Historical records matching Simeon Gannett Reed, Jr.
About Simeon Gannett Reed, Jr.
Simeon Gannett Reed (April 23, 1830 – November 7, 1895) was an American businessman and entrepreneur in Oregon. A native of Massachusetts, he made a fortune primarily in the transportation sector in association with William S. Ladd. Reed is the namesake for Reedville, Oregon, and Reed College in Portland, Oregon.
Simeon Gannett Reed was one of the most important figures in the economic development of Portland and Oregon in the late 19th century. He was born in East Abington (now Rockland), Mass. in 1830. After finishing his education at 15, he worked in a dry goods store in Boston and as a shoe cutter in East Abington. He entered the grain and flour business in Quincy, Mass., and later married Amanda Wood, who was a member of a wealthy and prominent Quincy family. The Reeds came to California in 1852 and soon departed for Oregon. After a number of ventures, Reed became a clerk for the Portland, Or. general merchandise firm of W.S. Ladd and Company. He purchased the firm in partnership with William S. Ladd's sons, forming Ladd, Reed and Company in 1859. He invested money in steamship ventures and, in 1860, became a partner with Captain John C. Ainsworth and others in the Oregon Steam and Navigation Company, the principal shipping firm on the Columbia River. In 1879 the company was purchased by railroad magnate Henry Villard and merged with the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, and Reed became vice-president and manager of the new firm. Reed also invested heavily in railroad, mining, land development, and industrial ventures, including the Oregon Iron and Steel Company at Oswego. Among his mining interests was the Bunker Hill and Sullivan Mining & Concentrating Company in Idaho. He took an active interest in livestock breeding and owned the Ladd and Reed Farm Company, along with William S. Ladd. The Company possessed large tracts of farm land in the Willamette and Tualatin Valleys.
Lloyd Lyman ’48: "Simeon Reed was fussy about his clothes and tended to be a flashy dresser. On Sundays he drove to church with his wife in a smart landau behind high-stepping matched horses in silver-mounted harnesses. He also liked bourbon whiskey and was not a stranger to the wines that go with good living. But his passion seemed to be for expensive cigars that he bought in lots of five hundred and smoked constantly..."