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Samuel S. Rhodes, b: PA, of Indianapolis, IN

Our Back Rhodes Genealogy Pages


From the book entitled: Indiana and Indianans: a history of aboriginal and territorial Indiana and the century of statehood, Volume 3
Authors: Jacob Piatt Dunn, General William Harrison Kemper
Publisher: The American historical society, 1919

Samuel S. Rhodes. With a business experience covering a period of half a century, the life and services of Samuel S. Rhodes have been identified with several of the larger cities of the central west. Now retired from active affairs, he enjoys the honor and dignity of one of the older business men of Indianapolis, and has always sustained the ideals and principles of business integrity whether measured by the old or modern standards.

He was born in Pennsylvania, but moved to Ohio in early life, and for a time was engaged in farming near Springfield. Later he took the position of overseer of a plantation in Missouri. That was about the beginning of the Civil war, and owing to the unsettled conditions of the country he returned to Ohio. In that state he offered his services in the defense of the Union. He served one term of enlistment and volunteered for a second term, and had a creditable part in the great tragedy of war until peace was declared, when he was honorably discharged. For a time he was a prisoner in the notorious Libby prison at Richmond.

After the war Mr. Rhodes engaged in the retail hardware business at Galesburg, Illinois. While a resident of that city he married Miss Mary Conklin, and was associated with Col. T. T. Snell and others in the building of the old Lake Erie and Western Railroad, with headquarters at Tipton, Indiana. Just after the great fire in Chicago in 1871 he moved to that city, and in association with others was engaged in the wholesale hardware trade on State Street in what is now the loop district.

Mr. Rhodes came to Indianapolis in 1873. For several years he had a retail hardware store on the site of the present Grand Hotel. Later he opened another store at Martinsville, Indiana, and while giving that some of his attention he also traveled extensively, representing the Oliver Chilled Plow Company of South Bend. He then resumed his active connections with Indianapolis as a hardware merchant, and by progressive efforts built up large and important connections with the hardware trade and amassed a comfortable fortune. When he retired from active affairs he was succeeded by his son, who still continues the business founded so many years ago.