John Edward Rhetts 1863-1967 m.1 Anna C. Williams 1863-1899; m.2 Nellie Bowman 1867-1927; m.3 Effie D Maupin 1883-1959

s/o Francis Marion Ratts 1833-1895 & Mary A Cooper 1835-1885


1863 Jul 19 — born Salem, IN; nine days after the Great Raid by Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan on Salem, IN on July 10, 1863; his parents were Francis Marion Ratts and Mary Ann Cooper. [SSN 307-48-4526] [Born nine days after the Great Raid by Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan on Salem, IN on July 10, 1863]

1865-1871 — Mary Ann Cooper, mother, died in Salem, IN; date not confirmed; she owned and operated the Millinery Shop on the Salem Square, later became E.B. Walker Millinery; family lived above the shop.


1870 Jul 15 — Census Washington, Washington, IN shows him in Salem, IN living with his parents, Francis Marion Ratts and Mary Ann Cooper, and 3 brothers, William Albert, Francis Emmett, and Charles Andrew and sister Marie Antoinette; also listed in the Ratts household was Martha A Gibner, who became John Edward’s step-mother (doc) [Francis M Ratts 38; Mary A Ratts 34; Maria A Ratts 16; William A Ratts 14; Francis M Ratts 12; John E Ratts 7; Charlie Ratts 4; Mary Cooper 75; Martha A Gibner 28; George Brickey 27] (doc)

1871 Mar 5 — Francis Marion Ratts, father, married Martha A Gibner in Washington, IN

1880s — marched with Salem Guards; brother Albert was a member (1880 photo of Salem Guards, with John and Al Ratts (Walker Millinery store owned by sister mother Mary Ann Ratts) (photo)


1881 — graduated from Eikosi Academy (later known as Salem High School)


1883 — member of Salem Bicyclists; photo of John Cooper, John Clark, Ed Hopkins, Levi Drom, Bert Schultz (Burt), Bob Logan, Charlie MacIntosh (McIntosh), Ed Rhetts, Bill Berkey (photo)


1884 (ca) — John Edward and brothers William Albert and Charles Andrew changed their last name from Ratts to Rhetts


1885 Oct 8 — married Anna C Williams in Washington, IN [Doc Rhetts and Anna Williams were in the same class (Class of 1881) at Salem High School (total of seven students in Class of 1881). In the fall of 1885 they were married (they were both age 22). They were married for 14 years before she died. Sometime after her death, he moved into Martha Barksdale’s house as a boarder. A year later, he married Nellie Routh who was Martha Barksdale’s daughter. Story has it that she ran away. In 1907 Doc married Effie Maupin.] [
Centennial History of Washington County, Indiana, re: Anna Williams Rhetts, p.28, 401 (doc)p.317 (doc)

1888 Apr 13 — Edith Mae Rhetts born in Salem, IN

1895 Oct 15 — Francis Marion Ratts, father, died at age 62 in Salem, IN; his father was a livery and tavern owner in Salem


1890 — Portrait of Rhetts brothers, Charles, John, and Francis (photo)


1899 May 29 — Death of Mrs. Dr. J. E. Rhetts— newspaper clipping; buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, 1
st Addn, Sec B, Lot 175, Row 8 (doc)

1900 Jun 19 — Census Washington, Washington, IN shows him a widower living in Salem, IN living as a boarder in house of Martha J. Barksdale age 68 and a widower, and her daughter Nellie Routh age 32 (doc) [Martha J Barksdale 68; Nelle Routh 32; Charles Bowman 28; Harvey Morris 48; Frank P Canble 29; William Hicks 29; Joseph Hedge 29; John E Ratts 35] (doc)

1900 Aug 20 — married Nellie Bowman Routh in Floyd, IN [IN Marriage Collection, 1800-1941] [Index to "Marriage Record" 1850 — 1920 Inclusive V; W. P. A. Original Record Located: County Clerk's O; Book: L OS Page: 475] (doc) [Buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, 1st Addn, Sec B, Lot 131, Row 8 (doc)]

1900? — JER was pallbearer at funeral for Sarah Boswell Smith, Salem, IN. (doc)


1900 — City Directory for Indianapolis, IN shows him working at 433 Stevenson Bldg 1422 Central Ave and occupation as dentist

1907 May 2 — married Effie Maupin in Louisville, KY [KY Marriage Index, (doc)]


1910 Jan 4 — JE Rhetts, Effie, and Edith moved to Columbus, IN

1910 Jan 6 —
Columbus (IN) Republican — Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Rhetts left Tuesday morning [January 4] for Columbus, having shipped a part of their goods to that city last Saturday, with the idea of locating there permanently if the prospects prove to be all right. The doctor is a number one dentist, understanding his profession thoroughly, and with it an honest workman, giving good satisfaction to his patrons. He was elected councilman from the Fourth ward at the November election, showing that he has the confidence of the people of this community. The Leader is very sorry to lose Mr. Rhetts and estimable wife from among us, but wish him well wherever he may be. [doc]

