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Rhoads, Elizabeth Hardin (1799–1856)

Robert L. Schaadt Biography Entry

Elizabeth Hardin Rhoads, early settler, only daughter of Swan and Jerusha (Blackburn) Hardin, was born on March 18, 1799, in Franklin County, Georgia. On July 29, 1819, she married Thomas Rhoads in Maury County, Tennessee; they had ten children, all born in Tennessee. In 1828 she moved with her parents, her youngest brother, Milton, and nine slaves to what later became Liberty County, Texas, after murder indictments were issued for her brothers Augustine, Benjamin Franklin, William, and Benjamin Watson Hardin in Tennessee. Her father, also involved in the shootout, had been arrested, tried and convicted. His sentence was to be branded "BL" on the thumb, serve ninety days in jail and pay court costs. He appealed the sentence and traveled to Texas while the appeal was pending. By the 1840s the Rhoadses were well-known Liberty County farmers and ranchers, active in community affairs. Elizabeth died in Liberty on April 2, 1856, and Thomas died on November 17, 1863. Hardin County and Hardin, Texas (Liberty County), were named for the Hardin family.

Hardin Papers, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Liberty, Texas. Camilla Davis Trammell, Seven Pines, Its Occupants and Their Letters, 1825–1872 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 1986).


  • Women
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Robert L. Schaadt, “Rhoads, Elizabeth Hardin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 08, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: