As I honor the special people who’ve made exemplary contributions to Southaven in our history, none span more than Jon Reeves! He began serving our citizens in the community of Southaven in 1963 and is still invested in our business community today.
After an admirable military career in the U.S. Army, Mr. Reeves and his soon-to-be bride were looking for a place to start their future journey together when he was offered his first civilian job by successful multi-enterprise business entrepreneur, Cary Whitehead, and his company, Allied Investment Company. Allied, who later changed their name to Allied Mortgage and Development Company, played a key role in the initial development of Southaven with utilities, home construction, and mortgage services for many of the very first homeowners from their office on Highway 51 just north of Stateline Rd. Mr. Reeves started a connection with Southaven with this first job in 1963 providing mortgage services.
Mr. Whitehead saw something special in the young Jon Reeves and made him his “go-to” man for many new business ventures, never worrying about experience but requiring him to be quick on his feet and learn with on-the-job training. One of these ventures was building Holiday Inns around the country. While on the east coast overseeing hotel construction, Mr. Reeves and his new bride built their first home. Before construction was final, they had an offer from a prospective buyer. Since their home was not for sale, Mr. Reeves agreed to build another home just like it for that person, which further resulted in a third request. Then, as we say, “the rest was history”.
Jon Reeves was assigned by Cary Whitehead in the ‘60s to assist in building Allied’s new office building. After completion, he worked in an office next to Mr. Whitehead on the 4th floor of this new building that later became and still is, Southaven City Hall. In the late ‘60s, along with fellow Allied employee, Bob Williams, he operated a produce business called, “The Market Place”, at the location of the original Allied offices on Highway 51. After a few years, the partners closed this business and created R&W Builders which later became Reeves-Williams, one of the largest residential home builders in Southaven’s history. After selling Reeves-Williams in the early 2000s, Mr. Reeves has continued to develop both residential and commercial properties in Southaven and has been a mentor and friend to countless other business people in our city.
While reflecting on his life in Southaven, Mr. Reeves smiled when he told me that he commonly has people approach him and say, “Hey, you built my home”. As he looked back even more, he said, “I’ve always been a part of Southaven from the beginning and 90% of my life has been Southaven”.
And, for that, Sir, Southaven is grateful!