The Back Rhodes of Our Genealogy

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From the book entitled: History of Greene County, Pennsylvania, 1888
Author: Bates, Samuel P. (Samuel Penniman), 1827-1902
Publisher: Chicago : Nelson, Rishforth, 1888

  WILLIAM RHODES, farmer, Waynesburg, Penn., who was born in Franklin Township, July 12,1818, is a son of William and Nancy (Rinehart) Rhodes, who were of German extraction. His father was a native of this county, and a farmer all his life. The Rhodes family have usually been farmers. William Rhodes is an only child. He was born in a house where the poor-house now stands. The subject of this sketch received his early education in the district schools of Franklin Township. He has been a successful farmer, and owns 300 acres of good farming land. lie remained on the farm with his parents until 1852, when he married Miss Jane, daughter of William and Elizabeth (Shull) Shriver. Pier parents were natives of this county, and of Dutch and Irish lineage. To Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes were born seven children: Lizzie, Rettie J., wife of Rinehart Gwynn; George F., Belle II., Ida D., Willie 15. and Charley. Mr. Rhodes is steward in the Methodist Church, is a member of the Masonic fraternity and the I. O. O. F. The following sketch of William Rhodes grandfather will be of interest to many readers: William Rhodes was born at Newport, R. I., about 1759.   He went to sea at sixteen and remained a sailor for sixteen years. With many  vicissitudes his career seems checkered. From his manuscript journals we find him a prisoner in the French prison from 1778 to 1780, and on his very next voyage from London in May was recaptured, but liberated through the influence of American friends, as an American citizen. In October of 1780 He sailed for Barbados with a large fleet of merchant ships, convoyed by ten line of battle ships. The next year he was once more captured by the French and again liberated. Again he was a prisoner in New York, being captured by the English, and exchanged after five months' confinement. In 1784 he was wrecked off Cape Cod, and the following year (1785) he heard for the first time of the Ohio settlement. About 1787, his father dying, William Rhodes' attention was directed to the settlements west of the Allegheny Mountains, and on the 18th of January, 1788, reached the old Redstone Fort (now Brownsville) in Fayette County. After peddling, and keeping store at Jackson's Fort (then Washington County), he bought, in 1791, a plantation (where his son, James K. Rhodes, now resides, married and began farming. In his own words: "Settled for life, I hope. Here I began jogging for life and family, not in the least discouraged in my new profession." The manuscript is rather amusing and interesting, illustrated by drawings of his own, of ships, scenery, women, men, birds, fishes and animals, according to the fancy of this backwoods artist.

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