Fred H. Reagan (1883-1962)

Fred Herbert Reagan was born in North Adams, Massachusetts on 22 July 1883, the son of William H. Reagan (1839-1905) and Caroline Newcomb (1849-ca.1922).

In the 1900 census Fred H. Reagan is listed as a packer in a shirt factory living with his parents in North Adams; in 1910 he was living with his widowed mother and employed as a bookkeeper. On 7 December 1918 he married North Adams native Martha McAdoo (1894-1948), daughter of Massachusetts natives Andrew H. McAdoo (1863-1912) and Ida Bell Chesebrough (1865-1922). The couple had one daughter, Madeleine Reagan (1921-2008), who married Sanger B. Steel (1919-1983) on 2 April 1942. Fred Reagan worked in North Adams in the insurance business; he subsequently moved to Scotia, New York in 1943, where he died on 25 February 1962. For further details, see his obituary below.


Fred H. Reagan, Former Assessor, Dies, 78

Fred Herbert Reagan, 78, of Scotia, N.Y., former North Adams insurance man, and one-time city assessor whose baritone voice made him one of the most popular singers in this area over a period of many years, died last night in the Glendale Nursing Home in Scotia. In failing health for many months, he had been a patient in the nursing home since September.

Mr. Reagan, who had resided in Scotia since 1943, was born in this city, son of the late William H. and Caroline (Newcomb) Reagan. He attended North Adams schools, then was first employed at the North Adams National Bank. Later he went with the Harvey A. Gallup Insurance Agency and continued as a representative of that agency until 1939. Subsequently he operated his own agency here for a short time, but he closed it to work for a short time during the early months of World War II, at a U.S. Army Depot in Bayonne, N.Y. [N.J.] From there he went to Scotia where he established his home, was employed for a short time in the advertising department of the Schenectady (N.Y.) Evening Star, then went with the U.S. Navy Supply Depot in Scotia where he continued his employment until he retired in 1951.

His wife, the former Martha MacAdoo, died in Scotia, Jan. 20, 1948. Mr. Reagan closed his own home there in 1953 and had since resided with his daughter in Scotia.

A member of a musically talented family and blessed with a bass-baritone voice of unusual quality, Mr. Reagan studied voice as a young man with the late Prof. David Roberts here and throughout the period of his residence here was in great demand to sing at concerts, in minstrel shows and in light operatic productions. For several years he was a member of the quartet at the first Universalist Church under the direction of James Morley Chambers, later sang in the quartet of the First Congregational Church for more than 25 years under the direction of the late Jesse Hadfield.

Mr. Reagan was elected a member of the board of assessors in December, 1924, and served a three-year term on the board. He was a candidate for nomination to the board in 1938 and again in 1939 but was unsuccessful.

He was a member of the Masonic fraternity and a former member of the Kiwanis Club and the old Berkshire Club in this city.

He leaves his daughter, Mrs. Sanger Steel of Scotia; three sisters, Mrs. Joseph Mulcahy of this city and Mrs. Charles Fake and Mrs. William L. Dickie, both of Pittsfield, and three grandsons.

Cremation is to take place in Schenectady. A memorial service will be held at 3:30 Wednesday afternoon at the Simmons Funeral Home in this city with the Rev. Alfred B. Perry, pastor of the First Methodist Church, officiating. Interment will take place in the spring in Southview Cemetery.

[The North Adams Transcript, 26 February 1962]

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