The Back Rhodes of Our Genealogy

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From the book entitled: Past and Present of O'Brien and Osceola counties, Iowa, Volume 2
Authors: John Licinius Everett Peck, Otto Hillock Montzheimer, William J. Miller
Publisher: b: F. Bowen & company, inc., 1914


There is no earthly calling higher than that of the Christian ministry; no life can be more uplifting and grander than that which is devoted to the amelioration of the human race, a life of sacrifice for the betterment of the brotherhood of man. One of the self-sacrificing, ardent, loyal and true spirits that has been a blessing to the race, and who, though yet a young man, has left in his wake an influence that tends to make the world brighter, and better the lives of those who follow, is the Rev. Bert J. Rhodes, pastor of the Congregational church at Primghar, Iowa, whose life forcibly illustrates what a fixed purpose can accomplish when animated by noble aims and correct ideals.

Rev. Bert J. Rhodes was born at Shirland, Illinois, in the year 1877. He is a son of Henry and Mary Ann (Seagrist) Rhodes. Henry Rhodes, who was born at Rochester. New York, in 1847, was a farmer. He settled in the state of Illinois, remaining there a short time, removing then to Green county, Wisconsin, where he resided for four years. He then removed to Cerro Gordo county. Iowa, retiring from active work in 1894 and removed to Garner, Iowa. He was married in 1867 to Mary Ann Seagrist, who was born in canton Bern, Switzerland, in 1843. To them were born seven children, the others beside the subject being: George, who lives at Wakaon, Iowa; Mrs. Cloey Suhumskie, who resides in North Dakota; Mrs. Viola Braund, who lives in Wrinnebago county, Iowa; Louis, residing at LosAngeles, California; Warren lives at Hinsdale, Montana, and Perry lives in South Dakota.

Rev. Bert J. Rhodes was reared on the parental farmstead and received his primary education in the public schools. From his boyhood he had taken a deep interest in spiritual matters, and at the age of twenty-two began study and preparation for the ministry. He attended Ellsworth College at Iowa Falls, Iowa, and finished his academic training at Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa. His first pastorate was at Wesley, Iowa, where his labors were fruitful in good results, and where he earned the commendation of his church. He came to Primghar in 1912, and here he has shown a zeal and perseverance most commendable in building up the spiritual welfare of his congregation. His work has met with the enthusiastic approval of his own people and others as well. He takes an active interest in the welfare of his community, and is recognized by all as a loyal, high-minded citizen.

Rev. Rhodes was married in 1903 to Maud Perkins, who was born at Freeport, Illinois, in 1880. Four children have blessed their home. These are Frances, Paul, Claire and Selbert, all of whom remain in the family circle.

Rev. Rhodes' useful life as a worker in the cause of his Master is one of devotion, even consecration, to his calling. As an earnest, faithful and devoted minister of the Gospel, no hardship is too severe, no labor too arduous, no demands too exacting to deter him from answering any call in behalf of those who need spiritual advice or consolation, and he wields an influence for good that can never be measured by infinite standards of value.

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