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Rhodes Family DNA Project

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When my grandmother was a young woman, she found out that the man she thought was her grandfather was actually her father! See why below:

from L. P. Powers & Wife to H. H. Rhodes 1903
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Warranty Deed for Ethel Rhodes's burial plot

Only known photo of Henry Howard Rhodes (right)
Fannie Pate, Albert Lindstrom, Henry H. Rhodes-1908

Ottawa, Kansas 1908. L-R

Fannie (nee Pate) Rhodes Lindstrom, Albert Lindstrom, Bessie Agnes Rhodes, Henry Howard Rhodes, Jr and Henry Howard Rhodes, Sr

From L.P. & C.C. Powers to H. H. Rhodes
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Oct 27, 1903
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My grandmother told me that her father, Henry Howard Rhodes (b. 1837 / 47), was 36 years older than her mother. Her parents had met some time around 1901. Her mother, Frances Milbre "Fannie" Pate (b.1881), was working as a cook in a section house of a near by railroad company. Henry was a locomotive engineer. I do not know how long they courted but they were married Jan. 19, 1902 in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana. He was 55 and she was 19.

They moved to Mena, AR some time thereafter. Their first child, Mildred Ethel, was born Oct. 26, 1902 and died Sept. 30, 1903 of dysentery. She is buried in the White Oak Cemetery in Mena, Polk Co., AR.

Mildred Ethel Rhodes 1901
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Obit in The Mena Star -1903

The Infant child of Mr. & Mrs. Rhodes died Wednesday at their home in south Mena. The child was buried this afternoon at 2 o'clock in White Oak Cemetery.Cemetery reading list Mildred Ethel Rhodes with dates 26 Oct 1902 - 30 Sep 1903 with burial White Oak Cemetery

On June 24, 1904 my grandmother was born in Potter (Potter Junction), Polk Co. AR. She had one brother, Henry Howard, Jr. born in 1907.

By 1910, they were living in Le Flore, OK where Henry was working as a pumer in the railroad pump station. Henry is 72 and Fannie is 37.  This is his 2nd marriage and her 1st.
(1910 Census, Page, Le Flore, Oklahoma; Roll: T624_1258; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 151; Image: 386.)

They later moved to Ottawa, KS. It was during this time that Henry, Sr. became very ill. He was so ill that everyone thought he was going to die. Henry had a friend, Albert Justus Lindstrom, who approached him about leaving a young wife with two small children to care for. Albert had a plan-- if Henry would divorce Fannie, Albert would marry her and see to it that they were all provided for. The situation must have been a grievous one because Henry took Albert up on his offer.

Marriage License
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Marriage Certificate, Jackson Co. MO
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In Fannie's  Divorce by Publication in Hardin County, 1916 she states that she and Albert were married on Oct. 13, 1910 and that she left him on Jun 28, 1915.  See documents below:

1st pg of Div Petition, Fannie & Albert Lindstrom
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Sheriff's Return
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Copy of actual publication notice
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Order
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Official Recording
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After divorcing Fannie, Henry went to "The Poor House", St. Mary's Hospital, 28th & Main St., Kansas City, MO to finish his days. To every ones surprise, Henry got better and on Oct. 9, 1910 Henry sent a post card addressed to Albert Lindstrom/608 Poplar St/Ottawa, KS which stated:

Will be there Tuesday evening, 6:30 Santa Fe. Meet me at the train. Henry.

Back
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Front
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Albert's letter to my grandmother.
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She didn't like him as he tried to put his hand under her dress as a child

The family was living in a railroad boxcar for a time before Henry passed away. (Albert was working as a real estate sales person and as his sales rose and sank, the family would have good times and bad times.) Henry had his space sectioned off with quilts hanging from rope tied across the width of the car.

Henry Howard Rhodes Obit
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Incorrectly list Albert's name as "Arthur"

He continued to live with Albert, Fannie and the two children until his death, Nov. 20, 1914.  His obit in the Monday, Nov. 23, 1914 evening edition of the "Ottawa Republic" states:
 
Rhodes Funeral--The funeral services of Harry H. Rhodes, who died Saturday morning at the home of Arthur Lindstrom, 747 Prince Street was held this afternoon at 2:30 from the Undertaking parlors of Bell & Bryd. Interment was made in Hope cemetery
(Ottawa, Franklin Co., KS.). The G.A.R. conducted the services. (A copy of this can be obtained from writing to the Ottawa Library and requesting a search.)

