Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 1126


Ambrose L. Rhoads, a representative business man of Reading, Pa., dealing in butter, eggs, cheese, lard and smoked meats at No. 333 Penn Street, was born in 1857, in Earl township, Berks county, son of Enos and Elizabeth (long) Rhoads.

Mr. Rhoads was educated in the schools of his native township, after leaving which he engaged in the huckstering business, handling butter, eggs, etc., and continued thus employed until 1882, when he worked with his brother, Jonathan L. Rhoads, and then purchased the latter's interest, since which time he has continued alone under the style of A. L. Rhoads & Co. Although he deals in produce of all kinds, Mr. Rhoads makes a specialty of butter and eggs. He is well and favorably known throughout Reading and the surrounding country, and has a large and increasing business, which he conducts with excellent judgment. He has always taken an interest in the welfare of the city and county, and is a leading Democrat. His business acumen and integrity would well fit him for any office, and in 1907 he was nominated and elected to the office of county controller. He has been a heavy tax payer in Reading for the past thirteen years, owning several properties. Mr. Rhoads attends St. Paul's Reformed Church, Reading. He is fraternally connected with Oley Lodge, No. 218, I. O. O. F. Mr. Rhoads married Mrs. Kate (Kelchner) Rhoads, widow of his brother Jonathan L., by whom she had two children: Luther K., a druggist in Reading; and Ada, m. to John R. Melcher.


p. 1713


Calvin S. Rhoads, a farmer on the north side of Monocacy hill, in Amity township, Berks county, was born on his present farm Oct. 8, 1858, son of Abraham Rhoads, and a descendant of John Jacob Rhoads, the emigrant ancestor of many of the name in Berks County.

(I) Early in the eighteenth century several brothers named Rhoads (Roth or Roads) came to America, and settled in Pennsylvania. One of these, John Jacob by name, was a taxable resident of Amity township, Berks county, in 1752, and owned considerable land, and also operated a paper mill. Tradition says he is buried at Amityville church. His children were: Lena m. Henry Baum: Jacob, a captain in the Revolution, m. Susanna Yocum; Matthias, a lieutenant colonel in the Revolution, m. Elizabeth Gotterin; Daniel m. Magdalena Kerst; Mary m. Major George Lorah; Elizabeth became the second wife of Major George Lorah; Samuel m. Elizabeth Auvenshine; Christina m. Jacob Griesemer; and John m. Catharine Greiner.

(II) Samuel Rhoads, son of John Jacob, married Elizabeth Auvenshine, and they became the parents of children as follows: William, John, Daniel, Samuel, Abraham, Elizabeth and two sons that died young.

(III) Samuel Rhoads, son of Samuel and Elizabeth, married Sarah Ludwig, and they had children as follows: William L. m. Lydia Hine; Jonas m. Rachel Hunter: Abraham L.; Frederick lived in Dayton, Ohio; Sarah m. John Nein, and lived in Chester county, Pa., where she is buried; Eliza m. Samuel Sands, and both are buried at Boyertown; Benneville m. Rebecca Lewis.

(IV) Abraham L. Rhoads, son of Samuel and Sarah, was born Nov. 8, 1821, and died on his farm April 15, 1903. In earlier life he was a drover, taking many herds of cattle to Philadelphia. After his marriage in 1854 he worked two years for his brother Jonas. In 1856 he bought the farm on which he lived until his death. He was very successful, his success being due entirely to his own efforts, and at his death he had his farm and stock and $6,000. In politics he was a Democrat, and for several terms he was a school director. He and his family were Lutherans, and members of Amityville church, where he was deacon and elder for many years He gave liberally toward the erection of the new church building in 1872. He married Harriet Straub, of Amity township, born Dec. 22, 1827, and died March 7, 1907. They had six children: Irwin, a farmer in Pottsgrove township, Montgomery county: Calvin S.; Anna, who died in infancy; Charles, of Birdsboro; Alice, who married William Henderson, a farmer of Union township; and Ida, married to Samuel Fix, of Amity township.

The farm bought by Abraham L. Rhoads in 1856, and now the property of Calvin S., now consists of ninety one acres, but originally contained more. Abraham L. Rhoads bought it from his brother Jonas, who in turn had purchased it from Isaac Reiff. Mr. Reiff had owned it eight years, purchasing it from a Kline. It was taken from the State in 1734 by patent deed. There is a stone house built over a strong spring that was erected in 1762. The wall of the house is twenty inches thick. The stone barn was built in 1793, by George Lotz, who also built the spring house, and who was prominent in the Revolution. When the barn was erected it was one of the largest in the township. The present large house was built in 1810. It is of stone.

(V) Calvin S. Rhoads obtained his education in the township schools, and was early trained to farming. He began for himself in the spring of 1904 on the farm whereon he now lives, prior to that time having been in his father's employ. He is very prosperous and is strictly up-to-date, having all modern farm machinery and well cared for live stock. In politics he is a Democrat, but has never aspired to hold public office. He is a member of the Lutheran congregation at the Amityville church.


p. 449


Charles S. Rhoads, of Birdsboro, member of the firm of Huyett & Rhoads, shoe manufacturers, has been engaged in his present line, and connected with the same establishment, ever since his location in that borough. He is a thorough business man, and has gained his present standing by the most honorable and commendable methods, holding the respect of all who have had dealings with him. He is a native of this county, born in 1862 in Amity township, son of Abraham L. and Harriet (Straub) Rhoads.

Abraham L. Rhoads was a successful farmer all his life, and during his younger years also followed cattle droving, which he found very profitable. He owned a farm in Amity township, and was considered well-to-do. He lived to the advanced age of eighty-one years, dying in 1905, and his wife survived him, passing away in 1907 at the age of seventy-nine. He was a Lutheran in church connection, she a member of the Reformed Church. Of the children born to them five lived to maturity: Irvin, Calvin, Charles S., Alice (m. William E. Henderson), and Ida (m. Samuel Fix).

Charles S. Rhoads received his early education in the public schools of his native township, and then for three terms taught school, after which he entered the Bryant & Stratton commercial school in Philadelphia, from which he graduated in 1884. He again taught school, this time continuing for five terms, making eight terms in all, and had his first business experience as clerk in a tea and coffee house at Kensington, Philadelphia. About 1890 he settled in Birdsboro, where he at once became interested in shoe manufacturing with E. & A. Huyett, continuing in partnership with them until 1900. In that year, Mr. E. R.

Huyett retiring on account of ill health, the present firm of Huyett & Rhoads (A. H. Huyett and Charles S. Rhoads) was forced. They manufacture infants1 and children's footwear, and their orders keep them constantly busy. From sixty to seventy-five hands are employed. The firm has a substantial position among reliable business houses in this section of the county, and is steadily widening its patronage and improving the output to a creditable degree.

Mr. Rhoads married Laura M. Huyett, daughter of Isaac and Catharine Huyett, Baumstown, and to them have been born eight children, namely: Garson, Verna, Earl, Marian, Vernon, Norman, Melvin and Harold. Mr. Rhoads is a Lutheran in religious connection and much interested in the local activities of his church. He is a member of the National Shoe Manufacturers1 Association.


p. 1246


Elam H. Rhoads, a popular Berks county hotel man, who is conducting the Jacksonwald Hotel, a well-known hostelry of Exeter township, was born Dec. 1, 1873, in Oley township, son of Nathan and Mary Ann (Frey) Rhoads.

Nathan Rhoads was born in Rockland township, son of Samuel Rhoads, a farmer, and early learned the trade of miller, which he has followed throughout life, and although now sixty years of age is the miller at Fairview Mills. In politics he is a Democrat and fraternally he is connected with the I. O. R. M. He is a member of the Lutheran Church in the faith of which his wife died Feb., 28, 1901, at fifty-three years of age. Two children were born to Nathan and Mary Ann (Frey) Rhoads, namely: Elam H.; and Morris F., a painter of Reading, who married Anna Romig and has four children,--Mary, Myrtle, Abbie and one younger.

Elam H. Rhoads was reared in Oley township, and was educated in the public schools. At the age of thirteen years he began to learn telegraphy, and, when sixteen years old, the trade of carpenter. He then went to Reading and worked as a journeyman ten years, and in 1903 embarked in the contracting and building business, which he followed successfully for four years, building many residences in Reading, probably in all about 165 houses. In the spring of 1907 Mr. Rhoads purchased the fixtures and stock of the Jacksonwald Hotel at Jacksonwald, and here he has since conducted a first-class house. His thirteen rooms are finely furnished, and he caters to only the best patronage. In politics he is a Republican, and on May 16, 1907, he was appointed postmaster at Jacksonwald. Fraternally he is connected with the K. G. E., No. 461, and K. of F., No. 26, Reading.

On June 9, 1893, Mr. Rhoads was married to Alice H. Gift, daughter of John M. and Annie (Heckman) Gift, and two children have been born to this union, Helen M. and Nathan F. The family are members of the Lutheran Church.


p. 481


The name of Rhoads (original spelling Roth) has been continued through many years in Berks county, Pa., whither came Mathias Roth from Germany at an early date, settling near Boyertown. In the present generation are found Ben Johnson Rhoads, proprietor of the "Hotel Allen." and John Gilbert Rhoads, deputy prothonotary, both well known and highly respected in Reading.

John Rhoads, their grandfather, a grandson of Mathias and son of Jonathan, was born on the old Boyertown homestead, and after a life devoted to agriculture, died within the borough limits in the house erected by his father, Jonathan.

Dr. Reuben B. Rhoads, son of John, was born on the old Boyertown farm. He became a physician, and besides his practice in medicine, was a surgeon in the army of the Rebellion, at one time was warden of the Berks county prison, and later was burgess of Boyertown. He married Catherine Gilbert, daughter of Adam Gilbert, of Douglass township, Berks county. Five children were born to this union: Margaret Elizabeth, who died at the age of thirteen years; Ben Jonson, proprietor of the "Allen House"; Laura, wife of Harvey Bridenbaugh; Mary Ella, wife of George Guldin; and John Gilbert.

Ben Jonson Rhoads, son of Dr. Reuben, was born at Zieglerville, Montgomery Co., Pa., March 24, 1861. He was educated in the public schools of Amityville, in Berks county, and was licensed to teach under Prof. S. A. Baer, then county superintendent. His first school was in Earl township, but after teaching three terms in all he directed his attention to farming, for five years engaging in that calling on his father1s farm. Going then to Boyertown he assisted his father in the coal and lumber business for about five years. In July, 1893, he was appointed postmaster of Boyertown by President Cleveland, and in that office he served efficiently for upwards of five years. In 1900 he came to Reading, and his first employment was as a clerk in the Citizens bank, a position he filled acceptably for two years. He assisted in straightening out the business of the Citizens Bank when it was transferred to the Second National Bank. For three months then he served as deputy prothonotary under his brother, John G. In May, 1902, Mr. Rhoads purchased the stock and good-will of the "Hotel Allen", and since then has conducted that popular hostelry with great success. He has made many improvements in the building, and brought the whole to the plane of an up-to-date, progressive hotel. The stand is well know to the traveling public, and the table bears a very high reputation.

