Born in 1849 in Llansaint, Carmarthenshire, Wales, David Reese was the second child of John and Elizabeth Reese. He emigrated to America in 1854 with his family and settled in Utah for six years before moving to California. The Reese Family settled in the San Joaquin Township where Mr. Reese became a prominent citizen. Shortly before his marriage in 1879 to Mira Kilgore, Mr. Reese bought land and became a successful farmer. He was described as one who “commenced with nothing but his own energy, good judgment, and perseverance…”
Mr. Reese was a charter member of the Odd Fellows’ Society of Florin, Elk Grove Lodge, and Florin Grange. He was heavily involved in establishing the California Fruit Union and the Florin Fruit Growers Association. David Reese served as the sheriff of Sacramento County in 1902. He died in 1910.
The Reese School District was formed in 1884. Originally located on Bradshaw Road one half mile south of the Traction line (between Gerber and Calvine), the school was built on land donated by the Reese family. The foundation is the only part of the school that remains. In the 30s, the school served a farming community where many Japanese families had settled and planted primarily strawberries. It was during that time that Caucasian children were the minority attending Reese school
“When the Reese School District joined Pleasant Grove District there was no longer a need for the building. In 1949 it was moved by George Brooks to his hop ranch on Freeman Road and was used as a cookhouse. Russell Newland is now donating the school to the Historical Society for restoration. Built of heart redwood, with the words “Reese School” still clearly visible above the ornate doorway, the once grand lady has definitely seen better days.”
– excerpt from the Elk Grove Historical Society website
The school awaits restoration at the Elk Grove Heritage Park. The current school opened in 1966.