Reed, Daniel Alden
Correspondence of Daniel Alden Reed, attorney and football player of Dunkirk, Chautauqua County, New York, “All American” left guard for Cornell University, written prior to becoming a U.S. Congressman, 1892-1909

221 letters, 1064 manuscript pp., (121 retained mailing envelopes); letters dated 10 May 1892 to 20 June 1926; the bulk date from 1892 to 1909 and only 2 letters written after 1909, those being from 1911 and 1926.

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The collection consists of 221 letters comprising 1,064 manuscript pages; 21 of which are not dated.

    The collection includes 109 outgoing letters written by Daniel A. Reed, of which 101 were written by Reed to his wife Georgia Tickner Reed. He wrote 2 letters to his brother-in-law B. Clifford Ticker; with the remaining 6 letters written to his parents, or his children, aunts and uncles, etc. Only one letter from 1926 was written while he was a sitting U.S. Congressman. A large portion of the letters were written in 1904 to 1909 when Reed worked in Albany for the State of New York State Department of Excise and his fiancé, later wife, was living in Dunkirk, New York.

    There are 95 incoming letters to Daniel A. Reed. Reed’s wife Georgia Tickner Reed, wrote 7, the rest were written by his parents, aunts, uncles, and other family members, as well as some female friends (Ethel, Beatrice, Grace) prior to his marriage and, some Cornell University classmates. He receives several congratulatory letters on his election as captain of the Cornell football team in 1899. A large number of letters were written to Reed by his “Aunt Ellie” of Sheridan, New York. Most of these incoming letters are written to Reed before he married (1892-1904).

    There are an additional 17 miscellaneous letters, 8 of which were written to B. Clifford Ticker, the brother of Georgia Tickner Reed, and were written by his mother, grandparents, or others; and there are 3 letters written to Georgia Tickner Reed by her mother, or her friend Edith, of Schenectady, New York. The remaining 3 miscellaneous letters were written by friends, or family of Reed.

     The correspondence of Daniel A. Reed and his wife dates mainly from the period of 1904 to 1909. Reed married Georgia Tickner in October 1905. The bulk of these letters were written while Reed was in Albany working for the State of New York Department of Excise office, and his wife and family were back home in Dunkirk, New York. Earlier letters in the collection from 1892 to 1899 are mainly incoming letters to Daniel A. Reed and a number of them concern his football playing and coaching career at Cornell. These earlier letters also include many written by his Aunt Ellie and perhaps some early female admirers. There are only a couple of letters that are post 1909, one from 1911, and a lone letter from 1926 when he was a sitting U.S. Congressman.

       Daniel Alden Reed (1875-1959)

  Daniel A. Reed was a U.S. Representative from New York. He was born in Sheridan, Chautauqua County, New York, on 5 September 1875, the son of Anson William Reed (1835-1892) and Alfreda Allen (1837-1921). Anson Reed was originally from Chicago, Illinois, his wife from Sheridan, New York.  When their son Daniel was born, they were already making their home in Sheridan, a small town about 5 miles east of Dunkirk, New York, on the shores of Lake Erie. Besides Daniel, the couple had two other children: Alva Henry Reed (1863-1938) and William Allen Reed (1872-1950). In the 1875 NY State Census, Daniel’s father Anson was listed as a “sailor on lakes,” and as a “captain.”  By 1880, Anson Reed he was still listed as a sailor, living with his family in the household of his brother Henry.

     Daniel attended the public schools in Sheridan and in Silver Creek, New York, before attending and graduating from Cornell University, in 1898 with a LL.B., where he was a member of the Delta Chi Fraternity and the Quill and Dagger society, while at Cornell he had a successful football career. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1900 and practiced in Silver Creek and later in Dunkirk, New York.

    Besides his career politics and the law, Daniel Alden Reed was also an American football player and coach. The 1898 Cornell Big Red football team that represented Cornell University during the 1898 college football season, was the second season under head coach Pop Warner, the Big Red compiled a 10–2 record and outscored all opponents by a combined total of 296 to 29. Three Cornell players received honors on the 1898 College Football All-America Team: tackle Edwin Sweetland, halfback Allen E. Whiting, and left guard Daniel A. Reed. Reed was chosen by his team as the captain of the Cornell Eleven for the 1899 season.

