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Ross Homer Rhoads is agent for the Santa Fe Railroad Company at Arkansas City. He had been a railroad man for a number of years, and it was his efficiency and his ability that led to his promotion to one of the most important posts along the Santa Fe system in Kansas.
Mr. Rhoads had spent most of his life in Kansas but was born at Somerset, Pennsylvania, April 9, 1883. His grandfather, Samuel A. Rhoads, was a native of Germany and came from there to Pennsylvania. He had ten children: Sarah, deceased; Adaline, single; Etta, deceased; Philip, deceased; Susan, deceased; Hiram, the father of Ross H.; Emma, Jane and Clara, all unmarried; and Frank, a farmer of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. All the unmarried daughters are living on the home place in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
Hiram K. Rhoads, the father, was born in Somerset, Pennsylvania, in 1858, grew up and married there, and during his active career followed the vocation of farming. In 1887 he came to Kansas, spending one year as a farmer in Morris County and then removing to McPherson County, where he continued actively as a farmer until 1902. For a number of years he lived retired in the City of McPherson, but since 1914 had had his home at Prairie City, Oregon. He is a republican and a member of the German Brethren Church. Hiram K. Rhoads married Nancy A. Yoder, who was born in Somerset, Pennsylvania, in 1860. They are the parents of seven children: Harve E., a contractor living at Prairie City, Oregon; Ira D., cashier for the Union Pacific Railroad Company at Hays City, Kansas; Arthur G., foreman in a logging camp at Hoquiam, Washington; Ross H., who is the fourth in order of birth; Sadie, wife of W. W. Fisher, a cattleman at Canyon City, Oregon; Elsie, wife of W. W. Curtis, a farmer at Canyon City, Oregon; and Bertha, wife of R. G. Stalker, a druggist at Prairie City, Oregon.
Ross H. Rhoads, who is almost the only member of his family left in Kansas, received most of his education in the public schools of McPherson County. He attended McPherson College, where he was graduated in the normal course in 1903. His first regular employment was in a wholesale seed house at McPherson, but in September, 1904, he entered the service of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company as clerk at McPherson. He quickly adapted himself to the exacting routine of railroad work, and in June, 1908, was promoted to relief agent, a work which took him to various points along the Santa Fe line. In February, 1910, he was given his first permanent position as local agent for the road at Lyons, Kansas. In September, 1915, Mr. Rhoads came to his present place as agent at Arkansas City.
Arkansas City is one of the most important division points along the Santa Fe system. It is a terminal as well as division point, is headquarters for the district superintendent’s office, and one of the largest material yards along the Santa Fe is located at Arkansas City. Mr. Rhoads had his offices at the corner of E Street and Fifth Avenue.
Mr. Rhoads resided at 202 North Second Street. While a recent comer, he had made himself a factor in the public spirited movements of Arkansas City and through his official position or as a private is always ready to work for anything that concerns the real benefit of this community. While at Lyons, Kansas, he served on the city council. Mr. Rhoads is a trustee in two oil companies. He is a republican, a member of the German Brethren Church, and is affiliated with Crescent Lodge No. 133, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Bennett Chapter No. 41, Royal Arch Masons; Arkansas City Commandery No. 30, Knights Templar; Midian Temple of the Mystic Shrine at Wichita, and Arkansas City Lodge No. 956, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
In January, 1910, at McPherson, he married Miss Ida E. Hall. Mrs. Hannah Hall, her mother, resided with Mr. and Mrs. Rhoads. One child had been born to their union, Howard, born April 21, 1912.