Eddie Reed still blazes trails in county, Jemison

Published 6:24 pm Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed is a fourth generation lifelong native of the city. When he was elected to the City Council in 1976, he was the first African-American to become an elected official in Chilton County.

Passionate about education, Reed taught the social sciences at Jemison High School and at Wallace Community College for many years. He also served on the Chilton County Board of Education from 1994-2004 before becoming mayor.

“I never wanted to be a classroom teacher. I wanted to be a lawyer,” he admitted.

Reed’s father stressed education, but after earning his undergraduate degree, Reed immediately had to go to work to make room for his four brothers and five sisters.

“[My father] worked hard to put us all through college,” Reed said.

He graduated from Chilton County Training School in 1963 and earned his Bachelor of Science from Payne College in 1967. He did go on to earn his master’s, mainly from the University of Montevallo.

He and his wife, Clarissa, married in 1977.

Reed said he believes one has to be called to fill the role of a public servant.

“You’ve got to look at it as being a servant of the people, not a master of the people,” he said.

Reed said the main issue today is “the end times we are living in.”