Thad & Alpha Rhodes
Their Tombstone in the New Pilot Grove Cemetery
Alpha & Thad Rhoads
Articles contributed by Deanna Holmes Barker
PIONEER WOMAN IS CALLED BY DEATH TUES.
After a long period of failing health, Mrs. Alpha Rhoads, 88, died
at her home in Trenton at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday. She had been afflicted
for some time with heart attacks.
Funeral services were held at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Gus
Holmes, at 3 p.m. Wednesday, conducted by Rev. E.B. Jackson. Burial
was at Pilot Grove cemetery. Glen Earnheart had charge of arrangements.
Miss Alpha Davis was born Feb. 29, 1856, in Clinton county, Kentucky.
She and Mr. Rhoads were married near Jamestown, Tenn., Aug. 15, 1875.
Fifty-eight years ago the couple moved to Texas and located in Pilot Grove
community. Five years later they bought a farm near Pilot Grove which
they still own. It was here that they reared their family and lived
until five years ago when they moved to a new home in Trenton. Had
Mrs. Rhoads lived until next Aug. 15 she and her husband would have observed
their sixty-ninth wedding anniversary.
Mrs. Rhoads was a devout Christian and a member of the Methodist
church. She was loved by all who knew her for her many fine traits
of character and she left a rich heritage to her children and all the world.
Surviving are her husband; six daughters, Mrs. Florence Kilgroe
of Pilot Grove, Mrs. Myrtle Perdue of Slaton, Mrs. J.S. Edwards of Slaton,
Mrs. Gus Holmes of Trenton, Mrs. Tommie Cochran of Inglewood, Tenn., and
Mrs. John Washburn of Bells; three sons, Charley Rhoads of Corsicana, Roland
Rhoads of Slaton and Lloyd Rhoads of Denison, and one sister....
With Year To Go
Retired Trenton Farmer Not Eager to Reach 100
Trenton - If the good Lord isn't too busy and can find the time,
he can drop in on Thad Rhoads just any time now. He won't have to
wait that extra year after all.
Mind you, Thad isn't complaining. He's never complained in
any of his 99 years on earth. It's just that he feels things will
be a lot nicer for his daughter if He comes a little earlier.
His daughter is Mrs. Gus Holmes and Thad will be the first one to
tell you that she has borne about all a body and sould can take.
It wasn't so bad until last October, although being flat on his
back for seven years and having to be waited on hand and foot was a pretty
tough job before then.
But last October Thad suffered another stroke, and since then all
can do is just swallow the food put in his mouth.
And every hour or so he feels the need for being turned and Mrs.
Holmes picks up his wasted frame and turns him. And since this goes
on for 24 hours out of every day and has been going on like that for the
past nine months, Thad figures it is time enough to forget about living
to be 100.
BORN IN NEW YORK
Since his birth Nov. 13, 1852, in Elmira, N.Y., Rhoads has lived
a full life and he figures the Lord has been mighty good to him right from
the start. He has had so much to be thankful for he never had time
to offer a complaint.
Remember when he was just eight and moved to Jamestown, Tenn., and
just six years later he went to Albany, Ky?
He'll never forget Albany, for it was there that he met Miss Alpha
Jane Davis. And one sunshiney Sunday morning in August 1875, the
15th it was, he rode his horse up to her house.
And when he called out for her, she came and he picked her up and
put her on the horse behind him and together they rode across the state
line into Tennessee and were married.
The marriage was blessed with nine children. Alpha Jane stayed
a Methodist all the 69 years she was married and she took eight of her
nine into the Methodist Church.
The ninth followed after Thad, and became a Baptist. And that's
the daughter Thad's with now. Instead of the difference in religion
coming between the family, it just strengthened it. And many's the
laugh they had over it, especially as new preachers would come to town
SIXTY YEAR AGO
Sixty years ago, Thad brought his family to Pilot Grove and bought
a farm. There were those who said there was buried treasure on the
There was the time when Thad was plowing and his plow hit something.
How excited everyone got. But it turned out to be just a rock.
Since it was a rock of a different type than any found on the land his
son Charles, who lives in Corsicana, believed it was the key to the hidden
He even had a man from Corsicana who had a divining rod come to
the farm and try and find the treasure. But Thad always said the
treasure was the happiness found on the farm.
