Chapter 2


[Page 2 of 3]

(Jonathan Rhode and descendants are covered in Chapter 3.)



Caleb Rhode, third son of John and Mary Rhode, was born in 1790 in South Carolina. He married Rachael Little, who was born 14 March 1799. Caleb no doubt went with his parents, John and Mary (Lewis) Rhode, and his brothers, Thomas and Seymour, on their trek from South Carolina to Indiana in about 1814. Caleb's older brothers, William and Jonathan, had already left South Carolina for Ohio and Indiana.

Little seems to be available on the life of Caleb Rhode and his descendants. It is said that Caleb Rhode lived in Kansas and that his son Harvey brought him in his old age to his relatives in Tabor, Iowa, to be taken care of in his last days, only living a short time with John Rhode. Caleb had four children: [Dr. Rhode points out that, previously, Ellis G. Rhode numbered the children of John Rhode's children with Arabic numbers: 1, 2, 3, and so on. Below, he numbers the children of Caleb with Roman numerals: I, II, III, and so on. In the chapter on Jonathan Rhode, Ellis G. Rhode returns to the use of arabic numbers for the children of John Rhode's children.]


[Note from Rhode and Carr: When Ellis G. Rhode wrote his history, indeed little was known about Caleb Rhode's line. Don Babcock has changed all of that. We are deeply grateful to Don for contributing his detailed genealogical research into the following branches that descend from Caleb through Seymour.]

Seymour RHODE

b. 1825, Warren County, Indiana


m. 14 Mar 1845, Warren County, Indiana

William RHODE* [Don Babcock has provided the following photograph of William Rhodes, son of Seymour, son of Caleb, son of John. Don writes, "This picture, taken c. 1919, probably at Shattuck, Oklahoma, includes my mother, Leona (daughter of James Guy; William; Seymour; Caleb; John) and her brother, Irven Delbert."]

b. 15 Aug 1845, Warren County, Indiana

d. 15 May 1926, Cottage Grove, Lane, Oregon

& Martha A. LAYTON

b. 1851, Illinois

d. 1887

m. 19 Jul 1870, Fairbury, Jefferson, Nebraska

Pheobah RHODES

b. 1874

Lyle (Eli) Madison RHODES*

b. 20 Feb 1876, Fairbury, Jefferson, Nebraska

d. 18 Apr 1954, Clinton, Oklahoma

& Ada Garnet COOK

b. 23 Jan 1896, Homestead, Oklahoma

d. 24 Jul 1979, Watonga, Oklahoma

Carl Madison RHODES

b. 11 Aug 1915

d. 1981

[additional information available]

Clyde Thomas RHODES

b. 10 Sep 1917, Guthrie, Oklahoma

d. 16 Aug 1938


b. 12 Jun 1920, Oakwood, Oklahoma

& William Andy WALKER

b. 16 Mar 1910, Roger Mill, Oklahoma

d. 1993, Watonga, Blaine, Oklahoma

m. 1937

[additional information available]

Ada Maxine RHODES***

b. 30 Aug 1922, Faye, Dewey, Oklahoma

d. 1990

& George William RHODES

b. 29 Aug 1910, Shattuck, Ellis, Oklahoma

d. 30 Jul 1968, Venitia, Oklahoma

m. Mar 1942, Texas

[additional information available]

Ada Maxine RHODES*

b. 30 Aug 1922, Faye, Dewey, Oklahoma

d. 1990

[additional information available]

m. 16 Apr 1972

Ross Albert RHODES*

b. 9 Dec 1926, Faye, Dewey, Oklahoma

d. Homestead, Oklahoma

[additional information available]

Ross Albert RHODES*

b. 9 Dec 1926, Faye, Dewey, Oklahoma

d. Homestead, Oklahoma

[additional information available]

Ross Albert RHODES*

b. 9 Dec 1926, Faye, Dewey, Oklahoma

d. Homestead, Oklahoma

[additional information available]

& Richard Wesley DAVIS

b. 25 Feb 1923, Fairview, Oklahoma

d. 24 Jul 1987, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Oklahoma

m. 25 May 1946

[additional information available]

Lyle (Eli) Madison RHODES*

b. 20 Feb 1876, Fairbury, Jefferson, Nebraska

d. 18 Apr 1954, Clinton, Oklahoma

& Geneva Ellenor COX

Goldie Blanche RHODES

b. 23 Feb 1902, Longdale, Oklahoma

d. 7 Aug 1983, Norton, Kansas

& Ernest A. KERSHNER

b. 5 Mar 1897, Homestead, Oklahoma

d. Oakwood, Blane, Oklahoma

m. 1 Nov 1927, Taloga, Oklahoma

Ernest Warren KERSHNER

b. Jun 1929

d. 23 May 1986

[additional information available]

& Ernest Sylvester WHEELER

b. 3 Oct 1929, Watonga, Blaine, Oklahoma

d. 4 Oct 1966, Watonga, Blaine, Oklahoma

m. 12 Jan 1951

[additional information available]

Blanche Charlene KERSHNER

b. 21 Mar 1933

d. Oct 1934

[additional information available]


b. 1879

d. 31 Aug 1942

& Josie


& Lily WHITE

George William RHODES**

b. 29 Aug 1910, Shattuck, Ellis, Oklahoma

d. 30 Jul 1968, Venitia, Oklahoma

& Ada Maxine RHODES

b. 30 Aug 1922, Faye, Dewey, Oklahoma

d. 1990

m. Mar 1942, Texas


& Lola

[additional information available]


