of the 1923 Culbertson genealogy by Dr. Lewis Rogers Culbertson, M.D., of Zanesville, Ohio. Was a twin of Hannah Ann Rea, who died in infancy. According to Henry Oliver Rea's "Samuel Rea, 1725-1811, Heritage and Descendants," Charles saw action at Ball's Bluff, Bull Run (second battle), Chancellorsville, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Cedar Mountain, Lookout Mountain (as an adjutant to Major-General Slocum) and Gettysburg. He kept a diary of his Civil War service, which was later in the possession of James Childs Rea (as of 1960).

After returning to civilian life, Charles was appointed freight agent for the Pennsylvania Railroad. He later joined the firm Robinson-Rea Manufacturing Co., of which his brother William was treasurer and a major stockholder.

108. Charles Stanley Rea

Charles and Fanny had no children. Charles was a mechanical engineer and assisted in the orgnaization and served as president of the Ralston Steel Car Company. He was active in the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and sponsored more than 1,000 persons for membership. He was a talented violinist and on occasions was soloist in the Trinity Cathedral and St. Peter's Epsicopal Church.

Fanny Irene Palmer

Fanny and Charles had no children.

31. Samuel Rea

Samuel was living in Adams County, Pennsylvania when his father died. He migrated to Ohio. He was living in Coshocton, Ohio in 1830.

Henry Oliver Rea, in writing "Samuel Rea, 1725-1811, Heritage & Descedants" in 1960 was unaware of Samuel's descendants. I have supplied that data, gathered from other descendants.

32. John Rea

John and his family moved to Tallahassee, Florida in 1830. Five of his children were born in Pennsylvania, four in Florida. After John's death on April 8, 1839, the family moved to Springfield, Ohio. His daughter Emily Kerr Black and her daughter Fay lived in Ottawa, Illinois.

33. William Rea

According to the 1830 Census, William was living in Greene Township, Franklin County, Pennsylvania in 1830 with his wife, a son 5 or younger, a son 15 to 20, a daughter 5 or younger, a daughter 5 to 10 and a daughter 20 to 30.

39. Samuel Rea Wright

Samuel migrated to Ontario County, New York early in the 19th century, where he owned property at Canadiague in 1814. In 1817 the family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Samuel's descendants are concentrated. A search of Cincinnati shows 200 Wrights living there in 2005. In addition, there are 6 Rea households in Cincinatti, as well.

126. Betsy Wright

Never married.

40. Hannah Wright

Hannah and her husband John Potts migrated to Butler County, Pennsylvania, where they bought land in the First and Second Donation Districts, October 13, 1806. John dies intestate, survived by Hannah and her six children.

131. Margaret Potts

Never married.