William Reed

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William J. "Silver Dollar Billy" Reed (born April 18, 1770 in Guilford County, North Carolina; died April 22, 1856 in Huffman) was a pioneer settler, farmer and land speculator who constructed a log cabin for his family between 1816 and 1820 at the spring feeding Five Mile Creek in the present Twin Lakes subdivision in Huffman.

Reed earned his nickname from his habit of carrying wooden kegs that appeared to be filled with silver dollars when he paid debts or attended land auctions. According to legend, his display of apparent wealth helped him intimidate Williamson Hawkins and other pioneers who competed with him to obtain desirable properties. His family later admitted that the barrel had a false bottom to make it appear to contain more than it did.

Reed and his wife, Ruth, produced the first white child born within Birmingham's present corporate limits when their daughter Ruth was born on October 28, 1817. They went on to raise eleven children in their cabin.


  • Brook, Ginger (January 14, 2009) "Silver Billy" Deep Fried Kudzu

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