Mr. Rhoads is a member of Reading Aerie, No. 66, F. O. E.; Metacomet Tribe, No. 416, I. O. R. M.; Junior Fire Company; Humane Association; Eagles Mountain Home Association; Berks County Retail Liquor Dealers Protective Association.

On Feb. 5, 1882, Mr. Rhoads was married to Miss Laura Weidner, daughter of Charles and Elmira Weidner, of Amity township. They have had four children, one of whom died in infancy. The others are: L. Gertrude m. H. W. Ulrich, an electrician of Philadelphia; Carl M. is a bar clerk for his father; and John C. is a clerk for the Berks County Trust Company. Mr. Rhoads is well known as a loyal Democrat, and he has long been active in the councils of his party.

John Gilbert Rhoads, son of Reuben B. Rhoads, was born Jan. 17, 1865, and he received his education in the schools of his native town and in Reading high school, graduating from that institution in 1886. The next three years he spent in the coal and lumber business, after which he went to the Philadelphia Bridge Works at Pottstown, where he was engaged at structural iron work. In 1895 he became deputy prothonotary, and in 1897 he was defeated for the position of prothonotary by one vote, and in 1900 was elected prothonotary. At the expiration of his term he was again appointed deputy prothonotary, a position he still holds. He was elected to the school board for the City of Reading in 1907, and reelected for four years Feb. 16, 1909.

Mr. Rhoads married Clara Ritter Guldin, daughter of Jeremiah R. Guldin, and to this union were born: Maggie Esther, who died in infancy; and Clarence G., living in New Berlinville. The wife and mother died April 9, 1892. Mr. Rhoads married (second) in 1896, Annie May Hartenstein, daughter of Henry Hartenstein. One son, Frederick, born of this union, died in infancy, and Catherine and Robert still survive. Mr. Rhoads is a member of the Lutheran Church. He is very highly esteemed in Reading where his many sterling traits of character are known and appreciated.


p. 1268


The RhoadsFamily is one of the oldest in Berks county, having been planted here in the early days of the eighteenth century, some accounts give the year 1710, by several brothers of the name, one of whom was (I) John Jacob Rhoads. His nationality is uncertain, and in the early tax lists and records his name is also spelled Roth and Roads. In 1753 he was a taxable resident of Amity township, Berks county and owned considerable land He was a man of affairs, and operated a paper mill in Amity township. Tradition has it that one of the sandstone tombstones east of Amityville church, whose inscription has become illegible by time, marks his grave. His children were: (1) Lena m. Henry Baum. (2) Jacob in 1778 was a captain in the Revolutionary army. He m. Susanna Yocum, and their children were: Hannah, Daniel, John, Jacob, Samuel and Elizabeth. (3) Mathias was a lieutenant colonel in the Revolution. He m. Elizabeth Gotterin, and had children: Mary, Esther, Capt. Jacob, Joseph, Abraham and John. (4) Daniel m. Magdalena Kerst, and is mentioned below. (5) Mary m. Major George Lorah, a Revolutionary patriot. (6) Elizabeth m. Major George Lorah after the death of her sister Mary. (7) Samuel m. Elizabeth Auvenshine, and had children: William, John, Daniel, Samuel, Abraham, Elizabeth and two sons that died young. (8) Christina m. Jacob Griesemer. (9) John m. Catharine Greiner, and had children: Jacob, Hannah, John, Catharine, George, Mary, Eleanor, Elizabeth, William and Samuel.

(II) Daniel Rhoads, son of John Jacob, was born in Amity township, and there died. He was a farmer near Yellow House. Both he and his wife were Lutherans and are buried at Amityville. By his wife, Magdalena Kerst, he had twelve children, namely: David and Peter died young; Samuel died aged twenty years; Jacob died unmarried; John; Solomon died unmarried; Adam died at the age of eighty-eight years, unmarried; George; Daniel m. Catharine Schrader, and had children, Ammon (m. Leanna Rhoads) and Levi; Henry died in infancy; Abraham; and Mary m. George Lorah.

(III) Abraham Rhoads, son of Daniel, was born in Amity township Jan. 20, 1802, and died April 21, 1865, and is buried at Amityville. He was a farmer. He was twice married, his wives being sisters. He m. (first) Elizabeth Lorah, and their children were: Hannah m. John F. Guldin; Mary died unmarried; Daniel L.; and Amanda m. Hon. D. B. Brunner, a member of the Fifty-First and Fifty-Second Congresses. He m. (second) Hannah Lorah (1816-1883), but no children were born to this marriage.

(IV) Daniel L. Rhoads, son of Abraham, and for many years president of the National Bank of Boyertown, was born Oct. 28, 1837, and died at his residence at Yellowhouse in Amity township, Oct. 10, 1896. He was reared to farm life in Amity township, and was educated in the common schools and later in Norristown Academy under the tutelage of Samuel Aaron, afterward attending a preparatory school at East Hampton, Mass. Coming home after his school days were ended, he resumed work on the farm, and in time became the owner of the old Rhoads homestead of 130 acres of fine land. Upon the establishment of the National Bank of Boyertown, he became one of its first directors and soon thereafter its president, an office which he filled most efficiently until his death, bringing the bank to a high degree of prosperity, and establishing it as one of the sound financial institutions of the county. In 1873 he built a large brick residence at Yellowhouse, and there his widow still makes her home. In his religious belief he was a Lutheran, while his wife belongs to the Reformed Church at Amityville. The present Union Church was erected at Amityville during his active days, and he served on the building committee, and gave liberally of both time and means toward the erection of the present church edifice. In politics he was greatly interested, and he served at one time as prison inspector of Berks county. He was one of the very foremost men of the township and lower Berks county, and in every position he was found to be strictly honest and fair in his dealings and in life. On Feb. 18, 1864, he married Catharine E. Rhoads, daughter of Ezekiel and Susanna K. (Bertolet) Rhoads. Ezekial Rhoads (son of Samuel and Elizabeth Rhoads, grandson of Jacob, and great-grandson of John Jacob the emigrant ancestor) was a tailor and farmer, and became very wealthy and influential in his community. To David L. and Catharine E. Rhoads was born one son, Abraham, who died aged three years. Mrs. Rhoads resides, as is stated, in the home on the Douglassville and Yellowhouse turnpike. She is well posted on current events, and is a cultured woman, highly esteemed by all.

(III) Daniel Rhoads, son of Daniel and Magdalena (Kerst) Rhoads, m. Catharine Schrader, and they became the parents of two children, namely: Ammon, m. to Leanna Rhoads, and mentioned below; and Levi.

(IV) Ammon Rhoads, son of Daniel, was born July 16, 1830, and died Oct. 9, 1869. He passed all his life as a farmer in Amity and Oley townships, moving to the latter in 1869. He owned two farms in Oley township, one of seventy and one of fifty acres, both of the best land in that district. When he purchased the seventy-acre farm in 1869, just before his death, he paid $14,000.70 for it. In politics he was a Democrat, and held a number of offices, and was an active and enterprising man. He and his wife both belonged to the Amityville Church, he serving many years as deacon and elder, and holding the latter office at the time of his death. He and his wife are buried in he Rhoads plot at the Church In 1851-52 he married Leanna Rhoads, daughter of William and Susan (Hoffman) Rhoads, of Amity. She was born Aug. 30, 1830, and died Jan. 24, 1902, the mother of two sons: Daniel R., born Jan. 9, 1853, died Feb. 18, 1897; and William R.

(V) William R. Rhoads, son of Ammon, was born July 1, 1860, at the old Rhoads home in Amity township. He was educated in the township schools, Amityville Academy and Oley Academy, the latter taught by Profs. George H. Heffner and Daniel Schadler. He worked for his parents until he was thirty years of age. In 1890 he began in the butcher business t Amityville, and continued this business very successfully for six years, when he rented it to D. F. Frey, later selling to him. During the time Mr. Rhoads was engaged in butchering he killed from five to twenty head of cattle, five to twenty-five calves, and from ten to twenty hogs per week, selling as much as 4,200 pounds of meat per week to Philadelphia, where he had a very extensive market. He employed from two to five men all the time. He also operated four teams in the country around Amityville, and had a meat store in Birdsboro. He now resides in one of the best places in Amityville, his handsome residence with its beautiful lawn being one of the most delightful spots in a most delightful locality. Since his retirement in 1896 he has been practically retired from all active work, except for occasional deals in cattle. He owns a farm of 186 acres of good land in Douglass township, formerly the Jeremiah Romig homestead, which is now tenanted. He is interested in the overall factory at Amityville which employs about twenty hands. Until 1908 he was a director and secretary of the Conestoga Telephone Company. In politics Mr. Rhoads is a Democrat, and had served as supervisor of his township, and in other local offices. He is active in party work, and wields considerable influence. Mr. Rhoads has been a member of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, of Amityville, since its organization, and has been the treasurer from the first. He and his family are Lutheran members of S. Paul's Church of Amityville and he was a deacon for six years.

In October 1885, Mr. Rhoads married Mary A. Spohn, daughter of Jeremiah and Rachel (Auchey) Spohn, of Oley township. They have two children: Kate, who is the forelady in the overall factory; and Charles N.


p. 1288


One of the best-known names in Berks county is that of Rhoads. The early spelling of the name was Roth, but through the school teachers of the children of the family it was changed to Rhoads early in the nineteenth century. The ancestor of the Pennsylvania Rhoadses must have come to America about 1710. In a manuscript history of Oley township, Berks county, now preserved by the Pennsylvania Historical Society at Philadelphia, is the following: "About 1725 three brothers named Rhoads, or Roth, also prospected this section of country for a home. As they threaded their way through Oley, one day, they halted at the beautiful spring where now stands the farm house of Jack K. Kauffman, near the Yellow House. They finally took up land on the All Sort Range, in Amity, and settled thereon, and many families of that name have descended from them, some of whom are still in possession of the ancestral estates." These three brothers were Mathias, Jacob and John. A John Rhoads is buried in the old graveyard at Amityville, just east of the present church building The inscription on his stone reads: John Rhoads, who departed Octob. the 19, 1767." Catharine Rhoads, widow of the John Rhoads, who died in 1767 made a will Nov. 20, 1784, probated Aug. 6, 1786, in which she mentioned sons, Adam, John and Mathias (who married a Mariet _______), and had daughters, Susanna and Catharine).

In this article two separate lines are shown, one descending from (I) Jacob and the other from (Ia) Mathias.

(I) On Dec. 28, 1812, Jacob Rhoads of Amity township made his last will and testament, which was probated July 8, 1814. His wife1s name was Susan (or Susanna), and their four children were: John, born Nov. 29, 1775, died Feb. 19, 1850, married Mary Weaver (born March 19, 1781, died Aug. 3, 1860, daughter of Jacob and Anna Weaver), and had three sons and three daughters; Hannah married Abraham Hill; Elizabeth; and Daniel.