     After playing football at Cornell University, Reed coached at the University of Cincinnati, Pennsylvania State University, and his alma mater Cornell University. From 1899 to 1900 he coached at Cincinnati, and guided the Bearcats to an 8–6–1 record. In 1901 he was the line coach for Cornell, and then took over as head coach for 1902. He coached at Penn State in 1903, compiling a 5–3 record. From 1910 to 1911, he was back as the head coach at Cornell, where he led that team to a 12–5–1 record. In 1910 and 1911 Reed started something new for the Cornell team, spring practice. His career record was 25–14–2.

     Several letters written to Reed in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s mention Reed and his football play with Cornell.

      Reed became an attorney for the excise department of the State of New York serving from 1903 to 1909. He was one of the commissioners sent by the Government of the United States on a special mission to France in 1917 and 1918 to study the ongoing food shortage in preparation for a U.S. lecture tour on the importance of food conservation. Reed was also a member of the board of directors for the Dunkirk Trust Company, and became a popular speech maker on business and civic topics.

    Daniel A. Reed married Georgia Tickner at Dunkirk, New York on 31 October 1905. She was born 23 June 1883 at Versailles, New York, the daughter of Benjamin Tickner (1851-1931) and his wife Adella Delight Ball (1855-1933). Georgia’s father was a railroad brakeman for the Erie Railroad, working for the company for over fifty years. He moved from Versailles to Dunkirk. Besides Georgia, the Tickner’s had a son Benjamin Clifford (1885-1931).

     Once Reed entered politics, he split his time between his home in Dunkirk, New York and his office in Washington, DC. He had a forty-year career as a U.S. Congressman. The Reeds had at least two children: William Tickner Reed (1906-1991) who married Willa Juanita Fulmer (1913-2010) and Rutha Alden Reed (1907-1947). Georgia Tickner Reed spent most of her married life raising her children and keeping her home in Dunkirk.

     Daniel A. Reed was elected as a Republican to the Sixty-Sixth and to the twenty succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1919, until his death in 1959. He was a member of the Committee on Industrial Arts and Expositions (Sixty-Eighth Congress), Committee on Education (Sixty-Ninth through Seventy-First Congresses), a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means (1933-1959) and its chairman in 1953-1954. He also was a member of the Joint Committee on Internal Revenue Taxation; chairman of the subcommittee on Social Security in 1948; and a delegate to the Inter-parliamentary Union meeting in Rome, Italy, in 1938, and subsequent meetings in various European cities in 1948-1950, and 1952.

      During his years in Congress, Reed was one of the most conservative members of the New York delegation, frequently scoring zeros from Americans for Democratic Action, and was one of the few isolationists remaining in the New York delegation after World War II. Reed was also one of the few Republicans to consistently oppose banning the poll tax through legislative means, although he did vote in favor of anti-lynching legislation and the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

   Daniel A. Reed died of a major heart attack in Washington, D.C., February 19, 1959. He was buried in Sheridan Cemetery, Sheridan, New York. Reed’s wife Georgia died in February 1968, in Washington, DC. Both of the Reeds were buried in Sheridan.

        Sample Quotes:

“Big Shanty, PA July 29th /95

Dear Cousin Dan and all,


I have neglected to answer your last letter longer than I intended to but will now let you know we still think of you all at home. The weather here is warm through the day but gets most awful cold at night…We are having a nice trade and looks like a good winter’s work ahead. The company have near 6000 cord of bark peeled which they are now loading on the cars for shipment teams are skidding logs to the mill the new Rail Road is completed to the mill and will be finished in about one month. A new shingle mill is to be built right away and we are putting up a store at the mill that will save so much team work. See we are fully two mills from the work and talk about rough roads. I never see such roads in my life. One could not possibly ride on a seat and ten hundred is a big load to take in and take ½ day to make the trip there and quite a no of new oil wells being drilled around here. Wish you could be here and see them flow when they torpedo them it is a grand sight to see. There is an excursion on the Erie R.R. most every Sunday from some point to the big Bridge and we get the benefit of them all. They pass right by our house we live within 100 feet of the Rail Road track. I have to be in the store quite a good deal Sundays. The bark peelers take that day to come out of the woods and order their groceries and drink cider. Guess there is nothing further for now hoping this will find you all as well as it leaves us. Yours Resp., C.M. Gardiner”



