Our Back Rhodes Genealogy Pages


From the book entitled: The bench and bar of Cleveland
Authors: James Harrison Kennedy, Wilson Miles Day
Publisher: The Cleveland printing and publishing company, 1889

James Harrison Rhodes was born July 7, 1836, in Summit county, Ohio. His parents were Jacob Rhodes and Eliza Bender, whose parents came as pioneers to Ohio from Pennsylvania. His father, age seventy-nine, is living in Akron, Ohio. The first fifteen years of his life were passed at Massillon, O., attending the public schools, and in working on a farm. At the age of seventeen, he entered the Western Reserve Institute, now Hiram College, in Portage county, remaining two years, and teaching school in the Winter season. In 1855, he was appointed a teacher in that institution, and was for three years in close relationship with General Garfield, rooming with him about two years of that time, and beginning the friendship which lasted until the death of the murdered president. In the Fall of 1858, he entered the senior class at Williams College, Massachusetts, and graduated in 1859. Leaving Williams, he returned to Hiram, where he had previously been elected professor of modem languages and mathematics, serving in that capacity for four years. On December 2, 1863, he took editorial charge of the Cleveland leader, remaining until the close of the war, when he resigned. Prior to his coming to Cleveland, he had studied law with Garfield, at Hiram, his intention being to enter the profession of law. On leaving the Leader, he devoted the next three years to newspaper correspondence, and, in 1867, became special European correspondent of the Cleveland Herald. He spent one year in Europe, writing a series of letters which attracted general attention. 1867-8 were spent in Washington, where Mr. Rhodes was clerk of the committee on revision of laws. On his return to Ohio, he was admitted to the bar, by the District Court, at Ravenna. He then settled in Cleveland, associating himself with the law firm of Prentiss, Rhodes & Vorce, and soon afterwards took up an office and business alone, as he has since remained. Mr. Rhodes is one of the Garfield memorial association, having in charge the construction of the Garfield monument, and has been secretary of the association since its formation. During his association with the Cleveland bar, Mr. Rhodes has served as referee in a number of important cases, and as receiver in others, involving the collection and disbursement of large sums of money. He has always been a Republican in politics. He has kept up the study of languages with his practice, together with literature, making frequent contributions to the press. Mr. Rhodes is a trustee of Hiram College, and has always been much interested in educational matters. His religious affiliations are Unitartan.