& Myrtle

[additional information available]

Georgia RHODES


James Guy RHODES

b. 29 Mar 1881, Fairbury, Jefferson, Nebraska

d. 22 Jan 1935, Ponca City, Kay, Oklahoma

& Selma Louise BOGEY

b. 12 Sep 1893, Sterling, Rice, Kansas

d. 22 Jul 1938, Webb City, Osage, Oklahoma

m. Arnett, Ellis, Oklahoma

Arthur Leroy RHODES

b. Jul 1910, Shattuck, Ellis, Oklahoma

d. 5 Jun 1999, Moore, Cleveland, Oklahoma

& Esther DUNCAN

[additional information available]

Leona Mabel RHODES

b. 10 Aug 1914, Shattuck, Ellis, Oklahoma

d. 10 Sep 1993, Lubbock, Lubbock, Texas

& Kenneth Ralph BABCOCK

b. 28 Nov 1917, Shamrock, Creek, Oklahoma

d. 9 Mar 1980, Snyder, Scurry, Texas

m. 25 Nov 1938, Webb City, Osage, Oklahoma

[additional information available]

Irvin Delbert RHODES*

b. 1917, Shattuck, Ellis, Oklahoma

d. 9 May 2001, Jefferson Town, Kentucky

& Hazel Marie JOHNSON

b. 1917, Pikeville, Kentucky

d. 4 Jun 1993, Louisville, Kentucky

[additional information available]

Irvin Delbert RHODES*

b. 1917, Shattuck, Ellis, Oklahoma

d. 9 May 2001, Jefferson Town, Kentucky

& Claire Driskill

b. 1909

d. 13 Jul 1999, Middletown, Kentucky

[additional information available]

Raymond Max RHODES

b. 1923, Dillsworth, Oklahoma

d. 11 Nov 1998, McAlester, Pittsburg, Oklahoma

[additional information available]

Clyde (Doc) RHODES

& Stella

John Harvey RHODES

d. 1945, Seiling, Oklahoma


b. 1894

d. 1967, Seiling, Oklahoma

William Abraham "Willie" RHODES

b. 1915

d. 1972, Enid, Oklahoma

[additional information available]

Verdon "Buck" RHODES*

b. 1923

d. 1972

[additional information available]

Verdon "Buck" RHODES*

b. 1923

d. 1972

[additional information available]

Margaret Pauline RHODES

b. 1919

d. 1942


Albert WESE

William RHODE*

b. 15 Aug 1845, Warren County, Indiana

d. 15 May 1926, Cottage Grove, Lane, Oregon

& Fannie

m. 18 Aug 1920, Lane, Oregon


b. 7 Mar 1851, Springfield, Sangamon Co., Illinois [In 2004, Mark Kellam provided this record on Caleb Rhode. Mark derived the information from Caleb Rhode's death certificate.]

d. 21 Feb 1910, Lane, Oregon





II. POLLY RHODE, who married James Frazier. [In 2002, Ann Miller Carr supplied the marriage date of 23 February 1841; the marriage took place in Warren County, Indiana.]

III. ESTHER RHODE, who was born on 12 November 1826 and who died on 25 May 1900. She married (1st) on 14 May 1844 John Pickard. They had three children:

(1) Harry Pickard, who was born 27 June 1846 and who died April 1879. He married Emma Coones, and they had four children:

1. Elmer Pickard.

2. Myrtle Pickard.

3. Charles Pickard.

4. Guy Pickard.

(2) Caleb Pickard, who was born on 7 October 1849 [the day Edgar Allan Poe died] and who died on 5 April 1886. On 17 June 1869 he married May Coones. They had one child:

1. Maud Pickard.

(3) Jonathan Pickard, who was born on 15 May 1853. On 3 October 1872 he married Mollie Rice.

Esther (Rhode) Pickard was married (2nd) on 6 August 1854 to Caleb Lewis, whose first wife was Mary Coffin. They had four children:

(1) Laura Lewis, who was born on 3 July 1855 and who was married on 1 October 1874 to Ira Woodward. They lived in Haviland, Kansas. There were four children:

1. Maud Woodward,

2. Madge Woodward.

3. Zora Woodward.

4. Ada Woodward.

All four Woodward daughters were married.

(2) Alice Lewis, who was born on 3 July 1858 and was married to William H. York. They lived in Silverwood, Indiana. There were four children:

1. Ray York.

2. Glenna York.

3. Katherine York.

4. Lewis York.

(3) Ada Lewis, who was born on 29 May 1860 and who was married on 25 April ______ to P. Saunders. They resided at Ridge Farm, Illinois, and had one child:

1. Earl Saunders.

(4) Eva Lewis, who was born on 4 December 1862 and was married to W. S. Hadley. There were four children. [Ellis G. Rhode does not name the children. He does this again in other places later in his history.]

IV. JOSEPH HARVEY BUELL RHODE, who married Sarah Swadener.

[In 2002, Ann Miller Carr provided Joseph's full name, Sarah's first name (which was missing from Ellis G. Rhode's manuscript), and the correct spelling of Swadener.]

