S.C. Reynolds and W. B. Reynolds
The Reynolds brothers success in the grain market and in banking made them one of Toledo's prominent families. The first Reynolds who was a leader in Toledo business was Sheldon Clark Reynolds. Known as Colonel S.C. Reynolds, he was born November 19, 1835. His brothers, Wiley R. and William B. Reynolds had formed a general dry goods business in Jackson, Michigan. When S.C. was sixteen he joined the firm as a clerk and three years later bought out Wiley's interest. A year later, in 1855, William transferred his interest in the company to Wiley. For the next fourteen years the firm was known as W.R. and S.C. Reynolds. In 1869 the business moved from Jackson to Toledo where it changed its name to Reynolds Brothers. In Toledo the partners bought the Armanda flouring mills which became prosperous. Three years later William sold his share of the company to his two brothers.
The Reynolds Brothers sold the flouring mills in 1875 when they entered the grain commission business. At that time Wiley's son Charles became a partner in the firm. In 1875 the Reynolds Brothers handled 2,000 carloads of grain, but by 1885 they were carrying 85,000 carloads a year. A large part of their success was due to the fact that S.C. Reynolds was the first grain dealer to bring wheat west of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. In the year 1885 they were the largest firm of their kind in the United States. S.C. Reynolds was a leader in creating the produce exchange and was its largest stockholder.
S.C. Reynolds eventually became involved in transportation and banking. He was at one time the president of First National Bank and was chairman of the board of directors until his death.[John M. Killits, ed. Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio, 1623-1923, vol. 3 (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1923), p.542]. He also sat on the board of directors of the Toledo Savings Bank and Trust Company. S.C. Reynolds was the director of several railroads including the Wabash, Hocking Valley, and the Kanawha and Michigan. He was president of the Lake Erie Transportation Corporation and one of the transport companys major ships bore his name.[Charles S. Van Tassel, ed., Story of the Maumee Valley, Toledo and the Sandusky Region, vol. 4 (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929), p.625]. Eventually his interests in banking and transportation became so important that the Reynolds Brothers company disbanded in 1908.(Winter, History of Northwest Ohio, vol. 2). S.C. Reynolds was married to Martha and they were the parents of four children. He died on November 22, 1912.(Killits, vol. 3, p.535).
Charles Louis Reynolds (66-40) was the nephew of S.C. He was born in Jackson, Michigan on March 29, 1851. In 1875, after completing college, he joined Reynolds Brothers. In 1886, he became involved in directing the Toledo Savings Bank & Trust Company. Twenty years later he was made president of the bank. He was, in addition, a director and one of the largest stockholders of the Second National Bank. Eventually both banks merged with the Toledo Trust Co. And Reynolds became vice-chairman of the board at Toledo Trust after the merger. Charles Reynolds also was a director of the Toledo Scale Co. and president of the Merrill Manufacturing Co. He was married to Annie Groff. He retired in 1931 and on July 5, 1938, he died after an illness of several weeks.(Killits, vol. 3, 626. "C.L. Reynolds, Banker, Dies," Toledo Blade, 5 July 1938. "Reynolds. Dead at 87," Toledo New Bee, 5 July 1938).
Frederick Jesse Reynolds, the son of S.C. Reynolds, joined his fathers business the Reynolds Brothers and later also went into banking. He was born in Jackson, Michigan on August 25, 1857. After college he became a clerk at Reynolds Brothers and five years later was made a partner. He stayed with the company until it broke up in 1908 but by then had already expanded into other businesses. In 1887 he became vice-president and general manager of the Toledo and Michigan Belt Railway Company and held that position until the company was absorbed by the Michigan Central Railway. Like his father, Frederick Reynolds became an executive and member of the board at First National Bank. He was elected to the board of directors of the bank in 1897. He became vice-president in 1898 and finally achieved the presidency of the bank in 1909.(Killits, vol. 3, p.557). In 1923, Reynolds was made chairman of the board of directors at First National.("F.J. Reynolds, Bank Leader, Is Dead Here," Toledo Times, 2 April 1932). He was also on the board of directors of the Hocking Valley Railroad Co. and the Mather Spring Co. He was a member of the New York Produce Exchange and the Toledo Chamber of Commerce.(Van Tassel, p.627). He married Ida Louise Stone on October 4, 1882. Ida Reynolds died in 1915. Frederick Reynolds died on April 1, 1933 after an illness of several months.("H.S. Reynolds: Retired Banker, Hospital Trustee," Toledo Blade, 22 October 1967).
Frederick's son, H.S. Reynolds, followed a path very much like his father's. H.S. Reynolds was born in Toledo on February 1, 1885. He attended the Toledo Public Schools before graduating from St. Paul's School at Garden City, Long Island in 1900. He worked for Reynolds Brothers after he graduated from the University of Michigan in 1906. After Reynolds Brothers, he obtained a minor position with First National Bank and by 1912 was on the board of directors. In 1915 he was made vice-president and in 1923 followed his father as president. At that time he was the youngest bank president in the country. H.S. Reynolds was also on the board of directors of the Toledo Trust Company and Rossford Savings bank.
H.S. Reynolds married Rachael Ketchum in February 1909. He lived in the Plaza hotel in his later years and died in the Lucas County Home on October 21, 1962.
S.C. Reynolds's and W. B. Reynolds's grave
(Photography of Woodlawn Cemetery by Josef Schneider.)