According to my grandmother, she believed Henry was her grandfather until she was a teenager. My grandmother didn't recall just how she learned of this but once she knew, she  asked her mother which of her husbands did she love best. Fannie replied, "Your father. Henry is who I loved the best."

Henry is buried in Hope Cemetery, He would never speak of his family, only saying that he was from PA. His death certificate has lines drawn through the spaces where his parents' names would go. Grandmother stated that once when Fannie pressed Henry to tell her about his family, all he would say was that he drank a lot when he was younger and one night, while drunk, his siblings tricked him into signing away his birthright. The next morning, realizing what had happened, he left, never to return.

Henry did tell Fannie that he had lied about his age so that he could join the fighting in the civil war. I haven't been able to figure out why as he would have been 35 had he enlisted in 1862, had he been born in 1837, as he told her. BUT, if he had been born in 1847, he would have been 15.

 

His death certificate lists his birth as Feb. 18, 1837 and his age as 67. This doesn't make sense as he would have been 77.  We do not really know what year he was born or what northern state he is from. 

We have located a 1900 Census for Pittsburg Ward 4, Crawford, Kansas, Roll: T623 477; Page: 8B; Enumeration District: 87  where I believe Henry was a border with the Harbert family. This Henry Rhodes lists his birth as Feb 1838 in Penn. and his occupation as a machiner (& ??).  He is also listed as "Married". 

Searching the war records, we found only one Henry  Rhodes and he was a Corpl. Co. E, Sixth Michigan (The War of the Rebellion, Series I- Vol. XXVI, Part I, 1889, page 62). There was a Henry Rhodes at the end of the war in New Orleans, LA, at the Battle of Fort Hudson. In the "Special Schedule-Surviving Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines, and Widows, etc 1890" page 2, line 17, there is a Henry Rhodes who list his rank as "corporal", no company, list regiment as "13th Conn.", enlistment as "1862", discharge date "1864". Under the section marked Post Office for line 17, it states New Orleans, LA. Under "Remarks", it states "papers burnt".

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I have a letter dated July 16, 1874, Edgefield, Tenn. from the St. Louis & Southeastern Railway Co., Machinery Department:


To Whom Concerned: 

The Bearer, H. Rhodes, has been in the employment of this company for the past year as a Locomotive Engineer & has given good satisfaction & now leaves the services of the company account of slack of _____.   Yours Truly, H.H. Osborn, MM

It is possible that Henry just decided to stay down south at the end of the war and not return to his northern family.

He seems to have successfully covered his tracks, which is just what he wanted to do!

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Henry Howard Rhodes Death Certificate 1914
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Henry Rhodes & Fannie Pate Marriage Certificate
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Jan. 19, 1902 Calcasieu Parish, LA

Henry Rhodes & Fannie Pate Marriage Certificate
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Jan. 19, 1902 Calcasieu Parish, LA

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Henry Howard Rhodes Jr., b: 27 Sept 1906 Ark; d: Mar 4, 1976  Houston, Harris Co. TX . He married Billie Carmen Johnson  b: August 16, 1916, Rosepine, Veron Parish,LA;  d: May 23, 1993, Humble, Harris Co., TX. They had one child, Michael "Mike" Henry Rhodes b: 1940 Houston, Harris Co. TX
Henry Jr, had red hair and a freckled complexion, as did his sister, Bessie. In later years, Henry walked with a limp but I never knew why. 

Henry H. Rhodes Headstone - Hope Cem, Ottaway, KS
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Hope Cemetery
2010 Photo of Henry Howard Rhodes Headstone, Hope Cem, Ottawa, KS
Photo Credits: Dave Paddock, Ottawa, KS, July 2010

 

Henry Howard Rhodes Jr w/son Michael Henry Rhodes
Henry Rhodes and son, Mike, ca. 1941
Houston, TX ca 1941 or 1942

Henry Howard, Billie Carmen (Johnson) and Mike Rhodes, ca 1947
Billie Carmen (Johnson) Rhodes, Henry Howard Rhodes, Jr, & Mike Rhodes, ca 1947, Houston, TX

 
     
     

Source:
Lindstrom divorce documents from Hardin County Court
Photos, letters, and other records from family records

Henry H. Rhodes:
age listed as 62,  Birthplace is PA
1900 Census; Kansas, Crawford Co., 4-WD Pittsburg, Series: T623  Roll: 477  Page: 8


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