Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has two famous John Reynolds. One is the father and the other is his son.
John, the son, is Major General John Fulton Reynolds, Lancaster's great claim to fame in the Civil War. General Reynolds was the first and highest-ranking general to die in the Battle of Gettysburg. Three statues of John Reynolds, the son, stand in the Gettysburg Battlefield today, and another statue stands guard in front of Philadelphia's City Hall.
John Reynolds, the father, was no soldier. He was a printer.
John Reynolds' claim to letterpress fame here in Lancaster is:
- He printed and published the Lancaster Journal newspaper here for 14 years, beginning in 1820. This newspaper evolved into today's Intelligencer Journal.
- He brought one of the first iron handpresses to Lancaster, when he purchased a Washington press in 1829. Today that same Reynolds printing press sits out its retirement in the Lancaster Newspapers Newseum.
Timeline for John Reynolds the Printer (Born 1787 - Died 1853)
- ca. 1802 - He is an orphaned apprentice in Philadelphia, working for the printer Archibald Bartram, a relative of the Quaker printer Isaac Collins.
- 1807 - John is a business partner of Archibald Bartram in Philadelphia. They print and publish William Bartram's A Catalogue of Trees, Shrubs, and Herbaceous Plants (1807) ...plus other books.
- 1814 to 1817 - John is working in Lancaster, as a cashier at the Farmer's State Bank.
- 1820 - He buys the Lancaster Journal, after publisher William Hamilton's fall from grace.
- 1822 to 1824 - He is a legislator in the Pennsylvania State Legislature. He also serves as Lancaster county treasurer in the 1820s.
- 1834 - He sell the Lancaster Journal to Hugh Maxwell.
- 1836 - John moves to Cornwall, Lebanon County, PA, and is manager of Coleman Iron Works.
- 1837 - John gets his son John Reynolds into West Point, thanks to the connections of Senator James Buchanan.
- 1848 - John (the father) returns to Lancaster City.
- 1853 - John dies 10 years before his son The Major General dies on the Gettysburg Battlefield.
Above: These border ornaments were some of the most popular printer's ornaments here in Lancaster in the early 1800s. Joseph Ehrenfried used them. John Baer used them. Samuel Bauman used them. Joseph Bauman used them. John Reynolds used them.
John Reynolds used these ornaments on the label he printed for the Moravian saddler Frederick Keller (born 1794 - died 1852). Frederick made this wood-and-leather box for Mennonite Deacon John Frank (born 1777 - died 1858). The saddler and the deacon both lived in the Lititz area, or "Litiz" as they spelled it then.
Frederick Keller's saddle shop was 5 doors east of today's General Sutter Inn, which in the 1820s was known as the Zum Anker inn (The Anchor) ...or "Mr. Hall's Tavern." The innkeeper was the Moravian clockmaker Christian Hall.