Cedar County

Russell J. Rhoads, mayor of Stanwood, Ia., has left his mythical ship of state for a realistic vessel.  Rhoades enlisted in the United States Navy here.


Rhoad’s Is Stanwood’s Top Official
His Son Already With the Service

Russell J. Rhoads, 43, the mayor of Stanwood, Ia., has enlisted in the United States Navy.

Rhoads, whose 18-year-old son, Robert, already is with the Navy, signed on Thursday at the Des Moines recruiting station.

He enlisted in the Navy construction regiment as a machinist mate, second class, and eventually hopes he may serve with his son, now stationed at Corpus Christi, Tex., naval aviation base.

“So far as ordinary jobs and ordinary businesses are concerned,” Mayor Rhoads said, “they cannot be considered as of prime importance at this time.” 

“Everyone of us should do whatever he can, in the war effort, or we’ll have no business or job to return to.  I was told that it was ‘foolish’ of me to leave my family, but all I can say is that this is what Hitler and Tojo also say.”

Rhoads, who has lived in Stanwood the last 14 years, is employed in the maintenance department of the state highway commission.

Besides being mayor—he was elected without opposition in a second term last Mar. 30—he also is a member of the school board.

He is married and has two sons at home—Russell Jr., 16 and William, 21.  William spent eight months with the Army at Camp Claiborne, La., then received a medical discharge, his father said.

In the World War, Rhoads was called up for the draft just before the end of the hostilities.  His call was cancelled before he had a chance to enter service, he said.

Source: Des Moines Tribune, April 10, 1942 (photo included)