[Note from Robert T. Rhode and Ann Miller Carr: We are thrilled that Jeff Cheney contributed information on the Alaskan branch of the Rhode family. By combining his data with that of Elsie Jane Rhode Smith, we constructed the following lengthy section.]

Descendants of Joseph Harvey Buell Rhode

Generation No. 1

1. JOSEPH HARVEY BUELL4 RHODE (CALEB3, JOHN2, PETER1 RHODE?) was born November 28, 1841 in Warren Co., Indiana, and died March 13, 1907 in Minot, Ward Co., North Dakota. He married (1) SARAH SWADENER February 20, 1861 in Warren Co., Indiana. She died Bef. 1866. He married (2) MARIA LOUISA THOMPSON 1866 in Warren Co., Indiana. She was born 1841, and died 1925.


2. i. CHARLES JONATHAN5 RHODE, b. Bet. 1868 - 1869, Fairbury, Jefferson Co., Nebraska; d. June 02, 1923, Colville, Stevens Co., Washington.

ii. EVA RHODE, b. April 04, 1871; d. 1871.

3. iii. ELLA RHODE, b. September 15, 1875, Smith Co., Kansas; d. March 05, 1954, Portland, Clackimus, Multnomah, or Washington Co., Oregon.

4. iv. ERNEST RHODE, b. September 15, 1875, Smith Co., Kansas; d. March 21, 1915, Philomath, Benton Co., Oregon.

v. MARY ESTHER RHODE, b. July 26, 1878; d. 1878.

5. vi. GERTRUDE RHODE, b. 1880, Smith Co., Kansas; d. January 26, 1907.

Generation No. 2

2. CHARLES JONATHAN5 RHODE (JOSEPH HARVEY BUELL4, CALEB3, JOHN2, PETER1 RHODE?) was born Bet. 1868 - 1869 in Fairbury, Jefferson Co., Nebraska, and died June 02, 1923 in Colville, Stevens Co., Washington. He married CORA GRACE SANDERS January 03, 1906. She died 1972 in Colville, Stevens Co., Washington.





Residence: Alaska




Residence: California

6. iv. CLARENCE RHODE, b. 1914; d. 1958, Alaska's Arctic region.


More About GENE RHODE:

Residence: Seattle, King Co., Washington

vi. LOIS RHODE, b. May 02, 1919, Colville, Stevens Co., Washington; d. September 01, 2001, Homer, Kenai Cook Inlet Township, Alaska; m. FRANK IRWIN, 1944; d. 1964, Colville, Stevens Co., Washington.

Notes for LOIS RHODE:

Lois R. Irvin


"Homer resident Lois R. Irvin died Saturday, Sept. 1, 2001, from heart failure at South Peninsula Hospital in Homer. She was 82.

"Memorial services were held at 3 p.m. Wednesday at the Homer Lutheran Church.

"Mrs. Irvin was born May 2, 1919, in Colville, Wash. She was the daughter of Charles and Cora (Sanders) Rhode. She grew up in Colville, where her father managed a fish hatchery and a game farm. Her mother was a substitute teacher. The youngest of six children, she grew up in a family full of music, books and community activities.

"Mrs. Irvin worked at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C., in the 1940s. She married in 1944 and shortly thereafter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and confined to a wheelchair or bed intermittently for several years. Her husband died in 1964, and her mother had a stroke three months later. For six years, she cared for her mother in a convalescent hospital. She came to Alaska shortly after her mother's death in 1972 to visit her cousins Leo and Cecil Rhode and eventually made Alaska her home. Her three bothers were also longtime Alaska residents. She resided in Homer and also lived in Juneau during the legislative sessions.

"Mrs. Irvin was a member of the Methodist and Lutheran churches. She volunteered for many different service boards including the chamber of commerce, Cook Inlet Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, local election board and the South Peninsula Hospital board. She also worked with Sen. Frank Murkowski and Rep. Don Young and took part in many other community activities. She was voted as Homer's Citizen of the Year in 1981.

"The family said, 'Because she wanted to repay the caring and help she had received, she has tried to pass this on to others in her years here. She was always helping the community in any way needed.'

"Mrs. Irvin is survived by her sister, Charl Rhode of California; cousins Leo Rhode of Homer and David Rhode of Cooper Landing; niece Sally Hunter of Olympia, Wash.; grand-niece Lindsay Hunter of Seattle, Wash.; and many friends in Alaska especially Linda and Jim Holbeck, former residents of Homer, who now live in Chewelah, Wash., and Jean Mack, who helped to represent the family during Lois' recent illness.

"In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the American Lung Association, 500 W. International Airport Rd., Suite A, Anchorage, AK 99518, or to the Homer Volunteer Fire Dept., 604 E. Pioneer Ave., Homer, AK 99603.

"Arrangements were by the Homer Funeral Home."


Residence: Pennsylvania

3. ELLA5 RHODE (JOSEPH HARVEY BUELL4, CALEB3, JOHN2, PETER1 RHODE?) was born September 15, 1875 in Smith Co., Kansas, and died March 05, 1954 in Portland, Clackimus, Multnomah, or Washington Co., Oregon. She married ARCHIE MOON 1897 in Nebraska.

