Thanks to Wayne Rhodes of the Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg,
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Taken from: Portrait and biographical record of Macoupin County,
Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative
citizens of the county, together with biographies of all the governors of
the state, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago:
Biographical Pub. Co., 1891), p. 894-895.
David W. Rhoads. The man who furnishes good flour is supplying a need
that is universal and is thus discharging one of the primal duties - that of
aiding his fellow-men to promote physical well being. All must agree that
there are none of the manufactures more important than that of converting
grain into flour and that a good miller is entitled to the respect of his
fellow-men. It is therefore plain to be seen that the gentleman above-named
must fill a reputable place on the roll of residents of Palmyra, as he has
been engaged in milling there for several years past and previously carried
on a similar occupation elsewhere.
Mr. Rhoads was born in DeKalb County, Mo., November 19, 1857. His
grandfather, David Rhoads, was for some years a resident in Kentucky and
removed from that State to Illinois and was one of the first settlers in the
vicinity of Medora, this county. After living there a few years he went to
Missouri and bought a tract of land on which he made the customary
improvements. After residing thereon some years he returned to this State in
1864 and settled upon a farm in Jersey County, four miles east of Kane.
There he spent the remnant of his days.
His son, John V., father of our subject, was married in Jersey County and
subsequently removed to DeKalb County, Mo., where he occupied a rented farm
until 1864. He then returned to Jersey County, this State, and on a rented
farm carried on agricultural work until the following year when he was
called hence. His wife, Sarah M. Tatman, a native of McDonough County and
daughter of Hiram Tatman, was left with three children. About 1868 she
married John Costley, a resident of Greene County, and made that her home
about two years. She and her husband then removed to Jersey County where Mr.
Costley died, and she subsequently came to Palmyra, where she still makes
her home. The children of her first marriage are David W., Mordecai and
Branie, and of her second marriage, Mary M., John W., Jacob E., Emma J. and
The subject of this notice was in his eighth year when he came to Illinois
with his parents. Even in boyhood he assisted on the farm and when he left
his mother's roof he worked at similar labors. He was nine years old when he
went to live with Callow A. Farrow, a farmer of Jersey County, with whom he
remained a year, and he then spent two years with Charles Black of Shipman
Township, this county. From that time until 1874 he was engaged by the day
and month for various parties and he then began working in a flourmill in
Greene County. He continued his work there three years, becoming thoroughly
conversant with the trade, and he then went to Medora and found employment
in a mill owned by J. J. Haycraft. In 1881 he left that establishment and
became a miller in Alsey, Scott County, where he operated a mill four years.
Returning to Medora, he rented a plant for a year, then in May, 1887, bought
the Palmyra flourmill. A year later he sold a half interest to Frank Watson
and the firm became d: W. Rhoads & Co. In 1890 Mr. Watson sold his interest
to John H. Hanshaw, but the firm name remains the same as before.
In 1882 in the month of August Mr. Rhoads was married to Miss Ella V.
Haycraft, daughter of James J. and Matilda Haycraft of Jersey County. She
was born in the village of Fidelity, received the usual advantages which are
open to those of the present generation, and was also the recipient of
careful home training and guidance. She is a member in good standing of the
Baptist Church. Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads have one son, Wilber W., a bright,
active little lad, whose increasing knowledge is a continual delight to his
parents. Mr. Rhoads belongs to Palmyra Lodge, No. 463, F. & A.M., and
Palmyra Camp, No. 149, M.W.A. In exercising the right of suffrage he joins
with the Democratic party, believing that the principles they advocate are
the soundest and most applicable to the National needs.