From a Poor Boy to One of Pittsburgh's Most Respected Citizens.—Is
President of the Pennsylvania Tube Works.
AMONG the prominent Pittsburghers who have been closely identified with
the remarkable history of the growth of that wonderful section, which
has contributed so largely to our industrial progress, none occupies a
higher place in the esteem of his fellow-citizens than Joshua Rhodes.
His start in life was that of a poor boy, and the successes achieved by
him, in the face of the apparently insuperable obstacles, which seemed
to beset his path at the outset, are exceptionally noteworthy.
Joshua Rhodes was born in London, England. March 19, 1824, and is one
of a family of six children. He is a son of Charles Rhodes, and Lucy
Bazin. His father was a contractor. The family came to the United
States in 1830. and resided for two years in the cities of Albany and
Buffalo, N. Y. In 1832 the elder Rhodes moved to Pittsburgh, with his
family, and resided there until the time of his death.
Mr. Rhodes was brought up in Pittsburgh and, after the death of his
father, which occurred when he was quite young, he made his home with
Benjamin Brown, assisting Mr. Brown in his grocery store. When twenty
years old he embarked in the grocery trade on his own responsibility,
at the corner of First and Smithfield Streets, but, in the disastrous
fire of April 10, 1845, everything he had was swept away. With the
enterprise which has since characterized the man, he was one of the
first to rebuild in the burned district, and, from that day to the
present, has been continuously engaged in the various lines of
mercantile pursuits. At the present time he is engaged in the
manufacture of wrought iron pipes, being the President of the
Pennsylvania Tube Works. He has been and is yet. connected with
numerous other corporations. He served for a time as President of the
Allegheny National Bank, and is the present Vice-President of that
well-known financial institution. At the time of their erection, he was
President of the Point and Union bridges, and has also been actively
interested in street railways for a number of years.
Mr. Rhodes married Miss Eliza Haslett. Five children were born to them,
four of whore are still living: William B., Mary, Annie and Joshua W.