Biography - A Rhodes

A. F. RHODES. The subject of this sketch is a man of much influence in his community, he being highly respected and regarded as a man of sound judgment in public affairs as well as in matters relating to the farm. He lives in Anderson Township, Montgomery County, Ill., and was born in Rockingham County, Va., July 25, 1827, being the eighth in a family of twelve children. His parents were Jacob and Christina Rhodes, the latter dying when he was quite young. But little can be learned concerning the early history or the ancestry of the family, yet there is little doubt that they are of German extraction, the father, as far as can be learned, having been born in Pennsylvania, being what is commonly termed a Pennsylvania-Dutchman; he settled at a very early day in Rockingham County. He was a farmer of considerable means, reared a large family, and finally died in the county named, upon the farm which he first settled.
The subject of this sketch grew up on the farm, devoting the greater portion of his time up to his twentieth year in acquiring the very liberal education he then received. He was stricken hard with the gold fever, and in 1849 he and his brother, Emmons, sailed around Cape Horn in a sailing-vessel, consuming six months in reaching the land of promise. They at once went to mining near Stockton, but after a time started a trading post at what was then known as Wood's Creek, the brother conducting the store and our subject hauling the goods by ox-team from Stockton, a distance of about eighty miles. Two years of this traffic resulted in yielding the enterprising young men a snug little fortune, which contented them; and in 1853 they returned home, via the Isthmus of Panama. The gold excitement in Australia enticed him from his home a second time, and he made his way to Melbourne and then to the mines. Here Fortune, the fickle flirt, frowned upon him and all he had made in California was soon lost. He was full of game, however, and we find him soon at work for the Australian Government, wheeling dirt at 3 sterling per day, a pursuit he followed until he had saved up quite a sum of money, with this returning to the mines. Now Fortune, as many another jade has done when good luck has struck a fellow, smiled her sweetest upon him, and for four years the shining yellow metal flowed into his pockets in a steady stream. At the end of this time, satisfied, he returned by way of England, visiting that country, Scotland and Ireland, at last reaching Barton. In his absence his father had died in Virginia and his family was scattered; so he did not return to his native place, but started for Texas. Stopping over to visit a married sister, Mrs. D. D. Scraney, at Nokomis, Ill., he was induced to locate here, purchasing the farm upon which he has resided ever since. Soon after, in 1857, he married Miss Rosa Corpburn, of German-Pennsylvania ancestry, who has borne him seven children, five of whom are living: Kate, wife of Thomas Gay, of Ford. Kan.; Maud, at home; Otis P., living at Cincinnati; Arbeny D., living in California; Glenn H., at home. Clair died at the age of two, and Fred died at the age of twenty-two, in 1886. Mr. Rhodes' beautiful home is situated upon an eminence, beautified by trees, shrubbery, flowers and grass, from which the country about may be seen to a distance of miles. Here, in content and happiness, he is spending his declining years, at peace with his neighbors and the world.

Extracted 12 Jan 2017 by Norma Hass from 1892 Portrait and Biographical Record of Montgomery and Bond Counties, Illinois, pages 504-505.

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