genealogy trails

Christian County Illinois

Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.

Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.

Portrait and biographical record of Christian County, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and   representative citizens, together with biographies of all the Governors of the state, and of the Presidents of the United States.  Chicago, Ill. : Lake City Pub. Co., 1893.  Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.
AMOS A. RHODES, who is now living a retired life on his farm on section 17, Pana Township, was born in Shelby County, Ill., May 23, 1841. He traces his ancestry back to one of the Revolutionary heroes, his great-grandfather, Hezekiah Rhodes, having been a soldier in the War for Independence.

The family is of Scotch-Irish descent. The grandfather, Jesse Rhodes, was a native of North Carolina, and a farmer by occupation. In 1830 he came to Shelby County, and was one of the Commissioners appointed by the Governor to select a site for the county seat of Macon County, and was one of the three that located the same where Decatur now stands. In politics, he was a Democrat and was honored with a number of public offices.

James M. Rhodes, father of our subject, was born and reared in Wilson County, Tenn. The mother bore the maiden name of Permetty Wakefield. She was born October 13, 1824, in Shelby County, Ill. and is the oldest native citizen of Shelby County now living, and now resides with her son Amos at Pana. Her father, Andrew Wakefield, was born in Georgia, and became a pioneer of Shelby County. About 1820, locating on what became known as the Wakefield settlement, he entered land from the Government, and was thus one of the first permanent settlers. Indians were still numerous in the neighborhood, and everything was in its primitive condition. His death occurred at the age of forty-eight years. His mother's father and mother, Charles and Anna Wakefield, were born on the same ship while their respective parents were crossing the Atlantic to America.

The parents of our subject were married in Shelby County in 1840. The father was one of the pioneer teachers of that locality and was an extensive farmer. His death occurred in Shelby County at the age of forty-three.

In the family there were but two sons, Amos and Jesse. The latter was born in 1844, and died in the service of his country in 1864, from disease contracted in the army. He was a member of Company G, One Hundred and Forty-third Illinois Infantry.

Amos was reared in his native county, and the first school which he attended convened in a log cabin, his father being the teacher. During the time of the late war he was a student in Quincy College [ed., probably Quincy University], and would have graduated in 1863, had not the Government appropriated the building for a hospital.

In 1864 Mr. Rhodes embarked in the grocery business in Pana, under the firm name of Eichelberger & Rhodes, which he carried on for five years, and then engaged in the real-estate business. In 1873 he was elected County Treasurer and ex-officio County Collector on the Democratic ticket, and held that office for six years, having been re-elected at the two succeeding elections.

When his term had expired, in the year 1879, he retired to his farm two miles south of Pana, having resolved to live a private life, but later held the office of Township Supervisor for three terms, and in the year 1884 was again called to the county seat, being elected Clerk of the Circuit Court, which position he acceptably filled for four years. Declining to be nominated again, he returned to his present farm of eighty acres, lying just west of Pana, where he has since lived retired.

Mr. Rhodes was married January 2, 1865, to Miss Dora, daughter of Ignatz Jageman, of Madison County. She was born in Hesse-Darmstadt [ed., Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt], Germany, and when she was six years of age the family settled in Trenton, N. J.

Her father was a prominent man, being Burgomaster of Furth, his native city. Four children were born unto our subject and his wife: Edward J., who is Deputy Circuit Clerk of Christian County and resides in Taylorville; Charles A., Deputy County Clerk, and also living in Taylorville; and two sons who died in infancy. Mr. Rhodes is a member of Pana Lodge No. 226, A. F.& A. M., and of Orient Chapter, O. E. S.

Mr. Rhodes has been called upon to mourn the loss of his life companion, she being called hence on the 6th of May, 1892, as the result of a lingering illness. She was a lady of education and refinement, and had good advantages in both German and English, having finished her education in Trenton, N. J. A lady of wide acquaintance, her place in the community will be difficult to fill.

Mr. Rhodes was elected in the year 1868 the first City Clerk of Pana, and held that office for three successive terms. In the various offices in which he has been called upon to serve, he has discharged his duties with a promptness and fidelity that have won him high commendation. He is true to every public and private trust, and naught is said against him in the community where he has so long made his home.


© Judy Edwards and Genealogy Trails