This prominent citizen of Williamsport, who is a leading member of the bar in Warren county, Indiana, was born near what is known as Crane, formerly Crane's Station, Tippecanoe county, Indiana, July 17, 1833. He is a son of James I. and Nancy (Forshee) Rhodes, and a grandson of Jacob Rhodes, who was born in Philadelphia, fought in the Revolutionary war, settled in Virginia and later in Warren county, Ohio, where he died at the age of one hundred and four years. James I. Rhodes was a native of Virginia, went with his father to Ohio, and from that state moved to Tippecanoe county, Indiana, in 1828. Here he entered a tract of land, on which he spent the remainder of his life, his death occurring in January, 1860. His wife lived to an advanced age, dying in 1888. He was a typical representative of the early pioneer—honest, industrious and sturdy. He possessed strong religious convictions, and for many years was an active worker in the Methodist church. Three sons and two daughters were born to this estimable couple, namely: Thomas J., a resident of Lafayette, Indiana; William P., our subject; Margaret E., widow of Eli Peters; Joseph M.; and Sarah E., the wife of E. J. Miller, of Wellington, Kansas.
William P. Rhodes received his early training on the homestead farm and attended the old log school-house of pioneer times. He had reached his majority in 1854, and entered Fort Wayne College, where he remained two years. In 1856 he began the study of law at Lafayette with the well known firm of Huff, Baird & LaRue. He made such rapid progress that in 1858 he began the practice of his profession in Williamsport, and two years later was admitted to practice in the supreme court. In 1864 he enlisted and was elected captain of Company K, One Hundred and Thirty-fifth Indiana Regiment, served in Tennessee and Alabama, and was mustered out of service in the fall of the same year. He then gave his attention to the newspaper business, purchasing an interest in the Warren Republican, and most ably editing the same for about a year. In 1870 he was elected to the lower branch of the state legislature, representing Warren county, and in 1872 represented Warren and Fountain counties in the state senate.Mr. Rhodes and Miss Mildred b: Dickson were united in the holy bonds of wedlock September 14, 1859. She was born in Williamsport September 30, 1840, and is a daughter of John Wesley Dickson, who was born at Terre Haute, Indiana, when that city was a military post. He came to Williams- port at an early day and was a well known merchant here, but removed to Chicago, where his wife died about the year 1888. He then made his home with Mr. Rhodes until his own death a year later. Mrs. Rhodes is the only daughter and eldest child in a family of four. Her brothers are John B., James T. and Isaac F., all residing in Chicago. She has borne Mr. Rhodes three sons, James L., Wesley d: (deceased) and Joseph W. James L. and Joseph W. are residents of Chicago.
Mr. Rhodes is a lawyer of undoubted ability, and has been in practice longer than any other man of that profession in the county. In his fifty years' experience before the bar he has had many important cases and many and varied interesting happenings. He is an unswerving Republican, and renders valuable aid to the party. His reputation for fair-minded, fearless expression of opinion is without a rival, and he has the courage of his convictions and lives up to his expressed sentiments.