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Probate records of Adam Rhodes in Champaign Co., OH
1874 Reverend Ebenezer Rhodes, of McLean Co., IL
1899 Rev. Ebenezeb Rhodes, of McLean County, IL
1874 John H. S. Rhodes of McLean County, IL
1874 Jeremiah Rhodes of McLean County, IL

From: The Good Old Times in McLean County, Illinois
By E. Duis
Published by Leader Pub. and Print. House, 1874
page 166-168

The information necessary to write the following sketch of Rev. Ebenezer Rhodes was furnished by Mrs. Jeremiah Rhodes, his daughter-in-law. Reverend Ebenezer Rhodes was born in 1780 in Holland.

He has often said that when he was verv young the people were obliged to go in boats to milk  their cows. Mr. Rhodes was, even when a boy, very tender-hearted. Atone time a widow lady came to his father's house and asked for a little corn. But provisions were scarce then, and the old gentleman was afraid of a famine, and refused. But when young Ebenezer and his brother learned of the circumstance they took a bushel and a half of the old  gentleman's corn to her, a distance of about four miles. The Rhodes family came to America when Ebenezer was very young, so that he was enabled to learn a few of the pranks to which the American youths were addicted. His father was very particular about the watermelon patch, but Ebenezer sometimes " lifted" it.

"When he was about nineteen years of age he married Mrs. Mary Starr, a widow, who lived in Maryland. In about the year 1803 he moved to Champaign County, Ohio, near the present town of  Urbana, on Derby Creek. While near there in 1806 the neighborhood was alarmed by threats of an Indian massacre, and the Rhodes family rode forty miles in one day to escape. But it proved a false alarm, caused by an Indian dance. In 1807 Mr. Rhodes moved to Buck Creek, six or seven
miles distant. In about the year 1819 or '20 he was ordained as a preacher. In October, 1823, he  came to Sangamon County, Illinois, and in April following he came to McLean County. As soon as three or four families could be collected together, Mr. Rhodes began preaching. He preached without receiving any salary or any hope or thought of reward. He belonged first to tbe Separate Baptists, but afterwards united with the Christian church. He and the Rev. Mr. Latta, a
Methodist minister, often traveled together and frequently preached at the same place. Mr. Rhodes preached at Hittle's Grove, Cheney's Grove, Sugar Grove, Long Point, Big Grove, Twin Grove, Dry Grove, the head of the Mackinaw and other places. lie was -the first preacher in McLean County and for a long time the only one. He organized the first church within the bounds of the present McLean County at his house at Blooming Grove, and everybody in the county met  there to celebrate the occasion. This was in 1829. No building for public worship had then been  put up, but people met everywhere in private houses. While not engaged in preaching Mr. Rhodes  made chairs and reels and wheels for spinning flax, cotton and wool.

In February, 1840, Mr. Rhodes met with an accident which made him an invalid the remainder of  his days. While cutting a tree in the timber it fell on him breaking one of his thighs and  mashing the knee of the other leg. He was obliged always afterwards to go on crutches and lived  only two years more. He died of consumption which was probably brought on by the accident in the  timber.

In 1832 Mr. Rhodes and his son Samuel built a saw mill on Sugar Creek which they ran by water  for two years. They made the mill, dug the race and ran it together. But young Aaron Rhodes was drowned there while swimming in the pond, and this sad event so disheartened the old gentleman that he tore down his mill shortly afterwards and sold his saw and the ironwork with it.

There were in the Rhodes family six boys and three girls, and of these four boys and one girl are now living. They are :
John H. S. Rhodes lives about two miles southeast of Bloom- ington on the Leroy road.
Samuel Rhodes lives in Iowa, near Winterset.
Mrs. Naomi Nigest, wife of Samuel Nigest, lives in Jones County, Iowa.
Jeremiah Rhodes lives three miles southeast of Bloomington on the Leroy road.
Rev. James Rhodes lives at Des Moines, Iowa.
Rev. Ebenezer Rhodes was about six feet in height, had a Roman nose, weighed one hundred and seventy-five pounds, had a long, narrow face and was very stoop-shouldered. He was an earnest preacher and an active wide-awake man. He read the Scriptures carefully and was well versed in biblical lore. 

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