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Reeves, Le Roy, 1876-1960



  • Existence: 1876 - 1960


Born in Johnson City, Tennessee, in June 1876, Le Roy Reeves was the son of Elbert Clay Reeves (1841-1929) and his wife Alice Dulcina Robeson (1851-1909). A graduate of Johnson City High School, Reeves studied French, German, Latin, logic and mathematics at Johnson City College and Normal Institute. From 1896-1898 he was a teacher in the Johnson City public schools. Admitted to the bar in 1899, Reeves practiced law in Johnson City with his father until 1905.

In June 1903 he organized Company F, Third Infantry, Tennessee National Guard, and was elected and commissioned the first captain of the company. Reeves resigned in June 1906 after commanding Company F during service in Virginia and at Tracy City, Tennessee. He subsequently was appointed major judge advocate of the Tennessee National Guard and served in the Mexican border campaign in 1916. After being discharged from the Tennessee National guard in 1918, he entered the Officers Training School at Camp McClellan, Alabama, where he was commissioned major in the United States Army in 1919.

After World War I he was assigned to duty in the Office of the Judge Advocate General in Washington, and in 1920 he was commissioned major in the Judge Advocate General's department. Before retirement in 1940, he advanced to the rank of colonel.

While practicing law in Johnson City and serving in the Tennessee National Guard, Reeves designed a state flag for Tennessee. The flag was adopted as the official flag of the State of Tennessee by an act of the Tennessee General Assembly passed and approved April 17, 1905.

In 1951 Colonel Reeves published Ancestral Sketches, a genealogy of his ancestors. He died in Washington, D.C., on May 25, 1960 and was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Le Roy Reeves Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: AppMs-0009
Scope and Contents

The papers of Le Roy Reeves consist of letters, military orders, photographs, sketches, newspaper clippings and genealogical data. His experimental sketches of the Tennessee state flag and his correspondence relating to the adoption of the flag are of particular interest to Tennesseans and vexillologists. Other papers document some of his activities as a member of the United States military and the research he conducted for his book Ancestral Sketches.

Dates: 1703-1952; Majority of material found within 1903-1928