A carver of mythological figures, biblical figures and American Indians, Reed was a cabinetmaker and carpenter by trade. He began carving in wood early on, developing his craft until in 1968 he was able to become a full-time artist. Born in 1919 in Jackson, Ohio, he left home at fourteen to become a cabinetmaker, subsequently taking on odd-jobs and adding to his income by selling walnut wood carvings, as tourist items at the roadside from 1964 on. From around 1968 and beyond, he also used limestone and sandstone for his carvings, and demonstrated carving techniques at state fairs and other venues. He was featured in the "Folk Art from Ohio Colelction" at the Ohio State Fair in 1980.
Reed's wood carvings of American Indians ar life-size and his larger works in stone range from less than a foot to five feet.