My Great-Great Grandparents Samuel Joseph and Julia Depriest Reese
Currently the oldest photo of any Reese in my direct paternal line that I have is of my Great-Great Grandfather, Samuel Joseph Reese born circa 1828 near Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia. He died circa 1899 in Franklin, North Carolina and is buried in an unmarked grave at Clarks Chapel Church, Franklin, North Carolina. This photo which is a copy of the a tintype was given to me in 1996 by my Great Aunt Alice Octavia Reese Potts. Alice owned the orginal tin type and I imagine that photo was passed down to her daughter Doris Potts. Samuel was Alice Octavia Reese Potts' grandfather. Aunt Alice was a wonderful lady whose mother Octavia Womack Reese died when she was only two months old. Alice was subsequently raised by my Great-Grandmother Arie Tallent Reese(2nd wife of Alice's dad Robert Walter Reese) Arie had been the midwife at Alice's birth. Alice told me my Great Grandfather Robert Walter Reese always said that if anything ever happened to his 1st wife, he'd marry Arie Tallent and that's what ended up happening. According to my dad's uncles, Robert Walter Reese was quite the prankster and a very witty fellow. He had quite a few kids and two wives so I'm sure he used quite a bit of humor to soften the blow of a tough existence in a harsh climate of the mountains of southwestern North Carolina. Alice said her mother Octavia died from complications of her birth. She was sick from the time Alice was born and eventually died several months afterward. My Great Aunt Alice told me her grandfather Samuel died in Franklin, NC right after she was born, so that had to be in 1899 sometime. She also told me Samuel Reese was a wagonmaker and moved from Augusta County, VA to West Virginia during the Civil War to make wagons for troops.(I corroborated these facts with info from census records in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.) He lived for a time with his family in Parkersburg, West Virginia in the 1860s. He and his wife Julia Anne Depriest Reese lost one of their children to disease during the time they lived in what became West Virginia during the Civil War. Virginia was split into VA and West VA in 1863. Sometime after the war ended between 1865 and 1868 or so Samuel moved his family to Oconee County, South Carolina where he had obtained a job with the Norfolk Southern Railway. They lived there until the railroad work was completed, and then with no job prospects he opted to pack up and move north to Franklin NC with his wife Julia and kids, William, Robert, Charles, Jemima and Bettie Alice. His friend from Virginia, George Downs(a blacksmith) also moved to Franklin NC at the same time with his family. Both these families lived near each other and attended the Clarks Chapel Church together. They had been friends in Augusta County VA and lived near each other there as well. George Downs and his wife are buried at the Clarks Chapel Church Cemetery in Franklin NC as well.
Samuel Joseph Reese married Julia Anne Depriest January 26, 1852 in Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia.
Samuel Joseph Reese
Julia Depriest Reese