For more than half a century Charles H. Rhodes has been a witness of the progress in the material and intellectual development of Knox county, having been born in Henderson, March 3, 1854. His father, William M. Rhodes, a native of Vermont, came to Illinois and settled in Henderson in the year 1851 or 52, plying his trade, that of wagon-making, which he had learned in the east. He had a shop of his own for a time and found much demand for his services in those days, when much of the transportation of farm products was done by wagon before the ramified system of local railroads was installed. He married Mary J. Brown, a native of Henderson township and a daughter of Wilson Brown who came to Knox county from Kentucky in pioneer days. Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes, of whom Charles H. Rhodes was the eldest. They were members of the Methodist Episcopal church which lost a loyal supporter at the death of Mr. Rhodes in 1882. In his political allegiance he was a republican. Charles H. Rhodes was educated in the village school and became self-supporting at an early age choosing farming for his calling, not only for the invigorating and varied nature of the labors which this occupation involves but also for the promising future which he foresaw. His judgment proved right as his later prosperity showed. In the choice of his home he always confined himself to the immediate vicinity of Henderson, where he purchased a farm of one hundred and six acres after some time and for twenty years devoted himself to its cultivation and development. He retired a few years ago and now rents the land from which he makes a good income. During the period of his activities he was modern in the methods of farming which he employed, and progressive and alert in his administration of the place.
The marriage of Mr. Rhodes and Miss Frances Martin was solemnized February 18, 1880. She was born in Pennsylvania and was a daughter of William and Drusilla (Pope) Martin, natives of Pennsylvania, her father coming to Knox county in 1857, when he settled on a farm and followed agricultural pursuits throughout the remainder of his life. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes: Harry, who is married, a farmer in Ontario township, Knox county; Helen M., the wife of Fred Smith, a farmer, who has two children; and Margaret E., the wife of Harry L. Pople, employed in a general store in Monmouth, Illinois, who has one son, Irwin R. Dale.
Mr. Rhodes votes with the republicans and has been entrusted with the responsibilities of public office a number of times, serving as constable, justice of the peace and as school trustee, holding the latter office for a considerable length of time. With his family he worships in the Christian church of Henderson, believing in the doctrine of righteousness and truth as the basis upon which every religion and philosophy must be built. He is a man of serious mind and sterling traits of character devoted to his family and his friends.