The Reynolds family has generated more urban legends and just plain old misinformation than all the rest of our local families combined. Everywhere I go, in real life and on the web, I find blatantly false information about them. Our Central Library occupies the site of the Reynolds Fifth Street house, but I have never seen the correct date for its construction anywhere. So I decided to do something about it. Just click the link below.

In this bucolic porch scene we find, left to right, R.J. Reynolds, Katharine Smith Reynolds, Katharine’s sister, Maxie Smith Dunn, unknown and James S. Dunn, a realtor who had been R.J.’s neighbor at 302 North Liberty Street.


A family story says that when R.J. Reynolds called on Zachary Taylor Smith to announce that he wanted to marry Katharine, Smith replied “Why don’t you marry Maxie? She needs a husband. Katharine can take care of herself.”  Of course, R.J. knew what he wanted, so was not deterred. But perhaps he made certain to introduce Maxie to the rising young realtor.

To find out the who, what, where and when of the Reynolds house, go here: