Ai J. Reynolds

Ai J. Reynolds is Taken by Death

The Daily Telegram., February 01, 1907
The Fairmont West Virginian., February 02, 1907, page 4

Aged and Prominent Resident of Clarksburg Passes Away After Illness

Reynolds Family marker with Ai J. Reynolds inscription

After a lingering illness with a complication of diseases, Ai J. Reynolds, an aged and highly esteemed resident of this city and a member of an honorable pioneer family of the county, died at his home on West Pike street, Friday morning at 9:30 o’clock.

Mr. Reynolds was born in Harrison county September 1, 1824, the son of John Reynolds, Jr., who came to Harrison county and purchased land in 1795.

Like the majority of farmer’s boys his early life was passed in assisting his father on the home place and in attending the district school. Later he attended school at Prunytown, Taylor county, and then started out to fight life’s battle for himself.

As he had early become familiar with the duties of farm life it was but natural that he should select that calling in life. Industrious and persevering it was but the natural consequence of things that he should make a success of life, and although of recent years he has retired from the active duties of life and resided in Clarksburg, he owned 575 acres of land on Lambert’s Run a few miles north of the city and personally superintended the tract.


Mr. Reynolds located in Clarksburg in order to educate his children and was a resident of this city since 1880. He was one of the leading men of the vicinity and was well liked by all.

Logo of the Whig Party, used because Ai J. Reynolds held very similar political views as this party

In politics he was originally a Whig, but later became conservative in his political views and voted for the man regardless of party.

Mr. Reynolds married Miss Lydia E. Gore, a daughter of Truman and Lydia (George) Gore, who came from the eastern part of Virginia in 1842 and located on a farm of about 1,100 acres, which is still owned by the family.

Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds reared four children, but only three are now living; Cora Lee who died at school when only 18 years old; Frank L., Clyde and Fannie, all of this city.


In tracing the genealogy of the Reynolds family, it is found that it sprang from English stock and that its representatives were ever honorable, upright citizens.

The first member of the family to settle in America was John Reynolds, the grandfather of Ai J. Reynolds, who 

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Braved the terrors of the deep and the privations of pioneer life to make a home on this side of the Atlantic. The revolutionary cloud had passed away at that date and he settled in Winchester County, Va., where his son John Reynolds, Jr., father of our subject, first saw the light of day.

The State of Virginia Before WV Split off

After reaching mature years the latter, who was of a progressive spirit, decided to seek new fields and on October 27, 1795, he came with a wagon drawn by five horses, to Harrison county. It is said that this is the first five horse team ever seen in Clarksburg. He located five miles north of the city on the West Fork river, purchased land and began clearing and improving.

The first day was a memorable one, for about ten or twelve men with guns and axes made their appearance where Mr. Reynolds had decided to locate, and after frightening the women, who at first thought them Indians, proceeded to help Mr. Reynolds build a cabin.

The following years were active ones for John Reynolds, Jr., who increased the 300 acres first obtained to more than 1000 acres and who became known as a thorough, practical farmer and stock raiser. In those early days hunting was a great pastime and many a deer and bear did Mr. Reynolds bring down. For many years he held the office of justice of the peace and became very well known over the county.

Marriage and Family

He was a married man when he first settled in the county, having married Miss Phillips, who bore him two children; Thomas P. who died some years ago, and Lovey, who was married to Benjamin Stout, and resided in Bridgeport until her death.

After the death of his wife Mr. Reynolds married Miss Frances Rodgers, a native of Harrison county and the daughter of Edward Rodgers, who came from Virginia to West Virginia at an early day and here passed the remainder of his days.

Stock sketch of Bride and Groom image used to represent the multiple marriages of Ai J. Reynolds

Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds became the parents of five sons and three daughters, as follows: Lemuel E., who died many years ago, Washington G., also deceased; John W., who died a number of years ago; James W., of Texas; Ai J; Harriet P., who was the wife of Ludwell L. Rodgers; Lucinda, who was the wife of Thomas Bailey, and Frances J., the widow of Franklin Maxwell. The mother of these children died in 1831 and the father in 1851. All the family are now dead.

The funeral will be held at 2:30 o’clock Sunday afternoon. Mr. Ai J. Reynolds was a member of the First Baptist Church and the pastor, the Rev. R. B. McDanel, and the Rev. L. E. Peters will officiate at the funeral services.


The Daily Telegram., February 04, 1907

Was the Funeral of Ai J. Reynolds Sunday Afternoon

The funeral of Ai J. Reynolds took place Sunday afternoon and the home on West Pike street was crowded with friends and acquaintances attending the services held there.

A large number of them followed the body to the I. O. O. F. cemetery where it was placed in the grave. The Rev. R. B. McDanel, pastor of the First Baptist church of which Mr. Reynolds was a member, led the services.

Sketch of an individual in mourning

A quartet consisting of Mrs. E. B. Deison, Miss Carrie Peters, D. M. Ogden and Hal Rapp sang in the services and their music was sweet, solemn and impressive.

The pall bearers were Benjamin B. Stout, Dr. W. W. Reynolds, of Weston; Florence Reynolds, of Hepzibah; George Reynolds, of Prunytown; Cornelius Reynolds, of Taylor county, and Thomas Reynolds, of Reynoldsville.

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