Hello....ran across a bit more here on Thomas Rhoades! I'm very very
busy right now w/meeting a deadline, but ran across this in a book by Kerry
R. & Lisa Boren about early Mormon history, that a friend had recommended
to me in the past, ages ago.
Here's what I could find on Thomas Rhoades, from several
sources, including one of Boren's books. This does seem rather
Late in the fall of 1849, at about the same time Isaac Morley led the
first colonizers to Sanpete Valley nr. Manti in Utah, Thomas Rhoades (a
member of the Mormon Battalion) arrived from Calif. and paid a tithing of
$17,000 in gold dust gleaned from Sutter's Mill. With this gold dust from
T. Rhoades, Brigham Young bagan the coinage of gold coins, best known as
'Mormon Money'. John M. Kay and Willard Richards, under the supervision of
Thomas Bullock, established the 'Deseret Mint' in the home of Dr. Wm. Sharp,
a dentist. The gold coins were cast in the values of $2.50 to $20.00, &
were engraved on one side w/an emblem of 'clasped hands', surrounded by the
official engraving title and value amount, while the obverse was engraved
with the "all-seeing eye", surrounded by the logo. 'Holiness To the Lord'.
These are all masonic (or, as some believe, such as the Borens, "Templar")
symbols. By late in 1850, & for a few years after, a good number of these
types of coins began to circulate & there was much speculation about the
'source' of the metal used. The Mormon Church remained silent and has
continued to be silent on the subject ever since (acc. to the Borens)
On 7 July 1850, Isaac Morley officiated at the dedication of a new
bowery in Manti, at which the Ute Chief Walker attended with over 200
members of his tribe. After his speech, about 120 Utes became Mormons and
were baptized. According to Morley's journal (as state the Borens)
eventually Ute Chief Walker allowed gold to be taken from the mines in the
area that they guarded, but that the location of them would be given to only
one person --- not even B. Young himself was said to know exactly where it
was. The penalty of death would be inflicted on anyone who would come near
them, or try and follow the 'chosen' person to retrieve the gold. Isaac
Morley was this man, as he clearly had a special relationship with Chief
Walker, and had somehow managed to convince him that he was the 'one' to be
trusted with such confidential information that the Utes had known for
But in May of 1852, Brigham Young again visited the Manti settlement. He
brought with him the man chosen to bring gold from the mines ---Thomas
Rhoades. Rhoades was (Mormon) Church Treasurer
and had brought the gold (dust) from Sutter's Mill in 1849. B Young and
Rhoades met with Isaac Morley and Chief Walker, and it was agreed that
Rhoades was a man mutually trusted for this secret task.
Rhoades made his
first trip to the mines shortly thereafter, taking 14 days and retrieving 62
pounds of pure gold.
The rest of this story is in a book I do not have, entitled
"Footprints in the Wilderness: A History of the Lost Rhoades
by Kerry Ross Boren & Gales Rhoades,
Publishers Press, Salt Lake City, 1971.
This book might be available in the U.S. & doesn't seem to be
available here. You might try to get a copy, or maybe someone in your
family might already have a copy. Obviously, one would need to get their
books and also consult with Mormon experts to take this further, as they
would know far more about it. I would also say that, with all due respect
to other people's religious views, I do not necessarily want to irritate
(or insult) the Mormon hierarchy, digging around re: areas of research that
I am not honestly qualified to research, or, to imply certain things about
B. Young, etc.! (One can only imagine how they may feel about that!) But,
this is at least a starting point.... perhaps someone in your family may
know someone who lives in Utah, closer to the primary sources? Just a
It would be good to get their feedback on this....
ADDED BY RAYELAN MARCH 1ST, 2008
A plaque dedicated to Thomas Rhoads will be dedicated this June at Minersville, Utah
Dedicated to the Honored Memory of Thomas Foster Rhoades Sr. and Family
Somewhere, here at the Minersville, Utah City Cemetery, is the final resting place of Thomas Foster Rhoades Sr. (Rhoads before 1849)
In 1846, the Wagonmaster and Head of the first loyal Mormon family to arrive in Utah, depart and the first to travel by Covered Wagon overland to California.
Thomas Sr, his wife Elizabeth Forster Rhoads, and thirteen of their fourteen children - John, Daniel, Isaac, Thomas Jr., Henry, Foster, Sarah, Polly, William, George, Catherine, Elizabeth, Caleb, and Lucinda - together with 35 members of their extended family and one friend set out for California in 1846 from Ray County Missouri.
The eldest Rhoads son, Forster remained in Missouri to oversee the extensive farmlands owned by the family.
