The Back Rhodes of Our Genealogy

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From: Ellis, F. (1880). History of Berrien and Van Buren Counties, Michigan: With ... Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. United States: D. W. Ensign & Company, page 516.

Henry W. Rhodes was born in the town of Burrilville, R. I., Nov. 8, 1811, and was the second in a family of six children,—four sons and two daughters,—who are all living at present. Mr. Rhodes' father, Henry Rhodes, was born in Providence, R. I., in 1783, and died in Paw Paw, Mich., March 24, 1852. The latter's wife, Demaris (Parker) Rhodes, was born in Rhode Island in 1782, and died in Paw Paw, in 1868. William Rhodes, the grandfather of Henry W., was a sea-captain during the Revolutionary war. The parents of Mrs. Henry Rhodes, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Parker, were natives of England, and Quakers.
Henry W. Rhodes removed to Vermont with his parents when eight years old, and remained there until he was twenty-two, assisting in the home duties and taking care of his father and mother. In the summer of 1833 he proceeded to Monroe Co., N. Y., returning to Vermont in the winter following, and coming thence to Michigan. In October, 1835, he arrived in the latter State, and in No­vember purchased one hundred and sixty acres of land on section 8, in the township of Paw Paw, Van Buren Co. May 18, 1836, he was married to Laura M., daughter of Joseph and Achsah (Moore) Luce, and widow of Jeremiah Trumble. She was born in Monroe Co., N. Y., on the 22d of April, 1813, and was the fourth in a family of eight children,—three sons and five daughters. Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes were married in Monroe Co., N. Y., where he had returned for her. Her father, Joseph Luce, was born in Massachusetts, June 11, 1782, and died April 9, 1847. Her mother, Achsah (Moore) Luce, was born in New Hampshire, Feb. 9, 1780, and died April 5, 1863. To Henry W. Rhodes and wife have been born the following children, viz.: Laura M., born June 3, 1843; William H., born Dec. 3, 1844; Charles P., born May 1, 1846, died Oct. 18, 1850; Frank W., born July 19, 1849; Julia S., born March 26, 1853. Laura M. is the wife of A. C. Webb, of Paw Paw; William H. married Mary E. Roeney, of Philadelphia; Frank W. married Jenny Salt, a native of Canada, and resides on the old homestead in Paw Paw; and Julia S. became the wife of James H. Wilder, who has settled on a farm in Dakota Territory.
Henry W. Rhodes is by trade a mason, and his start in life was made with the trowel, his wife keeping house in the woods, with no neighbors nearer than a distance of three-fourths of a mile. The forest was thronged with wolves, whose nightly howls woke the echoes far and near. The red man visited the lone cabin occasionally to beg for victuals, and Mrs. Rhodes' recollection is vivid regarding the experiences of life in the Michigan wilderness. Mr. Rhodes began with the proceeds of his summer's work, less than two hundred dollars, and became an extensive owner and dealer in real estate, owning, at one time, seven hundred acres of land, aside from other tracts to which he held tax titles. He ha3 at the present time consider­able wild land in Kansas.
Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes have been connected with the Christian Church since 1844. In politics Mr. Rhodes is a Republican, and has often been selected to fill office in his township. He is numbered among the energetic class who have acquired prominence as self-made men, and is now enjoying the fruits of his labor through more than forty years in the " beautiful peninsula."