More About ELLA RHODE:

Medical Information: Twin to Ernest.

Children of ELLA RHODE and ARCHIE MOON are:


More About GLENN MOON:

Residence: Washington


More About FLOYD MOON:

Residence: Oregon



Residence: Portland, Clackimus, Multnomah, or Washington Co., Oregon




4. ERNEST5 RHODE (JOSEPH HARVEY BUELL4, CALEB3, JOHN2, PETER1 RHODE?) was born September 15, 1875 in Smith Co., Kansas, and died March 21, 1915 in Philomath, Benton Co., Oregon. He married NETTIE CULVER in Kansas. She was born in 1886 and died in 1990.


Medical Information: Twin to Ella.

Residence: 1908, Mohall, Renville Co., North Dakota


After the death of her husband, Ernest Rhode, in 1915, Nettie Culver Rhode moved her six children from their homestead in Philomath, Benton Co., Oregon, back to her hometown in Eureka, Greenwood Co., Kansas. She lived to be 104 years of age. According to Nettie's great-grandson, Jeff Cheney, her twin sister, Nellie, died at 94.




Residence: Wichita, Sedgwick Co., Kansas

7. ii. CECIL RHODE, b. 1901, Kansas; d. Moose Pass, Kenai Cook Inlet Township, Alaska.



Residence: Wellington, Sumner Co., Kansas

iv. LEO RHODE, b. 1907, Mohall, Renville Co., North Dakota; d. November 17, 2002, Homer, Kenai Cook Inlet Township, Alaska; m. FLORIS LICHT, 1951, Alaska; d. 1971, Homer, Kenai Cook Inlet Township, Alaska.

Notes for LEO RHODE:

May 15, 2000, press release on Internet

"University to Honor Former Regents

"Special Recognition for Rasmuson, Rhode

"Alaskans who have served on the University of Alaska's Board of Regents over the years will be honored Wednesday, May 24, at a reception hosted by the current regents and University President Mark R. Hamilton at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art.

"There will be a special recognition ceremony honoring Elmer E. Rasmuson of Anchorage and Leo Rhode of Homer, distinguished Alaskans and former regents who have strongly supported the university for more than 50 years.

"Rhode, a former state legislator, also served on the Board of Regents beginning in 1948. He served as mayor of Homer for two terms and as a city councilman for two years. He was a member of the board of directors of the Homer Electric Association for 17 years, and was instrumental in raising funds for the Homer Senior Citizens Center. In 1996, Rhode received a Meritorious Service Award from UAA. Rhode will be unable to attend because of health reasons.

"The reception will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the museum located at 121 West Seventh Avenue in Anchorage. There are more than 50 former regents still living, and all are invited to the reception.

"In addition, Governor Tony Knowles and all of Alaska's former governors have been invited to the reception as well as all the former presidents of the university."

Anchorage Daily News, March 10, 2002

"Leo Rhode: Happy in politics

"Alaskana Interview

"By Sharon Bushell

"I was born in Mohall, North Dakota, in 1908. My father died in 1915, and the family moved to Eureka, Kansas, where I grew up. My brother Cecil was several years older, but he and I were always very close. The local jeweler took us both under his wing and taught us the craft of watchmaking, which we were able to fall back on at various times. Neither of us wanted to fix watches all our lives; it was just a matter of knowing something that most other people didn't and therefore being able to find work.

"After graduating from high school, I had a strong urge to go on to college, but I had no money. I decided I'd try to get into the Merchant Marine, though I'd had polio when I was 10 and walked with a noticeable limp. In fact, I've had to use a cane almost all my life. But the Merchant Marines must've been desperate, because they snapped me right up. I worked as a deckhand and an oiler in the engine room. I sailed all over the world, and everyone who knows me has heard me boast that I've been through the Panama Canal 13 times. I also worked other jobs that weren't nearly so glamorous: selling vacuum cleaners, working in a soda fountain and so forth.

"Cecil was in California, so I drifted out to the West Coast and got a job in San Francisco. I drove a truck for the San Francisco Chronicle, distributing bundles of newspapers all over the city. Cecil was living in the Sierra foothills, so I hooked up with him and we did some prospecting. That got us thinking that maybe we ought to go to Alaska.

"We went to Seattle, got on an Alaska steamship and arrived in Ketchikan in April 1933. We were there too early to work in any of the canneries, so we got hold of a little skiff and rowed all the way to Haines, just for the heck of it. We had a wonderful time, fishing, digging for clams, visiting people all along the way. We also did a little prospecting, but it didn't amount to much.

"In the fall we went to Juneau. In those days you could go into a jewelry store and tell them you were a watchmaker and they'd grab you by the arm, lead you to the back room and put you right to work. Wherever we went, there were always boxes of watches that needed fixing; apparently there weren't any other watchmakers in the territory at that time.

"I did some surveying work for the government for a couple years in Auke Bay and all around Southeast. I heard there was a pretty good college in Fairbanks, so in 1935 I went up there and enrolled in business administration. I needed to work too, of course, and was able to get a job as acting postmaster. I also worked part time on the Alaska Railroad.

"I always knew I was meant for college, and those were great years. The school's population was quite low, so everyone knew everyone else. Sometimes there'd only be three or four students in a class. I spent two summers collecting fossils for the American Museum of Natural History and graduated in 1940.

