Mrs. Hiram Read Nee Rhoda R. Dewey was born in Oxford, New Hampshire, Sept. 30th, 1803. Died April 16, 1886. She was married March 26, 1837, to Hiram Read, a man of remarkable energies, a kind and industrious husband and father not only looking after his own interest but preseving (sic) those noble qualities he would extend a helping had to those who were less fortunate. Ida L. Read, the wife of Geo. Swan is their only child but at the age of 5 years they took into their family Patrick Kelly giving him an education and the advantage of their society.
Mr. Read first came to Illinois in 1836 and located in the town of Rockvale, Ogle Co., at a beautiful spot on Rock River. Returned to his New Hampshire home he married the subject of this sketch. A woman of rare qualities, an earnest student, a great reader and conversationalist. In March and in June of the same year they started for their western home to hew out for themselves, with an earnest endeavor and a firm purpose, a competency for their declining years. How well they succeeded is attested by the fact the log house gave way to one of more modern style, while it in turn gave way to their present fine home. Out of the old house into the new must have brought back to them many recollections of the past. We can not too much admire the zeal and enterprise of those early settlers. What changes time has wrought in 83 years. Away past the three-score and ten mile post, and only waiting for the summons that shall unite her with him who has preceded her some eleven years. For nearly two years she has been an invalid, unable to lay down, sitting in her chair day in and day out, all of the years. We cannot have too much charity for those thus afflicted. Her funeral was from her late residence where she had spent half a century, and was conducted by B. H. Cartwright.
In the old wide open door way,
At eve or in mornings prime
She has stood to welcome our coming,
O, many and many a time!
And again in her door way opened,
And her house is garnished and swept,
But she silently waits for our coming,
And we enter with silent feet.
A little within she is waiting,
Not where she met us before,
For over the pleasant threshold
She is only to pass once more.
And some-where, yet, in the hill-tops
Of the country that hath no pain,
When will watch in her beautiful door-way
And bid us welcome again.
Byron, Ill., April 26, 1886 E. A. I.
Byron Express, April 26, 1886, p. 4
Contributed by Bob Hutchins
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