1910 Jan 22 —
Columbus (IN) Republic: Advertisement J.E. Rhetts, Dentist, 410-1/2 Washington St, Columbus, Ind., Office hours: 8:30 to 6 o’clock; Over Seward’s Clothing Store

1910 Jan 22 —
Columbus (IN) Republic — First Baptist F.L. Hardy, pastor, Bible school meets at 9:30 o’clock am. The music will be in charge of the junior choir. The Brotherhood clic at both services under the direction of our new choir leader, Dr. Rhetts. The teacher-training class meets at 6 o’clock p.m

1910 Feb 14 —
Columbus (IN) Republic — A large congregation was present at both the morning and evening services at the Baptist church Sunday. The pastor occupied the pulpit at both services. The signing was especially good and a pleasing duet was rendered by Miss Rhetts [age 22] and Walter Rice. There were two additions to the church at the morning service and eight at the evening service. Dr. J. E. Rhetts was chosen director of the Baptist Choir Sunday. (doc)

1910 Mar 1 — Columbus (IN) Evening Republican — Deacons Ordained at Baptist Church: Two new deacons of the Baptist church — ”DE Silver and AO Patterson, of this city, were ordained at a special meeting of the Flatrock Ministerial Association held in the First Baptist church here Monday night. Following an anthem by the choir the Rev. W B Mellinger, of Louisville, read the scripture lesson and after a hymn the Rev RW Clark, pastor of the Baptist church at Hope, offered the invocation. Dr. J.E. Rhetts, of this city, sang a solo which was followed by a hymn.” (doc)

1910 Mar 3 — Columbus (IN) Republic — Deacons Ordained at Baptist Church: Two new deacons of the Baptist church — DE Silver and AO Patterson, of this city, were ordained at a special meeting of the Flatrock Ministerial Association held in the First Baptist church here Monday night. Following an anthem by the choir the Rev. W B Mellinger, of Louisville, read the scripture lesson and after a hymn the Rev RW Clark, pastor of the Baptist church at Hope, offered the invocation. Dr. J.E. Rhetts, of this city, sang a solo which was followed by a hymn.” (doc)

1910 Mar 23 — Columbus (IN) Republic: Baptist Women Come Tomorrow: The Women’s Missionary Conference of the Flatrock Baptist Association will be held in the First Baptist church here tomorrow. Twenty-seven churches are included in the association. The program follows: Morning session 10:45 o’clock Quartette: Mrs. Morris Rosenbush, Miss Rhetts, Dr. Rhetts and Walter Rice. (doc)

1910 Mar 25 — Columbus (IN) Evening Republican — “Easter Music in Local Churches: The choir of the Baptist church, under the direction of Dr. J.E. Rhetts, will give special music appropriate to Easter, both morning and evening, and in addition to the anthems Dr. Rhetts will sing a solo. The special numbers for morning and evening follow.” (doc)

1910 Apr 19 — Census Columbus Ward 1, Bartholomew, IN shows him renting house at 410-1/2 Washington St in Columbus, Bartholomew County, IN with wife Effie and daughter Edith (doc) [John H Rhetts 46; Effs D Rhetts 27; Edith M Rhetts 12] (doc)

1910 May 21 — Charles Edward Rhetts born in Columbus, IN, living at 410-1/2 Washington St (according to 9 Apr 1910 Census) (1910 Birth Register Index; doc)

1910 Sep 1 —
Columbus (IN) The Republic: Dr. J.E. Rhetts and family moved today from this city to Salem, Ind. They came here some time ago from Salem and Dr. Rhetts opened an office as a dentist. He made a number of friends here but decided after giving this city a trial that he would return to his former home.” (doc)

1910 —
City Directory shows Nellie Rhetts living at 2348 Rutger, St Louis, Missouri

1910 — Dental card for JER Dental Practice (doc)

1912 (ca) — moved to Salem, IN, 109 N High Street

1914 Jul 3 — father-in-law William Green Maupin died in Salem, Washington, IN {
Salem Leader, 10 Jul 1919: states that William died at home in Salem and that son-in-law Dr. John Edward Rhetts served as a pall bearer; buried at Crown Hill Cemetery (doc) (photo of gravestone)]

1915 —
City Directory lists him as a dentist in Salem, IN (Washington County In Centennial History p. 628)

1916 Apr 19 —
Salem Democrat: Most people may not be able to see the similarity between the handsome mugs of Dr. J.E. Rhetts and Atty. W. O. Marks, but a little tot approached Marks last week with the query: “say, are you the father of Charles Edward Rhetts?” (doc)

