Reeves, Willis Brazzeal (c1798 - 1869 GA)

Willis B. Reeves

Reeves, Willis Brazzeal


Father: Joseph Reeves

Birth: c1798, Edgecombe County, North Carolina
Birth Source: Census, Biography

Death: May 1869, Pulaski County, Georgia
Death Source: Biography, Probate

Spouse1: Susan Frances Wynne, m. 1823


Children of Willis B. Reeves:
  1. probably John Thomas Reeves, b. c1825

From a biography contained in History of Pulaski and Bleckley Counties Georgia 1808-1956:
Willis Brazzeal Reeves was born in Edgecombe County, North Carolina in 1788 and died in Pulaski County, Georgia in May 1869. He came to Georgia in the early part of the 18th Century and settled in the western part of Wilkinson County which later became part of Pulaski and is now Bleckley County. Mr. Reeves was a man of broad vision, clear insight and shrewd judgment in business. By his intelligence, thrift and sound judgment, he acquired approximately 3,900 acres of land and 200 slaves. He was sheriff of Pulaski County in 1826 and 1827. He served as a state senator from Pulaski County in the years 1828, 1829 and 1830. In 1851 and 1852 he was a representative from Pulaski County in the Georgia General Assembly. Willis B. Reeves married Susan Frances Wynne in 1823. One son, John Thomas Reeves, was horn May 24, 1825. John Thomas Reeves married Mary Elizabeth Taylor, who was the daughter of Charles Edward Taylor and Charlotte Exum Philips. Charlotte Exum Philips was the granddaughter of Exum Philips, Captain of the Militia in the Revolutionary War. John T. and Mary Elizabeth Reeves settled and built in 1855, the old Reeves home which is still standing near Cochran, Georgia. John T. Reeves gave the land for the Centenary Methodist Church and two negro churches. He was a charter member of the Cochran Masonic Lodge No. 217 which was chartered October 16, 1874.

From Cochran-Bleckley Centennial "Centi-Rama" Journal 12-18 May 1969:
The original part of the home of Jerry Dykes, 6 miles west of Cochran, was built in 1825 by Willis B. Reeves. B. 1788, D. 1869.
Willis B. Reeves was the son of Joseph Reeves. Joseph Reeves was an original settler of Pulaski County. Messers J. E. Reeves, Jr. and Willett Reeves and Mrs. Callie Reeves Glisson of Cochran, are great, great-grand-children of Joseph Reeves. This is a rare existence where the surname of an original settler has continued locally, down to present.

His full name is given as "Willis Brazeal Reeves" in an 1812 deed he witnessed between a Thomas Warrin and a Joel Reeves. John Reeves, probably Willis's brother, witnessed the deed as well. Joel may be an uncle of Willis's.

In 1818, "Willes Rieves" was recorded in the Pulaski County tax digest. A Joel "Rieves" was also recorded there, surely the same one who attested to his father Joseph's will.

In 1820, Robert W. Winne claims he "casually lost" a slave named John to the possession of Willis B. Reeves. He claimed Reeves "converted and disposed of Said negro to his own use" and wanted $1000 for him.

Willis B. Reeves was listed as a sheriff for Pulaski County on 17 Jan 1826. He was a senator for Pulaski County 1828-1830 (Harris, p91).

In 1830, Willis deeded land to the Mt. Horeb Baptist Church in Pulaski County.

Willis was the administrator of Thomas Sutton in Pulaski County, Georgia in 1843. The Tuskeegee Republican reported in 1851 that Willis B. Reeves from Pulaski County had been elected as a representative to the Georgia legislature.

From Pulaski County, Georgia Administrators and Guardian Bonds:
3 Nov 1823 - William Haddock, temp. adm. of Luke Haddock. William B. Reeves and Thomas Sutton security for $1,000.
1 Feb 1824 - William Haddock, adm. of Luke Howell. Willis B. Reeves and Turner Coley security for $600.
3 May 1824 - Joel Sherrod, gdn. of Simon Roberts and Benjamin Roberts, orphans of William Roberts. Stephen Gatlin and Willis B. Reeves security for $5,000.

The Hawkinsville Dispatch, 9 Jun 1869
Georgia, Pulaski County, All those indebted to the estate of W. B. Reeves, deceased, or owed money by the estate, must make immediate payment or present their notes for payent. (Signed) John T. Reeves, Adm.

The Hawkinsville Dispatch, 24 Nov 1870
Georgia, Pulaski County; John T. Reeves files his letters of dismission from the estate of W. B. Reeves, late of said county, deceased.

Research Notes

Note that the census says he was born in Georgia around 1798 which disagrees with the information in the biography.


1820 Census:  Pulaski County, Georgia
1830 Census:  Pulaski County, Georgia
1840 Census:  Pulaski County, Georgia
1850 Census:  Pulaski County, Georgia
1860 Census:  Pulaski County, Georgia

1812 Deed - Thomas Warrin to Joel Reeves - Pulaski County, Georgia Deed Book C, p67
1830 Deed - Willis B. Reeves to Deacons of Mt. Horeb Baptist Church - Pulaski County, Georgia Deed Book H, p95
1818 Pulaski County, Georgia Tax Digest (Ancestry)
Georgia Wills and Probates (Ancestry)
Tuskeegee Republican, 23 Oct 1851
Pulaski County, Georgia Administrators and Guardian Bonds
Baggott, Rev. J. L. History of Pulaski County Georgia. Daughters of American Revolution. 1935
Records of the Superior Court, Record Book 1821, pp178-79
Cochran-Bleckley Centennial "Centi-Rama" Journal 12-18 May 1969
Harris, Mrs. Wallace. History of Pulaski and Bleckley Counties Georgia 1808-1956
The Hawkinsville Dispatch, 9 Jun 1869 (Pulaski Newspaper Clippings, Vol I, pp 22, 71)