Willis Rhodes, a farmer living four and one-half miles northeast of Columbia City in Thorncreek township, is the son of John J. and Phimela (Parkason) Rhodes, and was born in Thorncreek township May 15, 1865. John J. was the son of Jacob Rhodes, who came from Switzerland to America in 1844 .and settled in Licking county, Ohio. John J. was ten years old on coming to America, moved to Whitley county in 1860 and bought forty acres in section 17, now a part of the Milo Lawrence farm. This he sold in 1862 and bought eighty acres in section .36, which he sold the same year and purchased eighty acres in section 25. where he remained to the end of his life. December 30, 1899. Jacob's wife died in Ohio, after -which he came to Indiana and resided with his son, John J., until his death in 1869. Phimela Parkason was born in Licking county, Ohio, in 1826, and died August 12, 1905. She and her husband were members of the Methodist church and were the parents of four children: James, who died at fourteen; Willis; Ella, wife of Charles Pence, living in Thorncreek township; Ida, wife of Ivy VanHouten, living in Thorn- creek township.
Willis Rhodes was married December 30, 1889, to Ida M., daughter of David M. and Mary (Kinsey) Waugh, natives of Ohio, but later settled in Smith township, where Mrs. Rhodes was born in 1871. After marriage they removed to the eighty-acre farm which was half of his father's homestead, where they now reside. He has erected new buildings and has about sixty acres in cultivation. Some thirty acres have been reclaimed by drainage, about two hundred and fifty rods of tile being already laid. This bottom land is proving very valuable and at a late farmers' institute his son, Mark W., carried off three prizes for corn which was produced on some of it. He also read an essay on corn culture which was much admired. Mr. Rhodes and wife have five children : Mark W., Margery, Mary, Paul and Louis. By industry and economy they are able to enjoy the products of a good farm, with a comfortable house of eight rooms and other improvements to correspond. The family are members of the Methodist church. Mr. Rhodes is a Republican.