(II) Daniel Rhoads, son of Jacob and Susan, was born in 1752, and died March 12, 1825. He and his wife Magdalena (born 1760, died Dec. 11, 1813) are both buried immediately east of the Amityville Church in the old graveyard. In the will he made in 1823, admitted to probate in 1825, he mentions these children: Jacob (born May 19, 1784, died March 17, 1848), John (born Sept. 17. 1787, died May 20, 1861), Samuel (born July 8, 1796, died April 25, 1838), Daniel (had a son Ammon, a resident of Oley, who had two sons), Solomon (born May 13, 1798, died Feb. 17, 1873), Adam (born March 9, 1800, died Aug. 31, 1888), Abraham (born Jan. 20, 1802, died April 24, 1865) and Mary. Two sons, Peter (born 1791, died 1822) and David (born 1792, died 1812), both passed away before the making of the will. Of these children Abraham married Hannah, born Feb. 2, 1816, daughter of Daniel and Hannah Lorah; she died Dec. 25, 1883. He had one son, Daniel L. Rhoads, who lived near Yellow House, was the president of the National Bank of Boyertown, and is buried at Amity. None of his children are living.

(III) John Rhoads, son of Daniel and Magdalena, born Sept. 17, 1787, was a miller along Monocacy creek. He died May 20, 1861, aged seventy-three years, eight months, three days. He married Catharine Pyle, and among others they had three sons, Abraham, John and William. Abraham lived near Monocacy Hill and several of his sons are there; William, a butcher, lived in Amityville, married a Hine, and had sons: Capt. Samuel H., of the famous Ringgold Battery, and Charles, of Reading. The brothers, Abraham and William are buried at Amity.

(IV) John Rhoads, son of John and Catharine (Pyle), was buried at Amityville. He devoted his years to farming. His wife, Catharine Idyl, bore him four children, namely: Jeremiah, of Indiana county, Pa.; Isaac, of near Yellow House (had a son Jacob, living at Richmond, Va., and John, who died young and is buried at Amity); Rachel, who married Isaac Bowman, of Oley township; and Maberry A.

(V) Maberry A. Rhoads, son of John and Catharine (Idyl), was born in Oley township Aug. 31, 1835, and died Oct. 1, 1896, aged sixty-one years, one month; he was buried in Amityville cemetery. In his young manhood he learned the milling business, but farming engrossed the greater part of his attention. For over fifteen years he was a member of the church vestry. On Oct., 19, 1858, he married Mary Ann Schaffer, born Jan. 18, 1841, daughter of Samuel and Christina (Hartranft) Schaffer, of Pottsgrove township, Montgomery county. Thirteen children were born of this union, namely: Rosa E., who married W. L. Weiss, of Amity township; Calvin C.; Kate T., who married Frank Hamer, of Amity township; Annie, who married Samuel Dun, of Douglas township; Effinger M.; Harvey M.; Mary, who married H. L. Wise; Newton I.; Edgar D.; Charles G.; Amelia; Carrie, who married Edgar Heist; and Irvin, born 1883, who died in 1903.

(VI) Newton I. Rhoads, proprietor of the "Washington House," Amityville, was born Nov. 26, 1873, son of Maberry A. and Mary Ann (Schaffer) Rhoads. He acquired his education in the public schools of his native town, Douglassville, and in Amityville Seminary. When he as sixteen he commenced to learn the trade of miller, and this he followed for six years. The dust affecting his health, however, he was obliged to seek a change of employment He learned the butcher's trade, and was engaged at it for three years, when he was made supervisor of Amity township On Dec. 19, 1901, he took charge of the "Washington House," at Amityville, which he has since conducted with great success. He has sixteen rooms, and keeps his place in a manner that makes it very popular with the traveling public. Fraternally Mr. Rhoads is a member of Washington Camp, No. 213, P. O. S. of A., Amityville; Bright Star Castle, No. 448, K. G. E.; Monocacy Lodge, No. 444, I. O. O. F., Douglassville; and the Retail Liquor Dealers1 Association of Reading. He and his family attend the Reformed Church at Amityville. In politics Mr. Rhoads is a stanch Republican, and since 1906 he has been the very efficient and popular township auditor. On Sept. 15, 1894, he married Louisa Belles, daughter of William and Fietta (Greth) Belles, of Richmond township. Mrs. Rhoads was reared in the family of Judge Sassaman. Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads have five children, two sons and three daughters, as follows: Paul N., David W., Mary A., Maud and Pear M.

Ezekial Rhoads, son of Samuel Rhoads, was born Jan. 26, 1810, on the old homestead farm in Amity He made farming his life work, and at his death in 1889 was buried in Amityville cemetery. He married Susan Bertolet, and they became the parents of six children, as follows: Calvin B., who was at one time mayor of Wilmington, Del., died there, and was buried in the Amityville cemetery (he married Camilla Johnson); Franklin B.; Louisa, who married L. A. Bertolet, of Wilmington, Del.; Catharine E., widow of Daniel L. Rhoads, of Yellow House; Harriet Ann, who married H. K. Bechtel, of Reading; and Amos, who located in Dayton, Ohio, where he died in 1872, aged thirty-six years.

Rebecca Rhoads, sister of Ezekiel, married Samuel L. Boyer, a noted church chorister and teacher of vocal and instrumental music.

Franklin B. Rhoads, son of Ezekiel and Susan (Bertolet), was born in Amity township July 24, 1838. He attended the old pay schools, where the salary of the teacher was from two and one-half to three cents a day. The school-house was located where the chapel now stands in Amityville. The education here acquired was supplemented by attendance at Freeland Academy in 1857. He then engaged in teaching and for six terms in Amity and one in Douglass he was a very popular teacher. He then began to farm the homestead of 145 acres, and for seven years gave this work his exclusive attention. In 1886 he moved to Boyertown and became teller of the National Bank of that city, a position he held until Jan. 1, 1908. In politics he is a Democrat, and for three years served as borough auditor. In June, 1861, he married Rebecca Lorah, daughter of John Lorah, of Amity township. Nine children blessed this marriage: George, deceased; Lottie, at home; John, of reading; Susan, who married John R. Guldin, of Yellow House; Daniel, of Hazleton; Mary, who married Frank S. Sailor, of Reading; Chauncey of Reading; William L.; and Maud, who married Llewellyn Leinbach, of Oley.

William L. Rhoads, son of Franklin B. and Rebecca (Lorah), and the present assistant superintendent of the great Boyertown Casket Company, was born in Amity township, on the old Rhoads home farm, Nov. 11, 1874. He attended the public schools of his native town of Boyertown As a boy he learned the printer1s trade, serving a full apprenticeship. He then became an empty of the Boyertown Casket Company, beginning in the finishing department, of which two years later he was made foreman. In six more years he became assistant superintendent of this large industry, where some 325 people are employed. In 1894 Mr. Rhoads married Annie S. Fryer, daughter of Benjamin R. Fryer, and they have three children: Rebecca E., Mary L. and W. Lester. The family reside in their own home on North Reading avenue, which was built by Mr. Rhoads in 1904. In politics he is a Democrat, and in the spring of 1908 was elected as school director of the borough. Fraternally he belongs to Washington Camp, No. 104, P. O. S. of A.; and Popodickon Tribe, No. 388, Red Men, both of Boyertown. With his family he attends the Reformed Church of Good Shepherd, in which for some time he served as deacon.

(Ia) Mathias Roth (or Rhoads), the ancestor of many of the name in Berks county, was a native of Rheinpfalz, Germany, born Nov. 8, 1717, perhaps a son of one of the three brothers referred to in the foregoing He died in Colebrookdale township, Berks county, March 13, 1795, and is buried at Amityville Church. He was an extensive farmer, and owned much land in Colebrookdale township. His last will and testament, which he made Nov. 4, 1786, is very fair and equitable. He made ample provision for his "dearly beloved" wife Anna Elizabeth His children were Jonathan; Solomon; Catharine, who married Thomas Wilson, of Pottsgrove; Barbara, who married Peter Yerger; and Anna Elizabeth, who married Peter Bastress. At his death Mathias left a large estate, and he had for many years been looked upon as one of the substantial men of his locality. As early as 1760 he was a taxable in the Colebrookdale district, being assessed at 10 that year, and paying 15s. tax.

(IIa) Jonathan Roth (or Rhoads), son of Mathias, was born March 18, 1751, and died Sept. 3, 1819, aged sixty-eight years, five months, fifteen days. He was bequeathed a gristmill, a sawmill, two tracts of land (on one of which were the aforesaid mills), one containing sixty acres, eighty-five perches, with allowance of six per cent for roads, and the other, forty-five and one-half acres, with its respective appurtenances. Jonathan Roth married Dorothea Elizabeth Linn, born Dec. 12, 1756, died April 16, 1824, aged sixty-seven years, four months, four days. They made their home in Colebrookdale, and there reared their eight children: Jacob married Margaret Kline; Elizabeth married Dieter Geiger; Margaret married Abraham Wartman; Maria married Christian Schaner; John married Catharine K. Boyer; Hannah died young; Henry married Elizabeth Schaeffer; Catharine married Mathias Ritter.

(IIIa) Jacob Roth, son of Jonathan and Dorothea Elizabeth (Linn), married Margaret Kline, and their children were: Lydia married Bastian Buchert; Daniel married (first) Catharine Yerger, and (second) Lydia Freyer; Jacob, born Dec. 25, 1806, married Sarah Romich, and had a large progeny (he is buried at Boyertown); Hannah, born Aug. 16, 1804, married David Wise; Dieter married (first) Elizabeth Brandlinger, and (second) Kate Reifsnyder; Samuel married twice; Rebecca married Abraham Hanberger; Maria married John Peltz, of Roxboro; Catharine, born Oct. 14, 1807, died Nov. 14, 1809.

(IVa) Daniel Rhoads, son of Jacob and Margaret (Kline) was twice married. By this first wife, Catharine Yerger, he had the following children: Levinus (who lived in Reading), who married Catharine Rahn; Samuel, of New Hanover, who married Rebecca Guldin; Lydia, of Reading, who married (first) Henry Spadler, and (second) John Yerger; John, who married (first) Mary Kohler, and (second) Mary Palm; Henry, who married Mary Freyer; Jacob, of Gilbertville, who married Lavina Davidheiser; and Mary, of Frederick, who married Daniel Botz.

(IIIa) John Rhoads, son of Jonathan and Dorothea Elizabeth, was born June 28, 1788, and died July 4, 1880, aged seventy-two years, six days. He was a prosperous farmer in Colebrookdale, where he owned land, a part of which is still in the family. On it has been found iron ore in large quantities, which is at present being worked by the firm known as the John Rhoads Mining Company. John Rhoads married Dec. 13, 1818, Catharine K. Boyer, who was born Jan. 22, 1803, daughter of Henry Boyer, who with his brother Daniel founded the beautiful borough of Boyertown. Thirteen children were born to John Rhoads and wife, as follows: Jonathan, born 1820; Henry, 1821; Benneville, 1823; Rebecca L., 1825; Sarah, 1827; Elizabeth, 1828; Mahella, 1830; Dr. Reuben B., 1831; Julius, 1834; Catharine, 1835; Dr. Thomas J. B, 1837, Emma, 1839; and Angelina, 1841.