"During the war I worked for the U.S. Land Office in Anchorage, supervising 53 CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camps. Later I spent two years working for the Department of the Interior as administrative assistant to the game commissioner. I also commercially fished in Southeast.

"After the war, another fellow and I ran a food locker and grocery store in Anchorage. That led to me becoming a wholesale food distributor; my territory was the Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak area. I had always liked Homer, and I decided that when the time was right, that's where I would put down roots.

"In 1951 I married Floris Licht, and the following year we moved to Homer. We built our home on the beach overlooking Kachemak Bay, and for 15 years I was the office manager for HEA (Homer Electric Association).

"Those were good years. Floris and I, along with some close friends, were lucky to get hold of some land on Bear Island, at the head of the bay. We had a little boat. We'd go to the island and stay in our cabin on weekends; it was so wonderfully peaceful and quiet there. I'd have to return to work on Monday, but Floris often stayed, then I'd join her at the end of the week.

"In 1960 I was talked into running for the House of Representatives. I didn't win by any sweeping victory, but I won. I liked being in Juneau. I was busy all the time; there were always lots of important issues to deal with. But I didn't like the rain, and it rained in Juneau most of the time. Plus I always felt that the Capital should have been in Anchorage or Fairbanks, someplace where the people could access it. I still predict they'll move it one of these days.

"I was happy to serve one term, then come home. But I guess I never learned how to say no or how to slow down, because somehow I ended up running for mayor of Homer. That turned out to be an eight-year job, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy it. Homer is full of interesting, quirky people, and a mayor just naturally gets acquainted with the town's citizens. To me it was a joy to be involved with city politics, and I always marveled at how contrary--and how charitable--people can be. When I finished being mayor and thought I could finally relax a little, Gov. Jay Hammond appointed me to a vacant House seat in 1975. I completed two terms in '78.

"Floris died in 1971. I moved into the Homer Senior Center eight years ago, and I love it here. There's something good about each new day. I still love to read. In the summers, if I feel like going for a boat ride, someone always takes me. I go out every day, thanks to good friends. Even though I feel like I'm always on the go, at least now I know how to take it easy, whereas I didn't before. I just plowed through whatever I was doing; now I slow down or stop.

"What's the secret of my longevity? Funny you should ask. All my life, stretching way back to when I was in the Merchant Marines, I've been around people who liked liquor. I liked their company, but I was never a drinker, so when we'd go into the booze joints I'd just drink juice. Not long ago I calculated that, over the years, if I had saved all the money I might otherwise have spent on alcohol, I'd have about half a million dollars.

"It seems like the longer I stayed in Alaska, the less I wanted to go outside. I did go to Kansas to attend my mother's 100th birthday (she lived to be 104), but I've only been out three or four times and never for long. There's just too many people and too many rules for my liking.

"I loved Alaska from the moment I got here. Now that I've been up here almost 70 years, I figure I might as well stay the rest of my life."

"FOOTNOTE: The humble Mr. Rhode didn't bother to mention it, but, as I was reading the plaques on his wall, I learned that he was named Homer's citizen of the year in 1982. In March 1989 the Legislature honored him for 50 years of public service. A few months later the Northwest Public Power Association gave him a lifetime membership and distinguished-service award.

"In May 2000, Rhode and other former regents were acknowledged for their strong support of the University of Alaska for more than 50 years. Too ill to attend the ceremony, Rhode was surprised when, a month later, UA president Mark Hamilton and University of Alaska Anchorage chancellor Lee Gorsuch arrived in Homer to present him with an exact replica of a medallion that only the president of the university is supposed to wear. Hamilton told him, 'This is something you have earned the right to own forever.'

"Sharon Bushell lives and writes in Homer"

From a book titled:

In Those Days--Alaska Pioneers of the Lower Kenai Peninsula; Personal Histories Written by Pioneers of Alaska; Elks Lodge, Igloo 32, Auxiliary 14, Homer, Alaska; 1992

Inside the book, Jeff Cheney found the following hand-written note:

"Note from the desk of Leo Rhode 1/22/92:

"Hi All,

"The Rhode material submitted in this book was gathered by Lois and I and compiled by Charl Rhode. The work was done about two years ago. The book came off the press last week. This is the last straw.


"Leo Rhode's long and distinguished Alaskan career began in 1933 but his interesting and often colorful life began some years earlier. He was born in 1908 in Mohall, N.D., the fourth of five children, but when he was six months old the family moved to Philomath, Oregon, to homestead. When he was 7 years old, his father died and the family moved to Kansas. He graduated from high school there in 1928, having worked in jewelry stores after school, learning watchmaking, a trade in which he returned at various times in later life."

[picture] Leo Rhode skiing near Kenai Lake, January 1940

"For the next few years, until September 1932, he signed on intermittently with the Merchant Marine and sailed the oceans of the world, including the stormy Straights of Magellan, the South Pacific Islands and 13 trips through the Panama Canal. These were the depression years and jobs were scarce. Between trips, he worked at various jobs, such as selling vacuum cleaners in Detroit, drug store soda jerk in New York City where he lived for several months. Eventually, he worked his was to San Francisco where he drove a paper distribution truck for the San Francisco Chronicle. He then joined his brother, Cecil (who later became an Alaskan legend in wildlife photography) in the Sierra foothills of California. They prospected for a time and there heard about prospecting in Alaska. They picked olives and did whatever they could to earn enough for a Model-T Ford to take them as far as Seattle on their way north.

