Prominent Reed family Dates Back To Smith’s Crossroads

Prominent Reed family Dates Back To Smith’s Crossroads

The N.D.Reed Store moved  from Smith's Crossroads  to Main Street near the Aqua Hotel.


Reed family operated business here for 107 years

There are very few businesses that remain open for a century. Tucked away in Dayton’s history is one business that remained open for more than a century. That business was started by Nathan Dewitt Reed and was opened in 1867 near Old Washington as Reed’s Emporium. It was owned and operated for 107 years by descendants of Reed until it closed in June of 1974.

N.D. Reed moved his store, Reed’s Emporium to Smith’s Crossroads shortly after the Cincinnati Southern Railway was built. The store which sold general merchandise was located south of Richland Creek in the area of the present-day Tennessee Middle Natural Gas Company.

N.D. Reed or Nate, as he was sometimes called, was credited with getting the town's name change from Smith’s Crossroads to Dayton in 1877. He served as Dayton’s second and fourth Mayor, as well as postmaster.

In 1898, he changed the name of his store to N.D. Reed & Sons and concentrated on selling clothing. When his son, Frank, sold his share of the business, Nate and his other son, Sam, decided moved the business to Main Street, near the old Aqua Hotel. The store’s name was changed again to be N.D. Reed & Son.

In the early 1900’s, clothes were much less expensive than they are today. Ladies blouses prices started at .98 cents, tourist coats made of Serge sold for $12.98, corsets average $1, and the latest hats ranged from $2.98 to $15.

The store moved one final time in 1926 to Market Street where it remained until it closed. Sadly, N.D. Reed died in 1927. After his death, his widow Stanfil Reed and daughter, Amy Reed Gilbreath, assisted Sam in operating the store until Mrs. Reed’s death in 1932.

Reed Store in 1974

After Mrs. Reeds death, Sam Reed’s son, Donald F. Reed, took over his grandmother's share and was the third generation of Reed’s to operate the business.  Donald passed away in 1954.  His wife, Eloise Purser Reed, stepped up at that time to become Sam’s partner.

After Sam’s death in 1956, Mrs. Eloise Reed and her daughter, Donna Reed Taylor, became partners and operated the business for twenty years before the difficult decision was made to close in 1974.

N.D. Reed and Son's Store

N.D. Reed's  Dry Goods Store pictured above  was owned and operated by the N.D. Reed family. It was housed in the oldest building in Smith’s Crossroads. It was located on what is now Hickory Street, in the area of the Middle Tennessee Gas Company. The store moved from this location to Main Street in the building that would later house F.E. Robinson’s Drug Store. Otto Daniels in later years had a restaurant here in this building. Pictured above are (L-R) Meg, Mary, Amy, Unknown, John Gilbreath, and Sam on horse and Frank in the wagon.

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Published byDean

Born and raised in Dayton Tennessee, I have served in various public service positions in the past. I have a great interest in the History of our town. This site is a way for me to share some of the great history of the area.

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