Our Back Rhodes Genealogy Pages


From the book entitled: Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts
Author: J.H. Beers & Co.
Publisher: J.H. Beers & Company, ©1912

The Rhodes family. Through much of the century but recently closed and on into this has dwelt in Taunton and New Bedford, Mass., a family bearing the name of Rhodes. Reference is made to some of the descendants of the late Stephen and Anna Daniels (Carpenter) Rhodes, whose birthplaces were Dedham and Foxboro, Mass., respectively. Their son, Stephen Rhodes (4), became the head of the Taunton family, several members of which in succeeding generations have given a good account of themselves in the business and social life of their community, rising to useful and substantial citizenship, and as well to responsible public trust. The names of Hon. Stephen H. Rhodes, of Boston, late president of the John Hancock Insurance Company, who for years was prominent in the activities of Taunton, a member of the board of aldermen some forty years ago, and mayor of the city for one or two years; his brother, the present John Corey Rhodes, one of the best known manufacturers of southeastern Massachusetts; another brother, the present Marcus Morton Rhodes, Esq., who for perhaps a half century or more has been actively engaged in business in Taunton, and the greater part of the period as a senior member of the firm or corporation of M. M. Rhodes & Sons Company, and at one time one of the board of water commissioners of the city; the latter's son, George Holbrook Rhodes, long a partner and stockholder of the firm and corporation just alluded to, and for years its treasurer, many years in succession a member of the common council of Taunton and for a number of years president of that body; John Bird Rhodes, son of John Corey Rhodes, chief executive of John C. Rhodes & Co., Inc., of New Bedford; and perhaps others as well, ever stand out prominently in the annals of Taunton.

(I) Henry Rhodes, born in 1608 in England, in 1640 was an ironmonger at Lynn, residing on the east side of the Saugus river, and his descendants still remain in that region. His family comprised children: Eleazer, born in February, 1641; Samuel, born in February, 1643; Joseph, born in January, 1645; Joshua, born in April, 1648; Josiah, born in April, 1651; Jonathan, born in May, 1654; and Elizabeth, born in 1657. Four of the sons married and had families: Samuel married in 1684 Abigail Coates; Joseph married in 1674 Jane Coates; Joshua married June 12, 1678, Ann Graves; and Josiah married in 1673 Elizabeth Coates.

(II) Josiah Rhodes, son of Henry and Elizabeth, married in 1673 Elizabeth Coates, and to this union were born children as follows: Henry, born in 1674; Elizabeth, born in 1676; Mary, born in 1677; John, born in 1679; Josiah, born in 1681; Eleazer, born July 8, 1683; John (2), born March 22, 1685; Mary, born March 26, 1687; and Jonathan, born Sept. 18, 1692.

(III) Eleazer Rhodes, son of Josiah, was born July 8, 1683, and married Nov. 21, 1710, Jemima Preble, and to this union were born children: John, born Sept. 9, 1711; Jemima, born Dec. 19, 1712;- Eleazer, born Jan. 16, 1714-15; Stephen, born Feb. 1, 1716-17; Josiah, born in 1718; Mary (Lynn vital records say Sarah), born Aug. 24, 1719; Joseph, born Sept. 8, 1721; Benjamin, born in 1723; Elizabeth,' born May 26, 1726; Samuel, born April 24, 1728; Joshua, born Aug. 19, 1730; and Mary, born April 14, 1733. Eleazer Rhodes removed to Stoughtonham about 1720, and was constable in that town in 1725-26. He died in 1742, and Jemima Rhodes was administratrix of the estate.

(IV) Stephen Rhodes, born Feb. 1, 1716-17, married Deliverance Walcot, born Nov. 15, 1724, daughter of William Walcot, of Attleboro, Mass., their marriage intentions being published Oct. 25. 1740. He died Jan. 23. 1792, and she died Sept. 4, 1804. Their children were: Stephen, Daniel, Simeon and Deliverance.

(V) Stephen Rhodes, Jr., son of Stephen and Deliverance (Walcot) Rhodes, married Jan. 18, 1764 (intentions published Dec. 29, 1763), Mary Boyden, born May 11, 1744, of Walpole, Mass., and their children were: Millie married a Mr. Plimpton; Mary, born Aug. 24, 1767, married Jesse Pratt; Aaron married Mary Wilkinson; Stephen, born Oct. 17, 1769, married (first) Anna Carpenter and (second) Polly Carpenter. Stephen Rhodes, Jr., died in 1770. Inventory of the estate was taken by John Boyden. There is a record of his having enlisted in February, 1760, for the French and Indian war. His widow married for her second husband Asa Morse, on Nov. 24, 1775.

