George W. Reed
photo from Davis' Commercial Encyclopedia, via Oakland History Center

George William Reed (June 14, 1852 – November 27, 1922) was considered "one of the leading attorneys of Oakland" a senior partner in the law firm of Reed, Black & Reed. Born in Vassalboro, Maine, he and his family moved to Oakland when he was four, where he attend public school. Reed was Class Secretary the year he graduated from the University of California in 1872.

Following graduation George Reed began the "reading of law" (in the 1800s a person could study law under a mentoring attorney to become a lawyer). After studying for a year Reed was appointed Deputy County Clerk, working under his brother, Charles G. Reed. George Reed was admitted to the bar in December 1879, and became a law clerk for A. A. Moore from 1880 to 1883. After forming a partnership with Moore—Moore & Reed—George Reed continued in this capacity for six years. The law office of Moore & Reed was located on the SE corner of 9th and Broadway in Oakland.

George married Mary E. _ (Reed) (1855-) , and they had three children: Mabel Reed (1878-?), Clarence Monroe Reed (1879-?), who started out as a junior partner in his father's Oakland law firm, and Russell Albert Reed (May 1885-c.1906) who died at 21.

Mary died in 188_, and in c.1892 George married Georgie _ (March 1866-?). In 1899 George Reed lived in the home at 974 - 16th Street, Oakland, now known as the Reed-Henshaw House. 1 The 1900 census lists their address as 1101 Adeline Street, Oakland, a few blocks away from the Reed-Henshaw House, and Mable (21), Clarence (20) and Russell Albert (15) all living at home.

In November 1888 George Reed was elected District Attorney, and in 1890 he was re-elected.

Following his time in political office, Reed formed the partnership of Reed & Nusbaumer 5. Reed & Nusbaumer were attorneys for the Haywards Electric railway, started by Egbert B. Stone and others, until a dispute over pay ended the relationship. Since the railway's beginning, they had been working for $100 a month. The board voted to cut their pay to $50 a month, and Reed & Nusbaumer said "no thanks". Samuel Bell McKee took over after that, though it's unclear at what rate. 5

After eleven years Reed went on to form a new partnership with Mr. Percie C. Black and George Reed's son, Clarence M. Reed. Clarence passed the bar in 1906. 4

In 1900 Reed was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, which nominated William McKinley for President, and again in 1904 served as a delegate at the Chicago National Convention, as well as 1908 where William H. Taft was nominated for President.

From 1907-1908 George W. Reed served as the Chairman of the County Central Committee. Reed was a member of the Victor H. Metcalf congressional committee, having been a big supporter of Metcalf during his Congressional run. Additionally, Reed was the Chairman of the Congressional Committee of Joseph R. Knowland for several years.

George Reed was the member of a number of civic and community organizations, including Exalted Ruler of the Oakland Masonic organization, and was Chairman of the Building Committee, overseeing the construction of the Oakland Elks Hall, which at the time was "one of the most popular clubrooms in Oakland." Reed was also a member of the Athenian Club.

According to Political Graveyard, "George W. Reed — of Oakland, Alameda County, Calif. Republican. Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1904 (member, Credentials Committee), 1908. Burial location unknown." 2

from Men of the Pacific Coast 1902

Links and References

  1. ALAMEDA COUNTY SOCIETY BLUE BOOK - 1889 Alameda County Genealogy
  2. Index to Politicians PoliticalGraveyard
  3. Designated Landmarks, Heritage Properties, and Preservation Districts City of Oakland

  4. Clarence Reed an Attorney San Francisco Call April 7, 1906

  5. Refused Fifty Dollars a Month San Francisco Call May 26, 1896

  6. George W. Reed, Oakland Pioneer, Called By Death Oakland Tribune November 28, 1922