Rodolphus Childs, Dover, was born in Deerfield, Mass., October 23, 1815. He is the son of Erastus and Mercy (Hawks) Childs, who were born in the same village as their son and lived there until death.
Our subject was one of seven children. He remained on his father’s farm until 1836, when he came to Bureau County, arriving here the day he was twenty-one. He came in company with Elijah Smith, for whom he worked the first year.
In 1842 he began the improvement of his present farm of 200 acres, 160 of which he entered from the Government, forty acres at a time, as he could obtain the money.
In September, 1843, he was married to Miss Nancy Smith, a daughter of Dad Joe (see sketch of Dad Joe Smith, in General History.) She was born at Peoria, Ill., November 5, 1826. Mr. and Mrs. Childs are the parents of eight children, viz.: Calista, deceased; John H., Mary, Milo, Orlinda, wife of Dr. Willis Pierce, of Iowa; Nellie, wife of Enos Cole, of Dover Township; Clara J., deceased. The two oldest sons, James and John H., were in the army, both being with Sherman on the march to the sea.
Mr. Childs is a Republican in politics; he was an Abolitionist, and voted for James G. Birney.
Source: History of Bureau County, Illinois, H. C. Bradsby, Editor. World Publishing Company Chicago 1885