David Andes: Great-Great Grandson of John E. Reese

David Andes’ ancestry goes back farther than most of European descent here in the Gallatin Valley. David shared his family’s stories with us on September 13, 2022. And what stories they are…

John E. Reese
Gallatin History Museum Photograph Archives. P5318N.

His Great-Great Grandfather, John Reese, moved his family from Wales, after having been converted to Mormonism by Brigham Young, himself. The Reese family narrowly escaped being executed in the new Salt Lake City… after refusing to give their young daughter over to be a 3rd or 4th wife for a Mormon bishop, trying to leave, being captured by the Dannites, Brigham Young’s quasi-military police force, returned to Salt Lake City and scheduled for execution, but they were rescued by the US Cavalry, & moved to Montana, where they eventually settled north of Bozeman, along what is now known as Reese Creek.

Tintype of John E. Reese and Mary Davis Reese
View of Reese Creek taken from Cemetery Hill, looking East.
(Gallatin History Museum Photograph Archives, Frank Norman, donor. P7608N)

There the family history continued: A run-away bride, a posse chasing the groom with intent to kill, and more.

Mary Jane Reece Wells and John Harvey Wells

Andes House in Andes, MT (c.1913). The sod kitchen is on the right behind the house. The room to the left was a bedroom added for David’s grandparents. 6 of the eventual 10 children are shown. The photo’s frame was made from wood from the barn his grandfather built in 1911, salvaged and chosen to feature a bullet (lodged in the lower left) likely shot by one of his uncles, who were known for often shooting guns around the house.

His grandson, young Reese, is the seventh generation to live here in Gallatin Valley. You can read more in his article, Stories My Mother Told Me, in the Gallatin History quarterly, Volume 43, No. 4, from 2020. You can also find his photo next to that of Alan Turing at the American Computer & Robotics Museum.