George W. Rhoads, a native of Shipman township and for many years past the owner of a valuable farm in Bird township, was born December 26, 1855, and has made his home in Macoupin county for over fifty-five years. He is a son of John D. and Mary E. (Jolly) Rhoads, both of whom were born in Grayson county, Kentucky. The father came to Macoupin county, Illinois, with his parents at five years of age, in 1831, and the grandfather of our subject, Jacob V. Rhoads, entered over four hundred acres of land in the southern part of Macoupin county and across the line in Jersey county. Jacob V. Rhoads was born in Pennsylvania but removed in his boyhood to Kentucky. After coming to this state he kept a country inn where he extended to many travelers a cordial welcome. He was a pioneer preacher of the Baptist church and was widely known throughout this part of the state. He died on the old homestead near Medora, after arriving at the age of seventy-eight years. Samuel Rhoads, one of his brothers, was a soldier in the war of 1812. The father of our subject was a Baptist minister and preached in many places in Macoupin county. His death occurred at the age of seventy-three. There were eight children in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads, six of whom are living, namely: Margaret J., who married Thomas W. Stover, and resides in Medora; Ellen, who is the wife of Granville G. Reno, a member of the board of supervisors, and also resides at Medora; George W., of this review; Stroud K., who is engaged in farming east of Brighton; Willis M., who lives on the old home place in Shipman township; and Jacob D., who resides on a farm near Ansley, Nebraska.
Mr. Rhoads, whose name introduces this sketch, attended the district schools of Shipman township and early showed an interest in farming which indicated agriculture and stock-raising to be his natural pursuits. As he grew to manhood he assisted his father upon the home place and twenty-eight years ago purchased the farm upon which he has since lived. Through his application and good management he has made it highly productive. His life has been a busy and useful one and the success that has come to him is the reward of unremitting diligence.
On October 10, 1880, Mr. Rhoads was married to Miss Celia C. Chism, who was born near Medora, October 31, 1856, a daughter of John and Ellen (Skeen) Chism. The father was born in Grayson county, Kentucky, and the mother in Tennessee, the Rhoads and Chism families being neighbors. Mr. Chism came with his family to Macoupin county, Illinois, in 1831, and entered government land in Chesterfield township where he spent the remainder of his life. The mother still survives, having reached the age of eighty-six years, and is living on the home place one and one-half miles north of Medora. William Chism, the grandfather of Mrs. Rhoads, was a farmer and also an innkeeper. Of the twelve children born to Mr. and Mrs. Chism ten are now living, namely: William and James, both residents of Medora; Adelaide, who is the wife of John Stotler, a farmer who lives east of Medora; Celia C., now Mrs. George W. Rhoads; Rachel E., who married Ira Ketchum and resides in Polk township; Susan, the wife of M. C. Beavers, of Bird township; Emma, who married Gardner Rhine and resides near Medora; Catherine, the wife of Rolla Rhine, of Jerseyville; Clara, who married F. O. Brown, a resident of Bird township; and John, at home. Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads are the parents of three children: Pearl L., a resident of Portland, Oregon; and Earl E. and Ethel, both of whom are at home.
Mr. Rhoads and his family are actively identified with the Charity Baptist church. He holds membership in Lodge No. 125, M.W.A., of the same place, being, moreover, connected with the Protective League and the Court of Honor. He is a supporter of the republican party and has served as highway commissioner for two terms and as supervisor of the township for one term. He filled the office of school director for twelve years and is now treasurer of the township. In his business he has always aimed to meet obligations faithfully and in all his dealings he has been straightforward and just. His success may be attributed to capable management and close application and he clearly belongs among the representative citizens of Macoupin county.