“27 Huestis St., Nov. 6, 1897


My dear Aunt, Uncle and Auntie,


Your letter written on Wednesday evening just arrived and am glad you are all well…


Although the Republicans carried our county, they lost everything in New York City and even in Buffalo. The Democrats elected a free silver mayor.


Today I saw the Manager and asked him if he could arrange so to let me home to spend Sunday. He said ‘of course Reed I will do anything for you.’ I am not playing football this week, in fact, haven’t been down to the field and I am not going to play tomorrow unless they absolutely need me. IF I don’t play it will be the first game, I ever saw from the ‘side lines.’ Coach Warner won’t let me play as he and Capt. McKeever expect me to tear the Williams line all up and knock things silly. I have made a good showing this season and have won lots of fame as a player. Hope you will see me play at Buffalo…

Your loving son, Dan Reed”


“Buffalo, N.Y., Oct 11 – ‘98


Dear Friend Dan: -


I thought I ought to write to you before this but I neglected it until now and after the game you put up against the Indians I must write and congratulate you. I am glad to know you all and that you can play good football.


It was a surprise for me to hear that you had returned to college as I thought that you would go in to some law office and begin practical work.


Charles and myself are in good law offices in the Ellicott Square here in Buffalo and find lots to do and find that a fellow can go through the law school and still needs considerable more knowledge before he knows very much about the law. I met Barney Schwartz the other day and he said that he never thought we need know so much to be lawyers. Big Cummings is in an office in Buffalo. So is Foster. Barnum is in Buffalo but is not doing much in law. E.C. White expects to score on you down there Saturday and their full back is good on goals from the field. Be sure and stop them by a big score and take them down a peg. Hinkey of Tonamanda is their coach and they think they will do well against you. Don’t let them do it. The scrubs ought to defect them so don’t let the U. of B. beat you. White will probably play right tackle.


Well Reed hope you get along nicely with your studies and are successful in football.

I am, sincerely yours, D. Chalmers, 618 Ellicott Sqr., Buffalo, NY”


“68 Arlington Ave., Allegheny, PA, Nov. 21, 1898


Dear Cousin Dan:


You are certainly a beauty to write me such a nice letter and maybe I didn’t enjoy it. Just as I always say Dan is the only boy. My poor little letter don’t count much along side of fairy and Queen’s letters. But then maybe you like a change now and then. Why Dan if you were anyone else you would have been spoiled long ago and ben a regular fop. But you come of the good old Reed stock. As you grow older you remind me of your Father and I was very fond of Uncle William, He was jolly and full of fun, but he wasn’t a lawyer and football player and can’t you file through, but it all goes in your big. Aint’ you ashamed. I think I can see you laugh as you wrote, you would like to see Frank playing football. Well he would be all ok, with men of his size but of course put him in with a lot of giants like you. You would kill him. At least I think so considering what they did to you.


Well sir, when you come and pay us a visit you can bet on it, we will be delighted. I wish I could see your room and see how you spend your time. Frank Cockburn was a boy I always liked. Used to be shy like yourself. Clint was always a model. Say you ought to have heard Carl Livermore laugh about that roast they gave you in the Gazette in Sept. when I was at home. He has such a coarse laugh. Are those the girls that were down at Waite’s and we drove a mile out of our way so that Uncle Melly would not guess were down that way? Why you are going to keep your old reputation as a heart breaker up right along. Well you can not be an angel altogether. Don’t forget the pictures and you are the dearest boy in all the world. Frank sends his best regards and wishes he could go to Phila. Thursday. Bye cousin, and write again, As ever your truly, Aleda.”


