Francis Reyner is a pioneer and well know citizen in San Foaquin county, making his home near Banta. He crossed the plains to California in 1861 after the primitive manner of travel in those days. He journeyed with a wagon train composed of horses and ox teams and drove an ox team all the way from Iowa to San Joaquin county, being five months upon the journey. Hardships and trials had to be faced in thus covering the distance from the Mississippi valley to the Pacific coast, and for days the party continued on their way until weeks had lengthened into months. It was largely a pioneer district over which they traveled, and to the work of substantial upbuilding and progressive development in San Joaquin county Mr. Reyner has since contributed.

A native of Maryland, he was born in Montgomery county on the 29th of October, 1834, his parents being John and Mary (Ellis) Reyner, both of whom were natives of Leeds, England, and whose parents came to America in 1832, locating in Montgomery county, Maryland. John Reyner, the father, was an expert workman and carder, being thus engaged in the manufacture of woolen and cotton goods. He was employed in that line in Leeds, England, during the eriod of his business career in his native country. After crossing the Atlantic he resided with his family in Montgomery county, Maryland, where Francis was born, and subsequently removed to Powder Mills, Prince George county, Maryland, where he engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods on his own account, conducting the enterprise with fair success for several years. He afterward resided for a number of years at Laurel, Prince George county, where he was employed as head carder in a cotton mill. With his family he journeyed westward in 1851, removing to Jackson county, Iowa, and in Canton, Iowa, he engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods for several years. He was for a number of years a resident of Ozark, Iowa, and there his death occurred.

Francis Reyner was a youth of sixteen years when he accompanied his parents on their removal from the Atlantic coast to Jackson county, Iowa, and in that state he attained his majority. His education, however, was largely acquired in the public schools of Maryland, and from his youth he was employed in woolen and cotton mills which were there owned by his father or in which his father was employed. He continued a resident of Iowa until 1861, with the exception of two years in Kansas and Utah, when he came to California, making the journey as a pioneer, with a wagon train. Since that time he has resided in San Joaquin county with the exception of a brief residence in Oregon and Idaho.

Mr. Reyner was married on the 6th of November, 1873, to Mrs. Louisa A. Bridwell, the widow of Frederick Bridwell, of Grant county, Wisconsin, and formerly of Polk county, Tennessee. She was a daughter of Richard and Mary (Parsons) Travis, both of whom were natives of Virginia. Her birth occurred in Pike county, Missouri, but during her early girlhood she accompanied her parents on their removal to Grant county, Wisconsin, where she remained until she had attained adult age or until 1864, when with her parents and other members of the family she came to California, journeying westward with the usual emigrant train. the Travis wagon was drawn by horses, and five months had elapsed ere the journey was completed. Her parents became pioneer settlers on the sand plains, and Mrs. Reyner is now familier with the greater part of the history of San Joaquin county's development, upbuilding and progress. By her first marriage she had one child, a daughter, Ella, who is now the wife of Clarence E. Cook.

Mr. and Mrs. Reyner have resided upon their present ranch near Banta since the fall of 1888. They are well known and representative pioneer people of this portion of California and enjoy a large circle of friends. Mr. Reyner has taken an active part in community interests, and served as deputy county assessor of Castoria township. His political support is given to the Republican party.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume II

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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