Educated at Hamilton College, Rhodes studied law and then moved to Bloomfield, Indiana, being admitted to the bar there in 1846. He served one term as the prosecuting attorney for the circuit court (1849), and departed for California in 1854. Settling in San Jose, he became district attorney in 1859 and then State Senator in 1860. He was elected to the Supreme Court of California in 1864 and served until 1880, being Chief Justice from 1870 to 1872. From 1899 to 1907 he served as a Superior Court judge in Santa Clara County.
Rhodes remained active to an advanced age; he gave an address at the annual convention of the California Bar Association in June 1918, 4 months before his death at the age of 97.
Rhodes married Elizabeth Cavins (1830–1901), a judge's daughter, in 1846.
|Chief Justice of California
- http://www.archive.org/stream/sfranciscoslaure00hartrich/sfranciscoslaure00hartrich_djvu.txt contains death date for Rhodes
- http://www.millersofwashingtoncounty.org/Greene/Greene-Ch06.html History of Greene County
- http://www.cschs.org/02_history/02_c.html California Supreme Court Historical Society list of justices
- History of California, Volume 24, Bancroft, Oak, Nemos, and Victor, The History Company, 1890, p. 235 (note 12)
- http://files.usgwarchives.net/ca/santaclara/history/1922/historyo/chapterx477nms.txt History of Santa Clara County, California
- Proceedings of the annual convention, California Bar Association, volume 9, 1918
- http://boards.ancestry.ca/localities.northam.usa.states.indiana.counties.greene/3337/mb.ashx message board giving dates for ECR
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