(IVa) Dr. Reuben B. Rhoads, son of John and Catharine K. (Boyer), was born Oct. 29, 1831. He was brought up on the home farm, and acquired his literary training in the public schools and Mt. Pleasant Seminary. For some time he engaged in teaching, and then began the study of medicine under Dr. Henry W. Johnson, of Boyertown, completing his professional studies in Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, from which institution he was graduated in the class f 1857. He located at Zieglerville, in Montgomery county, where he practised until 1862, when he enlisted in the United States service as assistant surgeon in the 169th Pa. V. I., for nine months. His first assignment was in the smallpox department of the hospital of Camp Curtin, Harrisburg, whence he was transferred to Pittsburg, where he took charge of the hospital at Camp Howe. He was then sent to Fort Keys, Gloucester point at Yorktown, where Brig. Gen. Tyndale was in command, and Dr. Rhoads was appointed by him brigade surgeon. Returning to Zieglerville after his term of enlistment had expired, he practised there for a year longer, and then moved to Amityville, where he was engaged until 1882, when he was elected warden of the Berks county prison. At the expiration of his term of office, he went to Boyertown, and engaged in the coal and lumber business, being associated with his two sons, John G. and Benjamin J., both of Reading. This line he followed with great success until 1893, when he retired. He built a fine brick residence at the corner of Apple street and Reading avenue, and there he continues to make his home. He enjoyed a large practice in his professional work, and it was with considerable regret that his clientele saw him enter the business world. In politics Dr. Rhoads is a Democrat, and he served as school director of Amity township, and also at Boyertown, and was burgess of Boyertown from 1903 to 1906. He has frequently served as delegate to county conventions, and twice to the State conventions. He and his family are members of St. John1s Lutheran Church at Boyertown. Dr. Rhoads has always been much interested in agricultural work, and before his removal to Boyertown had large nurseries at Amityville, where he was engage in experimenting with the cultivation of small fruits. He still retinas his interest in this line and is active in the work of the Patrons of Husbandry.

On May 10, 1859, Dr. Reuben B. Rhoads was married to Kate W. Gilbert, daughter of the late Adam R. and Mary Ann (Weaver) Gilbert. Five children have been born to them: Ben Johnson, of Reading; Laura K., who married Harvey Breidenbach, of Camden, N. J.; Mary Ella, who married George G. Guldin, an employe of the United Traction Company. Philadelphia; John G., twin to Mary Ella; and Maggie Elizabeth, who died in her thirteenth year. Among Dr. Rhoads1s many treasures is an old grandfather1s clock, made some hundred years ago. It shows the moon1s phases, and the date, and still keeps excellent time.

(IVa) Dr Thomas J. B. Rhoads, son of John and Catharine K. (Boyer), was born on the old #RhoadsFamily"arm, now within the corporate limits of Boyertown, Sept. 26, 1837. There were no "public schools" in those days, a we use the term now, but Dr. Rhoads attended the school kept by Henry G. Stetler, and under him was prepared to enter Mt. Pleasant Seminary at Boyertown. He was but eighteen years old when he engaged in teaching, having first charge of the Wise school in Colebrookdale township, and later of the Gablesville school. He was not satisfied with teaching, and under Dr.. Henry W. Johnson began his preparation for the medical profession, spending long evenings studying physiology and anatomy, and then he placed himself under the direction of his elder brother, Dr. Reuben B. In the fall of 1858 he entered Jefferson Medical College, graduating therefrom in the spring of 1861. He at once opened an office in Gilbertsville, Montgomery county, and in the following year he was commissioned assistant surgeon in the army by Governor Curtin. He was assigned to the 169th P. V. I., then at Gloucester Point, opposite Yorktown, Va., where his brother was acting surgeon. This regiment was ordered in 1863 to march toward Gettysburg and intercept General Lee, but by the time they reached the Potomac they found Lee1s army had arrived first. The regiment was mustered out July 28, 1863. Dr Rhoads returned home, and took up his residence in the house occupied by his former preceptor, Dr. Johnson, and soon, backed by his reputation won in the army, he was favored with a large practice. In 1868 he erected the commodious home he has since occupied, at the corner of Philadelphia avenue and Chestnut street. In addition to his practice he has conducted a drug store. For twelve years he had as a partner in his practice his brother-in-law Dr. Leidy. With the exception of inflammatory rheumatism Dr. Rhoads has been blessed with excellent health, and he has never been obliged to take a rest except when he had a leg broken in a runaway accident. He is not only the family doctor, but he is the friend and adviser of his patients in many ways, and is greatly beloved all over the county.

While Dr. Rhoads has given over forty-eight years of service to his profession he has not neglected other lines of activity, and he has assisted in developing various industries that have been of great benefit to his community. In 1874 he assisted in the organization of the National Bank of Boyertown, and was its president until 1882. In 1883 organized the Farmers National Bank of Boyertown, and has ever since been its president. He is a director and treasurer of the Boyertown Mutual Fire Insurance Company; trustee of the Fairview Cemetery Association; and secretary and treasurer of the John Rhoads Mining Company. He has been active in public affairs, is ex-burgess, was one of the first councilmen, and served as school director for many years. He is president of the board of health; treasurer of the Friendship Hook and Ladder Company; past commander of Gen. George Cook Post, G. A. R., of Boyertown; and a member of the Pennsylvania German Society, the Berks County Historical Society and the National Geological Society. His religious connection is with St. John1s Lutheran Church.

With all his varied interests, Dr. Rhoads has kept abreast of the progress of medical science, and has added much to medical literature. He has composed two large volumes of poems, one of which was published several years ago, and the other recently. Most of this writing was mentally arranged as he drove through county roads on long night drives. The first volume is entitled "Uncle Jeff's Reminiscences of Youth and Other Poem," and we append one gem, a favorite of the good old Doctor's:

THAT OLD TIN BOX OF MINE. Who has not seen that old tin box of mine? My close companion well nigh twoscore years, This I have lugged along through rain or shine? The truth of which in that old box appears.

Some carry costly leather-covered chests, With nickel-plated bindings all around, Wherein, in separate compartments, nests Of tiny bottles in each space are found.

A handsome thing to look at, I admit, If lugged with ease from place to place in town, But when it comes to practice, not a bit More handy than the old tin box I own.

When I hung out my shingle years ago At Gilbertsville, one pleasant morn in May, I carried saddle-bags wherein to stow Things I might need to see the sick each day.

But when I went to war I stowed away Those saddle-bags to let them have a rest, Nor have I ever used them to this day, Because I like my old tin box the best.

There every bottle in its proper place Comes readily to hand in darkest night, When quickly its location I can trace Without the aid of artificial light.

This could be done with others, it is true, In handsome chests with nickel lock and key, But them why should I change to something new? No reason in the world that I can see.

Unless it be to keep up with the times, Or else, perhaps, to show a little style; In my perambulations I sometimes Gaze on this tin box with a secret smile.

To see the dented corners, battered lid, The stout tin bottom and the paper key; Then note the fact that in that box lie hid The means that brought success in life to me.

The taunts and jeers about that box of mine By customers whose friendship I revere. But served to bind still closer and entwine That old tin box to me from year to year.

I've lugged it in the winter1s frigid air, And sweltered in the summer1s scorching sun In toting it in weather four or fair, By day or night when I was called upon.

Why should I now discard this box of mine That served my purpose for so many years, And substitute a case more neat and fine? A doubtful move to me such plan appears.

It caused no corner in the price of tin When to my order that tin box was made, Nor when the well-known remedies within Were stowed away did drugs decline a shade!

Now when life1s summit by me has been passed, While around this box so many memories twine, As long as needed, or while life shall last, I am bound to stick to that tin box of mine.

On May 10, 1862, Dr. Rhoads married Theresa Fiazetta Leidy, and to this union four children were born: (1) Ellen O. died aged four years, four months, sixteen days. (2) Katie N., born Nov. 12, 1866, married Prof. Elmer J. Conner, of the Pierce Business College, Philadelphia, and died Nov. 28, 1893. (3) Henry C. died in infancy. (4) Thomas Leidy, who has the rank of major on the medical staff, Division Sergeant, U. S. A., Manila, P. I., married Frances Kohler, of Allentown, of Allentown, who died in San Francisco, Cal., in 1902, leaving a son, Thomas Collier, born Nov. 2, 1900, who now makes his home with his home with his grandparents at Boyertown.

(IIIa) Henry Roth (or Rhoads), son of Jonathan, married Elizabeth Schaeffer, a daughter of one of the Hessions captured by Washington at Trenton on Christmas night, 1776, who remained in this country and became a prosperous farmer in Exeter township, Berks county. She was a sister to the celebrated Captain Schaeffer of the Exeter Troop. Henry Roth and his wife Elizabeth had three sons: (1) Jacob, the eldest, died on the farm left him by his father at an advanced age, and is buried at Boyertown. He had three sons, Jacob (who lives on his father1s farm), Henry (of Gilbertsville) and William (of Boyertown), all of who are married and have children. (2) Elam C. Rhoads married but died childless. His farm lay principally in the borough limits. He was a thrifty genius, industrious and saving, followed his trade of millwright for a considerable time, and afterward engaged in agriculture, and accumulated quite a property. He left considerable to churches and one thousand dollars for orphan home purposes and the cemeteries of Boyertown, besides a good sum to the poor and deserving of the neighborhood. (3) Samuel died of consumption in the prime of life, and is buried at Boyertown.

(IIa) Solomon Roth, son of Mathias, born July 8, 1757, died Feb. 2, 1798, at the old homestead, Colebrookdale (now Morysville), and is buried at the Amityville Church. He received from his father two certain pieces of land, one tract of 159 acres, 126 perches, and the other of forty-eight acres, 141 perches, and their several appurtenances. He married Elizabeth Kepler, and their children were: Peter, born Dec. 8, 1793, died Aug. 31, 1795, and is buried at Amityville; a daughter died in childhood and is buried at Amityville; David married Ann Catharine Schnell, and both are buried at Boyertown; Mary (or Molly) married Adam Gresh. After the death of Solomon Roth, his widow married (second) a Drenkel, of Reading and after his death she resided for a short time with her son David. She married (third) John Feary.