"They arrived in Ketchikan in April 1933, via Alaska Steamship steerage. It was too early for work in the canneries, so they traded a 20-gauge shotgun for a 15-foot skiff and rowed from Ketchikan to Haines. They fished, dug clams and lived off the country. Along the way, they visited fox farms and other isolated outposts. They were welcomed like royalty everywhere, urged to stay, but, loaded with canned fish, bread, and other staples for the continued journey, they traveled on. From Haines they prospected (unsuccessfully) and in the fall sold their skiff and caught a ride to Juneau. Their journal of this adventure was published in installments in Seattle and California newspapers."

[picture] Queen and King Regents, Helen March and Leo Rhode, Homer Winter Carnival Parade, 1989

"Leo found work first with the U.S. Forest Service surveying homesites at Auke Bay and later with U.S.G.S. on an aerial mapping project in all of Southeast Alaska. Two years later, in 1935, he decided the time had come to start his long deferred college education. Reaching Valdez by boat, he bought a truck ride to Fairbanks and enrolled at the University of Alaska in a business and finance curriculum. In his sophomore year, he was elected student body president. Throughout his time at the University, he held various other offices. After school and during breaks, he acted as assistant postmaster, did watchmaking, assisted with college publications, worked on the Alaska Railroad, the U.S.G.S. fire control division in Anchorage, and for two summers collected fossils for the American Museum of Natural History (financed by Frick Foundation). He graduated in 1940 in a class of 32 students. He described his college classes as akin to private tutoring, with only 2 to 4 students to a class.

"Since he finished classes in midterm before graduation, he took a short vacation, skiing with his brother, Cecil, on the Kenai.

"He tried to join the Navy, then the Army, at the outbreak of WWII, but was rejected because of a limp resulting from polio at age 10. He was classified as 1-B (acceptable only in emergency) which made employment difficult in contrast to 1-F (ineligible because of severe impairment) which meant not subject to call. However, he eventually found employment with the U.S. Land Office in Anchorage where he supervised operation of 53 CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) camps in the public domain. He was responsible for the construction of fire breaks, which were used for landing strips. In 1942 he became administrative assistant to Frank Dufresne, Game Commission, Department of Interior, where he remained until 1944.

"For the next 3 years, he lived in southeast Alaska. During the summers he was a commercial fisherman (troller) and during the winters worked in jewelry/watchmaking. From 1947-1951, he operated, in partnership, a food locker and grocery store in Anchorage. In 1951, after spending the winter at Cooper Landing on the Kenai, he became a wholesale food distributor for the Kenai Peninsula--Kodiak area. In covering this territory he discovered and fell in love with Homer. He had married Floris Licht in April 1951, and in 1952 they moved to Homer, building a home on the bluff along what is now Kachemak Drive. The first year was without power and water, so they continued living in Cooper Landing or camping in a tent at the homesite while building.

"In 1956 he began a long association with Homer Electric Association as office manager and staff assistant. In June 1971, he resigned, shortly before the death of his wife, but he remained on the Board of Directors for 17 years, including president of the board.

"Leo's public service career spanned his entire life in Alaska. His political career began with his election by south Peninsula voters to the House of Representatives in November, 1960. He chose not to run for a second term, but in 1975 Governor Jay Hammond appointed him to a vacant House seat and he completed 2 terms in 1978. This was followed by two terms as Mayor of Homer. He had previously served two terms on the Homer City Council (1964-68) during which time he worked successfully toward changing the status of Homer to a first class city.

"Leo's public and community service was not limited to official positions although during his terms in the legislature he contributed to the creation of the Permanent Fund, construction of the pipeline, and development of the Senior Citizen facility in Homer. Yet the breadth and nature of his service to and on behalf of the community are reflected most clearly in the range of his activities and appointments: to name a few, Board of Regents, University of Alaska, 1948-1956; Director, Bank of Homer, 1954-1960; and, when it became National Bank of Alaska, service on the Advisory Board, 1960-1973; National Bank of Alaska Board of Directors, 1973-1988; Homer Library Board, 1952-1956; State Health Board under Governors Hickel and Miller, 1968-1971; South Peninsula Hospital Board, 1978-1988; Charter member Pioneer Igloo #32; Charter member Elks Lodge #2127.

"Many awards have recognized Leo's contributions, among them the Mason Lazelle award from Alaska Rural Electric Cooperative Association for outstanding achievement in advancement of rural electricity in Alaska (1986). He was named Citizen of the Year in 1982 by Homer Chamber of Commerce, and was nominated for Alaskan of the Year in 1983. In March 1989, the State Legislature honored him for his 50 years of public service. In June 1989, the Northwest Public Power Association conferred life membership and the Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions in the interest of public power. In the same year, he resigned from all committees and boards, but he continued to maintain active relationships with groups, organizations, and individuals he had worked with before, and to give freely of his knowledge and skills for the benefit of the people and community he knew so well."

