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Judge James Hay Reed, Sr
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Birth: Sep. 10, 1853
Allegheny County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Jun. 17, 1927
Allegheny County
Pennsylvania, USA

JAMES HAY REED was born on the North Side of Pittsburgh (old Allegheny City) on September 10, 1853 (some sources list September 19, 1853). He was son of the Dr. Joseph Allison Reed and Eliza Hay.

James Hay Reed's elementary education was obtained in the public schools of Allegheny City, and was supplemented by study in the old Western University of Pennsylvania (now the University of Pittsburgh). He graduated in 1872 with an A.M.

Mr. Reed began the study of law in the offices of his uncle, David Reed, at that time a foremost Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania lawyer. He was admitted to the Allegheny county bar in 1875, and soon afterward the firm of Knox & Reed was formed, the senior member being Philander Chase Knox, afterward attorney-general of the United States and Secretary of State, closing his career as United States Senator from Pennsylvania. This firm was successful almost from the start, both attorneys being corporation lawyers, with many of the largest manufacturing and commercial concerns in the city as clients.

Later, when the Hon. Marcus W. Acheson, judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania was elevated to the Circuit Bench, Mr. Reed was nominated by President Benjamin Harrison to the District Court vacancy on February 10, 1891. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on February 20, 1891, and received his commission the same day, which he accepted with great reluctance, having little inclination for judicial work.

Judge Reed resigned within a year, and the firm of Knox & Reed resumed its activities. This firm was finally dissolved when Mr. Knox became attorney-general under President McKinley, and then the present firm of Reed, Smith, Shaw & Beal was formed. Reed was in private practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1892 until his death in 1927. As a lawyer, he counseled many of the business leaders of which turned Pittsburgh into an industrial power.

Judge Reed has been identified with the trial of many of the most prominent and important causes in the various local courts, Federal and Civil, the Superior and Supreme courts of Pennsylvania, and in the Federal courts to the Supreme Court of the United States.

These causes have ranged through all of the elementary affairs of the Union, manufacturing, commercial, financial and transportation. He was for many years general counsel and vice-president of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad Company, one of the most important integers of the New York Central system.

Later, his firm became general counsel for the Carnegie Steel Company, having been counsel for many of the constituents of this corporation for years before their general merging. He outlined the basis for the organization of the Pittsburgh, Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Company, and has been its president from its founding.

Judge Reed, in 1899, prepared the charter and other preliminaries to the organization of the Consolidated Gas Company of Pittsburgh, and after this and other companies had been acquired by the Philadelphia Company, he became president of the consolidated interests. He was vice-president and director in each of the companies composing this great organization.

When Andrew Carnegie was approached concerning the sale of his steel company and allied possessions to the United States Steel Corporation, Judge Reed was delegated to attend the various legal and other technicalities incident to this vast transaction. When the sale was eventually consummated, Judge Reed became a member of the directorate of this noted organization.

He was the senior member of the law firm of Reed, Smith, Shaw & Beal; director of Allegheny Heating Company; president and director of Pittsburgh, Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad Company; director of California Railway and Power Company; treasurer and trustee of Carnegie Hero Commission; trustee and treasurer of Carnegie Institute and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; director of Commerce Housing Commission; chairman of board of Farmers' Deposit National Bank; director of Farmers' Deposit Trust Company; director of Fidelity Title and Trust Company; director of Gulf Oil Corporation; manager of Kingsley Association; vice-president and director of Philadelphia Company and its associated companies; president and director of Reliance Insurance Company of Pittsburgh; president and director of Union Railroad Company; director of United Railway Investment Company; director of United States Steel and Carnegie Pension Fund.

Politically, Judge Reed was a Republican, and for many years has been a quiet but forceful factor in his party in local, State and National relations. Judge Reed received the honorary degree of Doctor of Legal Letters (LL. D.) from Princeton University in 1902, and in 1919 was similarly honored by the University of Pittsburgh.

On June 6, 1878, Reed married Kate J. Aiken, daughter of the late David Aiken, long a respected citizen and business man of Pittsburgh. Their children included Joseph Hay Reed; Senator David Aiken Reed; James Hay Reed, Jr.; and Katherine who married John G. Frazer.

He died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A Pennsylvania state historical marker marks his birthplace near the Carnegie Science Center on Pittsburgh's North Shore.

Bio culled from information from Wikipedia and The History of Pittsburgh and the Environs, Volume 6 pp. 314-315, and Prominent and Progressive Americans, Volume 1. Special thanks to Marcia vonGunden.
Family links: 
  Joseph Allison Reed (1823 - 1884)
  Eliza Johnston Hay Reed (1821 - 1858)
  Katherine J. Aiken Reed (1857 - 1945)*
  Joseph Hay Reed (____ - 1881)*
  James Hay Reed (1884 - 1930)*
  Katharine Reed Frazer (1886 - 1967)*
  Clara Reed Hengst (____ - 1936)*
  James Hay Reed (1853 - 1927)
  Sarah Fahnestock Reed Hutchinson (1861 - 1907)**
  Joseph Allison Reed (1864 - 1941)**
*Calculated relationship
Allegheny Cemetery
Allegheny County
Pennsylvania, USA
Plot: Section 16, Lot 128
Created by: Dr. James M. Owston
Record added: May 17, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37213577
Judge James Hay Reed, Sr
Added by: Dr. James M. Owston
Judge James Hay Reed, Sr
Added by: Rob and Debi Felten
Judge James Hay Reed, Sr
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Mike Reed
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