(IIIa) David Rhoads, son of Solomon and Elizabeth, married Ann Catharine Schnell, and they became the parents of two sons and five daughters, namely: Elizabeth married Samuel Spatz, and is buried at Boyertown (she had children, David, Angeline, Susanna, Catharine and Hetty); Rebecca married Jacob Riegner, and is buried at Boyertown; Maria also married; Solomon married a Gilbert and had three children, Samuel (a United Brethren minister who lived at Philadelphia), David (died young) and Hetty (married Adam Barriett and lived in Philadelphia); Catharine married a Schearer and is buried at Boyertown; John lived on the old Rhoads homestead (he had one son, Percival, whom he lost while in the service of his country, during the Civil war, and several daughters, only one now living, Mrs. Thomson, of Philadelphia); Harriet married Israel R. Laucks (once recorder of Berks county) and is buried at Reading.


p. 1417


Henry Rhoads, a member of one of the early families of Pennsylvania, was born in Amity township, Berks county, June 2, 1802, son of Daniel Rhoads, registrar of wills for Berks county, from 1818 to 1820, and from 1824 to 1829. He was but a young man when he came to Reading, and for several years served as a clerk in the office of the prothonotary, where he acquired a taste for the legal profession. He began the study of law in the office of Samuel Baird, and was admitted to the Bar April 3, 1832. From 1836 to 1838 he served as clerk of the Orphans' court, under appointment from Governor Ritner. During the administration of President Taylor he was the very efficient postmaster of Reading, but the profession for which he was so ably fitted called him, and he resumed practice. From Aug. 3, 1870, to Dec. 4, 1871, he was associate judge of Berks county, having been appointed by Governor Geary, to fill the unexpired term of the Hon. David Kutz, deceased. While at the Bar his Orphans' court practice was exceptionally large. In politics he was an old-line Whig, and became an ardent adherent of Republican principles from the very formation of that party In 1838 he was a partner of John S. Richards in the publication of the Berks and Schuylkill Journal. The public schools found in him a warm friend, and he was one of the first directors of Reading under the common-school system. He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, and from 1833 to 1838 superintendent of its Sunday-school, and for a long period he was a vestryman. He died Feb. 15, 1881, when nearly four-score years of age. He married Sarah Bouchat, daughter of Charles and Esther (Merckel) Bouchat (or Bouchart), the latter a daughter of Peter Merckel, of Richmond township. The Bouchart or Bouchat family had its origin in Samuel Bochart (1599-1667), pastor of Caen, and a profound scholar, whose historical works are of enduring merit. They were French Huguenots as were also the Merkels or Merckels, whose earliest known ancestor was John Christian Merklen, who died in 1766, leaving children: Peter; George; Christian Casper; Catharine Stover; Franklina Rough; Mary Hill Anna Maria Kramer and Anna Lena. To Henry and Sarah (Bouchat) Rhoads were born six children, namely: Charles B., deceased; John H.; George G.; Louisa B.; Charles B.; and Daniel P.

Capt. George B. Rhoads, son of Henry and Sarah, was born in Reading in 1840. He received his education in the city schools, but left high school to join the army. He was, however, rejected, as he was under-size. Through the intercession of Col. Charles McKnight, he was finally accepted as a private, and at Washington was promoted to corporal in the Ringgold Light Artillery, in which he had enlisted in April, 1861, for three months. At the expiration of his first term, he re-enlisted in the three years1 service in the 88 Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was commissioned second lieutenant of Company B. For good conduct and for marked bravery in the field he was appointed captain of Company F, of the same regiment, and while at White Oak Swamp, Va., was killed by the explosion of a shell, June 13, 1864, at the age of twenty-four years.


p. 670


Henry E. Rhoads, one of the most useful citizens of Douglass township, was born in Pottsgrove township, Montgomery Co., Pa., July 6, 1833, son of Charles and Margaret (Egolf) Roth. The early spelling of the name was Roth, but was changed to Rhoads by the teachers of the Charles Roth children.

Henry Roth, grandfather of Henry E., lived at Deep Creek, in New Hanover township, in Montgomery county, where he had a small farm. He died before 1830. His wife, a Hoffman, lived to the age of ninety-seven years. They had four children: Hannah, m. to Peter Yerger; Betzy, m. to Daniel Houck; Kate, m. to JohnN?Kohl; and Charles.

Charles Roth, son of Henry, was born in new Hanover township, Montgomery county, and died in West Pottsgrove township, that county, Dec. 1, 1887. By trade he was a blacksmith, and this he followed in early life, becoming in 1837, however, a farmer in West Pottsgrove township, where he bought a farm which he operated a number of years. He was a man of enterprise and thrift, and left a large estate that he had accumulated himself. Among the different properties he owned, was an eighty-acre tract in West Pottsgrove township, which he cut up into building lots in the early eighties. He sold a large number of them, receiving $22,000 for those he sold, and at his death he still had about 465 lots, which were divided among his children, his son Henry E., acquiring about fifty-two. All are valuable, as this tract adjoins the borough of Pottstown, in fact the farm buildings were located within the limits of the borough. Charles Roth is buried at Mount Zion cemetery, South Pottstown. His first wife was Margaret Egolf, daughter of Adam and Anna (Moser) Egolf, the latter a daughter of Adam and Anna (Moser) Egolf, the latter a daughter of Peter Moser (brother of the bachelor Burkhard Moser). Both Mr., and Mrs. Egolf attained eighty-six years. To Mr. and Mrs. Roth were born seven children: Henry E.; William, of Stowe, Pa.; Rachel, widow of Jere Reifsnyder, of Bramcote; Daniel, of Stowe, now deceased; John, who died of hydrophobia; Mary m. to William Rutter, of Stowe, both deceased; and Adam, of Stowe. Charles Roth m. (second) Mrs. Charlotte (Wamback) Root, widow of Jacob Root.

Henry E. Rhoads was reared upon his father1s farm, and has been a farmer all his life. He worked for his parents until he was of age. In 1857 he began farming for himself in Douglass township, Berks county, on the Jacob Yorgey farm, which he tenanted for twenty-seven years. From 1884 to 1887 he farmed the William Wise farm, also in Douglass township. In the fall of 1887 he bought his present farm consisting of 100 acres of the best land in the township, located about one mile north of Maxatawny Station on the Colebrookdale branch of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad. Mr. Rhoads has greatly improved this tract. He also has an interest in different tracts of woodland located in North Coventry township, Chester county, which at one time belongs to his father.

Mr. Rhoads is one of the substantial citizens of the township, and takes a keen intelligent interest in public affairs. In politics he is a Democrat, and sine 1882 has held the office of school director, being one of the very oldest directors in point of service in the county. He has also served as assistant assessor of the township, and was delegate to several county conventions. With his family he attends Emanuel Lutheran Church of Pottstown, of which for six years he was a deacon.

In 1855 Mr. Rhoads married Sarah Yorgey, daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Reifsnyder) Yorgey. She was born March 24, 1840, and died Jan. 20, 1903, and is buried in the Pottstown cemetery. Eleven children were born of this union, namely: Marguerite m. Jacob Levengood, of Montgomery county; Annie m. Irwin Sassaman, and lives at Reading; Jacob is a farmer in Douglas township; William lives at Philadelphia; Warren died aged thirty-three years; Emma m. August Maberry (deceased), and lives at Pottstown; Darius is a farmer at Amityville; Isaac is a blacksmith at Amityville; John is a baker at Pottstown; George Y. is a teacher in Douglass township, and Morris is a farmer in Douglass township.


p. 1336


Henry W. Rhoads, for many years a prominent shoe merchant of Reading, senior member of the well-known firm of Henry W. Rhoads & Son, was a resident of the city through the greater part of his long life, which closed Feb. 5, 1906. Few men were better known in business life in this section of the county, and none had a higher reputation for honorable dealing.

Born Sept. 19. 1823, in Colebrookdale township, Berks county, near the Hill Church, he was a son of George Rhoads, also a native of Colebrookdale township, where he made his home through the greater part of his life. He was a man of great strength, and engaged in teaming between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. He served in local public offices, being constable and tax collector of his township, and was a useful and respected citizen. Moving to Reading in his later years, he died there, and is buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. He married Catharine Wise, and to them were born the following children: Maria m. Charles Rufe; Rebecca m. Isaac Undercuffler; William died at Pottstown, Pa.; and Henry W.

Henry W. Rhoads attended the pay schools of his home township, where he lived until he was a young man of eighteen, at which time he came to Reading. Here he learned the shoe business, and for a number of years carried on the manufacture of shoes, in time, however, turning to the business of selling footwear. He carried on business at the corner of Fifth and Penn streets, where "The Fashion" is now located, and continued as a shoe merchant for the long period of twenty-two years, part of the time in partnership with his son. He retired, from active life after an unusually successful career, with the respect and esteem of all who knew him, in either business or social relations Until his death he was held in high regard by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. He was a member originally of Trinity Lutheran Church, and when the St. James Lutheran Church was built transferred his membership to it, being one of the pioneers of that congregation, which he served for many years as deacon. During the Civil war Mr. Rhoads served his country as a member of Company G, 2d Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry.

On Sept. 23, 1843, Mr. Rhoads m Susan L. Long, born Sept. 9, 1821 (daughter of George Long), died April 5, 1891, some years before Mr. Rhoads. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads are buried in the family plot in the Charles Evans cemetery. They were the parents of two children: Elmira R. m. William J. Irwin, of Cumru township, Berks county; Edward H., born May 2, 1857, a resident of Reading, m. Sarah K. Sausen, by whom he has three children, Charles H. (m. Estella Espenshade and has one child, Helen Lanette), Sarah and Paul.


p. 1076


Jacob Henry Rhoads, who is engaged in carrying mail in the city of Reading, has been a resident of the city for nearly a quarter of a century, and since 1904 has made his home at No. 1260 Spruce street. Mr. Rhoads was born Feb. 17, 1868, at Leesport, Berks county, son of Caleb K. Rhoads and Mary R. Hottenstein.

John Rhoads, son of John Jacob, and great-grandfather of Jacob Henry, married Catharine Greiner, and their youngest son was Samuel.

Samuel Rhoads, son of John and grandfather of Jacob Henry, was a blacksmith and farmer. In his earlier life he made his home in Amity township, but later lived in Birdsboro. He died in 1891, aged eighty-six years. In 1833 he married Elizabeth Kline (whose parents were Dunkards), and she died in 1888, aged seventy-six years. Their children were: Edith died unmarried in 1902; Cyrus was killed at a grade crossing in Birdsboro in 1906; Caleb K.; Mahlon is a retired farmer in Birdsboro; Joel died in infancy; Sarah m. Milton Z. Geiger, and died in 1901; Enoch m. Catharine Sands; Aaron died in youth; H. Ella died unmarried in 1907; and Miss Emma E., now living in Reading, was educated in the schools at Birdsboro, and the Keystone State Normal School, and is active in church life and much interested in genealogical research, having prepared a tree of the RhoadsFamily.

Caleb K. Rhoads, son of Samuel, was born in 1835-6, and died in 1901, at Birdsboro, where he was buried. He was a school teacher for many years in Amity and Ontelaunee townships, and was especially proficient in mathematics. For a number of years he worked for L. H. Focht, the contractor, estimating measurements, etc., and was a most valuable man in that line. He was later bookkeeper for the Brooke Iron Company, of Birdsboro. For twenty years he was superintendent of the Birdsboro Sunday-school.

