SAMUEL A. RICE, a veteran photographer and ex-soldier of the Civil war and for fifteen years past a resident of Carlinville, was born at Strausburg, D. C. September 13, 1839. He is a son of Joel and Margaret (Clifford) Rice, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, and is the eldest in a large family of children, the others being: Frank, who was a soldier at the time of the Rebellion and died at the close of the war; John; Henry, who is now living in New York City; Edward, who makes his home in San Francisco, California; James, deceased; Hudson; Elizabeth; May; and several daughters who died when young.
Joel Rice, the father of our subject, learned the cabinetmaker's trade which he followed in Philadelphia for a number of years. He came west about 1849 and settled at Sterling, Illinois. In 1852, yielding to the gold excitement, he joined a caravan and crossed the plains with an ox team and wagon in search of the yellow metal. He mined in California for several years and in 1856 returned to Illinois where he continued until just before the war, when he took up his residence at Louisiana, Missouri. He served as captain of a company of artillery in the Missouri state troops and for many years was an honored citizen of Louisiana. He died in 1907, at the advanced age of about ninety-two years, his wife preceding him two years at the age of about eighty years. They were both members of the Baptist church. The paternal grandfather of our subject was also a native of Pennsylvania. He was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and again donned the uniform of his country in 1812. He and his wife both died in the Keystone state. Of their children the names of Joel and Samuel have been preserved. The grandfather on the maternal side was a Pennsylvanian and the maiden name of his wife was Marguerite Clifford. They spent their entire lives in their native state.
At ten years of age Samuel A. Rice came west to Sterling, Illinois, with his parents. He attended the public schools and later moved with his family to Louisiana, Missouri, which he made his headquarters until several years after the close of the Civil war. He began learning the photographer's business at the age of eighteen and was in charge of a photograph gallery at Louisiana for about twenty years. He also owned galleries at Mexico and Paris, Missouri, devoting a portion of his time to each of his places of business. He was at Mexico at the time of the massacre by Will Anderson, the noted guerilla. In 1870 he moved to Carrollton, Illinois, and conducted a business there for four years. He then opened a gallery at Jerseyville and after five years moved to Roodhouse where he continued until 1896, since which time he has made his home at Carlinville. He has been engaged in the photograph business for fifty-four years and being gifted with artistic taste and perception, he has scored a success. In 1862, he enlisted in Company I, Fifth Missouri Artillery, and served for six months, which was his term of enlistment. He participated in several skirmishes and was fifth sergeant, being later detailed as musician in the regimental band. He had two brothers in the Civil war, Frank and John Rice, both of whom died from disease contracted in the army.
On the 23d of May, 1876, Mr. Rice was married to Miss Mary B. Hovey, of Perry, Pike county, Illinois, a daughter of Sylvester L. and Prudence L. (Lucas) Hovey. Two sons were born to this union: Elbert L., who assists his father in the photograph business; and Ray Logan, who has mechanical talent and is employed in a machine shop at Springfield. The father of Mrs. Rice was born near Rochester, New York, and her mother near Spartanburg, South Carolina. The mother's parents moved to Tennessee and the family took up its residence near Nashville where the mother lived until she was fifteen years of age. She then came to Illinois with her parents and in 1902 became a resident of Carlinville. She died three years later, in the eighty-first year of her age. Her husband died at Roodhouse, Illinois, in 1892, having reached his eighty-third year. He was a carriage and wagon manufacturer. In their family were ten children, seven of whom grew to maturity: Mary B., now Mrs. Samuel A. Rice; Sidney L.; Joseph Merrill; Martha, who married M. B. Smith; May L.; Minnie, who is the wife of R. C. Anderson; and Stanton. The grandparents of Mrs. Rice on the paternal side spent their entire lives near Rochester, New York. They had five children, Sylvester L., Lorenzo D., Harriet, Electa and Josiah. The Hovey ancestors of Mrs. Rice have traced the family back to Daniel Hovey, the emigrant ancestor of all American Hoveys, who was born in England in 1618. The name has also been found in Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The father of Mrs. Rice was a cousin of ex-Governor Alvin P. Hovey, of Indiana.
Mr. Rice is not a member of any religious denomination but his wife is identified with the Presbyterian church. By virtue of his services in the Civil war he holds membership in Jacob Fry Post, G.A.R., of Roodhouse, Illinois. Politically he is a stanch supporter of the republican party whose principles he believes to be essential to the prosperity and permanency of the country. A man of large experience, he has gained many lessons that are not found in books and having been courageous, self-reliant and energetic, he has acquired a competency. He has always willingly lent a hand to assist fellow creatures less fortunate than himself and in an important degree he has made a success of life. He can claim a host of friends in Carlinville and Macoupin county.