The Back Rhodes of Our Genealogy

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From the book entitled: History of Hamilton and Clay Counties, Nebraska / Supervising Editors George L. Burr, O.O. Buck ; Compiled by Dale P. Stough
Authors: George L. Burr, O. O. Buck, Dale P. Stough
Publisher: The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1921

Since 1883 William P. Rhodes has made his home near Springranch, in township 5, Range 8, where he is owner of an excellent farm property and is classed with the most enterprising and prosperous farmers of Clay county. He is a native of Missouri, his birth having occurred in Greene county, that state, on the 28th of April, 1853, a son of William J. and Sarah Martha (Cowden) Rhodes, the former a native of Illinois, where he was born in 1825, and the latter a Kentuckian by birth. The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes was celebrated in McLean county, Illinois, and there they resided throughout fife, the father being a well known and successful farmer of that community. W. J. Rhodes passed away in 1914. Eight children were born to that union, four of whom are living: W. P., whose name initiates this review; E. M., farming in McLean county, Illinois; James, a resident of McLean county, Illinois; and Mrs. Becker, a resident of Quincy, Illinois. W. J. Rhodes was a lifelong consistent member of the Christian church, as was also his wife, and he was likewise a stanch prohibitionist. He was always active in the development and improvement of the community and served his fellowmen as county commissioner for some time. Three brothers of W. J. Rhodes, Aaron P., Taylor and John A., were veterans of the Civil war, having served gallantly throughout the conflict. The paternal grandfather of our subject, John H. Rhodes, was born in Maryland and was an early pioneer in both Ohio and Illinois, having reached the latter state in 1823. The maternal grandfather was Reeves Cowden, a Kentuckian by birth, who removed to Illinois at an early day.

W. P. Rhodes is indebted to the schools of Bloomington, Illinois, for his education and in early life engaged in farming. In 1877 he located in Adams county, Nebraska, purchased some land and started farming on his own account. For six years he lived in a sod house on this land and brought it to a highly cultivated state. In 1883 he removed to Clay county and purchased a half section of land on which he now resides. The land is highly cultivated and well improved, all of the outbuildings having been erected by Mr. Rhodes.

In 1897 occurred the., marrjage of Mr. Rhodes to Miss Laura A. Johnson, a native of iJfcLeari'GdulflJ^VWinois. They adopted one child, Russell D., who lives at home, and . also'flfeaf£ft^ a girl, Velma Burt, who is the wife of Jacob Johnson and resides near Mr.' Rhodes.

In politics Mr. Rhodes maintains an independent course. He has never sought nor desired public preferment, but devotes his entire time to his agricultural interests. The religious faith of the family is that of the Christian church. At one time Mr. Rh'bdes specialized in stock raising, but he now does mostly general farming. He owns three hundred and twenty acres of land, the result of his own determined effort, and is recognized as one of the leading agriculturists of his section of the state.

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