Jacob Henry Rhoads was reared in the village of Leesport, where he lived until thirteen years of age, then spent one year and a half on a farm at Berkley, and in 1883 came to Reading, where his education was completed. He took a course in bookkeeping in the Interstate Commercial College, and for the next six years worked at Wilhelm's Paint Works, Reading, then being employed by the Morgan, Ruth, Moore Paint Company. In February, 1894, Mr. Rhoads passed a civil service examination, in which there were thirty-six competitors, and in this examination he made third best average, and was appointed a substitute mail carrier Aug. 10th of that year, and a regular carrier March 15, 1899. Socially Mr. Rhoads is connected with Reading Castle No. 49, K. G. E.; Reading Chamber No. 26, O. K. of F.; Royal Arcanum; and the letter Carriers' Association. He and his wife attend St. Andrew's Reformed Church.

On Oct. 24, 1888 Mr. Rhoads married Sarah Row, born in Reading, Feb. 23, 1868, daughter of John and Sarah (Maurer) Row, and to this union were born children as follows: Warren Earl; Estella May; Edith Sarah, who died Oct. 18, 1898, aged a little over eight months; Walter Leroy, and Raymond Jacob.

To Mr. And Mrs. John Row, the parents of Mrs. Rhoads, were born these children: Susan, m. to Alexander Printz; William H., m. to Sallie Breidegam, deceased; John D.; Elizabeth, m. to N. Levi Ehrgood; Fred, m. to Sallie Landis; Mary, m. to Thomas Darlington, deceased; Sarah, Mrs. Rhoads. All of these children reside in Reading.

HOTTENSTEIN. In maternal lines, Mr. Rhoads is descended from Jacob Hottenstein, who emigrated from Germany, and settled in Oley township, Berks county, Pa., in 1727. In 1729 he removed to Maxatawny township, where he bought a farm. He was the father of a son, William.

Henry Hottenstein, great-grandfather of Jacob H. Rhoads, was a son of William and grandson of Jacob the emigrant. He and his wife Catharine resided in Reading at the corner of Fifth and Cherry streets. Their children were: William, Abraham, Benjamin, David, Henry, Philip, Isaac, Charles, Jacob, Polly, Sallie, Katie and Esther.

Jacob Hottenstein, son of Henry, was born April 3, 1806. He settled about one mile above Mohrsville, but later moved to Leesport, where both he and his wife died and were buried in Gernant's cemetery. He married Esther Rahn, born Aug. 30, 1809, daughter of Adam N. and Margaret (Snyder) Rahn, and their children were: Aaron, John, Henry, Jacob, Annie, and Mary R.

Mary R. Hottenstein as born Nov. 11, 1838. On May 15, 1880, at Leesport, she married John S. Clay, and they later moved to Reading, where she died May 4, 1905, and was buried in Aulenbach's cemetery. Mr. Roads' half sister, Elizabeth E. Himmelrich, resides with him at No. 1260 Spruce street.


p. 427


James F. Rhoads, assistant superintendent of the Reading Hardware Company, and one of the representative business men of Reading, Pa., was born at Limerick Square, Montgomery Co., Pa., Jan. 2, 1858, son of Levinus Rhoads.

(I) Jacob Rhoads, the first of the RhoadsFamily of whom there is definite mention, was a farmer and miller of Boyertown, Pa., where at one time he owned large milling interests. He had two brothers, John and Henry, both of whom lived and died at Boyertown. Jacob Rhoads owned the old mill at Mohrsville, which he operated, but he died at Boyertown, where he is buried. His wife was a Miss Kline, also of Boyertown, where she died. To Jacob Rhoads and his wife were born: Lydia m. Sebastian Buchert, and they died in Montgomery Co; Deeter died in Montgomery county; Samuel died in Montgomery county; Jacob died in Montgomery county; Mrs. David Wise died in Montgomery county; Daniel; Maria m. John Peltz (both died in Philadelphia); Rebecca m. Abraham Harberger, and died in Montgomery county.

(II) Daniel Rhoads, grandfather of James F. Rhoads, was born in Montgomery county, in 1801, and spent his life engaged in farming in his native county, he owning an excellent farm in New Hanover township, where he moved in 1837. This farm of eighty-five acres he farmed until his death in 1884. His wife was Catherine Yerger, daughter of Jonas A. Yerger and wife (whose maiden name was Reiff), and their children were: Levinus; Samuel Y. lives at Swamp, Montgomery county; Lydia married Henry Spitler, and died at Reading: John Y. died at Englesville, aged sixty years; Jacob Y. died at Boyertown; Mary m. Daniel Botts; and Henry Y. died at Reading.
(III) Levinus Rhoads, father of James F., was born in New Hanover township, Montgomery Co., Pa., Nov. 21, 1828. Learning the saddler's trade in Montgomery county, he followed it for four years, but then embarked in farming in Marlborough township. On April 2, 1865, he sold his farm and removing to Reading, engaged in the grocery business, and later operated a hotel for about twelve years. The hotel, the "Montgomery House," is still very popular, and is a monument to him and his progressiveness. In 1890 he retired and now lives in his own home at No. 918 North Eleventh street. In addition to this property he owns valuable realty in Reading.

On Dec. 15, 1855, he married Catherine Rahn, daughter of Isaac and Mary (Smith) Rahn, of Montgomery county, and their children are: James F.; Lizzie m. Linneaus Seiders, resides at No. 1022 North Tenth street, Reading, and has one daughter, Ada; Hiram, who died aged thirty-eight, m. Sallie Moyer, who now resides at No. 956 North Eleventh street with her son Hiram Lewis. In politics Levinus Rhoads is a Democrat, although never very actively identified with political life. He has now retired from business affairs, and is passing the sunset of life in peace and quiet, and in the enjoyment of a well-earned competency.

(IV) James F. Rhoads received his education in the public schools of Reading, having been brought to this city when a boy. While attending school, he worked in the grocery store of his father. From 1871 to 1882 he was employed in the grocery business in Reading, but in the latter year he entered the employ of the Reading Hardware Company, commencing as a clerk on January 16th. From that position he was gradually and successively promoted until he finally attained his present responsible position, through merit alone. Having filled all the various positions of this big plant, he is peculiarly fitted for his present position, and his worth is recognized by his firm.

On Oct. 22, 1882, Mr. Rhoads was married to Miss Angeline Eiler, daughter of Peter L. and Emma (Breneiser) Eiler, the former a well-known merchant of Reading, Pa., where Mrs. Rhoads was born. Mr. And Mrs. Rhoads have a very pleasant home at No. 908 Pear street. They have no children.

Fraternally, Mr. Rhoads is a member of the Reading Hardware Relief Association, and he is also connected with the Liberty Fire Company, of Reading. His religious belief is that of the Lutherans, and he is a member of Grace Lutheran Church, and is very active in its work. In political opinions he is a Republican, but like his father he is no politician, he preferring to exert his influence in a private way. Both Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads are very prominent in church and social circles. Mr. Rhoads has built up for himself a lasting reputation as a man possessing most excellent personal traits of character. He is upright and honorable in his business transactions, and is imbued with that generous public spirit that is always ready to assist in whatever is calculated to promote the welfare of his community.


p. 707


J. Newton Rhoads, a very well-known and highly esteemed resident of Reading, Pa., is an official court stenographer, to which office he was appointed Oct. 2, 1891. He is a son of John P. and Eliza (Flickinger) Rhoads, natives of Carlisle, the former of whom died in 1884, aged sixty-four years, and the latter in 1891, being seventy-four years old at the time of her death. They had three children: Martha E., Alfred Milton and J. Newton.

J. Newton Rhoads was born Nov. 2, 1856, and was educated in the Carlisle public schools and at Dickinson College, graduating from the latter institution in 1879. He then engaged in the newspaper business for a time, after which he took up the study of stenography, and engaged in work on the Legislative Record for two years. The next spring he went to Harrisburg, being employed there in the office of Col. W. C. Deming for three of four years. He was official stenographer of the Cumberland County Court for two years, and came to Reading as an assistant court stenographer in 1886.

Mr. Rhoads married, May 30, 1892, Miss Susan E. Rheem, daughter of Jacob Rheem, who was a descendant of the founders of Reamstown, Lancaster county. Two children were born to this union, Edith and Marian, both at school. Mr. Rhoads is a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Reading. He is an energetic, conscientious worker, well fitted for the duties of his position.


p. 1140


One of the oldest and most honored families of Berks county, Pa., is that of Rhode, which has a worthy representative in the borough of West Reading in Arus Rhode, a well-known carpenter and highly esteemed citizen. Mr. Rhode was born March 25, 1850, in Bern township, son of Samuel and Sarah (Noecker) Rhode.

The Rhode (Roth) family had its origin in the personage of Christian Rhode (or Roth), who was a native of Switzerland, from which country he came to America in 1751, settling in Bern township, Berks county. Here he accumulated considerable land, paying twenty-eight pounds tax in 1759. Among others Christian Rhode had two children, Jacob and Frederick, who, tradition says, were very young at the time of emigration.

Frederick Rhode, son of Christian and grandfather of Arus, spent his life at "Snokastettel," "Nattown," Bern township, where his death occurred. He was a laborer by occupation, but succeeded in becoming the owner of much valuable property. He married Elizabeth Sassaman, a native of Europe, and they were buried at Epler's Church in Bern township. Six children were born to Frederick and Elizabeth (Sassaman) Rhode, as follows: Christian, of Bern township; John, a farmer of the same township; Samuel; Jacob, also a farmer of Bern township; Daniel, who settled in Cleveland, Ohio; and Elizabeth, who died unmarried.

Samuel Rhode, father of Arus, was born in August, 1813, in Bern township, where he spent his life in farm laboring, and died in 1874. He married Sarah Noecker, born Oct. 20, 1819, who died Aug. 11, 1859, daughter of Jacob and Christina Noecker, and the eleven children born to this union were named from the calendar, the name taken being that opposite the date of the child's birth. The children were as follows: Amelia mar. Franklin Neider, of Reading, and has had two children, Sarah and Franklin (deceased) ; Catherine mar. John Johnson, of Pottsville, and had five children, one daughter and four sons; Malinda mar. Reuben Roeder, of Reading, and has eight living children; Hillarius, a painter of Fremont, O., and a veteran of the Civil war, has the distinction of being the possessor of the longest beard in the State, it having reached the unusual length of thirty-two inches (he has an only daughter) ; Hilderbertus, also a soldier in the Civil war, died of typhoid fever while serving in the army (he had no issue); William, a painter and substantial citizen of Dyersburg, Dyer county, Tenn., was twice married and by his first wife had two sons; Arus; Sarah mar. Henry Wagner, of Bern township, and has an only daughter; Emma mar. Joseph Werner, of Bern township, and has two sons and two daughters; Valeria mar. Jacob Houck, of Reading, and has one son and two daughters; and Edwin, died at the age of sixteen years.

