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Abraham Lincoln Rhoads


Abraham "Lincoln" (or "Link") Rhoads was born on Nov. 13, 1861 in Somerset County, PA, the son of Joseph A. and Mary (Weyand) Rhoads.

He left home as a young man and circa 1880 lived in the home of Joseph and Mary S. Coleman in Somerset Township, labeled by the census-taker as a "son" of the couple. Within a year or two he "came west and settled in Kansas," said the Haddam (KS) Clipper-Leader.

On April 28, 1885, in nuptials held in Haddam, Washington County, KS, the 24-year-old Lincoln was united in matrimony with Sadie Bowman ( ? - ? ).

They produced five offspring -- Grover Rhoads and Homer Rhoads (born in Kansas) and Greta Rhoads, Coila Rhoads and Vivian Rhoads (born in Oklahoma).

Early in the married years, Lincoln was employed in Haddam by Yoder Bros. and was widely known as "Link." He also owned a drug store which in 1886 he sold to Al Tansel. Then in 1887, he ran the opera house billiard hall but discontinued the work on May 1, 1887. Seeking more, he traveled throughout Kansas in August 1887, and upon returning, told the Haddam New Era that "towns in Western Kansas are springing up as if by magic and that people are rolling to their borders and building magnificent blosk upon beds of permanent sand. He tells us that two towns in Logan county are each bidding to secure the county seat with a $40,000 purse."


Land run speculators in Guthrie, Oklahoma, 1889, where Abraham "Lincoln" Rhoads and friend Calvin Morrow staked claims on the first day.


Sensing opportunity in the newly opening lands of Oklahoma, he and friend Calvin Morrow took part in the famed land run of April 1889 and staked claims in what became the town of Guthrie. Said the Washington (KS) Weekly Post, "They were at Guthrie on the opening day and say it was a sight to see. At twelve o'clock, noon, the people seemed to spring up from all parts and within a very short time the town contained a population of ten thousand. Link was on the ground early and got a choice lot for which he realized $140.... They are loud in their praise of the country, and the people down there. The report coming from there of famine, disorder and carnage, is emphatically denied by those who have been in the territory." They staked a claim in Canadian County, and Lincoln "was among the first to help in the founding and upbuilding of El Reno," said the Clipper-Leader. He is known to have occasionally returned to Haddam and told friends that the Oklahoma expanses were "still on the boom." When the federal census enumeration was made in 1900, the family home was on Evans Avenue in El Reno, with Lincoln earning a living as a saloon proprietor.

Of his nature, the Clipper-Leader once said he "made many friends and to those who were his friends he was a friend indeed. He was human and had faults like every other mortal, but the man who needed assistance or help of any kind no matter what his condition never appealed to Abe in vain." Although they probably did not know of the connection, distant cousin Warren DeMoss -- of the family of Archie DeMoss -- served as postmaster of El Reno during the years the Rhoadses lived there.

Overnight on May 22-23, 1913, at the age of 52, Lincoln passed away in his sleep in El Reno. Said the El Reno newspaper, "The many friends of Abe Rhodes were greatly surprised this morning to learn of his death.... He was on the streets yesterday and seemed to be in perfect health, according to his family he retired early last evening and had not complained of being unwell. This morning he was found dead in bed, and it is supposed that a sudden attack of heart failure caused his death. That the end came peacefully was indicated by the appearance of the body when found by relatives this morning, the deceased apparently passed from a deep sleep into the Valley of the shadow." Burial was in El Reno Cemetery. [Find-a-Grave]

The widowed Sarah survived another 37 years as a widow. She passed into eternity on March 5, 1950 and rests beside her husband.


El Reno, Oklahoma, where Abraham "Lincoln" Rhoads operated a saloon


~ Son Grover Rhoads ~

Son Grover Rhoads (1886-1931) was born on Feb. 20, 1886 in Kansas. As a boy, he relocated to Oklahoma with his parents when the territory was opened to peaceful settlement.

He lived in San Francisco in 1913.

During World War I, he served as a corporal in the 357th Oklahoma Infantry, also known as the Oklahoma National Guard, and is believed to have been wounded slightly.

He was wedded to Denna ( ? - ? ).

In the late 1920s or early '30s, he made a home in Florida and in April 1931 was in Longview, Gregg County, TX pursuing some sort of business connected with the oil boom.

At the age of 44 ,on April 4, 1931, he died in Longview at a "home in which he had been staying," said the Longview News-Journal. "He was a clerk by occupation." His remains were transported back to Canadian County to rest in El Reno Cemetery.


~ Son Homer Rhoads ~

Son Homer Rhoads (1889-1973) was born on Sept. 20, 1888 in Haddam, Washington County, KS.

He resided in 1913 in Haddam.

As with his older brother, Homer joined the U.S. Army during World War I as a member of the 357th Oklahoma Infantry, Company K.

Homer was joined in wedlock with Opal (?) (May 17, 1898-1978).

Circa 1931, he lived at 2201 West 13th Street in Oklahoma City.

He passed into eternity on March 13, 1973. Burial was in El Reno Cemetery.

Opal lived for another five years. She joined him in death at the age of 80 on Nov. 18, 1978.


~ Daughter Greta Rhoads ~

Daughter Greta Rhoads (1894- ? ) was born in 1894 in Oklahoma.

She made a home in El Reno, Canadian County in 1913.


~ Daughter Coila (Rhoads) Sullivan Owen Lynch ~

Daughter Coila Rhoads (1896-1989) was born on Nov. 12, 1896 in El Reno. She dwelled in 1913 in El Reno.

Coila appears to have been married twice or perhaps even thrice. One of her husbands was (?) Sullivan ( ? - ? ). They produced a son, Dr. E.L. Sullivan and daughter Pat McKenna.

Coila later married Henry Owen and (?) Lynch ( ? -1964).

For many years, she resided in Hays, KS. Sadly, Henry died in 1964. Coila survived as a widow for a quarter of a century. She was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church of Hays and its altar society.

Coila is known to have taken a month's vacation in the autumn of 1971, seeing loved ones in Springfield, MO; Oklahoma City and Claremore and Tonkawa, OK. While in Oklahoma City, she met up with her son Dr. E.L. Sullivan who traveled from his residence in San Benito, TX.

In 1980, Coila moved to her married daughter's home in St. Louis.

She died on May 23, 1989 at the age of 90 in Evergreen Nursing Home in St. Louis. An obituary was printed in the Salina (KS) Journal which reported that her survivors numbered eight grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Rev. Paulinus Karlin officiated at the funeral service, with interment in St. John's Cemetery in Russell.


~ Daughter Vivian (Rhoads) Dumler ~

Daughter Vivian Rhoads lived in El Reno in 1913.

She was united in matrimony with (?) Dumler ( ? - ? ).

Her home in 1989 was in Russell, KS.


Copyright 2002, 2009, 2012, 2014-2015, 2017, 2019 Mark A. Miner