Title: Inventory of Bernard J. Reid Collection
Record group: PP-Reid
Accession Number: 978-001 & 983-078
Reid, Bernard J.
Extent: ca. 19 boxes
Santa Clara University Archives
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[Identification of item], Bernard J. Reid Collection, Santa Clara University. University Archives.
Bernard J. Reid was born April 24, 1823 in Youngstown, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Meredith Reid and Eleanor Hanlon, Irish
immigrants to this country. At the age of seventeen, B.J. Reid became the teacher of the district school at Pleasant Unity,
Pennsylvania. When he was nineteen, he moved to Clarion, Pennsylvania where he taught school and did surveying. The following
year, he and his brother founded and published
The Iron County Democrat, which later became
The Clarion Democrat.
In July, 1846, Reid traveled to St. Louis where he became Examiner of Surveys in the office of the U.S. Surveyor General.
In 1849, Reid participated in the great migration to gold rush California. Upon his arrival in California, after a difficult
overland journey with the Pioneer Line, Reid worked as a miner near Weber's Creek. Leaving the mines, he went to San Francisco
where he worked as a surveyor and typesetter. In San Francisco, in late 1850, Reid met Mr. Hawxhurst "My old friend and partner"
who had just purchased property in Santa Clara Valley and who offered to take Reid in as a "partner in farming and trading"
(letter of Reid to Hermana Mia- his sister Mary- 3/12/51).
In 1851, Reid came to the newly established Santa Clara College where he became one of the school's first lay professors.
He worked closely with Fr. Nobili and other faculty to help get the school established. He taught English and mathematics
there until 1852.
In 1852, Reid returned to Clarion by way of the Isthmus of Panama. In Clarion, he completed his legal studies and was admitted
to the bar on December 3, 1853.
In 1854, Reid married Letitia Farran, daughter of John and Letitia Farran. Together , they had nine children and enjoyed fifty-eight
years of married life.
Their children included Anna Josephine, who married and died as a result of complications in the birth of her first child;
Ambrose, whose life is detailed below; Mary Agnes who became a nun at St. Joseph's convent of Mercy taking the name Sr. Mary
Agnes; Charles Vincent who became a businessman; John James who died at the age of two; George M. Joseph who joined the priesthood;
Letitia Eleanor who became a nun at St. Mary's Convent taking the name of Sr. Mary Alphonsa; Norbert Stanislaus who also became
a businessman; and Genevieve Elizabeth who died at age twenty-six from a heart ailment.
During the Civil War, Reid served as Captain of Company F, 63rd Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. Following the war, he resumed
an active legal practice in Clarion.
Reid died on November 15, 1904 in Pittsburgh as a result of an attack of pneumonia.
The Bernard J. Reid Collection also contains the papers of Ambrose Reid, B.J. Reid's oldest son. Ambrose Reid was born on
February 3, 1857 in Clarion. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame and then began to study law under his father in
1875. In 1878, Ambrose was admitted to the bar and became a member of his father's firm.
In 1890, Ambrose moved to Pittsburgh where he became a legal partner with A.V.D. Watterson. In 1911, he ran for and won the
office of judge of the court of common pleas of Allegheny County. He served in this office for the remainder of his life.
In 1896, Ambrose married Lucille Hopkins, daughter of Dr. Abram and Katherine Hopkins. With Lucy, he raised two sons, Meredith
In December 1933, Ambrose had the honor of becoming the fifth president judge of Allegheny County.
Like his father, Ambrose took an active interest in the community and was a member of several religious and civic groups.
Ambrose died in 1941 as a result of a long term illness.
The Bernard J. Reid Collection is the result of the gift of Alfred D. Reid, great-grandson of Bernard J. Reid, to the University
of Santa Clara Archives over the period 1978-1980. (SCU Accession #78-01)
The Bernard J. Reid Collection is numbered as follows:
- Body of the collection- PP-Reid
- Oversized Materials- PP-Reid/Ricard; Map Drawers
- Photographs- 24,969 and following
- Full-size Newspapers- Map Drawer
Deborah Ann Whipple
Gigia Louise Bjorn
28 May 1981
Additional B.J. Reid materials were presented to the SCU Archives in 1983 (SCU Accession # 983-078). These include the original
1849 Diary, Reid's lecture on California, Joseph Ware's Map of the Route to California, and the Pioneer Line Passenger List.
See addenda to the Collection, p. 65-67.
Julia O'Keefe, University Archivist