Reverend Franklin Rhoda (July 14, 1854–September 10, 1929) was the second son of Fruitvale settlers Elizabeth and Frederick Rhoda. He was a member of the first (1873) graduating class of the University of California. Franklin was one of the founders of the Fruitvale Presbyterian Church, and served as its pastor from 1899 to 1916.
Franklin was born in Crescent City, CA, in 1854. By 1859, the Rhoda family had moved to Oakland. He was a member of the first graduating class of the University of California in 1873, which was by then in Berkeley.
In 1890, Franklin married Clara Rebecca Williams (Rhoda) (September, 1871–1954) and they had 10 children:
- John Williams Rhoda
- Ellen Rhoda
- Frank L. Rhoda
- Paul Ernest Rhoda
- Lyte Wilbur Rhoda
- Mabel Rhoda
- Floyd Lincoln Rhoda
- Lawrence Rhoda
- Grace Rhoda
- A. Lucille Rhoda
In 1900, they were living on Prospect Avenue in what is now Cleveland Heights. Clara's parents, Lyte W. Williams and Harriet S. Williams, were also living with them. The 1900 census also listed Bertha Halderson as a servant. By 1930, widowed Clara and daughter Ellen were living at 3711 Lincoln Avenue.
He wrote as a young man, "having been myself rescued from the power of sin, through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, I have long had an earnest desire to do something that might recommend Him to my friends." 1
In 1880, Rhoda and four others organized a Sunday School in a building at the corner of Boston Ave. and School St. Part of that effort was beginning the Sunday School in Fruitvale, and effort which later become Fruitvale Presbyterian Church, where he served as pastor from July 1899 to August 1916.
He wrote a small book, "Bible Gems". 4 Despite his interest in geology, this was a book of Bible references and quotes, not a geology book.
Franklin was also a geologist, and in his early years he worked in Colorado surveying in the Rocky Mountains.
In 1903, Franklin was the Prohibition candidate for Supervisor of the 2nd district. 3
In 1913, he was a speaker at the Women's Christian Temperance Union of Alameda County. 2
Death and Burial
Franklin died September 10, 1929. He is buried in plot 33 in Mountain View Cemetery, along with Clara, Lyte Wilbur, and numerous other members of the Rhoda family. Parents Frederick and Elizabeth, and brother Lincoln are buried in plot 12.