Arus Rhode worked on the farm until sixteen years of age, when he learned the carpenter's trade with Benjamin Matz, of Spring township, in whose employ he continued for mile years. At the end of this time he married his employer's daughter. Mr. Rhode then worked for different boss carpenters for some years, part of which time he was superintendent of a gang of twelve men for Harry Cheedam. Since 1887 Mr. Rhode has been in business for himself, doing contract work and building houses, and during the last twenty years he has erected 604 residences, in addition to many factories and business houses, stables, etc., also engaging in job work on the side. He has employed at times as many as twenty-two skilled mechanics but during the last few years he has only had from four to eight men in his employ. He erected the large Edward W. Alexander hat factory twice, the first having been destroyed by fire. In 1871 Mr. Rhode came to West Reading and purchased the first building lot sold here, on which he erected the first house. He also owns two other dwellings in the borough, and is considered one of West Reading's substantial men. Honest in all his dealings with his fellow men, a master of his trade, and a true Christian gentlemen, Mr. Rhode has won the respect and esteem of all with whom he has come in contact. In the spring of 1909 he was elected second chief burgess of West Reading. Although not a candidate for the nomination, the citizens put his name on the ticket and elected him by 118 majority. He and his family are Lutheran members of Kissinger's Union Church of Spring township, of which Mr. Rhode has been an elder since 1904.

On May 17, 1871, Mr. Rhode was married to Mary Ann Matz, born March 25, 1843, daughter of Benjamin and Mary (Fisher) Matz. No children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Rhode, but they have adopted three children, whom they are rearing to man and womanhood with the care they would give their own: Samuel Werner, a nephew of Mr. Rhode, and Katie M. and Eva M. Stamm, daughters of Jared and Elizabeth (Matz) Stamm,. of Bern township, the latter of whom is a sister of Mrs. Rhode. Jared Stamm was a son of Jared, and grandson of Jared, who was a son of a pioneer.


p. 428


Cyrus J. Rhode. Many years ago there lived in Richmond township, Berks county, a Frederick Rhode, who according to family tradition came to America from England, but was by nativity a German. He engaged in farming, married and had a family, but from the information on hand it can not be found who his wife was.

Among other children, this Frederick Rhode had a son, William, born in Richmond township. He was reared on the farm, but learned the trade of stone mason, following that occupation in Greenwich township, whither he had removed, for fifteen years, during this time helping to erect many of the substantial stone and brick farm buildings which are such a characteristic feature throughout Greenwich and the adjoining townships. Later in life Mr. Rhode engaged in farming near the town of Grimville, and he continued at agricultural pursuits until advanced years, when he gave up active work and from that time on lived retired. In politics early in life he was an old-line Whig, but when the Whig party was dissolved he became a Democrat and adhered to the faith of that party for the remainder of his life. He never aspired to public position, but in local affairs bore his full share of the duties and responsibilities required of the citizen. He was interested in educational matters and served as school director for his district. He was a member of the Reformed Church.

William Rhode married Mary Zimmer, daughter of Daniel and Caroline (Wright) Zimmer, of Greenwich township. She was born in 1832, and was a member of one of the old representative families of that part of Berks county. Daniel Zimmer was born and always lived in Greenwich township, and by occupation was a shoemaker. He died in 1896 at the age of eighty-five years. Although it is not definitely known, it is strongly probable that Daniel Zimmer was a descendant of Rudolph Zimmer, who in 1741, when only eighteen years of age, came from Germany to America in the ship "Friendship." He landed at Philadelphia Oct. 12th of that year, and shortly afterward settled in Greenwich, where he appears upon the tax list of 1756. Caroline Wright, as her name indicates, was of English descent, but little is known of her ancestry. She had a brother, who during the Civil war was a colonel in the Union army. William Rhode died in 1884, and his wife in 1892, and they were buried in the graveyard of the Union Church at Grimville. To them were born these children: Eliza A. m. Willoughby Gehringer; Cyrus J.; Anna E. m. Albert Flough; Chester W. m. Emma Stern; Lewis F. m. Hannah Tyson; Charles H. m. Emma Reinhart; Agnes m. James Love; Westa m. Charles Fritz; Jonathan and Frederick m. and live at Omaha, Nebr.; Mary, m. Henry Rohlf; Ilena m. Jas. Ross; and Oswell m. Helan Kleffner. Besides, there was also Clara and Ida, who died young.

Cyrus J. Rhode, the second child of William and Mary (Zimmer) Rhode, was born June 11, 1852, near Grimville, Greenwich township, Berks county. Until reaching the age of sixteen years he remained upon the farm, occupied at such duties as are usually allotted to Pennsylvania farmer boys and attending the district school. For the purpose of acquiring a knowledge of the English language he lived a winter with a family named Bush in the northern part of Chester county, and attended a public school there. To equip himself for the exacting duties of life he then concluded to learn a trade, and subsequently served an apprenticeship at bricklaying, working at this occupation for several years in his own locality and at different points in the Lehigh Valley, as well as at Allentown, Carbondale and in New York State as far up as Syracuse. Later a thirst for knowledge impelled him to spend several terms at the Keystone State Normal School, where he made such good progress in his studies that he was encouraged to try his hand at teaching. He began this profession in Weisenburg township, where the length of term was four months and the salary thirty dollars per month. He taught Apple's school for three years, and then for ten years continuously the school in Grim's independent school district, all in Lehigh county. His duties as teacher not occupying all of his time, he at intervals engaged at fire insurance and lumbering, in which he then laid the foundation of a business that has spread and grown upon his hands ever since.

In 1884 in order to give his children the advantages of the Keystone State Normal School, Mr. Rhode located in Kutztown, where after a short residence he purchased a bakery, and continued in that business for a period of eleven years, at the end of which time, his insurance and lumber business having grown to such large proportions, he was compelled to give his entire time and attention to them. In these lines he has continued to the present time and is now rated as one of Kutztown's busiest citizens. He has been secretary of the Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Company, of Berks and Lehigh counties, for twenty-one years, and also represents a number of other leading companies as agent. His lumber business is quite extensive and consists of purchasing tracts of timber, which he converts into merchantable lumber. He has also had an extensive experience in erecting lightning rods, to which reference can be made appropriately in his biography. For fifteen years he has engaged at this occupation over a wide range of territory, and notwithstanding the strong prejudice which exists against lightning rod agents generally has succeeded in giving entire satisfaction wherever he has been given work to do. He has furnished his patrons a good article at a fair price and dealt with them honorably, and by these means has won their confidence and respect. Of the 42,000 buildings that he has rodded since starting in the business not one has been burned by lightning, which is the best evidence that the material he supplies is of the best quality and that his work is well done. He puts up from 20,000 to 30,000 feet of rodding every season. Mr. Rhode claims the lightning rod business is as reputable as any other, if reputably conducted.

While Mr. Rhode has been a busy man he has yet found time to give attention to public affairs. He is a Democrat in politics, and since living in Kutztown has served one term on the council, and as a member of the school board for twelve years, and it was during his service as a school director that the handsome school house was built in Kutztown. He is a pronounced friend of popular education, and has done much to promote the efficiency of the public schools and to encourage the young to make use of them. In 1894, Mr. Rhode was elected a representative in the State Legislature from Berks county, re-elected in 1896, and served faithfully through two terms in which Democrats were decidedly in the minority. In 1903 he was elected a justice of the peace for Kutztown, and is now serving in that capacity.

On Oct. 2, 1872, Cyrus J. Rhode was married to Amanda F. Knerr, of Weisenburg township, Lehigh county, born July 17, 1849, daughter of Jonas and Elizabeth (Knerr) Knerr, and granddaughter of David and Susannah (Derr) Knerr, all of Lehigh county. To Mr. and Mrs. Rhode have been born four children, as follows: Minerva E. m. David B. Levan and lived in Kutztown, until her death from pulmonary trouble, May 23, 1909; John W., a lumber, coal and feed merchant of Topton, m. Kate Keller, and has had two children, Harold and one deceased; Homer J., an eye specialist of Reading, is mentioned below; and Solon L., who graduated from the Keystone State Normal School, is now attending lectures in the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Rhode and family belong to the Reformed Church, where his ancestors worshiped for generations.

Dr. Homer Jones Rhode, specialist in Diseases of the Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat, Reading, was born in Weisenburg, Lehigh county, Dec. 9, 1877. His early education was obtained in the public schools of Kutztown, and later at the Keystone State Normal School. He was graduated form the latter institution in the class of 1895, after which he took post-graduate work preparatory to studying medicine, and then taught two terms of school at Richhill, in Bucks county. Entering the Medical Department of the University of Pennsylvania, he graduated from that famous institution in 1901, and was at once appointed resident physician of St. Joseph's Hospital, Philadelphia, where he remained one year. In July, 1902, he entered the Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, and there he served as resident surgeon for one year, after which he took charge of Dr. S. Lewis Ziegler's practice in Philadelphia, during that gentleman's trip abroad. In the fall of 1903 Dr. Rhode established himself in Reading, where he has since been located, and he has built up an extensive practice in his specialties. Since 1904 he has been connected with the Reading Hospital. He is a member of the Berks County Medical Society, the Reading Medical Society, the State Medical Society, and the American Medical Association.

On April 9, 1904, Dr. Rhode was married to Miss May Friel, daughter of James Friel, of Philadelphia, and they have had these children: Dorothy, who died aged eighteen months; Homer J., Jr., and Virginia. The Doctor and his wife attend the Reformed Church. Socially he is a member of St. John's Lodge, No. 435, F. & A. M., Reading. His home is located at No. 220 North Sixth street, and there he and his good wife delight in welcoming their many friends.


pg. 1067


Luther A. Rhode, a member of the firm Neff H. Rhode & Brother, dealers in bicycles and sundries at Reading, Pa., was born there Feb. 24, 1863, son of William H. and Mary Ann Neff.

Mr. Rhode was educated in the public schools at Reading. He learned the carriage painter's trade with William H. Wetherold, and after working with him nine years engaged in a grocery store business at No. 27 South Seventh street. For five years he had charge of the bicycle department of Dives, Pomeroy & Stewart. Later he became associated with his brother, and began to buy second hand bicycles and repair them, leaving them on the side walk where they would attract attention. His trade in these machines gradually grew, and subsequently he and his brother established the business that has expanded into the largest repair business in the city. So much for enterprise. For three years in addition to their bicycle repair business, and their agencies for all the leading makes, they manufactured what was known as the Cracker Jack Combination hammer, and Mr. Rhode made all the models for these, the patentee, Jacob A. Wummer, being his partner under the firm name of Franklin Specialty Company. After an existence of three years the firm sold out to C. C. Ludwig and Harry Fahrbach.

