Despite his divine destiny, Reeves began life about as far from Mount Olympus and the ancient gods as it was possible to get. Glasgow, Montana is a small town a few miles from the Canadian border, where the northern plains stretch for miles in every direction. It was there on January 21, 1926 that Steve Reeves was born. Steve is a descendent of a combination of Welsh, Irish, German and English heritage.
On his mother's side of the family, Steve's great grandfather Boyce, a tailor by trade, came to America from England and settled with his wife in a small town in Ohio. Later, his son Stephen Boyce moved from Ohio to Montana and eventually purchased a hotel and cattle and sheep ranch in the community of Scobey, Montana. Within two years all his investments had disappeared. The hotel had burned down, the cattle had contracted hoof and mouth disease, and the sheep were wiped out by some other sort of ailment. Not to be stopped by these unfortunate events Steve’s Grandfather Stephen never quit. Stephen Boyce married Margaret Edith Henderson and had six sons and a daughter. Two of the sons died one from influenza and the other was hit by a car. Stephen’s daughter Golden Viola Boyce became Steve's beloved mother.
On the Reeves side of the family, Steve remembers hearing about his great grandfather Manasseh Thomas Reeves. He was a veteran of the Civil War. Manasseh fought under General Sherman's Command. He married Sarah Feustal of Fairport, Iowa. Steve owned letters written by his great grandfather wrote and was impressed with the clarity of thought and excellent handwriting.
Manasseh’s son, Sylvester Norris Reeves (Steve's paternal grandfather), was a big man for his day - standing 6'4" and weighing 240 pounds. The family moved to Montana sometime during his youth. Sylvester married Jessie Day and they had four boys: Ted, Claude, Lester, and Archie. Archie died sometime before his twenty-first birthday. Sylvester and Jessie Reeves divorced while the children were still young. Later Jessie remarried to a man by the name of Jack W. Peters.
Jack Peters and Jessie came to Scobey sometime before 1915, as the filing of their homestead was dated 1915. Jessie worked in Burton’s restaurant in town to help out the family. The boys Ted, Claude, and Lester all attended and graduated from Scobey High School.
Claude enlisted in the army in WW1, eventually returning to Scobey to help with the ranch.. Ted left to accept a scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley but fell in love along the way and never made it to school.
Jack Peters, Jessie Reeves Peters, and Lester leased land for a ranch about nine miles north of Richland, Montana. Lester was a carpentry contractor and also worked very hard on the ranch.
Lester Dell Reeves and Golden Boyce were neighbors in Scobey and were considered by the people of Danials County to be the most desirable and attractive couple around.
Lester was an extremely fit man who stood 6’1” and weighed 200 pounds. He had broad shoulders and a fantastic build. His physique was genetically passed on to him and was honed by hard physical work.
Steve's mother Goldie (Golden) was a very pretty, loving, and giving person.
They were married by the local Methodist minister Ernest Kistler on April 3, 1924. Lester was 24 years old at the time and Golden was 18. They had only one child, Stephen Lester Reeves (Steve Reeves) before Lester's untimely accident.
Find out much much more about Steve's family life in the members area of this site. Hear about the Montana Earthquake of 1935 and what happed to Steve. Read about Steve being hit by a car and dragged down the street. Steve had many adventures and close calls in his life - get the full story only by becoming a member!
This photograph is from our collection that shows Steve at 3 years old on the back of Old Dan the horse he would ride for hours. Goldie Reeves on the right.
Steve's dad (Lester Reeves) is pictured at the far right side of this photo. Steve grandmother (Jessie Reeves) is located on the far right of the building.
Press Clipping from the local paper in Scoby 1927 Steve's dads death.
Lester Reeves Victim of Fatal Accident While Threshing West of Richland: Dies Tuesday Morning.
Lester Reeves, a fine young fellow 28 years of age who has resided in his community for several years, died at the Minot hospital Tuesday of this week, the result of a peculiar accident which occurred at the J. R. Williams farm, just west of the town site of Richland.
