Facts and Events
Michael Reid was baptised on 30th November 1833 in the small town of Monasterevin in County Kildare, Ireland. He was son of Mary Reid, formerly Dennan (or Denning) and her husband Michael Reid, who was apparently a mason. In the late 1840s Michael Reid senior was claimed to be responsible for building the new Catholic Church in Monasterevin.
In 1854, aged 20, Michael emigrated to America, where he settled in New York and became a successful building contractor, working on several notable buildings including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Morgan Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and eleven Carnegie libraries. Around 1890 he was joined in his business by his nephew William MacDonald, son of Michael's late sister Ellen.
Michael married twice, first to Margaret Reilly and second to Mary McCormick. He appears to have had at least eight children from his two marriages. In about 1899 he bought 116 East 70th Street on New York's Upper East Side, which he extensively altered.
Michael outlived both his wives. He died on 10th November 1918 at home at 116 East 70th Street, aged 85.
- ↑ Monasterevin (Roman Catholic) baptisms, in Kildare Genealogy. Kildare Genealogy, Primary quality.
ch. 30 Nov 1833: Michael son of John Reed and Mary Dennan of Town, sponsors Christy Hussey and Margaret Gordon
Although this baptism records Michael's father's name as John, it is considered this is likely to be a mistake. There was clearly a sequence of children baptised at Monasterevin with parents named Michael Reid and Mary Dennan - this baptism is the only instance of a John Reid and Mary Dennan baptism. Moreover, Michael's sister Ellen's son William MacDonald is recorded in his 1933 obituary as having been nephew of this Michael. Also, the age quoted on Michael's New York death certificate of 1918 suggests he was born on 29th November 1833, which is just the day before this baptism.
- ↑ National Archives and Records Administration. New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957. (Washington, D. C.: National Archives and Records Administration), SS Constitution, Image 7, 20 Apr 1854, Primary quality.
|Name||Age||Sex||Occupation||Country to which belongs||Country in which they intend to become inhabitants|
|Michael Reid||18||Male||Labourer||Ireland||U. States|
- ↑ Death Certificate.
State of New York
Department of Health of the City of New York
Bureau of Records
Standard Certificate of Death
Registered No. 41899
1. Place of death: Borough of Manhattan, No. 116 East 70th St, character of premises: private
2. Full name: Michael Reid
3. Sex: Male
4. Color or race: White
6. Date of birth: April 29, 1833
7. Age: 85 yrs, 0 mos, 11 days [sic - doesn't tally with date of birth - suggests instead 29 Nov 1833 for date of birth]
8. Occupation: Retired builder
9. Birthplace: Ireland
9a. How long in US: 70 years
9b. How long in City of New York: 70 years
10. Name of father: Michael Reid
11. Birthplace of father: Ireland
12. Name of mother: Mary Denning
13. Birthplace of mother: Ireland
14. Former or usual residence (if different to place of death): -
15. Date of death: Dec 10, 1918
16. Medical (not all transcribed) - died 12 am, cause Cerebral apoplexy, chronic endocarditis, 18 days, Contributory Acute Pulmonary Hypostatic Pneumonia, 5 days.
17. Place of burial: Calvary
- Obituary, New York Times, 11 Dec 1918, Primary quality.
Michael Reid, probably the oldest building and contractor in New York City, who had charge of the construction of some of the principal buildings in the city, died yesterday at his home, 116 East Seventieth Street, at the age of 86 years.
Mr. Reid began as a builder and contractor at an early age and operated alone until about twenty years ago when he formed the M. Reid Company, Inc., with offices at 114 West Thirty-ninth Street, of which he was President at the time of his death. Among the buildings erected by Mr. Reid were the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Imperial Hotel, Morgan addition to the Metropolitan Museum, and eleven Carnegie libraries.
- New York City: report on historic buildings including 116 East 70th Street, with some details of Michael Reid's work as a prominent builder in New York.
- ↑ See Michael's nephew William MacDonald's obituary of 1933.