It was in 1799 when the young Conrad Reed’s discovery on Little Meadow Creek changed America. The son of a German Hessian, he was the first to discover gold in the new country. A few short years later, ca. 1805, Conrad married Martha, the daughter of James Love, a neighbor and founder of a nearby Methodist church known as Love’s or Mount Moriah. Conrad and Martha raised a family on a large tract of land on the banks of Rocky River just south of the present-day intersection of Pine Bluff and Nance roads. And remember, keep in mind this post will all lead back to my great grandfather James Daniel Love and his wife Florence Geretta Sossamon. Note that Conrad’s Martha is the sister of James Daniel Love’s great grandfather Jonah Love.
Conrad and Martha’s first born was James L. Reed who was likely named for Martha’s father, James Love. Court records indicate Conrad Reed died in 1834 at a time when the Reed family was racked by greed over control of their prosperous mine. It was James L Reed who penned an agreement hoping to bring order to the family venture.
On 10 Jun 1836, James L Reed married Susan Love, the daughter of Thomas and Susannah Polk Love. Thomas was a brother to Jonah and therefore offers another Love connection to my story. Thomas Love owned land near Reason’s Branch along the river in now Union County. He also supported the church and is listed among the early trustees of Bethel United Methodist in Midland. James L Reed died young and on 4 Sep 1845, a committee met at his house to lay off a widow’s allotment. James Reed’s grave survives and it is located in a small cemetery on a hill crest amongst a small trailer park near the intersection of Pine Bluff and Nance Roads. His resting place is likely near that of his father, Conrad’s.
On 2 Dec 1847, David Green Sossamon married Susan Love, the widow of James L. Reed. Hmmm…..Sossamon! Note that David is the son of Christian and Susan Kiser Sossamon who are buried at Flat Rock Lutheran Church cemetery. And on 6 May 1849, Columbus P Sossamon was born to Susan Love Reed and David G. Sossamon. Dated 21 Sep 1867, the young Columbus P Sossamon married Lucy Hartsell, the daughter of Joshua and Hester Love Hartsell. And yes, you’ve got that right! Hester Love is the daughter of Jonah Love and is therefore the sister of James Daniel Love’s grandfather. And, though not a direct blood line in this case, Joshua Hartsell’s father was Andrew Hartsell who married Conrad Reed’s sister, Catherine. Following the death of Catherine, on 9 Nov 1833, Andrew married Sally Love, again, a daughter of Jonah Love. She was 26 years younger than Andrew. And following the break-up or Reed’s mine, Andrew purchased the mine and hundreds of surrounding acres.
So here we are, and I hope your patience has held out. Conrad Reed married Martha Love, and their son James L Reed married Susan Love who after the death of her husband James married second to David G Sossamon and had son Columbus P Sossamon who married Lucy Hartsell whose mother was a Love and who’s the mother of Florence Geretta Sossamon born 20 Sep 1871. And, Florence Sossamon, my mother’s grandmother, married 2 Nov 1890 to James Daniel Love.
Packed full of Love, Granny Florence came by it naturally as is clearly reflected in both her heritage and as you’ll see, the words of her legacy.