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History of the St Andrew's Society of the State of New York
Biographies: John Reid



Thirty-eighth President
1898-1899.

John Reid is the son of Andrew Reid and Helen Arnot and was born on the 14th October, 1840, at Dumfermline, Scotland, a town which has contributed many officers and presidents to the Society.

Receiving his early education in Scotland, Mr. Reid came to the United States in 1866 and within a few months after his arrival engaged in business with the J. L. Mott Iron Works. Throwing into this work his strong Scottish personality, he soon made his influence felt and his promotion was rapid, finally culminating in the position of General Manager, which office he has held for the past thirty years.

Notwithstanding the exacting hours and duties of his important position, Mr. Reid, with that inherent love of the open heath and the heather which dwells deep in the heart of a true Scotchman, found time for outdoor life, and he may justly claim to be called “The Father of Golf” in this country. As early as 1887 he introduced and played the Royal Scottish Game on an improvised links near his country residence, and his very enthusiasm and love of the game enlisted all his friends and associates as its votaries. Eventually, Mr. Reid became one of the founders and promoters of the St. Andrew’s Golf Club, of which he has been one of the most popular presidents, and the present beautiful course is due to his foresight and attention. A fine portrait of Mr. Reid in full golf attire, by Frank Fowler, adorns the wall of the dining room in the Club House, and the painting is a most excellent likeness as well as of high artistic merit.

Among his many other accomplishments none ranks higher or is in more general demand than his ability to sing the folk songs and ballads of his native land. His collection of Scottish music is one of the largest and best in this country, and it is doubtful if any singer, either professional or amateur, can claim a larger repertoire of songs. A good voice, a convincing manner of singing, and great natural talent of interpretation and feeling make him one of the best of the Scottish singers. His rendition of “Scots Wa’ Hae,” is classic in style and finish, and at whatever social gathering of his fellow-countrymen Mr. Reid may be, the evening is never properly begun or satisfactorily ended unless he consents to sing this masterpiece of the national poet.

Mr. Reid is a trustee of the J. L. Mott Iron Works and a director in the Central Foundry Company, the Central Iron & Coal Company and the Trenton Fire Clay & Porcelain Company.

Among the social organizations and clubs he is always a welcomed guest, being renowned for his ability to tell a good Scotch tale, and to discourse in a most delightful Doric accent upon the beauties of the poetry, song and story of his native land.

He is a member of the Engineers Club, the Fulton Club, the Society of British Schools and Universities and the Burns Society, of which he has been several times President.

He was elected a member of Saint Andrew’s Society on the 30th November, 1872; served as a Manager from 1887-1895; as Second Vice-President, 1895-1897; as First Vice-President, 1897-1898; and as President, 1898-1899. He became a member of the Standing Committee in 1899 and has continuously served on that important body ever since.

He married on the 28th October, 1873, at Volcano, Virginia, Elizabeth E. Mudge, daughter of Daniel C. Mudge and Ellen Carr, and has had issue: (1) Andrew, born 23d December, 1874; died 27th October, 1876; (2) Ellen M., born 30th December, 1876; (3) John, Jr., born 3d October, 1878; (4) Jean A., born 22d July, 1882; (5) Archie M., born 13th August, 1884.

His portrait has been reproduced from a photograph now in the possession of the Society.


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