Thanks to Wayne Rhodes of the Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg, Virginia for bringing us the following data. Check out their website at www.jmlibrary.org.
Westerfield, Thomas W., editor, Kentucky Genealogy
and Biography (Volume III) Sketches from Butler, McLean, Muhlenburgh,
and Ohio Counties Reprinted from Kentucky: A History of the State
by Battle, Perrin, Kniffin, 1885. (Owensboro, KY: Genealogical Reference
Co., 1971), p. 185.
Prof. McHenry Rhoads was born July 27, 1858, in
Muhlenburg County, Ky., and is the seventh of eight children (two boys and
one girl now living) born to Absalom J. and Tabitha R. (Dennis) Rhoads,
natives of Muhlenburgh County. Absalom J. Rhoads, was a son of Solomon
Rhoads, who was born in Bedford County, Penn., in 1774, and came to Kentucky
at the age of thirteen; married Rachel Johnson, of Logan County, whose
mother was Rachel Boone, a first cousin of Daniel Boone; she was born in
North Carolina in 1779, and came with her parents to Logan County, Ky.
Solomon Rhoads was a son of Henry Rhoads, who was born
in Germany, in 1730. Henry, with two brothers, came to America, about 1757,
and settled in Bedford County, Penn. In 1760 he married Elizabeth Stoner,
of Maryland. He fought for his adopted country through the great struggle
for Independence, under the leadership of Gen. Muhlenberg.
After the war for liberty, having lost heavily in the
cause, he, with his two brothers and their families, came to Kentucky, and
stopped first at Bardstown; leaving their families there they set out in the
wilderness to select a site to build a town. The place selected was at the
falls of the Green River, where they started a town and named it Rhoadsville;
after three years peaceable possession, an action was entered in the Ohio
circuit court, styled “John Hanley vs. Henry Rhoads and others,” for the
possession of the land on which the town stood. The suit was gained by the
Henry Rhoads, with a few friends, then removed to Barnett's
Station, on Rough Creek, where he lived five years, in which time the present
town of Hartford was laid out and a few houses built. He then moved to Logan
County, and settled; after a residence of five years he moved five miles west,
where he owned 7,000 acres of military land; he represented the county in the
legislature of Kentucky, in 1798, on its formation as a county, and named it in
honor of Gen. Muhlenberg. He reared a large family; one daughter, Elizabeth,
married Jacob Vanmeter, from which union has sprung many of the leading and
influential families of western Kentucky. After an eventful and useful career,
Henry Rhoads died at the age of seventy-five years.
Prof. McHenry Rhoads was reared on a farm, and at the age
of eighteen years entered the West Kentucky College, and graduated with high
honors in the spring of 1880. Having shown his superior qualities during his
collegiate years, he was, in the same spring, tendered the professorship of
natural science in the college from which he graduated, which he accepted, and
filled with marked ability until the spring of 1885, with the exception of one
year as professor of science in Hartford College. In May, 1885, he was elected
to the vice presidency of Hartford College and Business Institute, which he
accepted, and, in September of the same year, he entered upon his duties as
professor of natural science and literature. He received the honorary degree in
1883. Prof. Rhoads is a popular educator, and in his profession ranks with the
foremost instructors of the State.