Reel Family Cemetery, Ross Twp., West View, PA

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Norman J. Meinert
 O'Hara Township, Allegheny County, PA

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Reel Family Cemetery
450 Highland Avenue
(18th Hole -- Highland Country Club)
Ross Twp., West View, PA 15229

Posted: May 21, 2002 -- Updated: January 7, 2014
Recorders' Note:
Internet research on the University of Pittsburgh's Historical Website led to the discovery of this family burial ground
within Allegheny County, PA. Since it seemed a bit unusual for someone to be interred within the grounds of a Country Club,
I visited and photographed the location. I was disappointed only to find one plaque commemorating Casper Reel. Since this
is a "family burial ground" I'm assuming there are other family members interred here, however, I have no way of knowing,
as there are no other markers. Perhaps further research into the "Papers of Casper Reel" would disclose more.

Source: Papers of Casper Reel, 1769-1835, MSS#104,
University of Pittsburgh Historical Website and the Historical Society of Western Pennyslvania
Contact: [email protected]

"Casper Reel died on October 10, 1824 and is buried in the Reel Family Cemetery, located near the eighteenth hole of
Highland Country Club's golf course (Ross Twp.)."

"Casper Reel, prominent early European settler of northern Allegheny County, was born in Frankfurt, Germany on May 11, 1742
and immigrated to the colonies as a young child. According to family tradition, Reel's father died at sea and the rest of
his family settled near Baltimore, where Reel's mother and two of his siblings were killed in a Native American attack.
Details concerning Reel's early life are sketchy and inconsistent, but he was apprenticed to a tanner, either in Maryland
or Lancaster, Pennsylvania. By 1774, he had settled at Fort Pitt, on Fifth Street near Wood, where he conducted business
as a fur trader and storekeeper.

After serving in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, Reel married Elizabeth WISE (1760-1843) in 1784 in
Lancaster and together they returned to Western Pennsylvania. In 1791, he acquired land in Pine Township (present-day Ross
Township and West View Borough), where he built a cabin in 1792. As the first Euro-American landowner in this area, he was
the victim of several attacks by Native Americans and abandoned the frontier for a few years. Returning to this area to
settle permanently in 1795, Reel continued hunting, tanning, and trapping and also became a prosperous farmer, fruit
culturist, constable, and the first tax collector north of the Allegheny River.

Reel's financial dealings with well-known early Pittsburgh figures, included John Campbell, George Croghan, George Girty,
Simon Girty, James Ross, Thomas Smallman, and John Turner (who frequently used the name of his stepbrothers, Girty), as
well as other early settlers of northern Allegheny County, such as Balthazar Good, Barnabas Hilands, Robert Hilands, and
Christopher Rineman.

The first recorded Christian marriage in this district took place on Reel's farm in 1795 between his employees Charlotte
ZIMMERMAN and Christopher RINEMAN.

As he prospered, Reel built an estate called Reel Hall in 1813. Along with another tract called Caledonia, Reel owned over
800 acres and was widely considered to be the wealthiest man in the region. Later, he was instrumental in the founding of
Hiland Presbyterian Church in Perrysville, Ross Township, Pennsylvania.

Casper and Elizabeth Reel had ten children: Mary JOHNSTON (1785-c1880); Jacob (1787-); John (1789-1813); Daniel (1791-);
Conrad (1794-1870); Casper (1798-1887); David (1801-) and William (1801-); Elizabeth QUAILL (1803-); and another daughter
who died in infancy.

The fourth son, Conrad Reel, married Rosanna GOOD (1806-1886) in 1826 and they had four children: Jacob G. (-1913);
John A. (-1892); Annie Eliza McGUIRE (1834-1911); and William H. (-1901). The first postmaster of Perrysville, Conrad
succeeded his father as tax collector and in 1824, established woolen mills in Perrysville. In 1841, the woolen mills
were moved to Allegheny City and continued there until 1890."

Surname, First Name, Birthdate, Deathdate, Other

REEL, Casper, May 11, 1742 / October 10, 1824


View from above the burial ground


Researchers' Notes:
E-Mails from a REEL FAMILY descendants.

Subject: reel
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2002 11:01:14 EDT
From: (remove "-nospam-" to send correctly)

My wifes grandmother was Ester Reel. Her (Ester's) father was John Reel, descendant of Conrad Reel.

John Reel married Hattie Myers (Esters' mother). John spelled her name Hester, she spelled it Ester, I saw that on a Will
that I have. They lived at 717 Sandusky Street, North Side, about 1890.

Ester married Crosby G Evans. Her daughter married James Gallagher, all from North Side.
My wife, her (Ester's) daughters' daughter married me, Frank Senn.

One of Reels was a funeral director on North Side untill about 1950.

I thought Casper had 11 children not 10, six boys, David, John, Jacob, William, Casper Jr., and Conrad. John and David
were twins and were first children born in West View ?


Subject: Reel family
Date: Sat, 10 May 2008 19:35:32 -0400 (EDT)
From: (remove "-nospam-" to send correctly)

I saw your info on the Reel Family Cemetery and accompanying notes. The Reel mortuary was mentioned.
My cousin Elizabeth O’Neil and her husband Charles Conrad Reel operated the Reel mortuary for about 60 years near
Old St. Peter's Church on the Northside of Pittsburgh. Charles C. Reel was a great-grandson of Casper Reel, Sr.
He died in 1934 and Elizabeth in 1957. They are buried in Northside Catholic Cemetery. They had no children but were
very generous to various charities. -- Lee Nichols


Subject: Re: Reel family tree
From: Rich Taylor,
Date: 1/3/2015 7:32 PM

Hi visited your sight today for first time. I have info i think you might be interested in on the Reel tree along with photos. Im 3rd great
grandson of Casper Reel and have alot of the history. The marker is no longer in the country club, mater of fact country club no longer
there and sadly the building which part of was house built by Casper is gone.There is still one of his homes still standing not far from
it.I live in Westmoreland county now. Happy to share info and pics.

Sure would be happy to help lets see where to start. well the marker is now in the hands of history center from what i understand as far as
where it will be placed heard up in the air.I'm 3rd great grandson of Casper 1742 to 1824 he and Elizabeth Wise had 10 children Elizabeth
lived 1760 to 1843. children were Mary who died in childhood was born 1785 no year on death. Jacob 1787 also died young again no year on
death. John 1789 he died in war of 1812 in prison (prisoner of war). Daniel 1791 also died young no date Conrad 1794 no death date on him.
David (my great great grand father) and Casper Jr were twins there is a book Images of America Ross Township in print has a picture of Casper
Jr though author has it to be Casper senior that was a mistake to my knowledge there are no pictures of Casper Senior.Both David and Casper
junior born 1798 not sure on death dates but i think i have those somewhere. William 1801 to 1829 thrown from a horse and died. Sister 1801
also died young and Elizabeth 1803 to 1891.Picture (1) is David Reel


David Reel married Isabel Wiley and had 5 children William V. (he is my great grandfather) 1831 to 1916. George Washington Reel 1834 to 1864 died in cival war also
prisoner of war. David Jr 1837 no death date. Mary Jane 1839 to 1840. Wiley 1841 1864 died on way home from prison camp. Picture (2) Man
seated on your left is William V.

Here are my sources History Of Casper Reel By John J Reel Pictures all but one of David passed down to me David on Ancestory .com free
posts. If there is anything more you need just ask happy to help. --
Rich Taylor

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