1920 Jan 9 — Census Washington, Washington, IN as living at 109 N High St, Salem, IN and attending school as of 9/1/1919. Also listed Charles Edward Rhetts, his son age 9 and wife Effie Maupin age 36, daughter Edith Mae age 31. Census record indicates all could read and write. [Edward J Rhetts 56 [50]; Effie D Rhetts 36; Edith Rhetts 31; Charles E Rhetts 9] (doc)

1920 Jun 30 — Salem Democrat

1930 Apr 9 — Census Salem, Washington, IN as living at 109 N High St, Salem, IN. Also listed son Charles Edward age 19, and Effie Maupin, his wife age 47 (age at 1st marriage 23). List John Edward as age 22 at 1st marriage. There were also 3 roomers living in house — Wilhelm Lommell age 24, a telegraph operator; Alvin E. Gessell, age 25, a dentist; and Ralph Miller, age 23, a public school teacher. House at 109 N High Street valued at $6,000. Census indicated that there was a radio in the house. [J E Rhetts 66; Effie Rhetts 47; Edward Rhetts 19; William Lommell 24; Alvin E Gessell 25; Ralph Miller 23] (doc)


1930 Dec 30 — Marriage certificate for Edith Mae; lists John E as father (doc)

1936 or 1937 — Postcard postmarked 1951 — “sign on extreme right says, “Room to rent” — an activity that continued into the 1950s when the house was owned by Dr. Ed Rhetts.” (doc)


1940 Apr 10 — Census shows him [74] living in Salem, IN with wife Effie 56 (doc)

1957 —
Salem Leader: “95 Year Don’t Mean a Thing to the Young.” (doc)

1958 Jul 19 —
Salem Leader — 95 Years Don’t Mean a Thing to the Young

1959 Jun 29 — Effie Maupin Rhetts, wife, died in Salem, IN


1959 —
Louisville Courier-Journal and Salem Leader: “Retired Dentist John E Rhetts Trim, Alert, and Active at 96.” (doc)

1959 Aug 15 — Saturday Evening Post “The Secrets of Life” pp17-ff (doc)

1958 Aug 27 —
Delphi Citizen: about JER being in Saturday Evening Post (doc)

1962 May 23 — Salem Leader: “Oldest Alumi – JE Rhetts with Otto Zink.” (doc)

1962 Jul 17 — Salem Democrat: “Dr. JE Rhetts, who will be 99 Thursday, July 19, is still going strong…” (doc)

1963 Jun 19 — Salem Democrat: “Nearing 100: Salem’s Dr. Rhetts Flying to Africa” (doc)

1963 Jun 26 —
Salem Leader: “Africa Bound” with photo of Dr Rhetts and daughter Edith and American Airlines stewardess Babs Brainard. (doc)

1963 Jul — paper junknown: “150 Honor Citizen Who ‘Arrived’ Here The Same Year as Morgan’s Raiders” (doc)


1963 Jul 19 — Doc celebrates 100
th birthday with President Tubman of Liberia, who names him as Paramount Chief of All Tribes of Liberia and awards him the Star of Africa. (photo)

1964 Jul 15 — Salem Democrat — “Dr. J. E. Rhetts 101 Sunday: Dr. J. E. Rhetts will celebrate his 101st birthday Sunday, July 19 at the home of his daughter…” (doc)

1965 Mar 15 — Edith Mae Rhetts Tilton, daughter with Anna C Williams, died in Detroit, MI

1965 Jul 21 —
County Press: “Dr. Rhetts Celebrates 102nd Birthday” (doc)

1966 Jul 7 —
Salem Democrat: “103 Today: (doc)

1966 Jul 13 — Salem Democrat

1967 Apr 24 — Seymour Daily Tribune: JER death notice (doc)

1967 Apr 24 —
Anderson Herald Bulletin: JER death notice (doc)

1967 Apr 26 — died in Washington, DC [Social Security Death Index: John Rhetts 307-48-4526; Washington, District of Columbia, District of Columbia; Apr 1967]

1967 Apr 26 — Salem Leader: “Dr John E Rhetts, 103, Retired Dentist, Expires.” (doc)

1967 May 3 — Funeral service at Weir Memorial Methodist Chrurch, Salem, IN; Rev. Merlin Schwein, dist. Supt. Of Methodist Churches, officiating. (doc) Dawalt Funeral Home handled arrangements. (doc)


1967 May — buried at Crown Hill Cemetery, Salem, IN; 1st Addn, Sec B, Lot 175, Row 8. (doc) Grave (photo)

1967 Nov 26 —
Salem Leader

1971 Nov 9 — Charles Edward Rhetts, son, died in London, England