Reno, Lawson

Lawson Reno, Cashier of the Owensboro National Bank, son of Lawson R. and Mary T. (Campbell) Reno, was born in Greenville, Kentucky, February, 1849. His father was born near Norfolk, Virginia, and came with his parents to Muhlenberg County when he was about fifteen years of age. He received his education in private schools of Virginia and Kentucky. In 1840 he embarked in the hotel business in Greenville and was proprietor of the Reno House in that place for fifty-five years. He was for a long time a trustee of the Greenville Female Academy, a school which was conducted for many years under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church, and to the support of which Mr. Reno was a liberal contributor. Before the war he was a Whig, and after the disruption of that party he became identified with the Republicans and always took a lively interest in the political issues of the day, caring nothing, however, for office. He was sheriff of Muhlenberg County at one time, but with that exception he has not held or sought any official position.  His wife’s maiden name was Mary Campbell, a native of Norfolk, Virginia, and is now living in the family homestead in Greenville. Mr. Reno died in 1895. He was the father of seven children: Mary, William, Amanda, John, R T., Cordelia and Lawson.

John R. Campbell (maternal grandfather) was an eminent educator of Virginia, his native state.

Lawson Reno was educated at Greenville College, chiefly under the instruction of Professor E. W. Hall, who was employed by the prominent men of Greenville to impart special instruction to their sons. Mr. Reno was a delicate youth, and while his education was very thorough, there were times when his studies had to be thrown aside, and for this reason he did not leave school until he was twenty years of age.

In 1871, when twenty-two, he went to Owensboro and was employed in the revenue service as deputy collector under his brother, who was collector for the Second district of Kentucky. After the expiration of his brother’s term as collector he was re-appointed by William A. Stewart, the incoming collector, but resigned to accept the appointment of postmaster of Owensboro, which office he filled for seven years, discharging its important duties with credit to himself and to the entire satisfaction of the community. He resigned in 1886 and organized the Owensboro National Bank, accepting the position of cashier, which he has held until the present time.

In all of his business relations with the public, as well as in the wide circle of personal friends, Mr. Reno has enjoyed great popularity, his genial, courteous manner, obliging disposition and natural kindliness towards others winning him a host of friends, while his splendid business qualifications and methods have won the esteem and confidence of the business community.

Mr. Reno has been twice married; first to Mary Frey, daughter of William H. and Martha (Campbell) Frey, of Owensboro. She died in 1883, leaving three children: Cordelia, educated in the Owensboro high school and at Nazareth; William, now a student in Center College, Danville, and Campbell, who is at school in Owensboro. In June, 1894, Mr. Reno married Mrs. Virginia Berry, widow of James I. Berry, of Marion County, Kentucky, who was a son of John B.

Berry of that county. Mrs. Reno’s maiden name was Wrinn, whose father’s name was Paul Wrinn, a wholesale liquor merchant of Baltimore. He married Julia Berry, daughter of Jeremiah Berry of Maryland.

Mrs. Reno is a descendant of the Berrys, Miles, Wathens and Snowdowns, families who were prominent in Maryland during and after the colonial times, and is a highly cultivated lady, exceedingly dainty, kind and sweetly sympathetic, and has found herself in the midst of a charmed circle of friends in the city to which she recently came as a stranger.

Source: Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. John M. Gresham Company, Chicago, Philadelphia, 1896.