Monday, February 17, 2014

Rhodes Family of Teague, Tennessee

[Eliza & Franklin Rhodes (seated) with two of their children Daniel & Lela)

As a small boy during the Civil War, Franklin lived near a railroad trestle. His father, James P Rhodes, was a Captain in Company D of the 28th Tennessee Cavalry Battalion leaving his family without a father for much of the war. While Tennessee was occupied by the Union, the trestle in front of their house was a target of confederate bushwhackers, so there were usually guards set near their home. In one attack young Frankie ran to get his toy bucket instead of taking cover. A union Sargent grabbed Frank and hid him behind a tree to keep him out of the line of fire. Later in the war a new group of union guards arrived and helped themselves to whatever they saw on the Rhodes' farm. It was Frankie who complained to the Captain of the guard, saying they needed food. The Captain afterwards cut his soldiers' rations and sent a portion to the Rhodes family.

Eventually the war ended and Frankie grew up and married Eliza Hayse. They raised a family - five children - and soon they too were getting married. It was then, in February of 1907 that Frank first met the missionaries. At the time he suffered from an unidentified stomach ailment. In mid March when he learned about the laying on of hands, he asked the Elders to administer to him. Afterwards he testified "that he was restored to health through their administration" (Liahona 5:445). A few months later he and his family were baptized by Elder Dennis Samuel Dorrity (Kanosh, Utah).

Franklin Pierce Rhodes (age 52)
Eliza A. (Hayse) Rhodes (age 49)
James Thomas Rhodes (age 32)
Daniel Wilbron Rhodes (age 18)
Lela F. Rhodes (age 11)

The Rhodes family remained committed to the gospel. They welcomed the missionaries on their periodic visits to Teague. They introduced family members to the missionaries. In September 1908, their daughter Laura M. Rhodes Couples and her husband, Lee Adam Couples were baptized, followed two days later by Adam's cousins Evanham L Caraway and Sophia Catherine Easley. The makings of a small branch were forming quickly.

Lee Adam Couples
Laura Ann Malinda (Rhodes) Couples
Elbert Lancine Caraway
Sophie Catherine (Easley) Caraway
Francis Guthere Fry (a future relative)

Elders A. L. Whittle and B. A. Johnson reported that on a visit in November 1908, brother Rhodes again asked for a blessing and "he was healed instantly." (Liahona 6:726)

Elders returned again on March 28th 1909 for the marriage of Daniel Rhodes to Linnie Fry. Elder Christian Bandley performed the wedding (Liahona 7:1121). Not long after that both Linnie and James' wife Minnie were baptized.

Minnie Agnes (Estes) Rhodes (Wife of James Thomas Rhodes) 1909 May 17
Linnie Bell (Fry) Rhodes (Wife of Daniel Wilborn Rhodes) 1909 Jun 20

Frank served a Superintendent of the Sunday School for the Teague Branch. Sadly he only lived for three more years.   He passed away June 28, 1910 from sciatic rheumatism (Liahona 8:109). His children continued his legacy of Church work. Daniel became the next Sunday School Superintendent. Members of the family filled several roles in the Sunday School as well. (Liahona 8:749)

In the years that followed many more family members joined the Church. Often it was when a missionary pair found their way back to Teague or neighboring Toone. They would take the opportunity to baptize children over the age of accountability. Of course it was at the request of an adult; a parent or an uncle or aunt.

1913 Oct 16
Dewey McKinley Fry (age 12) Nephew of Linnie Rhodes
Minnie Rosa Fry (age 13) Niece of Linnie Rhodes
Arlington Smith Fry (age 10) Nephew of Linnie Rhodes

1918 May 17-22
Alvin Dennis Rhodes (age 9) Son of James & Minnie
Floyd Candon Rhodes (age 12) Son of James & Minnie
Matt Oneal Rhodes (age 16) Son of James & Minnie
Elmer Nephi Rhodes (age 8) Son of Daniel & Linnie
Elmer Mayne Caraway (age 10) Son of E L & S C Caraway
Edna Rebecca Vaughn Caraway (age 8) Dau of E. L. & S. C. Caraway

As it is with children, they grow up, some move away, some lose interest in the Church. I have not been able to locate any living descendants and so could not say whether any are still involved in the Church. The area they lived in straddles the boundary between the Jackson Ward and the Corinth Ward.

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