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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. 900.
Jacob M. Rhoads. This general farmer residing on section 7, Cahokia Township, is one of the most successful agriculturists and stock-raisers and has one of the most delightful homes in the township. His residence is commodious and attractive and his stock are all of best breeds and in excellent condition. He has lived here since February, 1859, and has made all the improvements which are to be seen on his estate of one hundred and sixty acres.
When our subject came to this county he had been living in Greene County for a number of years although he was born in Macoupin County, and lived here in childhood. His birth occurred October 24, 1835, and his father, Richard Rhoads, was a native of Kentucky and a son of John Rhoads, who came with his wife and family to Illinois, when his son Richard was still a young man and unmarried. His first home was in Medora and he was the first settler of that place which is situated in Chesterfield Township. It was there that John Rhoads died having reached a good old age; he had been twice married but had no children by his second wife. He was an exhorter in the Baptist Church with which his wives were also connected.
Richard Rhoads grew to manhood upon the farm and was married in this county to Hulda Stout, a native of Ohio, who came of pioneer stock and was no doubt related to the frontier family of that name who suffered so much at the hands of the Indians. Miss Stout had come to Illinois with her parents who settled in Greene County at an early day, and there these parents, Elisha and Margaret Stout, died after reaching the ages of sixty-five and seventy years respectively. They were Baptists in their church connection and devoted Christians in life and belief.
The parents of our subject moved from point to point during their early married life but spent the greater number of years, especially in advanced life, in Greene County, where they were living when called from earth's activities. They were well-known throughout that county as pioneers of courage and endurance, and as devoted Christians and efficient members of the regular Baptist Church. Mr. Rhoads was a Whig in his political views.
Our subject is one of a large family and most of his boyhood days were spent in Greene County. After he became of age he was married to Miss Eliza Ward, a native of Tennessee who was born January 12, 1835, and was but a young child when her parents William and Lucinda (Duncan) Ward moved from that State to Illinois about the year 1838. They were a couple of truly religious faith and life and both died in middle life upon their farm in Greene County. Their daughter received every advantage which they were able to give her and was thoroughly equipped for the responsibilities of life and her work as a wife and mother. She is more than ordinarily devoted to her duties and efficient in their fulfillment and conscientiously trained her children throughout childhood and youth.
The children of our subject are Alvin W. who married Mary Huddleston of DeWitt County, and assists his father in managing the home farm. William M., who took to wife Nettie Stanton and is farming in Montgomery County; Lucy E. who is at home; Jasper M., who took to wife Mollie Callenborn and lives in Missouri, and Lilla M. wife of John Mercer, a farmer in this township. Mr. Rhoads has been for some time both Steward and Trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church, with which he and his wife are connected. In his political belief he is in sympathy with the Democratic party and while he has never sought office he has ever taken an active interest in public affairs and served at one time as Township Collector.