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This biography was possible through the generous consideration of Mrs. Gina M. Reasoner.  


Source:  History of Ohio, The American Historical Society, Inc., 1925 Volume IV, page 168:

JOHN H. REES came to America when a youth of sixteen and has devoted a large part of his life to the iron and steel industries, in which he was an expert workman in some of the most highly skilled branches, but for the past dozen years has given his time and service to one of the important public institutions of Youngstown. He was born a Neath Abbey, South Wales, July 8, 1886, son of John and Elizabeth (James) Rees, who spent all their lives in Wales. John H. Rees was educated in public schools, and on coming to the United States, at the age of sixteen, first located at Youngstown, where he spent five years working in the Valley Steel Mills. His next experience was at Toledo, where he worked in the shearing department of the steel mills. Before coming to this country he had learned the plasterer's trade, and after eight years in the mills he found work as a machinist in a general bicycle shop. Two and a half years later he moved to Muncie, Indiana, going to work in the steel mills, being assistant superintendent a year and a half, though his first employment was as a bundler, from that being promoted to foreman, then assistant shipper and then assistant superintendent. From there he went back to Toledo, as a shearer and in 1899 returned to Youngstown, being a machinist for George B. Sennett until 1903, when he was made machinist in the Youngstown Foundry and Machine Company, spending four years there, and for one year was machinist for the William B. Pollock Company. While in these positions he was twice elected president of the Machinists' Union. He finally gave up his trade to work at his original vocation, and spent four years as a plastering contractor. On April 12, 1912, when the Detention Home of Youngstown was established, Mr. Rees was elected as its superintendent and Mrs. Rees as its matron, and they have given an uninterrupted service in those capacities ever since, proving their efficiency and ability as managers as well as their kindliness and humanity in looking after those under their charge. Mr. Rees married, May 6, 1890, Miss Hannah Jones, who was born at Brookfield, Trumbull County, Ohio, daughter of Morgan W. and Ann (Elias) Jones. Her parents were natives of Wales, but came to Youngstown in 1862, and spent the rest of their lives in that section of Ohio. Her father was a coal miner. Mr. and Mrs. Rees have two daughters, Eleanor May is the wife of E.J. Thomas of Struthers, Ohio, their two children being Edwin J. and Paul Rees. The second daughter, Florence Elizabeth, is Mrs. William H. Franklin, of Cleveland, and is the mother of two children. John Howard and Mary Louise. Mr. Rees is a trustee of the Plymouth Congregational Church. In politics he is a republican, and is active fraternally and in Welsh societies, being president of the Youngstown Eisteddfod and of St. David's Society. He is a Royal Arch and Council degree Mason and a member of Youngstown Lodge, No. 203, Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His wife is a member of the Eastern Star and is a trustee of the Woman's Welsh Club.