(VI) Stephen Rhodes (3), son of Stephen and Mary (Boyden) Rhodes, was born Oct. 17, 1769, and married Widow Anna Daniels Carpenter, who was born March 27, 1763, daughter of Francis Daniels, and widow of Nehemiah Carpenter, of Foxboro, Mass. Their children were as follows: Achsah, born April 14, 1793, died Oct. 30, 1795; Stephen, born March 15, 1795, died Oct. 24, 1874; Susan, born May 10, 1797, married Ira Fairbanks, and died in 1864; Anna, born July 5, 1799, married John Corey; and Mary, born March 20, 1804, married Ira French. Stephen Rhodes married (second) March 20, 1815, Polly Carpenter, and she died April 9, 1839, the mother of the following children: Catherine, born March 12, 1816, married William Payson; Maria, born Nov. 1, 1817, married Stephen Coleman; Martha, born Dec. 4, 1819, married William Hitchcock; Elizabeth C, born May 20, 1824, married a Mr. Greene; and Sarah, born Jan. 9, 1828, died Jan. 3, 1839.

(VII) Stephen Rhodes (4), son of Stephen

(3) and Anna Daniels (Carpenter) Rhodes, was born March 15, 1795, and was married Jan. 1, 1817, to Betsey Bird, born July 10, 1795, of Foxboro, Mass. To this union were born the following children: Lavinia, Oct. 17, 1817; Lucretia M., Sept. 2, 1819 (died Nov. 21, 1878); Marcus M., Jan. 22, 1822; Stephen Holbrook, Nov. 7, 1825 (married Elizabeth M. Godfrey); Mary Bird, April 30, 1829; John Corey, Oct. 10, 1831 (married first Sarah b: Perrigo and second Caroline M. Jewett); Almira Elizabeth, Feb. 3, 1835; Ellen Frances, Dec. 30, 1839.

(VIII) Marcus M. Rhodes, son of Stephen

(4) and Betsey (Bird) Rhodes, born in Foxboro Jan. 22, 1822, married Nov. 11, 1845, Rowena A. Williams, who was born Nov. 16, 1825, and to this union were born children as follows: Charles Marcus, born Oct. 6, 1846, who married Annie b: Haskins; George Holbrook, born Aug. 11, 1848, who married Louisa L. Bassett; and Albert Clinton, born April 9, 1857, who married Cora E. Dyer.

Marcus Morton Rhodes was educated in the common schools of Franklin, Foxboro and Taunton, and at the high school and Bristol Academy of Taunton. After leaving school he entered the factory of his father, and learned the trade of making tacks and nails. At the age of twenty-one he was taken into partnership, becoming a member of the firm of S. Rhodes & Son, and he continued with this business until 1857. In 1862 he embarked alone in a special branch of tack making. In 1870 he admitted his elder sons to partnership, the firm name becoming M. M. Rhodes & Sons, and they added to the business the making of papier-mache shoe buttons, by a machine of Mr. Rhodes's own invention, the first practical machine of this kind used in the country. This was the basis of his subsequent prosperity. In 1888 the firm became a corporation under the name of the M. M. Rhodes & Sons Company. Mr. Rhodes was a member of the first common council of the city of Taunton in 1865, and was a member of the board of water commissioners under whose direction water was introduced into Taunton. In politics he was first connected with the old Whig party, and since the formation of the Republican party he has been a member of the latter organization.

(IX) George Holbrook Rhodes, son of Marcus Morton and Rowena A. (Williams) Rhodes, born Aug. 11, 1848, married Sept. 10, 1874, Louisa L. Bassett, born Oct. 10, 1846, daughter of Charles J. H. and Nancy L. (Gibbs) Bassett. Mrs. Rhodes passed away March 30, 1902. To this union were born children as follows: Helen Holbrook, born Aug. 13, 1877 (married Ralph E. Barker); Nancy Bassett, born Jan. 20, 1880; and Marcus Arnold, born July 17, 1881 (married Ruth L. Bangs).