Mr. Rhode married Rosa B. Nunnemacher, daughter of Benjamin Nunnemacher, of Berks county, and they have two sons : William L., a machinist with the Acme Auto Works of Reading, m. Carrie Rhein, and has a daughter, Rosa ; and Albert B., who is becoming a through bicycle builder, working in the Rhode Brothers Bicycle Works. The family home is at No. 749 Franklin street. In politics Mr. Rhode is a Republican. Fraternally he is a member of the Red Men ; the Metacomet Haymakers Association ; The Philharmonic and Cadet Band ; the Electric Wheelmen (of which he is a charter member, and which in 1897 had a club run with 150 wheels in line, going out to Yellow House). Mr. Rhode and his family belong to St. James Lutheran Church.


p. 1215


Neff H. Rhode, a member of the firm of Neff H. Rhode & Bro., dealers in bicycles and sundries, located at No. 636 Cherry street, Reading, is one of that city's progressive and successful business men. He was born Nov. 24, 1858, at Reading, son of William H. and Mary Ann (Neff) Rhode.

William H. Rhode was born in Dauphin county, Pa., in 1816. He was but nine years old when his father died, and early began to assist in the support of his mother and sister. In his young manhood he engaged in mercantile business in Dauphin county, and moved to Reading in the forties, where he engaged in business at Eighth and Penn streets, conducting a mercantile store on the site now occupied by Leinbach & Co., clothiers, which property he owned. In 1871 he started the jewelry business at No. 534 Penn street, buying out the interest of Solomon Weida, and in this he was associated with his son-in-law, Israel R. Waterman, and his son, Peter A. Rhode, under the firm name of Rhode & Waterman. This continued twenty years. During the early seventies there were several incendiary fires in his warehouse, the last one totally destroying the building and causing a severe loss. In the years he was engaged in the mercantile business he had different partners; the first was Adam Fasig, and the second Isaac R. Fisher - the latter now eighty-one years old. Later Mr. Rhode was in the real estate business, and the fire and life insurance business, and in this he was associated with David Neff, of Reading. They had their office at No. 12 North Eighth street, in the Rhode building, and after Mr. Neff's death, Mr. Rhode continued it until his own death. He was the owner of considerable property, and the First U. E. Church stands on ground once owned by him. He built No. 912 Penn street, in 1857, which contains sixteen rooms, and is now owned by George W. Lehr. Mr. Rhode was one of the organizers of St. James Lutheran Church, Reading, and contributed liberally towards its support and served as elder and trustee. In politics he was a Republican. He married Mary Ann Neff, daughter of William Neff, who died at Womelsdorf. Mr. Rhode died in February, 1883, and his wife in November, 1882. Both are buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. Their children were: (1) Sallie A., deceased, m. A. W. Straub, of Philadelphia, who for forty-six years has made all the hubs and dies for the United States government in the mint at Philadelphia. He has also a business of his own, being the senior member of the firm of A. W. Straub & Co., manufacturers of the Quaker City Grinding Mill (of which Mr. Straub is the patentee), which has a world-wide market. (2) Francis C. at the age of sixteen volunteered for service in the Civil war, and was taken prisoner and confined for some time at Castle Thunder. He wrote a letter to the Confederate Secretary of War, and his request for exchange was granted, and he served until the close of the war. Later he became a machinist for the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, and he died in Reading in 1877, at which time he was in a mercantile business. He m. Eveline Bewley, and they had four children: Clarence C., Florence, Nellie and Bessie (m. Samuel Guinther). (3) Carrie E. m. the late Israel R. Waterman, at one time a partner of Mr. William H. Rhode. (4) Peter A., who died in Philadelphia in 1881, m. Emma Wildenstein, and she now lives in Reading and manages the Wildenstein estate. (5) William H., a cigar maker, m. Minnie Goodyear, and has a son Albert E. (6) Mary Emily m. John C. Shade, of Jonestown, Lebanon Co., Pa., who is now a junior partner with his brother-in-law, A. W. Straub, of Philadelphia. (7) Neff Homan is a twin to Mary Emily. (8) Luther A.

Neff H. Rhode was born in the family home then located at No. 912 Penn street, Reading. He attended the public schools and later Brunner's Business College during 1878-79. His entrance into business was in the cigar line which he followed for six years. He as in a restaurant business for one year, and in 1890 entered into the bicycle business with his brother, Luther A., at Nos. 25-27 South Seventh street. In August, 1905, they built their present building, No. 636 Cherry street, completing it in January, 1906. It is a commodious structure of three stories, 30x40 feet, which gives them 2,500 feet of floor space. When they first entered into business they made their main object the buying of second hand wheels and repairing them, but their business enlarged so rapidly that they have increased it along many lines, and now have the largest repair business in Reading. The firm of Neff H. Rhode & Bro. deal in bicycles and sundries, and do expert repairing in all its branches, enameling in all colors, and they are agents for the famous Snell bicycles, for the 20th Century, Rhode Special and Fisk Puncture Proof tires, and they buy, sell and exchange new and second hand wheels. Since starting in this business they have repaired more than 35,000 bicycles, averaging 3,500 to 4,500 a year. This firm was the first to handle the new Morrow coaster brake, taking this up about 1897. Their works are run by electricity, and they give constant employment to four skilled mechanics. Mr. Neff H. Rhode is also interested in old coins and collects and deals in same having one of the finest collections in the city. At one time he had 18,000 pieces, and in 1876 he sold to John W. Hazleton, of Philadelphia, a collection of 14,000 pieces. At one time he was also interested in stamps.

In 1898 Mr. Rhode married Florence Haak, of Pottstown, daughter of William Haak, and they have a pleasant home at No. 1117 Chestnut street. They are members of St. James Lutheran Church. Mr. Rhode has long been known as one of the city's enterprising and reliable business men. In politics he is a Republican. Fraternally he belongs to Camp No. 89, P. O. S. of A., which he joined in 1883, but he has belonged to the order since 1879, and helped to organize Camp No. 225, of Reading; is a member of the Veterans Association, P. O. S. of A., of Pennsylvania (composed of those who have belonged to the order for at least twenty-one years); of Aerie No. 66, F. O. E., of Reading; a charter member of Never-sink Tribe, No. 351, I. O. R. M., and has been trustee of the Eagles Mountain Home Association since 1907; a member of the League of American Wheelmen since 1896; of Garfield Camp No. 1, Old Guards Association; a charter member and since 1897 treasurer of the Electric Wheelmen's Association; and a member of the Commercial Club, and of Philharmonic Band.


p. 1709


William S. Rhode, of Kutztown, Pa., was born Sept. 8, 1877, in Greenwich township, Berks county, son of Lewis F. and Hannah (Tyson) Rhode.

Many years ago there lived in Richmond township, Berks county, a Frederick Rhode, who Picture of William Rhoadsaccording to family tradition came to America from England, but was by nativity a German. Among other children this Frederick had a son, William, born in Richmond township. He was reared on the farm, but learned the trade of stone mason, following that occupation in Greenwich township, whither he had removed, for fifteen years, during this time helping to erect many of the substantial stone and brick farm buildings which are such a characteristic feature throughout Greenwich and the adjoining townships. Later Mr. Rhode engaged in farming near the town of Grimville, and he continued at agricultural pursuits until advanced years, when he gave up active work and from that time on lived retired. In politics early in life he was an old-line Whig, but when the Whig party was dissolved he became a Democrat and adhered to the faith of that party for the remainder of his life. He never aspired to public position, but in local affairs bore his full share of the duties and responsibilities required of the citizen. He was interested in educational matters and served as school director for his district. He was a member of the Reformed Church.

William Rhode married Mary Zimmer, daughter of Daniel and Caroline (Wright) Zimmer, of Greenwich township. She was born in 1832, and was a member of one of the old representative families of that part of Berks county. Daniel Zimmer was born and always lived in Greenwich township, and by occupation was a shoemaker. He died in 1896 at the age of eighty-five years. Although it is not definitely known, it is strongly probable that Daniel Zimmer was a descendant of Rudolph Zimmer, who in 1741, when only eighteen years of age, came from Germany to America in the Ship "Friendship." He landed at Philadelphia Oct. 12th of that year, and shortly afterward settled in Greenwich, where he appeared upon the tax list of 1756. Caroline Wright, as her name indicates, was of English descent, but little is known of her ancestry. She had a brother, who during the Civil war was a colonel in the Union army. William Rhode died in 1884, and his wife in 1892, and they were buried in the graveyard of the Union Church at Grimville. To them were born these children: Eliza A. m. Willoughby Gehringer; Cyrus J. m. Amanda F. Knerr; Anna E. m. Albert Flough; Chester W. m. Emma Stern; Lewis F.; Charles H. m. Emma Reinhart; Agnes m. James Love; Westa m. Charles Fritz; Jonathan and Frederick m. and live at Omaha, Nebr.; Mary, m. Henry Rohlf; Ilena m. James Ross; and Oswell m. Helan Kleffner. Besides, there were also Clara and Ida, who died young.

Lewis F. Rhode, son of William, was born April 4, 1855, and was a blacksmith in Greenwich township, where he died on Feb. 15, 1880; he is buried at Grimville, Pa. In 1876 he married Hannah Tyson, daughter of Joseph Tyson and his wife Fannie Gehringer. The union was blessed with three sons, namely: William S., George and Lewis F., Jr. The subject of this sketch chose the newspaper and publishing business as his profession, while George is a prosperous butcher at Kutztown, Pa., and Lewis F., Jr., conducts a barber shop at Easton, Pa. Lewis F. Rhode, Sr., was called to rest in the prime of his life, leaving his wife to care for three infant sons. Hard years and many sacrifices fell upon a faithful mother. Immediately, however, after her sons were able to work they earned their own living at it was through years of hard toiling that they learned the value of a dollar, thus fitting them for the struggles of life.

William S. Rhode has been on the staff of the Kutztown Patriot since 1893, and succeeded to the local editorship of the paper at the resignation of Mr. Conrad Gehring. During Mr. Rhode's administration the paper was enlarged from four to twelve pages, and the circulation was doubled. The education that Mr. Rhode received in his early life he made excellent use of, in fact better than many normal school and college graduates do. He can truly be called a self-made man. He is the correspondent of his town for a number of metropolitan newspapers and was the promoter of the Kutztown Auditorium, a fine theatrical building which is now controlled by himself and four other Kutztonians.

In 1907, Mr. Rhode, beside his newspaper work, entered the publishing business, betting out rural delivery directories, with his employer, J. B. Esser. Mr. Rhode was the originator of the rural delivery directories and issued creditable publications in different parts of Pennsylvania. A number of other publishers since then have followed his novel idea in publishing directories.

In 1905 Mr. Rhode married Miss Edna C. Gehman, of Allentown, daughter of Henry M. Gehman, a cabinetmaker of that city, and granddaughter of the veteran minister Rev. William M. Gehman, of Vera Cruz (who is nearly ninety years of age, and is prominent in the Mennonite Church). Mr. and Mrs. Rhode are the parents of one daughter, Constance Edna Rhode.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:56:51 EDT

Previous       Home Page       Index       Next
404 - Error: 404


Category not found

The Page you are looking for doesn't exist or an other error occurred. Go back, or head over to Home Page to choose a new direction.

You may not be able to visit this page because of:

  1. an out-of-date bookmark/favourite
  2. a search engine that has an out-of-date listing for this site
  3. a mistyped address
  4. you have no access to this page
  5. The requested resource was not found.
  6. An error has occurred while processing your request.