Friday, March 17, 2017


Rhodes Cemetery update, courtesy of Matt W Cumberledge
Matt W Cumberledge to Greene Connections
9 hrs
As many of you might remember, we've been following the progress of the Rhodes Family Cemetery in Franklin Township, behind the Econo Lodge In Waynesburg. In preparation for the construction of a new hotel, the hill was cut away from the Rhodes Cemetery, leaving it in a vulnerable state. We have a hearing on Wednesday the 22nd, a vital step in preserving this small family cemetery, and we can use the help of anyone who may read this. Please send an email to and let us know what you think about how this cemetery has been endangered, and why you think it is important to preserve it. Comments and Messages will help as well! Here is a bit of background on William Rhodes Sr, who is buried in the cemetery,
William Rhodes
Early Pioneer
Many people are unaware as they are driving down the busy thoroughfare of Rt 21 through Waynesburg going towards Interstate 79, that looking down on them is the final resting place of one of Greene Counties most interesting pioneers. There is a lot of fact and folklore about William Rhodes in all the published histories of Greene County, and here are just a few highlights of his rather interesting life. William Rhodes was born in Rhode Island in 1759, and it seems that most of his early years were spent on the sea. According to Waychoff in his series of Articles on the History of Greene County that were published in the early part of the last Century, he was captured at least four times during the time period of the Revolutionary War, once by the French in 1778, that lasted for two years and later on a voyage from London he was again captured, and released in 1780 by an American Negotiation. (The Specifics of this are unclear.) A year later he was again captured by the French, and upon his release he was taken by the British and held in Prison in New York. Rhodes is often cited as a Privateer and a Pirate, though it seems he was a supporter of the American cause. His series of misadventures on the open seas, encouraged Mr Rhodes to venture inland, where he first appears at Old Fort Redstone (We know it now as Brownsville) around 1788, where he was a peddlar, and eventually settled and operated a store in the neighborhood of Fort Jackson. (Now Waynesburg.) During his life and times in Greene County, he had several noteworthy engagements with the Indians, unfortunately they are too numerous to detail in this artical, however any of the readily availably County Histories all contain notes and tales of our subject. William Rhodes died January 1st 1844, and is buried in the Rhodes Family Cemetery in Franklin Township. Quite a bit can be learned about Mr Rhodes, especially from Bates' History of Greene County PA, The Tenmile Country and It's Pioneer Families by Howard Leckey, and Waychoff's History of Greene County, all easy to find in the libraries here in Waynesburg. Unfortunately, Rhodes final resting place is in danger of being lost, next time you are headed down Route 21, look up behind the Econo Lodge at the Construction Site. Seated atop that large tower of unsupported earth is a stone wall that marks the boundaries of the Rhodes Family Cemetery, and if you look closely enough, you can see the tall white marble marker that marks William's Grave.
Matthew W Cumberledge
20th November 2015

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