James Reeder was one of the early pioneers of Hays City and was an attorney with the law firm Nelson & Reeder. He was born in Park County, Indiana, and came to Hays City in the spring of 1878 after earning a law degree from Ashbury University at Green Castle, Indiana.
He was elected County Clerk in the fall of 1880 and served one term. He was a charter member of the Masonic Order for Hays City and a member of Beta Theta Pi.
His wife preceded him in death (December 11, 1888).
The grave marker for James Reeder catches your attention from a distance and upon closer inspection, you will notice that it has Reeder on one side and Brown on the other side. The side reading Brown refers to an Ella Brown, wife of a M.J. Brown, born November 15, 1868 and died May 9, 1889.
Searching the records to determine why the grave marker would have one name on one side and a different name on the other side is a mystery. Ella Brown died at age 20, and perhaps she was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Reeder and Ella's married name was Brown. Or, Ella Brown may have been a family friend, house keeper, or relative. Ann Reeder (born 1860, died 1950) is also buried in their plot. There is no indication that M. J. Brown is buried in that same plot.