The Sarah Wistar Rhoads family papers indicate strong relationships and family ties that spanned the 19th and 20th centuries. Sarah Wistar (1839-1920) married William Gibbons Rhoads (1838-1880) on November 28, 1866. It was that event that joined three Quaker families, the Rhoads, Gibbons and Wistars, beginning a long correspondence between them all, and resulting in an outstanding collection illustrating family support, friendship and love for more than three generations.
The Rhoads family included in this collection begins with Samuel Rhoads, Jr. (1806-1868) who was born on September 19, 1806, the son of Samuel and Sarah (Garrett) Rhoads. Samuel Rhoads, Jr. was a manager of Haverford College and the publisher and editor of the Friends Review from 1853 to 1867. On March 15, 1837, he married Anne Gibbons (1809-1890). Gibbons was born on September 28, 1809, and as evidenced in the collection, maintained a very close relationship with her mother Hannah and her Aunt Jane Gibbons throughout her life. Anne Gibbons died on February 16, 1890 at the age of 81, and Samuel Rhoads Jr. died on July 14, 1868. They had at least four children: Jane, Edward, Sophia and William Rhoads.
Jane Gibbons Rhoads died on February 25, 1860 at age 20.
Edward was born on September 29, 1841 and obtained his education at Haverford College from 1855 to 1859, graduating at the head of his class in 1859. He continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania, studying medicine and graduating with the degree of Doctor of Medicine in 1863. He began his work as Resident Physician in the Philadelphia Hospital located in West Philadelphia and in 1864, became Resident Physician at the Pennsylvania Hospital. At this point, he suffered from a relapse of articular rheumatism which first affected him in 1859 and 1860. After recovering from his illness in 1865, Edward traveled to Europe for an eight month period of time. Upon his return, Edward became Visiting Physician to the Philadelphia Hospital in 1866 and also taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania where, in 1870, he was appointed lecturer on Physical Diagnosis. His memberships included the Philosophical Society; the Philadelphia College of Physicians, serving as Recording Secretary; the Academy of Natural Sciences; and the Pathological Society. He died on January 15, 1871 at the age of 29. According to an obituary notice written and read before the American Philosophical Society by Henry Hartshorne, M.D., Dr. Edward Rhoads' "intellectual endowments, though great, were always perceived to be subordinated to moral qualities more rare and admirable," (Hartshorne, Box 15).
Sophia Rhoads was born in 1850 and married Asa Shove Wing, President of the Provident Life and Trust Company of Philadelphia, on April 30, 1873. Sophia died on March 16, 1901.
William Gibbons Rhoads was born on March 26, 1838 and obtained his education at Haverford where he "gained the respect and esteem of his instructors and fellow students," ( Friends' Review, page 681). Because Haverford did not have a Scientific Department until 1858, he never received his degree. William G. Rhoads worked with a shipbuilding firm until he discovered that the company was involved in war work at which point he resigned his post. He then became involved in the plumbing business, in which his "knowledge and successful application of the laws of hydraulics gave him a high standing, both with the trade and those who had occasion to employ him," ( The Haverfordian, pages 8-9). He died on April 28, 1880 from inflammatory rheumatism at the age of 42.
William G. Rhoads and Sarah Wistar Rhoads had six children: Lydia Wistar Rhoads, born June 29, 1868; Jane Gibbons Rhoads, born May 1, 1870; Ethel Rhoads, born June 18, 1871; Edward Rhoads, born October 8, 1873; William Rhoads, born July 10, 1876; and Samuel, born on February 16, 1878. Jane Gibbons Rhoads married Marriott C. Morris on June 8, 1897 and died on March 24, 1950. Edward Rhoads graduated from Haverford College in 1893 with second honors in physics as a Bachelor of Science. He attended John Hopkins University from 1896-1898 where he earned his Ph.D. He then became an instructor in physics at the Worcester Polyclinic Institute from 1898 to 1901. In 1901, he became an instructor of physics at Haverford College. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He died on July 4, 1903 following an attempt to run the Susquehanna rapids near Columbia, Pennsylvania at the age of 30.
Friends Review. Vox. XXXIII, No. 43 (Box 15).
Hartshorne, Henry, M.D. "Obituary Notice of Eward Rhoads, M.D.," Read before the American Philosophical Society (Box 15).
The Haverfordian. Vol. 1, No. 9, 1880 (Box 15).