MG 235 - Reily Family Papers

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Scope and Content

The collection contains the papers of four generations of the Reily family and spans the time period of 1783 to 1954. The papers of Major William Reily in the 1830's and 1840's make up a large part of the collection. The collection includes bills and receipts; legal documents; military papers including correspondence; personal correspondence; and a farm ledger for the accounts of Ashland Farm, 1863-1870.

One exceptional letter written by Will Sloan from Fort King, East Florida, to Dr. Luther Reily, brother of William Reily, describes the visit of the Tallahassee Indians to the Fort in October, 1838.

Correspondence to George W. Reily, son and grandson of Dr. George W. Reily, appears to have been added to the collection in recent years and includes letters from Boies Penrose, Gov. Gifford Pinchot, Clare Boothe Luce, James Duff, and Gov. John S. Fine. A copy of "Smull's Legislative Handbook" inscribed in gold "Dr. Geo. W. Reily Pres't Harrisburg Nat'l Bank, compliments of Geo. R. Pyne."

Also contains two announcements of meetings and two Brigade Orders. All are in very poor condition.


JOHN REILY, the first of the name in this country was born in Ireland. He was a resident of Philadelphia and was a scrivener and conveyancer, and taught writing in Dove's school in Philadelphia. He was married twice. His daughter, Sarah, by his first wife married Captain John Ross. By his second wife, Mary Hillhouse, he had two sons: John, born in 1752 and Samuel, born in 1756.

JOHN REILY, eldest son of John Reily and Mary Hillhouse, was educated at the Academy of Philadelphia and was admitted to the bar in Philadelphia, York, Lancaster, and Dauphin Counties. He was commissioned captain in the Twelfth Pennsylvania Line of the Continental army and served under Colonel William Cooke, and later under Colonel Thomas Craig. He was wounded in New Jersey and discharged in 1783. He married Elizabeth Myers and they had nine children. He died in 1810.

WILLIAM REILY was the sixth son of John and Elizabeth Myers Reily, born in August, 1792 and died July, 1843 at Harrisburg.

LUTHER REILY, was the seventh son and youngest child of John and Elizabeth Myers Reily and born December, 1794 at Myerstown. Following the death of his father he came to Harrisburg and began the study of medicine with Dr. Martin Luther. He marched as a private in a company of volunteers in the war of 1812-1814 and later detailed as assistant surgeon. He resumed his practice in Harrisburg after the war and was active in public affairs. He was elected and served as a member of the Twenty-fifth Congress. He died at Harrisburg in 1854. His wife Rebecca was the daughter of Henry Orth. Their children were Elizabeth, Emily, John W., George W. and Caroline.

GEORGE WOLF REILY, second son of Dr. Luther and Rebecca Orth Reily, was born in 1834 at Harrisburg. He lived in the city all of his life and attended Harrisburg Academy. He graduated from Yale College in 1854 and took a one year course in a banking house in Pittsburgh. He studied medicine with Dr. Edward Orth and graduated from the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania in 1859. He was active in the practice of medicine for several years, but in 1870 he was elected president of the Harrisburg National Bank and abandoned his medical practice. He held this position until his death in 1892. He was also associated with many of the leading corporations of Harrisburg. He was married to Elizabeth Kerr; their children were Elizabeth Hummel, George Wolf Jr., and Caroline.

GEORGE WOLF REILY, son of Dr. George and Elizabeth Kerr Reily, was born in Harrisburg in 1870, attended Harrisburg Academy and graduated from Yale University in 1892. He began his career with the Harrisburg Bank and Trust Company and was appointed in 1897 national bank examiner by President Cleveland. He resigned the position in 1902 to become treasurer of the Harrisburg Trust Company. He was also vice president of the Pennsylvania Assurity Company and the City Passenger Railway Company. He married Louisa Harrison of Baltimore, Maryland. Their son, George Wolf Reily, the third of this name in direct line, was born in 1905.

Date(s): 1783-1954

Extent: 1 box, 23 folders, 124 enclosures