REYNOLDS, JAMES A. (6, Dec. 1871-15 April 1951), was a lifelong member of the INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS and a Progressive era politician. Reynolds was born in Wiltshire, England. He quit school at age nine to work in the coal mines of South Wales. In 1885 he came to the United States with his parents.
Reynolds learned the machinist trade at Alliance, Ohio, in the Morgan Engineering Company. In 1890 he moved to Cleveland and became a member of Cuyahoga Local 83 of the machinists union. In 1892 he assisted in organizing Local 233 and Local 238 in the city and continued organizing work in the West with headquarters in Milwaukee. In 1899 he returned to Cleveland and was elected the union's business agent for the city. In 1901 he was elected a member of the General Executive Board of the International Association of Machinists.
Reynolds became part of TOM L. JOHNSON's Progressive administration when he was appointed "machine inspector" for the city water works in 1901. In 1906 he began his career in the Ohio Legislature, serving three terms in the House and two in the Senate. In 1908 he initiated and passed the Reynolds Child Labor Law. Reynolds championed the non-partisan judiciary bill in 1912, and Ohio women's suffrage bill in 1918, and a workmen's compensation bill. In 1920, he was the only Democrat to survive the Harding Republican landslide in the Senate. Reynolds was elected a Cuyahoga County Commissioner in 1932 and was president of the board of county commissioners when he suffered a stroke in 1943.
In 1909 Mayor Johnson appointed Reynolds superintendent of the Warrensville Farm. In this capacity he was able to expand his hobby or raising pedigree cattle. Between 1916 and 1924 he worked for the VAN SWERINGEN brothers on their DAISY HILL Farm and produced one of the outstanding dairy herds in the nation.
Reynolds maried Florence Greenman in 1902. They had one daughter, Nina.