From: History of Miami County, Indiana: A Narrative Account of Its Historical
Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests,
By Arthur Lawrence Bodurtha. Published by Lewis Pub., 1914
Thomas J. Rhodes. The vocation of farming is more and more attracting the energies and ability of the young men of the country, and in the case of Thomas J. Rhodes of Jefferson township love of country life was almost the earliest and certainly the most persistent passion of his career. He is one of the very successful men in this business, and has gained particular reputation as a stock raiser. lie has spent money, patience and labor in laying the foundation of a splendid herd of Poland China hogs, which is now considered one of the best in this section of Indiana.
Thomas J. Rhodes, who has been a resident on his present place in Jefferson township since March, 1901, was born in Fulton county, Indiana, June 14, 1867. He is one of eight children, all of whom are living, born to Joseph P. and Alma (Hoover) Rhodes, who were also natives of Fulton county. The Rhodes family settled in the woods of Fulton county in pioneer days, and were not only settlers, but among the best people locating in that vicinity. Joseph P. Rhodes the father, was a farmer by occupation and during the war enlisted in Company A of the One Hundred and Fifth Indiana Infantry. He enlisted at the age of sixteen, and after the war returned home, married and was engaged in farming all his career. By reason of his honesty and upright character he commanded the respect of all who knew him. He belonged to the Baptist church in early life, but later united with the United Brethren. However, he was in no sense a doctrinarian, his religious principles being only one phase of a wholesome and well rounded character. He believed in living up to the golden rule, advocated and practiced temperance in all things, was never known to use profane language, and at the same time conceded many privileges to his fellow men which he would not allow himself. He was as honest as the day was long, and was a credit to his community. Both he and his wife are now deceased.
Thomas J. Rhodes was reared in his native county, and as the oldest of the children his boyhood was largely spent in helping in the work of the home farm. At the same time, especially during the winter season, he attended the neighborhood schools. From boyhood he evinced a love for stock and outdoor life, and it was as a result of a determined purpose that he made farming his life occupation.
On February 11, 1888, at the age of twenty-one, he married Miss Orpha D. Mikesell, whose parents were Phillip and Orpha (Girard) Mikesell. To their union was born one son. Cecil Jefferson, on March 9. 1909, who died March 22, 1910. After his marriage Mr. Rhodes engaged in farming in Fulton county, until his removal to his present home in Miami county. Raising the general crops and taking great delight in his stock, Mr. Rhodes has made a specialty of hogs. He sends to market some of the finest Poland Chinas grown in Miami county. His farm comprises two hundred acres of land, one hundred and seventy acres in Richland township, and also he is the owner of city property in Peru. Mr. Rhodes is a Progressive in politics and he and his wife worship in the Evening Light church.