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:
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:
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]
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