Alpha Jane was 88 when she died just 36 days before their 69th wedding
anniversary. That was on July 11, 1944, and just a month or so later
Thad was stricken.
Since that day Thad has been bedfast. He could read and listen
to the radio until this stroke last year. Since then, he has been
As long as he was active and even could read and help take care
of himself, there was a purpose in wanting to live to be 100. But
now he figures that's not important any more.
If you have his place ready, Lord, Thad says he is ready.
Ready at 98
THAD RHOADS, WHO LOST HIS DESIRE TO REACH 100, DIES
(Herald News Service)
Trenton - The Lord must have heard Thad Rhoads after all.
He came after Thad Saturday, just a little over a year before he would
have been 100 years old.
Until Rhoads suffered a stroke seven years ago, his ambition was
to live to be 100. Since that time he has been bedfast and subsequent
strokes had sapped his strength. Recently, his eyesight failing,
his hearing about gone, he told his daughter, Mrs. Gus Holmes that he was
ready "anytime the Lord wants to come."
Rhoads lived a full life. He was born in Elmira, N.Y., Nov.
13, 1852. His family moved first to Jamestown, Tenn., and then to
Albany, Ky. At Albany he married Miss Alpha Jane Davis on Aug. 15,
1875. She died July 11, 1944, after 69 years of married life.
Sixty years ago Rhoads came to Pilot Grove and bought a farm.
He stayed there until he gave up farming.
He had three sons, Charlie of Corsicana, Roland of Slaton and Lloyd
of Amarillo; five daughters.....
TRENTON'S OLDEST MAN, THAD RHOADS, PASSES
The long and useful life of Mr. Thad Rhoads, 98, came to an end
at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, July 21, 1951, at the home of his daughter, Mrs.
Gus Holmes, in Trenton. He had been an invalid for years, due to
the infirmities of old age, and his death was not unexpected.
Funeral services were held at the Glen Earnheart Funeral Chapel
at 3 p.m. Sunday, Rev. Fred Thomas conducting. Burial was at Pilot
Grive cemetery beside his wife with whom he lived happily for 69 years.
She died in Trenton on July 11, 1944. Glen Earnheart was in charge
of arrangements. Pallbearers were James W. Donaghey, Wig Summers,
Burris Francis Butler, Stan Clark, Kimbrough Jinkins, and Finis Griffith.
Mr. Rhoads was a member of the Baptist church.
Survivors include three sons and five daughters. They are
Charlie Rhoads of Corsicana. Roland Rhoads of Slaton and Lloyd Rhoads
of Amarillo; Mrs. Florence Kilgro of Pilot Grove, Mrs. J.S. Edwards of
Slaton, Mrs. Gus Holmes of Trenton, Mrs. Ruel Cochran of Englewood, Tenn.,
and Mrs. John Washburn of Bells; two sisters, Mrs. Dave Garner of Ector
and Mrs. Eliza Lindsey of Mineral Wells; 26 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren
and 8 great-great-grandchildren.
Mr. Rhoads was born in Elmira, N.Y., Nov. 13, 1852. The family
first moved to Jamestown, Tenn., and then to Albany, Ky. On Aug.
15, 1875, he and Miss Alpha Jane Davis of Albany were married. Sixty
years ago he moved his family to Texas, locating east of Pilot Grove where
they bought a farm and lived there until his retirement. Mr. and
Mrs. Rhoads move to Trenton in November, 1939.
In the passing of Mr. Rhoads the publisher of the Tribune has lost
a true and devoted friend. We had known him for some forty years
and prized his friendship highly. His patience and kindness were
outstanding, and never did we hear him speak ill of anyone. Even
in his last illness he maintained these virtues. Surely he is now
in the arms of his Redeemer for having lived such a rich life.
The devotion of his daughter with whom he made his home in Trenton
was indeed noticeable. She ministered to his every need and want
as did all the other daughters and sons when they visited his bedside.
He left them a rich heritage that will inspire them throughout life.
The following out of town relatives attended the funeral services:
From Slaton - Mrs. J.S. Edwards, Charley Joe Rhoads, Mrs. H.T. Swanner,
Mrs. Lucian Sloan and daughter, Nell, Mrs. Cecil Hutcherson.......