REILY, John A.
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REILY, JOHN A., retired, was born in Myerstown, Lebanon county, PA., September 20, 1826, and is a son of William and Saloma (Valentine) Reily. Mr. Reily may trace back his ancestral line with no apprehension of finding anything but that which would be pleasant to discover, for in all his preceding generations here appeared men of character and mark.  The fourth generation preceding his own was headed by Peter Reily, of English ancestry, while next comes Capt. John Reily, son of Peter, a soldier in the Revolution and a prominent lawyer, who practiced at the first court held in Dauphin county, followed in the next generation by William Reily, his father.  On his mother's side Mr. Reily finds the record just as favorable and enviable, his great-grandfather, Michael Valentine, having for many years been a successful merchant and a prominent and honored citizen of Myerstown, Lebanon county, Pa.  William Reily, the father of John A. Reily, having lost his father in his early childhood, found a good home with his uncle,

Governor Heister, who cared for him and carefully looked after his training and instruction.  His uncle wisely judged that, for a boy who had his own way to make in the world, a good trade is one of the best kind of preparations, hence he was put to learn the trade of carpenter, and accomplished his apprenticeship in the usual time, subsequently following the occupation for some years.  In the spring of 1836 Mr. Reily removed to Harrisburg, and became largely interested in agricultural pursuits, to which he gave most of his time until a short period before his death.  Mr. Reily was advanced by his fellow-citizens to many prominent places of service and trust.  He represented Lebanon county in the State Legislature and served with ability and honor in several county offices.  His prominence in military circles was no less marked. He served in the United States militia at Baltimore in 1814.  Later in life he was made a brigade major, and at the time of his death was holding the rank of brigadier general.  His career was an honorable and useful one, beginning in humble obscurity, advancing by easy and certain steps of preferment and ending in prominence and distinction by death, July 28, 1843, his worthy wife long surviving him, and dying May 23, 1866.  They had sixteen children, and of this large family there are but three now living, John A., Martha, wife of James B. Thompson, and Frank, all of whom are residing in Harrisburg.

      John A., when he was ten years of age, came with his parents to

Harrisburg, and was here given all the educational advantages afforded by the city schools, of which he availed himself with industrious application. Although abundantly qualified for any of the learned professions or active branches of business, his inclinations and surroundings led in the direction of agricultural pursuits to which he has given his attention for the greater part of his active life.  This city has been his residence for the whole of his life, with the exception of five years, spent at Minneapolis, Minn., and one year of service in the U.S. army during the war of the Rebellion.  For a score or more of years Mr. Reily has been retired from the engagements and exacting requirements of active business, and has enjoyed the full quiet and comfort of home life.  He was married in Harrisburg September 25, 1852, to Miss Catharine Olewine, daughter of George and Maria (Pifer) Olewine, her father being of French ancestry, and both parents natives of Berks county, Pa.  Mrs. Reily was born in Cumberland county, Pa., near Fairview, November 7, 1827, and when about seven years of age came with her parents to Dauphin county, where she spent her entire life.  The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Reily are: William P., a printer now in Cincinnati, George E., now holding a position in the Pension Department, Washington, Martha L., and John Franklin, who both died in childhood.  Mr. Reily is a member of Cornplanter Tribe, I. O. R. M.  In politics he is a Democrat.  Both he and his wife are members of Christ Lutheran church, of Harrisburg.