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Warren County Local History by Dallas Bogan

Rhoda Whitacre Hollingsworth - Early Warren Countian

Dallas Bogan on 13 August 2004
original article by Dallas Bogan
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She was described as a "bright and shining example of a meek and lovely Christian." Her religious belief was that of the Friends doctrine, having adhered to that faith since childhood.
Rhoda Whitacre Hollingsworth was one of the lady pioneers that made her mark in Warren County.
Rhoda was born March 12, 1802, the daughter of Robert and Patience Mckay Whitacre who were both natives of Virginia. Robert was born in 1758 and Patience in 1763. Patience was Robert's third marriage. To this union was born seven children, namely, Andrew, John, Priscilla, Jane, Aquilla, Rhoda and Moses.
In the early part of the nineteenth century they traded their farm in Frederick County, Virginia, for a military claim of four thousand acres located on the Little Miami River and Todd's Fork. The land purchase was known as Military Survey No. 1494. They migrated to their new home in the wilderness in 1805. Rhoda at this time was but three years old. They established their home on a beautifully elevated spot, which now overlooks Morrow. They merely existed in an unbroken wilderness and suffered the many trials and hardships that went along with securing a new home in a wild and untamed land.
Roads were practically nonexistent in this time period, which made the thirty-mile trip through the woods to the markets in Cincinnati a struggle beyond belief. Sometimes they would load their produce onto the flatboats and float them down on a rise in the Little Miami River to Cincinnati, and sometimes to New Orleans. Robert at one time drove his own hogs, along with his neighbors, to Baltimore, Maryland, starting in August, and arriving in Baltimore in time for the fall market.
Patience would ride on horseback to her old home in Virginia (a journey of several hundred miles), and visit her friends and relatives, and receive encouragement, which would strengthen her to renew her work in the wilderness.
Patience, with her three daughters, Rhoda, Jane and Priscilla, contributed to the comfort and the welfare of the family. In this day and time, clothing was a main factor for the family. They picked, carded, spun and wove the wool for winter clothing, and the flax for summer. Under these circumstances, Rhoda was raised.
At the age of eighteen she was united in marriage to Joseph Hollingsworth (born in 1786), a native of Frederick County, Virginia. He migrated to Ohio in 1816, first to Centerville, Montgomery County, thence to Waynesville. Here he worked for a time in a flouring mill. From there he went to Stubb's Mill, which was a short distance west of Morrow.
Joseph and Rhoda were married in 1820 and settled on a farm near Beech Grove Schoolhouse, about two miles from her father's home.
They had several children, the last survivors being Moses and Ruthanna. With hard work and a straight forward course of life, they succeeded in establishing themselves a comfortable home and an excellent farm.
Joseph was a miller by trade and was instrumental in forming a company with his brothers-in-law, and building what was known as the Whitacre Mills on the Little Miami River near the mouth of Todd's Fork in the years 1832 and 1833. (The skeleton of the old mill is still standing at this printing.)
About the year 1851 they sold their farm and moved to near Harveysburg, where Joseph died in 1853. Soon after, Rhoda and her son Moses moved to Springboro. Ruthanna had been residing with them since the death of her husband, Nathan Hunt.
Rhoda, at the time of her death, lacked but a few days of being eighty-two years old. She died February 25, 1884. She was the last of her family, all her brothers and sisters died years before. A writer once wrote of her: "There are, perhaps, but few people who haves to her advanced age that have lived during the entire time a life more consistent, or one worthy to be more praised and held up as an example to future generations. Her loving friends were only limited by the circle of her acquaintance, for none knew her but to love her."

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This page created 13 August 2004 and last updated 28 September, 2008
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