[additional information available]

5. GERTRUDE5 RHODE (JOSEPH HARVEY BUELL4, CALEB3, JOHN2, PETER1 RHODE?) was born 1880 in Smith Co., Kansas, and died January 26, 1907. She married UNKNOWN BRANSON.



Generation No. 3

6. CLARENCE6 RHODE (CHARLES JONATHAN5, JOSEPH HARVEY BUELL4, CALEB3, JOHN2, PETER1 RHODE?) was born 1914, and died 1958 in Alaska's Arctic region. [In 2005, Charles C. Rhode provided this information: "The Clarence J. Rhode Field Station, established in 1981, is dedicated to the memory of a former Alaskan F&W director, a conservationist, who was killed in a Brooks Range airplane crash in 1958." The quotation is from Robert Sullivan's "ANWR: The Last Call of the Wild."]


Cause of Death: Killed in an airplane crash.

Occupation: U.S. Regional Director, U.S. Game Commission (now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)


i. JAMES7 RHODE, d. 1958, Alaska's Arctic region.


Cause of Death: Killed in an airplane crash.

7. CECIL6 RHODE (ERNEST5, JOSEPH HARVEY BUELL4, CALEB3, JOHN2, PETER1 RHODE?) was born 1901 in Kansas, and died in Moose Pass, Kenai Cook Inlet Township, Alaska. He married HELEN UNKNOWN. [In 2002, Jeff Cheney supplied the following photograph of Mt. Cecil Rhode and the map showing its location.]

Notes for CECIL RHODE:

Cecil Rhode was a noted nature/wildlife writer and photographer whose work appeared in magazines such as National Geographic (August 1954) and Sports Afield (June 1964). He also was a cinemaphotographer employed by Walt Disney to shoot nature films in Alaska. He lived in Moose Pass, southeast of Anchorage and near Seward, Alaska.

Cecil Rhode has a mountain named after him. Mt. Cecil Rhode overshadows the Sterling Highway near the Snug Harbor section of Cooper Landing, Kenai Cook Inlet Township, Alaska.

Eureka Herald, June 27, 2002

Page 4

(Unfortunately the title of the article is cut off on Jeff Cheney's copy.)

"Cecil and Leo Rhode were born in North Dakota, but the family moved to Eureka where the boys attended school. Cecil graduated from Eureka High School in 1922 and Leo in 1928. During part of their high school years, Cecil and W.E. 'Diz' Sears roomed together in the White Building at 2nd and Main, currently known as the McCarthy Building.

"During this time Cecil became employed at Carter Jewelry, first as janitor and errand boy, but soon the store owner, W.H. Carter, began teaching him to repair timepieces and Cecil became an expert watchmaker. Later, Leo also learned the watchmaking trade at Carter's. After leaving Eureka, Cecil panned for gold in Colorado then moved to California and worked at watch repairing.

"In 1933, the brothers went to Alaska and spent the summer sailing a skiff from Ketchikan to Haines, a distance of more than 600 miles. They were so enamoured with the country that they persuaded their cousin, Clarence Rhode, to join them in 1935 for a float trip down the Yukon River. They sustained themselves by living off the land, killing game, digging clams and fishing.

"Cecil settled in Kenai Peninsula, built a log cabin at Cooper Landing, and became interested in wildlife photography. During World War II, while film was unavailable, he went to Seattle and worked in the instrument division of Boeing. At the war's end, he returned to Eureka for a few weeks to visit his mother, Nettie Estes, and other relatives and friends.

"In 1946, he married a lady he had met while in Seattle and they went to his Alaska cabin. For the rest of his life, Cecil supported his family with his photography. Many times he toured the US in the winter months showing his films, and on one occasion in the late 1940s he stopped briefly in Eureka and while here he entertained the Men's Fellowship Class of the Congregational Church with his Alaska wildlife movies. He was once a director of the Izzak Walton League, the Alaska Conservation Society, a member of the Explorers Club of New York, as well as other conservation organizations. His wife, Helen, also became a photographer and has work published in Outdoor Life, the Alaska magazine and other publications.

"Cecil died at his cabin in 1979, leaving his wife [additional information available]. Mt. Cecil Rhode, a mountain near the Kenai River, was named in his honor.

"Leo Rhode, six years Cecil's junior, participated in many activities at Eureka High School and was a cheerleader during his senior year. A newspaper item in 1931 noted Leo and his friend had put a rowboat in the water at Eureka City Park and intended to float to New Orleans, via the Fall River, Verdigris, Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers. The report stated, 'They plan to arrive in New Orleans in late August where the boat will be sold and they will board a cotton freighter for Europe. Since their graduation from high school in 1928 the boys have visited China, South America and Australia besides various points along the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of the United States.'

"After the Yukon adventures, Leo worked for a time with the U.S. Forest Service, studied business and finance at the University of Alaska, and at various times did watchmaking, collected fossils, worked on the Alaskan Railroad, and was a commercial fisherman, a wholesale food distributor and office manager at the Homer (AK) Electric Association. In 1960, he was elected to the Alaska State Legislature, where he served for 15 years, during which time the Legislature approved construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. He served two terms as Mayor of Homer and was selected 1922 Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He has been a member of the National Bank of Alaska Advisory Board, the University of Alaska Board of Regents, as well as a myriad of other panels, boards and commissions. At 93, he is residing in Homer, Alaska.

