The Rhodes Family Papers consist of correspondence (1838-1877), Robert H. Rhodes diary
(1848-1849), California ranch business records(1858-1898), and miscellaneous biographical
and genealogical materials pertaining to the Rhodes, Smith, Pister and McDermott
Dr. Robert H. Rhodes, a physician from New York City, came to California in 1849. His
cousin, Col. Elisha A. Rhodes (1791-1858), a widower, had earlier gone to Texas where he
was appointed U.S. Consul(1838). There Elisha married a widow, Mary Kimball (1808-1893)
of Houston, and they had two sons, Cullen C. (b. 1839) and Edward A. (b. 1841). Both
Elisha and Mary Rhodes also had children by their previous marriages. One of Col. Rhodes'
sons, William Henry Rhodes (1822-1876), later achieved fame in California as author
"Caxton" Rhodes. Elisha Rhodes was incapacitated by a stroke during the late 1840s and
his wife, Mary, went to California with William H. (1850), leaving her husband behind. In
1852 she returned to Texas and brought the entire Rhodes family to California, settling
them on Windsor Ranch about five miles from Stockton. After Col. Rhodes' death Mary
Rhodes continued to operate their ranch for many years. She was also active in prisoner
relief work during the Civil War.