Rhoda Belle (Eitterman) Sebring Adams Philips, 1889-1973
Rhoda Belle Eitterman, daughter of George and Addie (Greenhoe) Eitterman, was born on 10 December 1889 in Evergreen Twp., Montcalm Co., Michigan, probably at the home of her parents on Holland Lake Road north of Sheridan. Rhoda was the fifth of nine children, although only four would live to adulthood (two sisters died before Rhoda was born and three others died before she was 8 years old). Below are George and Addie (seated), and their children (left to right): J.P., Addie, Rhoda, and the youngest is Madia.
Rhoda grew up on a farm and all three of her husbands farmed. She married Earnest Sebring on 9 December 1906 in Evergreen Twp., Montcalm Co. Earnest was born 9 March 1884 in Perrinton, Mich., and died 4 July 1960 in Sheridan (after divorcing Rhoda he remarried and had several children). Earnest and Rhoda had two children: Nina, born in 1907, and George, born in 1910. Note that Earnest (holding his son, George, in the photo below) was the son of Sylvester Sebring and Ann Stone, and that after Sylvester died Ann (with Nina in front of her in the photo below) married Andrew J. Greenhoe, a cousin of Rhoda's mother. Also note that Ann would help raise Rhoda's daughter, Nina, after Rhoda and Earnest Sebring's divorce. Rhoda is on the far right in this photo (circled):
Rhoda's second marriage was to Perry Adams on 9 March 1915 in Montcalm Co., son of Myron Adams and Alice Herring. He was born 22 April 1890 in Evergreen Twp., and died 4 December 1917 in Sheridan. They had one child, Raymond Adams, born in December of 1915. Perry died of tuberculosis just before Raymond's second birhday.
Rhoda's third marriage was to Maurice Alvin Philips on 23 June 1920 in Stanton, Mich., son of Ulysses Philips and Laura Buck. This is probably their wedding photo:
Maurice was born on 1 November 1894 in Vickeryville, Montcalm Co., and died 27 January 1966 in Traverse City, Mich. Rhoda and Maurice were renting a farm just north of Vickeryville during the 1930 census. They lived there until about 1935 when they rented a farm north of Muir, and then rented a farm at Stage & Stone Road north of Ionia, before buying the farm on the southeast corner of M-66 and Tuttle Rd. A newspaper article from 1956 tells about their Ionia farm:
"A farm just south of Ionia was highlighted last week in the County News Mystery Farm series. The Maurice Philips farm, located at the corner of M-66 and Tuttle Road, RFD 2, Ionia was quickly identified. Mr. & Mrs. Philips have owned the farm for over 13 years, having purchased it from Lillian Densmore on 4 Mar 1943. Changes made by the Philips have included construction of a well house, the removal of an old barn, and painting of the big barn. Rhoda & Maurice have been married 38 years. They have 2 children; one son, Dail, who with his family resides on the farm, and a daughter, Dorothy Emelander, who lives west of Saranac; and 5 grandchildren. Mr. Philips carries out a general farming operation on the 105 acre farm, including the production of wheat, oats, corn, hay and dairy products. He currently has 13 milking Guernsey cows and during winter months has about 32 head. They are also raising 400 Austria White chickens. Mr. Philips takes advantage of the soil conservation program."
Below are Rhoda and Maurice with daughter, Dorothy (Philips) Emelander, her son Raymond Adams and his daughter, Ellen (Adams) Rockafellow, from about 1941:
Rhoda died 27 June 1973 in Ionia, Mich.
© 2008 - , Thomas D. Adams