Taken from: Anonymous, Book of Biographies: This volume contains biographical
sketches of leading citizens of Berks County, Pa. (Buffalo: Biographical
Pub. Co., 1898), p. 657.
J. Newton Rhoads, the efficient court stenographer of Berks County, is widely known over the state as a reporter of prominence. He is a son of John P. and Eliza (Flickinger) Rhoads, and was born November 2, 1856, in Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pa. His grandfather was a farmer of that county and died at Newburg in 1838, at the age of thirty-seven years, when just entering the prime of manhood.
John P. Rhoads, the father, was also a native of Cumberland County, having entered this life in 1820. He was an attorney and practiced at Carlisle, but afterward drifted into the banking business, accepting the position of cashier of the First National Bank of Newville, that county. He occupied the position for fourteen years, when his failing health necessitated the abandoning of such confining work, and he again turned to his profession as a means of employing his time. This work he was following at the time of his death, in October, 1884. He was a strong Democrat and took an active part in the affairs of the party. He served as a member of the Pennsylvania Legislature in 1861 and 1863, when the Legislature saw some pretty stormy times. He married Eliza Flickinger, daughter of Jacob Flickinger, and had a family of three children: Alfred M., who resides in Pittsburg, and is a journalist' Mattie E., who is unmarried and lives with the subject of this sketch; and J. Newton.
J. Newton Rhoads was educated in the common schools of Carlisle, and graduated from Dickinson College in 1879, after which he was engaged in the newspaper business in Carlisle for a time. He was then offered a position on the reportorial staff of the Philadelphia Times by Alex. McClure, who desired a reporter who could do the work in shorthand. He studied stenography in order to fit himself for this position, and soon began reporting for the Legislative Record in Harrisburg in 1881 and 1883, and from that became a reporter of court proceedings. He then entered the employ of Mr. Demming of Harrisburg, an official stenographer, and remained with him about four years. In 1885, he was appointed official court reporter for Cumberland County. While in the employ of Mr. Demming, he did considerable reporting through the fifteen counties of the state, besides some counties in New Jersey. In 1887, he became assistant stenographer in the Berks County courts, and in 1889, became the official court stenographer at the same time holding the same position to the court at Carlisle. In 1895, he resigned the latter position, and has since devoted his whole time to reporting for Berks County, having an assistant in the work. He has done some work in taking arguments before the Board of Pardons, and also before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. While with Col. Demming in Harrisburg, he did some work before the senate committees and for the attorney general of the state, and has also reported a number of conventions.
Mr. Rhoads was united in matrimony with Susie E. Rheem, a daughter of Jacob Rheem of Carlisle. They were married May 30, 1892, and have an interesting family of two bright children: Edith, born October 20, 1893; and Marion, born June 19, 1896. Mr. Rhoads is an energetic, industrious, capable man, and has a host of friends to congratulate him on his successful achievements.