Harold Brown Reed (1890 – 1970)

US ARMY, 1918 – Army CO G 07 Infantry Division

Harold Brown Reed was born September 20, 1890 in Pleasant Hill, Missouri to Thomas Brown Reed and Iva Nora Gillespie. In the lean years of the early 1900’s many young men hopped trains in search of work. HB hopped off the train in Garden City, Kansas. The boarding house that he lived in was next- door to Miss Mary V Schrock, his soon to be wife. He said he could look into her room from his. When the work ran out he left and ended up in Columbus, Ohio. Mary V was not one to be left behind and so at the ripe old age of 20 she followed him. They were married on August 18, 1917.

He was inducted into the Army CO G 07 Infantry Division August 8, 1918. The commanding officer asked if any of the new inductees could cook. HB raised his hand and became the company cook. Due to the Spanish flu and the signing of the Armistice in November 1918 his Regiment disbanded early. Private Reed was honorably discharged on December 16, 1918, never seeing combat but with acquired cooking skills. The family moved to Hammond, Indiana. Two sons, Thomas (Mabel Tomlin) and Tully (Mary Ann Owen) were born.

HB went on to develop and patent a product called Black Beauty from coal slag. This abrasive is the original coal slag grit that is used in the marketplace, leading the industry for nearly 80 years. The product is used in roofing and in road blacktop surfaces. There are four companies across the US that produce this product. He also developed a home insulation and cinder blocks used in building. He retired to Hale, Missouri to raise black Angus cattle. He died November 9, 1970.

submitted by Mary Ann Reed

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