J. L. "Dusty" Rhoades

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James Lewis "Dusty" Rhoades​

(Texas rancher: one of the founders of the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in Amarillo)

Dusty Rhoades of TX.jpg

Born January 8, 1899​
Cheyenne Wells,

Cheyenne County, Colorado, USA

Died February 3, 1978 (aged 79)
Odessa, Texas

Resting place:
Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa​

Spouse (1) Ernestine Anderson Rhoades (died 1936)​

(2) Lydia Virginia Rhoades (surviving widow)​
One son from first marriage:
Dr. Dale Robert Rhoades, Sr.
Two grandchildren:
​ Dale Robert "Bob" Rhoades, Jr.
​ Pamela Jane Rhoades Davis​

  • Rhoades was a pioneer in the promotion of the American Quarter Horse, principally in West Texas.​
  • After his work for J.C. Penney, Rhoades became a wealthy land developer, rancher, and civic leader in Odessa, Texas.​
Religion United Methodist

James Lewis Rhoades, usually known as J. L. "Dusty" Rhoades (January 8, 1899 – February 3, 1978),[1] was one of the founders of the American Quarter Horse Association, based in Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle. He was the AQHA president in 1966 and again in 1974. The organization conducts its business through headquarters off Interstate 40 in Amarillo. There is also an American Quarter Horse Museum. The Quarter House was first bred in colonial Virginia.


The oldest of three brothers born on a ranch in Cheyenne County in eastern Colorado, Rhoades in 1925 joined the J. C. Penney Company in Boulder, Colorado, and was later transferred to Missouri and then to Texas, San Marcos in Hays County, Abilene in Taylor County, and, finally, Odessa in Ector County. He became involved in horse shows through the Abilene Chamber of Commerce.[2][3]

In 1938, Rhoades formed the Texas Palomino Association, the forerunner to the AQHA, of which he was one of the first stockholders on its founding in 1940. In 1939, Rhoades had worked to bring Quarter Horse racing to the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show in Fort Worth. Prior to his leaving J. C. Penney's in Odessa, Rhoades joined James "Jim" Key (1900-1974) to establish J. L. Rhoades and Associates, a land development company active during the petroleum boom years in Odessa.[4]

From 1951 to 1952, he was president of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. From 1959 to 1960, he was president of the Odessa unit of the Boy Scouts of America.[5] The Odessa American, October 5, 1958.</ref>​

Rhoades was twice married. By the former Ernestine Anderson, he had one child born in Cheyenne Wells, Dale Robert Rhoades, Sr. (1921-2004), later a physician, listed in Whos Who in Texas, and a civic leader in Crosbyton in Crosby County in west Texas near Lubbock. Ernestine died in 1936 when Dale, at fifteen, was in his senior year at Abilene High School.[2]

After Ernestine's death, Dusty wed Lydia Virginia Rhoades (1898-1990),[1] a horsewoman in her own right. Rhoades had two grandchildren, Dale Robert "Bob" Rhoades, Jr., of Lubbock and Pamela Jane Rhoades Davis (born 1948) of Abilene, by Dale's first marriage to the former Ruth Boger (1920-2000). After Dale and Ruth divorced, he married in 1983 the former Margie Moss Wiley, by whom he acquired two stepsons.[2] ​ In 1991, Rhoades was posthumously inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.[4]​ He is interred alongside his second wife, Virginia, at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Odessa, Texas.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 James L. "Dusty" Rhoades. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 28, 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dr. Dale R. Rhoades. Findagrave.com. Retrieved on May 28, 2020.
  3. Dale Rhodes obituary, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, September 7, 2004.
  4. 4.0 4.1 J. L. "Dusty" Rhoades exhibit, American Quarter Horse Association Museum in Amarillo, Texas.
  5. Boy Scouts Council Presidents. 'Boy Scouts of America. Retrieved on May 28, 2020.