Within a few years of a century ago there was born in what is now Harrison County one of its most prosperous and influential citizens, by name Joseph Rea, father of Andrew J. Rea the subject proper of this sketch. John Rea, the father of Joseph, was one of the pioneer ministers of the Presbyterian faith in this county, and it was he who organized the churches of that denomination in Cadiz, Beech Spring, Crab Apple and Nottingham, all of which are still in a prosperous condition. He was forty-five years pastor of Beech Spring Church. Mr. Rea was a native of Ireland, having been born in Tullow, County Carlow, to Joseph and Isabella Rea. At the age of nineteen years he came to America, where his education was mainly obtained, and in 1793 he married Elizabeth Christie, of Westmoreland County, Penn., who bore him nine children—seven sons and two daughters. He died in what is now Green Township, Harrison Co., Ohio, where for years he bad lived and labored, passing from earth at the patriarchal age of eighty-four years.
Joseph Rea, son of the above, was, as above narrated, a native of what is now Harrison County, born in that portion now known as Green Township, September 20, 1796. He remained at home until of age, when he married, near New Athens, Miss Jane, daughter of John and Mary McConnell, and also a native of Harrison County, of which her father was one of the early settlers. For the first five years after their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Rea remained in Green Township and then moved to Moorefield Township, locating, in 1824, on the farm now owned by William Pickering, remaining there six years, thence moving to the farm in Cadiz Township, on which the Widow Kidwell now resides, and, in 1837, came to the farm which he purchased from Joseph Shotwell, and there spent the remaining days of his life. They were the parents of seven children, viz.: E]izabeth, widow of John Lafferty residing in Cadiz Township; Mary, Mrs. Samuel Dunlap, in Nottingham Township; John, in Kansas; Andrew Jackson; Martha, on the old home place; and William and Joseph (both deceased). In 1859 the mother died, at the age of fifty-nine years, and in April, 1862 the father followed her to the grave. He was one of the prominent and most active Democrats in Harrison County, and served his district in the House of Representatives two terms---from 1832 to 1838. He and his wife were both members of the Presbyterian Church.
Andrew J. Rea, the subject proper of this biographical sketch, was
born in Moorefield Township, Harrison Co., Ohio, in November, 1826 and
spent his boyhood days on the farm, sharing in its general duties. His
school advantages were very meager, being limited to instruction received
in the old log school-house of his day. In March. 1856, he was married
to Miss Mary, daughter of John and Elsie (Johnson) Moore, and a native
of the same township as her husband. The Moore family were descended from
Irish ancestry, and came to this county early in the present century. After
their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Rea came to Cadiz Township and settled on the
farm where their home has since been made, and where were reared their
children, whose record is as follows: Martha Elizabeth is now the wife
of George Holliday, of Moorefield Township; Elsie J. is living at home;
Joseph died at the age of fourteen years; Lenora resides at home; John
M. is being educated at Franklin College. The home of Mr. and Mrs. Rea
is on the "Clay Pike," four and a half miles west of the county seat. They
have for many years been members of the Presbyterian Church of Nottingham;
politically Mr. Rea is a Democrat, zealous in the interests of his party,
and, although he resides in a strong Republican district, has held the
office of county commissioner. Socially the Rea family rank high, and of
them all speak in complimentary terms. Mr. Rea is a progressive citizen
and a pleasant companion, one whose record has never been tarnished.
Commemorative biographical record of the counties of Harrison and Carrol, Ohio. By J. H. Beers, 1891