"The boys' 21-year-old cousin, Clarence, who accompanied them on the Yukon River trip, went to work for the Alaska Game Commission and in just twelve years rose to the position of U.S. Regional Director and Executive Officer. In 1958, he left Fairbanks with his son and another Game Commission employee, piloting a Game Commission plane on a routine flight into Arctic Alaska. They failed to return and the crash site was undiscovered for twenty-one years.

"Cecil and Leo's mother, Nettie Estes, lived for more than 50 years on South Oak Street in Eureka before entering a nursing home where she died in 1984, at the age of 104. Her twin sister, Nellie Hale, live in Eureka and died at the age of 94.

"A more complete history of the Rhode family, with photographs, is available at the Historical Society Museum in Eureka. Feel free to examine it."


Occupation: Writer, photographer, cinematographer

Residence: Alaska

[additional information available]

[At this point, we return to Ellis G. Rhode's manuscript.]

References on Caleb Rhode:

It is said that Caleb Rhode was buried in the old Rhode family graveyard near Tabor, Iowa. In 1948, a search by Tabor relatives failed to locate his headstone.

The name of the wife came from Fanny (Rhode) Cobb of Attica, Indiana. The residence in Kansas, going to Tabor, Iowa, in old age, and two sons she knew, Seymour and Harvey, from Sadie (Rhode) Matthews-Wright.

The names of his four children came from Fern Williams, Tabor, Iowa. in 1948.

The descendants of Ester Rhode came from notes of Mrs. Dolch of Attica, Indiana.



Ester Rhode was born on the John Rhode Plantation near St, George, South Carolina, on 17 March 1794. She married ____________ Summers. They lived in South Carolina and had four children:


II. MILDRED SUMMERS, who was married on January 30, 1861 to Hiram Appleby.

III. FRANCES SUMMERS, who was married to Peter Horne and had one child:

(1) Etta Horne, who was married to George F. Lewis.

IV. CARRIE SUMMERS, who was married to ____________ Horne and had no children. The information on Esther Rhode’s family is almost entirely false. Three items are correct: Esther Rhode did marry a Summers, they had a son named George, and their daughter married (Richard) Hiram Appleby on 30 Jan. 1861. Ellis states that the two Rhode daughters, Mary and Esther, had married by the time their parents left South Carolina. This is wrong. Neither was married even by the time their brother William left St. George in 1812. Mary married William Murray IV in 1813, but Esther remained unmarried for many years. John Rhode may have deeded his South Carolina properties to her, as Hester is listed as “Hessie Rhode” on the 1825 St. George tax list. Around 1827, Esther married Daniel Summers. The information on Esther Rhode Summers and her family was given to Ellis Rhode by A. Dolch. The information was undoubtedly given to Mrs. Dolch by Miss Annie Dash Moorer, who was corresponding with her. The family attributed to Esther “Hessie” Rhode Summers by Dolch and Moorer is that of another Summers family related to Esther’s husband Daniel Summers. According to the Diary of David Gavin, a native of the St. George area who kept thorough records on the area’s residents from 1845 through 1874, “Hessie” Rhode married Daniel Summers. Extrapolating from their children’s ages, we can conclude that the marriage occurred around 1827. Daniel and Esther Rhode Summers are found with children John, William, George, and Elizabeth in St. George, Colleton Co. (now Dorchester Co.) South Carolina. According to the 1850 U.S. Mortality Index, John Summers died January 1850. By the time of the 1860 census, Daniel is also deceased, but Esther Rhode Summers and children George and Elizabeth are again found in St. George. Son William is not found. The Gavin Diary mentions “Hessie Summers’” death on 29 Mar. 1861, saying that her father was named “Rhode.” The marriage of daughter Elizabeth Summers to Richard Hiram Appleby is also noted in the Gavin Diary on the same date as the “Mildred Summers” listed in the Dolch/Moorer information: ”Hyram Appleby, son of James P Appleby and Miss Summers, daughter of Hessee and Daniel Summers, were married January the 30th, 1861.” An 1866 deed found in the Colleton Co. recorder’s office registers that Richard “Hiram” Appleby claimed the estate and property of George Summers, who died in the Civil War. “Hiram” Appleby wrote that his wife Elizabeth, George’s sister, was the only heir. It is highly likely that their brother William lost his life before 1860 or in the war before George did. There are a few misgivings about Esther Rhode Summers. Although her age is incorrect in the 1850 census, her age in 1860, after the death of her husband, does match with that of John and Mary Lewis Rhode’s daughter. The puzzle is with the age of her daughter, Elizabeth. Did Esther really bear her at age 50? Was she adopted? The 1866 deed does verify that Elizabeth Summers Appleby was the sister of George Summers who died in the Civil War. (Note: The Gavin Diary, among the holdings in the University of North Carolina library, is esteemed by historical experts and researchers. The Diary was published in 2001 by the Upper Dorchester [South Carolina] Historical Society.)


The date of birth of Ester Rhode came from the Thomas Rhode Bible and was reported by his grandson Bert Matthews of Salem, Iowa, in 1948.

Information on descendants came from Annie Dash Moorer of Wallterboro, South Carolina, who is a Murray descendant.

In the early history of Warren County, Indiana, Lewis Rhode lists Ester as a daughter of John Rhode.


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