William J. Reeves and Eliza Griffin Family Biographies

by Dawn Reeves Hass


William J. Reeves was born in Devonshire England, March 28, 1826 and died in Hull, Wisconsin (Marathon County / Green Lake County, Wisconsin USA) October 09, 1888.

At eleven years of age William Reeves, left his home in Devonshire, England to begin his life as a seaman. He was a seaman for over eleven years. Then, moved to Marquette County, Wisconsin in 1848 and began farming (Marquette County Census, 1855).


In December, he married Eliza Griffin. The Colby Memorial Cemetery records state they were married April 20, 1857. In the 1870 census, they were living in Mecan, WI. Mecan is located in the central part of Wisconsin with the cities of Oxford on the west and Green Lake on the east. As stated in the Montello News Express 1875, William Reeves was elected as county board member for Mecan, Wisconsin (Montello News, 1875). William purchased several hundred acres of land in Mecan (Green Lake County Courthouse).  The county clerk explained that it was very unusual to have one person own as much as he did at that time.  She said he must have been a wealthy man. William J. Reeves and Eliza Griffin's marriage certificate is at Green Lake County courthouse. This certificate lists William's parents  - John and Agnes Reeves (no maiden name for Agnes listed) and Eliza's parents Hollis and Catherine Griffin (no maiden name for Catherine listed). Hollis and Catherine Griffin lived in Hawksbury, Canada before moving to Montello, WI. 


Hollis Griffin was the oldest Masonic Lodge member and an officer of the lodge.  According to the Montello Express News 1876, Hollis and his wife were celebrating 50 years of marriage on September 16th of that year. Hollis was also listed with the title Esq. after his name and also referred to as H. S. Griffin Sr.

In 1877, William and Eliza moved their family to Colby, WI. After Williams' death, it appears Eliza married A. J. Prentice of Colby.  Eliza left Colby WI around 1902 and finally settled in Edgemont, SD where she died April 20, 1919. Her body was brought back to Colby WI and buried with her husband William. Both William and Eliza are buried in the Colby Memorial Cemetery in Colby WI. Although I have been unable to find the tombstones.

At the time of Eliza’s death, her son William was living in Lake Bay, Washington, Henry A. was in Colby, Wisconsin, while John E. was living in Belleham, Washington. John lived in Bath Dakota around 1888. At this point, no further information has been uncovered for John E. and William.  However, Henry married Catherine Waterpohl in Colby, Clark County, Wisconsin, they had 4 children John, Neva, Harry and Henry.  John married Clara Welf of Cleveland, OH around 1920.  John and Clara had nine children Robert, James, Carl, Chester, Richard, Hazel, Dorothy, Bruce and Pricilla. More family information available upon request. Neva married William Harry. No information has been uncovered on Harry or Henry.

Contributor: Dawn Reeves Hass (Family Historian, Waukesha, Wisconsin)


Related links


Bio: Reeves, Francis - Birth of Son (3 Aug. 1951)

BioM: Reeves, Hazel (1943)

BioM: Reeves, Mrs. E. A. (1893)

BioM: Reeves, Neva Marie (1934)

BioM: Reeves, Patricia Jo Anne (1951)

Obit: Reeves, Clarabelle (1898 - 1951)

Obit: Reeves, Eliza A. (1841 - 1919)

Obit: Reeves, Henry A. (1866 - 1948)

Obit: Reeves, Henry W. (1895 - 1964)

Obit: Reeves, Lulu (1880- - 1948)

Obit: Reeves, Katherine (1875 - 1948)

Obit: Reeves, William (1826 - 1888)



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