JASPER RICE who has been living on his present farm in North Palmyra township since 1832, was born in Green county, Kentucky, on the 13th of May, 1812. His birth place is now included in the new county of Taylor. Both his father and grandfather were former residents of Frederick county, Virginia, and their names were both Edwin Rice. His father was born and raised in that part of Virginia, and married Elizabeth Bayley. They emigrated to Bourbon county, Kentucky; the date of their removal to Kentucky is not exactly known, but it must have been at a period very early in the history of the state, for Mr. Rice was born in 1812, and was the youngest of seven children who grew to maturity, nearly all of whom were born in Kentucky. From Bourbon the family moved to Greene county. Mr. Rice's father had two brothers who were soldiers in the Revolutionary War; and he was probably too young to go into the army. On a visit back to Virginia not long after the Revolution, he was poisoned by some tories; the poison did not cause his immediate death, but its effects remained in his system for years, and probably hastened his death; he died in 1814 when Mr. Rice was eighteen months old. His mother married again a man named Hunt, and came to Illinois, and is buried at Palmyra. When sixteen Mr. Rice left home and began life on his own account; he only received at first twenty-five cents a day for his labor, and by the time he had secured sufficient clothing he had little money left for schooling. He attended school a short time for two or three winters - not more than six months altogether. He afterward worked on a farm by the month in Kentucky, not getting more than eight dollars wages. He left Kentucky in 1832, arriving in Palmyra township on the 28th of August. He had no money, and in fact, was eight dollars in debt. In the winter of 1832-3 he was employed at Springfield scoring and hewing timber for houses then being built in that town; and the last part of the winter also worked at Jacksonville. He returned to Palmyra township in March, 1833, and the following 16th of May married Mary, daughter of Stephen Jones. Her father was a Virginian, who emigrated to Kentucky, came to Illinois in 1819, and settled in Madison county six miles from Edwardsville; afterwards on the Mauvais Terre in Morgan county; and who came to North Palmyra township in 1831. Mrs. Rice was born in Cumberland county, Kentucky, March 19th, 1816. The year that he was married, Mr. Rice built a small log house, eighteen by twenty feet, nearly on the same spot where his present residence now stands. He had no money with which to buy land, but he was energetic and industrious, dug wells, hewed and scored timber, and did anything he could in order to accumulate a little money and get a modest start in the world. In December, 1839, he entered forty acres of land, the first he ever owned. He improved this, and gradually succeeded in reaching better circumstances.
Mr. and Mrs. Rice have had fourteen children, of whom eight are now living. They are, Stephen, now a resident of Kansas; Jemima, wife of John L. Hodges; Louisa, wife of William J. Bates, of Waverly; Edwin Anderson, who has a farm in Kansas, but has returned to Illinois on account of his health; Rebecca, the wife of ?Robert Horton; Joseph, who is farming in North Palmyra township; and Helena, the wife of Charles Alford. Martha, the youngest daughter, died after being grown; Richard Henry died in the spring of 1878 at the age of twenty-three; William G. was a soldier in the Union army during the war of the rebellion; he enlisted in the 32d Illinois regiment in the spring of 1864, served in Georgia, took part in several hard marches, and died in the hospital at Marietta, Georgia, in the fall of 1864, at the age of nineteen. Stephen was also in the army. He enlisted in 1862 in the 122d Illinois, and served throughout the war, taking part in the battles of Parker's Cross Roads, Tupelo, Nashville, and Fort Blakely. Edwin was a soldier in the 32d Illinois; he enlisted in August, 1861, served in the Army of the Tennessee, and took part in several battles, including Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Hatchie River, the siege of Vicksburg, and the siege of Jackson, Mississippi. The lat year of the war he was at home sick. He was wounded at Shiloh. In politics Mr. Rice was originally a whig, and voted first for Henry Clay for President, in 1836. He was opposed to slavery, although raised in a slave-holding state; and became a republican on th formation of that party. Mr. and Mrs. Rice have been members of the Methodist church since 1833.