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.
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
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
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
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.