William H. Reagan (1839-1905)

John Reagan was born in Ireland around 1807 in Ireland, the son of Christopher Reagan (1775-1854) and Honora Murray (1777-28 January 1870). With his parents and siblings he emigrated as to the United States after 1819. John married Julia Grady, born around 1808, a native of Ballymore, County Westmeath, and the couple settled in Ansonia, then a village in the town of Derby, Connecticut, where John was a laborer, and where their seven children were born:

  1. Mary Anne Reagan (ca. 1835-1913 North Adams, Massachusetts), married Peter Cullen (b. 1826)
  2. James W. Reagan (ca. 1837-4 July 1899 Brownwood, Texas)
  3. William H. Reagan (1839-1905)
  4. Catherine Reagan (ca. 1841-before 1901)
  5. Julia E. Reagan (30 June 1842-11 April 1920), married Peter Cummings (1837-1923), lived in Pittsfield, Mass.
  6. John Reagan (January 1845-7 August 1901 Florida, Massachusetts), Civil War, First Vermont Cavalry.
  7. Edward C. Reagan (1846-after 1905), lived in Philadelphia.

On 15 July 1852 Julia Grady (her tombstone bears her maiden name) died in Ansonia and was buried in Old St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery; John Reagan died soon afterward (1853), leaving seven children without home or support. Having learned that their grandparents, Christopher and Honora Reagan, were living in North Adams, Massachusetts, the children set out on foot, making their way up the Connecticut River to Greenfield, Massachusetts, then over the Hoosac Range via the Mohawk Trail to North Adams, where they located their grandmother, who took them in and raised them. Their grandfather Christopher Reagan died in 1854, and was buried in Hillside Cemetery, North Adams.

William H. Reagan, born in December 1839, was the third child of John and Julia Reagan. As a young man he moved to Pittstown, New York, where in 1865 he boarded with the family of Cyrenius William Newcomb, shoemaker, and his wife Elizabeth Adaline "Betsey" Chase. In 1866 he married their daughter Caroline Ophelia Newcomb (November 1849-8 December 1924). The couple moved to Vermont for a few years, and then, around 1875, to North Adams, where he is listed in census records as an engineer (1880) and shipping clerk (1900). He was member of the Universalist church and the Masonic lodge, and also served as "dictator" of lodge no. 487 of the Knights of Honor. The couple's first two children were born in New York, the third (Bessie) in Vermont; their remaining children were born in North Adams. William H. Reagan died in North Adams on 7 July 1905 and is buried in Hillside Cemetery. His widow taught in the North Adams public schools for several years after his death. They had nine children; the following are known:

  1. Arletta May Reagan (26 October 1866-13 August 1941), born in Troy, New York; married Fred H. Simonds (1858-1946) on 3 May 1888 in North Adams; he was a church sexton in Philadelphia; they had four children.
  2. William P. Reagan was born in Troy, New York in February 1872. He learned the shoe-cutter's trade, and on 24 April 1894 he married Mary F. Botrell (born 27 October 1872) in Stamford, Vermont. The couple moved to North Adams, where in April 1896 he became a police officer, On 21 November 1900 he committed suicide, leaving behind his wife and two young daughters, Grace Adella Reagan (11 July 1897-21 January 1981) and Marion Arletta Reagan (3 May 1899-14 February 1936). On 5 November 1903 his widow Mary married Forest F. Goodermote in Stamford, Vermont. She died 23 May 1904 in Clarksburg, Massachusetts, only six days after the birth of their son, who likewise did not survive.
  3. Bessie M. Reagan (June 1874-4 February 1963), married William Lincoln Dickie (1868-1934) on 13 November 1901 in North Adams. She died in Lenox, Massachusetts, and was buried in Main Street Cemetery, Dalton.
  4. Frank E. Reagan (13 March 1878-12 November 1911), died of tuberculosis in Westfield State Sanatorium.
  5. Caroline Adella "Della" Reagan (4 April 1881-12 August 1964), on 23 June 1920 married her first cousin Charles Mortimer Fake (27 May 1882-23 May 1960); they had two sons and one daughter. She was buried in Southview Cemetery, North Adams.
  6. Fred Herbert Reagan (22 July 1883-25 February 1962), in 1918 married Martha C. McAdoo (1894-1948), had one daughter Madeleine (1921-2008); she married Sanger B. Steel (1919-1983).
  7. Mabel Esther Reagan (20 April 1889-3 April 1975), married Joseph Michael Mulcahy (ca.1885-6 March 1956).
  8. James Reagan (died before 1900?)

William H. Reagan

William H. Reagan died yesterday at 4.15 o'clock at his home, 29 Meadow street, aged 66 years. He took a severe cold a week ago.

Mr. Reagan was born in Ansonia, Ct., but had lived many years in this city. He was engineer at the Johnson mill for 19 years and was afterward in the employment of W. C. Ellis , manufacturer of shirt waists, etc. for 11 years. For the last two years he had done no regular work. He was a faithful and capable employe and his services were highly valued by those to whom they were rendered. He was also a good neighbor and citizen and was much respected by the community. He was a member of Greylock lodge, F. and A. M. Mountain lodge, A. O. U. W,. and Dictator lodge, Knights of Honor.

Mr. Reagan leaves besides his widow, two sons and four daughters. Frank and Fred Reagan, Mrs. W. L. Dickie, Misses Delia and Mabel Reagan of this city, and Mrs. Fred H. Simonds of Philadelphia. He also leaves two sisters and a brother, Mrs. Mary A. Cullen of this city, Mrs. Peter Cummings of Pittsfield and E. C. Reagan of Philadelphia.

The funeral will be held at the Universalist church Monday afternoon at 2.30 o'clock, Rev. G. E. Colson officiating, and the burial will be in Hillside cemetery with Masonic rites.

[The North Adams Transcript, 8 July 1905]

[ Steel family | Warren Steel | UM Home ]