Born near Brownsville, Pennsylvania, Reeves moved with his parents to Illinois in 1856, where they settled upon a farm in La Salle County. He attended the public schools. He taught school. He studied law. He was admitted to the bar in Mount Vernon, Illinois, in 1875, and commenced practice in Streator, Illinois.
Reeves was elected as a Republican to the Fifty-fourth and to the three succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1895-March 3, 1903). He served as chairman of the Committee on Patents (Fifty-seventh Congress). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1902. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor in 1900. He resumed the practice of law. He died in Streator, Illinois, April 9, 1909. He was interred in Riverview Cemetery.
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