The Back Rhodes of Our Genealogy

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J. C. McBride, Past and Present of Christian County, Illinois (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub., 1904), pp. 345-347 Edward J. Rhodes

On the roster of county officials in Christian county appears the name of Edward J. Rhodes, who is serving for the second term of four years as circuit clerk. He is a capable official, prompt and reliable in the discharge of his duties and ever meeting every obligation which devolves upon him. A native son of Illinois, his birth occurred in Pana on the 6th of November 1865, his parents being Amos A. and Dora (Jageman) Rhodes.  See: Amos A. Rhodes of Christian County, Illinois, 1904

Back to an early epoch in colonial history in America can the ancestry of the family be traced. A great-great-grandfather of our subject was Hezekiah Rhodes, who fought for the independence of the colonies in the Revolutionary war. He was of Scotch-Irish lineage.

Jesse Rhodes, the great-grandfather of our subject, was a native of North Carolina, but became one of the pioneer settlers of Shelby county, Illinois, and was actively interested in the early development and progress of that portion of the state. He left the impress of his individuality for good upon the work of advancement, his labors being practical and beneficial. He was one of the commissioners appointed by the governor to select a site for the county seat of Macon county and chose the site of Decatur for this purpose. A Democrat in his political views, he was honored with a number of public positions, the duties of which he fully discharged most capably. His son, James M. Rhodes, the grandfather of our subject, was born in Wilson county, Tennessee, and Amos A. Rhodes, the father of our subject, was a native of Shelby county, Illinois, born on the 23d of May 1841. Well worthy of mention as a valued citizen of Illinois, Amos A. Rhodes is represented on another page of this volume.

In the public schools of Pana, Edward J. Rhodes acquired his education and after putting aside his text books he accepted a position as deputy circuit clerk under his father, who was then filling the office in Christian county, Illinois. This was in 1884 and he served for four years under his father and for one year under Joseph R. Edmonds, his father's successor. On the expiration of his present term Mr. Rhodes will have been connected with the office for twenty years with the exception of a period of three years when his time was spent as a bookkeeper for the Taylorville Coal Company. On leaving that employ he became deputy clerk under W. b: Cashin, with whom he remained for four years and on the expiration of that period he was elected to the office, in which he has served continuously since. After four years spent in the office he was re-elected, so that his present term will continue until December, 1904.

Mr. Rhodes has long been recognized as a very active, prominent and influential factor in political circles. He has always given his allegiance to the Democracy, taking an active part in local politics, laboring for the success of his party and exerting his influence in its conventions for the nomination of men best qualified for office. He has been a delegate to the county and judicial conventions and his opinions carry weight in their councils. In 1888-9 Mr. Rhodes served as city clerk of Taylorville and his official career has always been attended by the highest measure of success, owing to his unfaltering fidelity to duty. He is systematic and methodical in his work and has performed all public service in a manner that has won him the commendation of the opposition as well as of his own political party.

On the 9th of December, 1886, occurred the marriage of Mr. Rhodes and Miss Mary Kittle, a daughter of John and Sarah (Carpenter) Kittle. Her father was coroner of Christian county for four years. Mrs. Rhodes is one of a family of five children, namely: Millie, the wife of G. W. Long, of Beecher City, Illinois; Carrie L., who is living in Taylorville; Ella, the widow of John W. Hamer of Shelbyville, Illinois; Minnie, the wife of John C. Stamm of Pana; and Mary, the wife of our subjetc.

The home of Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes has been blessed with four children: Aimee, born January 11, 1888; Stella M., born April 10, 1889; Dora S., December 1, 1891; and Haslemere, born July 15, 1894.

Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes enjoy the hospitality of the best homes in Taylorville and occupy an enviable position in social circles. His social relations connect him with Taylorville Lodge, No. 413, I.O.O.F.; Birchwood Camp, No. 130, M.W.A.; Peerless Lodge, No. 42, A.O.U.W.; the Royal Neighbors and the Red Men. He has served in all the appointive and elective positions in the Odd Fellows lodge except that of Noble Grand. He is likewise a member of Phenix Club, a social organization of Taylorville. A man of pleasing personality, he is recognized as one of the popular and valued citizens of Taylorville and enjoys in a high measure the regard, confidence and esteem of his fellow men.

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