William A. Rice
well-to-do farmer of Montgomery County, owns and occupies a valuable and
well-equipped farm on Sec. 29, Union Twp. He was born in Fayette Co., Ky., Dec
29, 1838 and is a son of Abraham Rice, who was also a native of that state,
born in one of its pioneer homes May 10, 1796. His parents, Michael
and Catherine Balsam Rice*, were from Maryland, and were of German antecedents.
Michael Rice was a minister in the Dunkard Church in early life and
subsequently became a preacher in the Christian Church. He had a family of
17 children. Abraham Rice was next to the eldest of his father's children.
He grew to manhood in Jessamine Co., Ky. and was married in Fayette Co that
state to Miss Margaret Lydick, who was born Nov 18, 1800 and was a daughter
of Adam Lydick, who was a prominent and wealthy farmer of that county.
Rice lived in Harrisburgh for 2 years after his marriage, working at his
trade as brickmason. He returned at the end of that time to Fayette County,
where he settled on an estate that he had inherited from his father. He
engaged extensively in raising horses, which he took to Philadelphia to
sell. After that he went into the business of making brick and building
houses on his own responsibility. In 1851 he left Fayette County to take up
his abode in this state and located on the place where our subject now
lives. He bought four hundred acres of land and in the comfortable home
that he built up here he and his wife lived until they closed their eyes in death - he dying first, Oct 17, 1873, and her a year later, Oct 29, 1874.
They were people of sound Christian principles, and were among the prominent
members of the Disciples Church as were all of their family and he was
Deacon of the church during his many years' residence in Kentucky. Politically, he was a
Whig until the dissolution of the party and then
became a Democrat. He and his wife reared a family of seven of whom all grew to
maturity; and four are still living: Martin, who is engaged in the brick
business at Crawfordsville, Anna Eliza, wife of William R. Payne, Union
Township; Martha, wife of George B. Fause of Crawfordsville and our subject.
Those that died are Levi, who was an artist and architect and whose death
occurred in Fayette Co Ky at age 21; Elizabeth B , who married
Fisher and died at age 60; and Maria, who died at age 64.
The subject of
this sketch was only 13 when the family came to this county. He had
previously been educated in the schools of his native county. He remained
with his father until his death and inherited the estate with his sister, Maria.
After her death, he inherited a part of her share and bought out the remainder of the other heirs.
He now has 160 acres of land all of which is
cultivated and highly productive. A well-ordered set of buildings adorn the
place and thrift and good management are apparent on every hand. Our
subject does a lucrative business as a general farmer, raising sheep of
standard breeds and other stock. Mr. Rice was married Oct 31, 1867 to
Martha E. Hipes, a daughter of Adam Hipes, who was at that time a resident
of this county. Mrs. Rice is a native of this county and was born March 9,
1850. Her father was a Virginian by birth. He married Martha E.
was born and reared in Virginia and daughter of David Dice. Mr.
one of the early settlers of this county and one of its pioneer teachers. He had three children:
James, who was born in 1848, became a practicing physician in early manhood and died in 1876;
Mrs. Rice; and Mary, who
married William Everson, a farmer of Union Township. Mr. and Mrs. Rice have
been blessed with a family of seven, of whom five are living: Charles, who was born
August 31, 1872 and is a drummer in the mill and oil business; Henry, born
July 18, 1874 assists his father on the farm; Edgar, born Feb 25, 1876 is at
home with his parents; John W., born July 12, 1881 and Clay
M., born April 5,
1886. James M., who was born Aug 9, 1868 died Feb 22, 1869 and
Minnie Ellis born June 10, 1880, died Aug 13, 1880. Our subject and his amiable wife are
members in high standing of the Disciples church and by their neighborly
kindness, charitableness and upright walk show themselves to be consistent
in their religion. Mr. Rice is a true Republican, who is active in local
politics and is a strong party man always working hard for the success of his
party in every campaign.
Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain
Counties, Indiana. Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1893, p 671
Copied by Karen Zach
* Per Ron Rice, this is probably
Elizabeth Baltzell. Many of the Rice cousins moved from Kentucky to Shelby
County, Indiana, before moving on to Montgomery County.