Biography - James W. Rhodes

JAMES W. RHODES, a prominent farmer of Shelby County, residing on section 9, Tower Hill Township, owns and operates one of the finest estates in the community. By a proper rotation of crops the land has been brought to a high state of cultivation, and the large harvests bear evidence of the thrift of the manager. Good buildings have been erected, the principal one being the residence, a commodious structure with an air of refinement within its walls, which proves the presence of a cultured lady.

The father of our subject, Green Rhodes, was a native of Tennessee, who came at an early day to Shelby County, Ill., and was here united in marriage with Margaret Wakefield, a native of this county. At first the young couple resided in the vicinity of Shelbyville, whence they removed to Tennessee, and made it their home one year. However, they concluded that prospects in Illinois were more flattering than in Tennessee, and accordingly they returned hither and settled south of Williamsburg, where the father closed his eyes to the scenes of earth. His wife died in Pana, this State.

Our subject was the only son among five children, and was born in Shelby County, Ill., August 21, 1840. He passed his childhood upon a farm, and when about ten years old accompanied his mother to Dallas County, Mo., where he remained perhaps seven years. At the expiration of that time the family returned to Shelby County, where he has since made his home, being identified with the growth of the county and a witness of its development. His chief business in life has been farming, in which he has met with more than ordinary success, as he possesses those qualities of energy and industry which are essential to any calling in life.

The first wife of Mr. Rhodes was born in Shelby County, Ill., September 4, 1845, and bore the maiden name of Martha E. Pugh. After their marriage, which was celebrated in Missouri, they settled on the farm where Mr. Rhodes now resides in Tower Hill Township. The wife and mother died March 9, 1885. She had become the mother of seven children, viz.: Merritt E., who married a Miss Wiese; Margaret, and a son, both of whom died in infancy; Frank W.; Effie L., who passed from earth December 30, 1889, at the age of seventeen; John J. and Ida B. Mrs. Rhodes was a consistent member of the Episcopal Church.

Having considerable interest in the cause of education, Mr. Rhodes has served efficiently as School Director for several years. He has also taken an active part in political affairs and is a Prohibitionist. Any measure calculated to assist the community finds in him a strong supporter, and he is recognized as one of the pillars in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which he has been Trustee. By careful economy and good judgment he has been enabled to increase his real-estate holdings until he is now owner of four hundred and forty-five acres of splendid land.

On March 14, 1889, Mr. Rhodes was united in marriage in Shelbyville, Ill., with Miss Ollie Brown who was born in Hancock County, Ohio, August 18, 1866. Mrs. Rhodes is the daughter of Dr. Ahaaham and Helen (Buckingham) Brown, the former dying in Tower Hill Township and the latter still surviving. Eight children came to Dr. and Mrs. Brown, of whom Mrs. Rhodes was next to the youngest. She is an estimable lady and enjoys the high regard of all who know her.

Extracted 27 Sep 2020 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 701-702.

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