Lester was driving a bundle team for the Bundy-Rolandson threshing rig and had driven up near the separator with his load. While waiting for the wagon ahead of h to get unloaded he was talking with some children near the big drive belt. One mans pitchfork caught in the belt which jerked It out of his hands and hurled it through the air to wards Reeves and the children. One tine pierced Lester’s abdomen, puncturing the intestines.
The unfortunate man Jerked the steel from his own body and fellow workmen took him at once to Richland where he was transferred to an other car and brought to the Dahlquist hospital at Scobey, where Dr.'s Collinson and Morrow were summoned.
The Scobey doctors probed the wound to find the path of the tine. They knew the case was a serious one and that a critical operation might be necessary. Mr. Reeves was sent by car to Wolf Point where he was take aboard the train for Minot.
A first operation revealed the punctures in the intestines and peritonitis set in. A second operation Monday failed to give the necessary relief and death relieved his suffering on Tuesday morning, October 18.
Lester Dill Reeves was born at Windom, Minn., on May 10, 1989, but spent most of his boyhood days at Bemidji . In 1916 the family came to Montana and have almost continually made their home in the northwest part of Daniels county.
In 1924 Miss Goldie Boyce became his bride and to them, one child, a boy, now almost two years of age, was born. For the past few years he has bees farming in partnership with his brother and this fall had worked all season with the same threshing outfit.
Lester was a fellow with many likeable qualities. His neighbors had nothing but good words for him and his death is a sad blow to the entire community.
Besides his grief stricken wife and baby, he Is mourned by his, parent and three brothers, Claude of Richland, Ted of Portland, Oregon, and Archie of North Dakota, all of whom have the sincere sympathy of their friends and neighbors.
The, funeral of the late Lester Reeves will be held Saturday front the Methodist Episcopal Church , Scobey, at 2 o’clock, when a legion of friends will pay final tribute to the departed. Burial will be made in the Scobey cemetery.
Press Clipping from the local paper in Scoby 1934 Steve's Grandfather's death.
Stephen Boyce was laid to rest Monday afternoon in Highland cemetery following funeral services held in the Holland and Beitine funeral home, at which the Rev. Charles G. Cole officiated.
Pallbearers were John Norton, George Barber, W. Williamson, Ed Redwing, Theodore Severtson and Lawrence Shehy.
Miss Donna Watts - Miss Pearl Ann Steffer song "In the Garden", "Beautiful Isle", "and In the Sweet By and By."
Born Dec. 24,1852; Stephen Boyce was the son of John D. and Margaret (Crooks) Boyce.
At the age of 21 Boyce left Ohio for California. He traveled with four young men companions, who, due to Mr. Boyce honesty and alertness, intrusted their money to "honest Steve" as they nicknamed him. During his five years in California he traveled through the San Joaquin valley as a gold miner and mule team skinner.
Later he logged in the giant redwoods in northern California, and proved up on a homestead where the city of Walla Walla now stands. He told of driving 200 miles across country to care for his homestead papers. At night he camped off the trail to avoid unfriendly visits of Redmen. On one day he had watched Indians follow him for miles. Later he went into the Deer Lodge country in Montana.
Boyce came from Deer Lodge to the Bear Paw mountains in the early 8O’s with the Bielenberg and Conrad Kohrs outfit, later managing a horse and cattle ranch in the mountains. This business he continued untll1914. He was the first vice president of the Ranchers’ Stock association formed in the Bear Paws in 1897. He at one time owned the old Palace hotel in Havre. After selling his ranch in 1914, Boyce moved to Poplar where he engaged in the livery business. In 1918, he moved into the Horse Shoe Basin community in northwestern Daniels county, where he engaged in farming. He suffered a stroke in 1934 and was confined to his bed remainder of his life. He died in a Havre hospital March 3.
He had been married to Miss Edith Henderson In Fort Benton she dying in 1931.
Surviving him are his children Stephen, Havre Sarl, Big Sandy, Mrs. Goldie Maylone, Oakland, Calif.; Claire, Butte; and Loya, Tampico.
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