“368 Potomac Ave, Buffalo, N.Y., Dec 4, 1898


Friend Dan: -


Accept my hearty congratulation on your being elected captain of the Cornell football team for the year 1899.


You do not know how surprised I was, when on reading in the morning paper your election of captain, as the papers had never spoke of your name as a candidate. I know it will be a most pleasant surprise to your many friends in Sheridan and Silver Creek. Sheridan should feel quite honored in having one of their boys elected captain of the Cornell team.

I am taking quite an interest in football this fall playing on the high school team and not missing a game out of nine.

I will have to send this in care of Marcus as I do not know your address. Hoping this will reach you soon, and as well, as it leaves me. Yours sincerely, Raymond R. Drake”


“1002 Wilder Bldg., Rochester, N.Y., Dec 5 /98


Dear Reed,

Have just read in one of the Rochester papers of your election as captain of the Varsity Eleven and wish to congratulate you, old man, on your well-deserved success. Our Finch Club is beginning to become distinguished already and we will have athletes as well as jurists to boast of. In fact, in your case we shall have an athletic jurist all in one. You fellows have been doing fine work for old Cornell this season. Have noticed several comments on the game put up by our left guard and how he deserves a place on the “All-America” Eleven. Wish I could see him long enough to shake his paw, and perhaps get even with him for that little joke he played on me by forging Miss Laughlin’s name.


How goes Huffcut, Woodruff, Pound & Finch this year? You ought to be lonesome without the rest of the F.M. Finch Club down there, but I presume you have consoled yourself with some co-ed and never shed a tear for Hubbell, Bodine, Howard, Lewis and the rest. I have seen all the above named and aforesaid good men and rue this last fall.


Hubbell was up here with a view to settlement, not of any claim, but simply in Rochester. He has gone back to Utica. Lewis and Kingston were up here to be sworn in before the Appellate Division on Nov 22nd. Saw Bodine in Waterloo and Howard in Ithaca, where, by the way, I have been twice since June on flying trips.


Am agreeably located here in R with the firm of Perkins and Hays on the 10th floor of the Wilder Bldg. Saw Crawford for about five minutes some time ago. He is up to his old game of cheating the widows and the fatherless travelling.


Where is Plin Bartlett now? Has he struck out for the bar in a lawyer’s office or is he back in Boardman Hall working for a L.L. M.?


By the way, have you any of those pictures of the Finch Club left. If you have, I would like to get at least one unmounted. If you have any which I could get I wish you could let me know the price & I will send it on. Please remember me to Shaw if he is there, and any of the other fellows you see. Whenever you can’t find anything else to do you might drop a line to your old classmate, Carleton Sias”



“Buffalo, N.Y., Dec 7 – 95

Dear Friend Dan,

Well Dan, old boy, you are to be congratulated on being the popular candidate and captain of the football team for the season of ’99. I did not expect that you would return to Cornell again but I am glad you intend to as you will hold an enviable position there and besides the time spent there will undoubtedly be very profitable for you. I wish you all kinds of luck with the team you will have charge of and that you will fare better than you have this season and will have a team worthy of your charge.

You probably remember my younger brother who was down to Cornell last commencement and was up in your room one day. Well he thinks you are just a dandy and he has ‘blowed’ you up all the season and the fellows in our vicinity think that ‘Big Dan Reed’ is O.K. and that he is a peachy football player. You are that is no lie. You fellows have had a very successful season and deserve great credit for the brilliant games you played.

Well winter has at last persuaded Father time to allow her to appear and w are having a blinding snow storm and a high gale. Tuesday street cars were blocked and I guess they will be pretty badly blocked again. I was sick Monday but am all right again. I am in a fine corporation law office and find myself having lots to attend to. Time passes almost too quickly and 1899 will soon be here. Practical law is a little different from the theoretical kind we got there but it is just as interesting and I like it better every day.

Well Dan, I guess I’ll stop and give you a rest. I’ll write again soon provided you are not bothered by these interruptions. Hoping your back is well and that you are progressing in your college work.

