Thomas B. Rhodes


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THOMAS B. RHODES, the representative lumber merchant of Mount Carroll, Illinois, is a worthy member of the Masonic fraternity at this place and has been identified with the order for six years.  He took the degrees of blue Masonry in Cyrus Lodge, No. 188, in 1890, that of the Entered Apprentice being conferred upon him September 9; Fellow-craft, November 4, and Master Mason, December 2; and for to terms has he served acceptably as Junior Deacon of the lodge.  Also he has penetrated the mysteries of Royal Arch Masonry, being exalted in Lanark Chapter, R. A. M., in 1894.  Both as a Mason and citizen he is deserving of personal mention in this work, and to a brief review of his life we now direct attention.

                Thomas B. Rhodes was born in the town of Savanna, Carroll county, Illinois, November 20, 1860, and comes of English ancestors who were among the early settlers of the Old Dominion.  From Virginia they scattered some years later to newer portions of the country, the grandfather of our subject taking up his abode in the Western Reserve and being one of the pioneer settlers of Ohio.  It was in that state that John B. Rhodes, the father of Thomas B., was born.  With the pioneer instinct of his ancestors, John B. Rhodes, on becoming a young man, left the home of his childhood and turned his face westward, Illinois being his objective point.  He located at Savanna, where he engaged in merchandising for many years, and where he still resides, honored and esteemed by all who know him, and at this writing, in his eightieth year, well preserved both mentally and physically.  His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Jane Pierce and who was a daughter of Aaron Pierce, was the first white child born in Carroll county.  She departed this life in 1877, at the age of forty-nine years.  To them were born eight children, of whom six are living, --five sons and a daughter,--all occupying honored and useful positions in life—the sons all exemplary members of the Masonic order.

                The immediate subject of this sketch, Thomas B. Rhodes, grew up in his native town, received his education in its public schools, and at the age of seventeen directed his energies to the lumber business, in which he has ever since been engaged.  At first he was in the employ of his brother, with whom he remained until 1884, and that year came to Mount Carroll and established a business of his own, which he has conducted up to the present time and in which, through his honorable and upright methods, he has met with signal success.  In the affairs of his town Mr. Rhodes has always shown a commendable interest, has several times been honored with election to the office of alderman, and has rendered excellent service as such.  In educational matters especially is he interested.  He has served as a member of the Mount Carroll school board.  Indeed, he is a man whose progressive views are up with the times, and who, as a businessman, citizen and Mason, is entitled to the confidence and esteem he receives from all who know him.

                The same year in which he came to Mount Carroll and engaged in business for himself he was married to Miss Emma Chambers, a native of his own town, and their family circle now includes three children, Frederick J., Mary Laura and Emma Mabel.  Their home is one which he erected and which is among the handsome ones of the town, and besides it he owns much other valuable property here.  Both Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes are members of the Order of the Eastern Star, in which she is active and efficient, having filled a number of its offices.

SOURCE: A compendium of Freemasonry in Illinois : embracing a review of the introduction, development and present condition of all rites and degrees : together with biographical sketches of distinquished members of the fraternity by George William Warvelle
Chicago: Lewis Pub. Co., 1897, 1631  pgs.