Thomas Sr., a devout Mormon, had come to Ray County from Illinois in 1838 in order to escape the escalating violence against the Mormons in that neighboring state and to oversee in secret the sizable Mormon interests remaining in that part of Missouri.
Family tradition has it that, in 1846, Thomas Sr. who had training as a surveyor and was thus eminently suited to the task, was asked by Brigham Young to once more leave Missouri with his family, and continuing to keep his ties to the Mormons completely secret, assess and report back on the relative merits of the alternative routes by which the Mormons could be moved westward as well as on possible suitable places beyond the borders of the U.S. in which the Mormons could permanently settle.
According to a letter, dated June 15, 1846, which was written at Ft. Laramie by Daniel Rhoads wife, Amanda, and sent back to her family in Missouri, the sizable Rhoads wagon train ferried the Missouri River from Missouri to Kansas on May 6 and 7, 1846 and proceeded over the St. Joseph Road to come into the earlier - established Oregon Trail route from Independence at the junction of the two routes just to the west of the St. Joe Road fording of the Big Blue River.
From Ft. Laramie westward over South Pass, the family continued to travel as one unit, but it subsequently split into two contingents at Big Sandy River in Wyoming with John/Daniel Rhoads and the greater number of family members taking the Greenwood Cutoff route to Ft. Hall and then turning onto the California Trail at Raft River while Thomas Sr., took the remainder of his family over the new Hastings Cutoff via Great Salt Lake to eventually come back into the California Trail at a point just below Elko on the Humboldt River in Nevada.
This was the same route traveled by the ill-fated Donner Party two weeks behind. The decision to split forces in this manner, while apparently puzzling, makes considerable sense in light of Thomas, Sr.!s assigned responsibilities as an undercover Mormon scout.
He, along with part of his family, would travel the just- opened Hastings Cutoff and assess its merits while the other family members would do the same on the already-established Oregon/California Trail route. An account by Lucinda Rhoads, written later on, confirms the existence of the Thomas, Sr. contingent as does this terse comment set down by Heinrich Lienhard as his party celebrated its arrival at Pilot Springs after the brutal crossing of the Salt Lake Desert:
The young American fellows danced to the Ft. Hall contingent is provided by an 1847 letter from Daniel as well as by this recollection of John McBrides at the turnoff of the California Trail at Raft River:
Two women and eight men named Rhoads, and Alvis and Thomas Kimsey turn off of Raft River for California. Daniel Rhoads subsequently painted his name in axle tar at City of Rocks in Idaho, and John, Henry, and Elizabeth carved their names at Register Rock on Goose Creek in Nevada.
The two contingents reunite in the Sacramento Valley early in October only to find the American settlers in open revolt and well on the way to ending Mexican rule. The family, settling right into the pattern which had become the norm for assimilating emigrants into life in California, immediately begins to play its role in unfolding events.
John and Daniel take part in the relief efforts for the ill-fated Donner Party. Thomas, Jr. joins the California Battalion and marches off to see service in southern California. By the end of 1847, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Catherine are all married. The discovery of gold in 1848, allows the men of the family to be in on the ground floor and to benefit from it.
Thomas Sr., a widower since 1847, returns overland in 1849 to the Mormon settlements in Utah carrying a sizable amount of his own gold as well as the tithes of the California Mormons. He remarries there and begins to raise a second family. Letters record trips back to Missouri by various members of the family beginning as early as 1850.
These trips are made both by the overland trails as well as by ship and the land crossing of the Isthmus of Panama. Thomas Foster Rhoades unpublished Obituary below courtesy of the SLC LDS Archives
Thomas Rhoades Died at Minersville Beaver County on Saturday the 20th of February, 1869. Bro Thomas Rhoades, after a lingering illness of about nine months.
Bro. Rhoades was born in Logan County, now Muhlenburg Co. Kentucky July 13, 1794.
He served three years in the war of 1812 joined the church in the year 1835 in Edgar County Illinois.
Baptized by Caleb Baldwin.
Was in the troubles in Missouri.
In 1846 moved with his family to California.
Moved to Utah in 1849, located at Farmington.
In 1858 he settled what is known as Rhoades Valley Summit County.
Was with President Young and company to Salmon River in 1857.
Was on a mission with a company of brethren to the White Mountains.
He was called on a mission to the Moquis country when that mission was abandoned he moved to Kane County in our Dixie.
Deceased died in full fellowship in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Was cheerful to the last with full faith and confidence of a glorious resurrection.
Was beloved by all who knew him. Left a large family to mourn his loss.
Deceased was interred on 22 inst. attended by a large concourse of citizens.
Plaque dedicated by Descendants in 2008,
Contact Bernie Lee Rhoades,
11809 36th Street East, Edgewood, WA, (253) 863-8917