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Below is a family biography included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company; Elwood Roberts, Editor.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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WILLIAM E. RHOADS was born August 18, 1835, in Pottsgrove township, Montgomery county. He is the son of Charles and Margaret (Egolf) Rhoads.

Charles Rhoads (father) lived in Pottsgrove township, and a part of the present village of Stowe was his land, and he built nearly all the houses in that village in the vicinity of his home. He was a blacksmith by trade, and lived on his farm in Pottsgrove nearly all his life. He died in 1887, aged seventy-three years, his wife having died in 1856, aged forty-four years to the hour. They are buried in Pottstown cemetery. Charles and Margaret (Egolf) Rhoads had seven children, six now living. 1. Henry, born July 6, 1833, married Sarah Yergey (deceased). He lives in Douglass township, Berks county, where he is a farmer. They had ten children. 2. William E. Rhoads. 3. Rachel, born 1839, married Jeremiah Reifsnyder (deceased). She lives in West Pottsgrove township. They had no children. 4. John, born 1842, died 1855. 5. Daniel, born 1844, married Sallie Boone, and they live in Reading, where he is a laborer. They have one child. 6. Mary, born 1846, died 1901. She married William H. Rutter, of West Pottsgrove township, and a merchant in that township. He died in 1902. Two children survive. 7. Adam, born 1849, married Asenath Dampman. They live in Pottstown, where he is a farmer. They have four children.

Henry Rhoads (grandfather) lived in New Hanover township, Montgomery county, where he was a farmer. He died many years ago. His wife was a Miss Hoffman, and died at the age of ninety years. They were buried at the Six Cornered church in New Hanover township. Adam Egolf (maternal grandfather) lived in Pottsgrove. He was a prosperous farmer and shoe-maker in his day, and lived retired many years before his death. He died aged eighty-six years, and his wife, Anna (Moser) Egolf, died at the age of eighty-seven. They are buried in the Pottstown cemetery. They had six children besides one who died in infancy: Aaron, John, Margaret, Rachel, Mary Ann, and Sarah, who is the only one living.

The place where Adam Rhoads lives has been the home of the family for generations, and many interesting stories are told of the different objects, which have been handed down from father to son. The great-grandparents of William Rhoads lived, reared their children, and died on the very ground where the house now stands, and the land which the ancestor tilled is still fruitful under the hands of his descendants. The great-grandparents on the maternal side were Michael and ___ (Shadler) Egolf. He was an early settler in the township, and he and his wife are buried in the Pottstown cemetery.

William E. Rhoads went to school until he reached his twentieth year, when he started to work on the farm, where he has been actively engaged ever since. He is one of the leading men of the community, and feels a deep interest in Stowe and the surrounding country. He is connected with the mercantile enterprises of the place.

William E. Rhoads married Rebecca, daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (Geist) Reiff. Mr. and Mrs. Reiff lived in Chester county, and he was a blacksmith and a farmer in that county for many years. He died at the age of seventy-eight, and his wife at the age of seventy-three years, and they are buried at Mount Zion cemetery. They were very prominent residents of that county. They had five children: Henry, Emma, Rebecca, Allen and Taylor.

William E. and Rebecca (Reiff) Rhoads were married December 24, 1864, and had one child, Harry Rhoads, born October 18, 1866, married Sadie, daughter of John Stott, of Reading. Harry Rhoads is conducting a grocery store in Reading. They have no children.

William E. Rhoads is a Democrat in politics, and has held the offices of school director, judge of elections, and others. The family are members of the Lutheran church of Stowe. In 1865, the year after his marriage, Mr. Rhoads suffered severely from a fire which destroyed entirely his stock and crops. He has rebuilt the buildings to a large extent, and few farms will be found which are better equipped with everything necessary to carry on farming in a scientific manner. In 1902 he formed a partnership with Mr. J. B. Wilson, and conducts a grocery in the village of Stowe.

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This family biography is one of more than 1,000 biographies included in the Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania published in 1904 by T. S. Benham & Company and The Lewis Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania

View additional Montgomery County, Pennsylvania family biographies here: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Biographies

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