Mr. Rhodes received his early education in the public schools, and was graduated from the high school in 1866. He then went to work for his father, and became a partner in the firm, and is and has been since 1888 treasurer of the M. M. Rhodes & Sons Company. Mr. Rhodes was a member of the common council from 1877 to 1886, inclusive, and was president of the board for the last four years, and ex-officio member of the trustees of the public library and member of school committee. He is a Mason of the highest standing, having received his thirty-third degree Sept. 21, 1897. He is a member and past master of Charles H. Titus Lodge, A. F. & A. M.; Keystone Chapter, R. A. M., Foxboro; and of St. John's Commandery, K. T., Providence, of which he is past commander. He was also one of the trustees of the Masonic Education and Charity Trust of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, elected in December, 1895, to serve eight years, and reelected in 1902 for another term of eight years; and he is treasurer of the Taunton Masonic Corporation. He is a director of the Taunton National Bank, and one of the trustees of Morton Hospital. His religious connection is with Broadway Trinitarian Congregational Church, and he is a member of its standing committee. Socially he belongs to Winthrop Club.

(VIII) John Cobey Rhodes, son of Stephen and Betsey (Bird) Rhodes, was born Oct. 10, 1831. In 1832 he was taken by his parents to Foxboro, and in 1835 to Taunton, Mass., where his education was obtained, in the public schools and also at the Bristol Academy. At the age of seventeen he went into his father's factory to learn the business of manufacturing tacks, and five years later began with small inventions, and went into business with his brother, Marcus M. Rhodes, in Taunton. About the year 1863 he went to East Bridgewater and South Abington to engage in the eyelet business with William H. Dunbar, of Dunbar, Hobart & Whidden, the large tack manufacturers. Mr. Dunbar and Mr. Rhodes began the manufacture of eyelets under the firm name of Dunbar & Rhodes. Upon the death of Mr. Dunbar in 1890 Mr. Rhodes bought out the Dunbar interest in the business, and removed the factory to New Bedford. Here he engaged in manufacturing under the firm style of J. C. Rhodes & Co. In December, 1893, he took his son John b: into partnership and since then most of the management of the business has devolved upon the latter. From 1872 to 1882 Mr. Rhodes made his home in Mattapoisett, and since then he has resided in New Bedford.

Though past the age of fourscore, Mr. Rhodes is an active, well-preserved man. He has been greatly interested in yachts for many years, and is a member of the New Bedford Yacht Club, of which he has been a director, and was also commodore of the fleet in 1881 and 1882. In the years of 1880-81, when he was sailing the schooner yacht "Indolent," he sailed in her to Florida waters in the winter season. Mr. Rhodes is, or has been, a member of the following clubs: Wamsutta and Dartmouth, of New Bedford; and the New York Yacht Club, the Larchmont Yacht Club and the Atlantic Yacht Club-proof of his deep interest in the sport.

In 1864 Mr. Rhodes married Sarah Bird, daughter of James M. and Sarah Perrigo, of East Bridgewater, Mass. To them were born two children, Mabel, who died aged two years, and John b: Mrs. Rhodes passed away in April, 1893, and on Feb. 1, 1894, Mr. Rhodes married (second) Caroline Mitchell, daughter of Charles H. and Harriett Jewett, of Lakeville, Massachusetts.

(IX) John Bird Rhodes, son of John Corey and Sarah b: (Perrigo) Rhodes, was born in South Abington, Mass., March 20, 1869. He attended school in Mattapoisett and at the Friends' Academy in New Bedford, and on Jan. 1, 1888, began working in the eyelet factory at Whitman. In June, 1891, he came to the factory in New Bedford, working for his father, who, in December, 1893, took him into partnership. Since that time Mr. Rhodes has had the active management of the business.

Mr. Rhodes is a member of the Wamsutta Club, Dartmouth Club, Dartmouth Cafe Club, New Bedford Yacht Club, New York Yacht Club, Larchmont Yacht Club, Atlantic Yacht Club, Riverside Yacht Club, Newport Yacht Racing Association, Boston Gentlemen's Driving Club and Metropolitan Driving Club.

Bird. The Bird family, too, is an early New England one, the Stoughton branch, at least in part, descending from Thomas Bird, who was born in England about 1613, and is of record at Dorchester, New England, as early as 1642, in which year he joined the church there on its. reorganization under the distinguished Rev. Richard Mather. Mr. Bird was made a bailiff in 1654. He was a tanner by occupation and lived on what is called Humphrey street. One of his sons, John Bird, born in 1641, married Elizabeth, daughter of Richard Williams, of Taunton, and one of their sons, Samuel Bird, born in 1680, married in 1704 Sarah Clap, and lived in Stoughton. his son, Samuel Bird, married Anna Atherton, daughter of Humphrey Atherton, and their son, Elijah Bird, married Sarah Pratt, daughter of Capt. Josiah and Abigail (Williams) Pratt. Their daughter, Betsey Bird, married (VII) Stephen Rhodes.