I am sincerely, D.D. Chalmers, 618 Ellicott Sq.”

[26 Jan 1899], Geneva, N.Y.

Mr. Reed,


Dear Sir,


Having heard that you do not intend to return to Cornell College next fall, I would suggest that you come to Hobart. Mr. Morrison said you wishing to get a degree and I think you can get one here with a fair amount of studying. The next question is that we are in bad need of a coach & having heard of you I thought I would write you and see what terms I could make with you. The college being small we cannot afford to give a coach much. If you come, you will of course play.


We have a bright outlook for next year. And all we need is a coach. If you will write as soon as you receive this letter and name the condition on which you will come. I am open to all questions and your letter will receive my immediate attention. You will receive a letter with full circumstances when I hear from you.

Yours Respt., Charles S. Folger, Geneva, N.Y.


“Albany, N.Y. Oct 22, 1904

My dear Georgia: -

This afternoon I attended a football game. Williams & Hamilton played in Albany this day and having knowledge of the contest my sporting blood got the best of me. Mr. Smith, Dick O’Brien & I went out together. We enjoyed it although it was one sided. Williams won 23 to 0. We sat in the Hamilton stand consequently we did but little shouting. It was an ideal day for the game. A large crowd attended and much enthusiasm prevailed on the part of the Williams people…

From present indications I shall get home about Nov 2nd or third and remain home until after election. Thus far I think I have been quite fortunate in getting home so often.

Yesterday, the Deputy Commissioner called me into his office and said that it was not customary to praise any person in the Department and that he would not do so in my case but added that my work had impressed both the Commissioner and himself and that they both appreciated the earnestness with which I had performed my work.

It was quite a surprise to be thus lauded and I feel repaid for some of the extra time I have put in…

I suppose Rol & Hart will attend the Cornell game at Ithaca next Saturday. Let me know by your next letter if Rol has handed any tickets for the Cornell vs Princeton game. They may not send me any but if they do Clifford is to have two. I sent for six of them…

I am most sincerely yours, Dan Reed”

“Albany, N.Y. Mar 3, 1909


Dear Georgia & children: -


This evening finds me alone in the Department. My head has been aching this afternoon & I feel like going to bed soon. There is a little news that you will be interested in & that is that I won the case in the Appellate Division at Rochester. The decision was unanimous. I regard this case as quite a victory and it is needless to say that I am well pleased. You might tell my folks for they are always interested in my cases.


I have just addressed two postal cards to the children, one to Ruth & one to William. Do they enjoy the animal pictures & birds? William always seems to interested in animals & birds that I thought he might like to get cards with them on.


It is very hard to be away but if it must be so it is better for both of us to have it come now than later. We always have such a good time in the spring & summer. The children ought to be less trouble this year than last, especially Ruth will be quite well trained by summer.


They have some fine camping baskets at Van Heusen & Charles. Some of them are equipped for four & some for six persons. I have not priced them & guess I shall wait until we get squared up a little more. They are very attractive to me & I know that you would like them.


Mr. Scott said today that he would look after the Rochester cases so I do not see any chance of getting home this week. It is a very great disappointment to me but I expect to have some cases near home soon.


You don’t know how glad I was to win that Olcott Beach case. The fact is that I think Mr. Scott thought we were quite sure to lose & for that reason he let me argue it. He is certainly a very queer mixture of a tricks.


I am now starting to prepare a brief in another case to be argued before the Appellate Division in Rochester along in May.


All this will not interest you my dear but there is little else to write about. I am very glad you liked the cut glass bottle. It appealed to me very much at the time.


I wrote to Professor Rowlee today. We ought to hear from there in a few weeks now. Somehow, I can not get over the desire of coaching one more year down there. Perhaps it is a diversion that will always appeal to me.


This is quite a long letter my dear considering the way I feel. A night rest may straighten me out, at least I hope so.


It is needless to tell you how I miss you & love you & hope for an opportunity to get home.

With truest & best care, your loving husband, Dan”