William A. Rice, one of the prominent farmers of West Point Township, residing on section l, was born Nov. 14, 1847, in Taylor Fulton Co., N.Y., and is the son of Joseph and Harriet (Coleman) Rice. Joseph Rice was twice married. His first wife, Harriet A. Coleman, was a native of Taylor, N.Y., where her death occurred in l851. His second wife was Frances E. Prince, who was also a native of Taylor. Two children born of the first marriage are now living: Wi11iam A., our subject, and Ira D., a resident of Jo Daviess Couiity. Anette died at the age of twenty-two. The children of the second marriage are: Frank, a resident of West Point Township; Burdette, of Nebraska; Edwin, George, Edith and Minnie Myrtle.
Wi11iam Rice, Sr., the paternal grandfather of our subject, and after whom he was named, was a native of Massachusetts, and married Miss Theodosia Thompson. He left his New England home and became one of the early settlers of Cortland County, N.Y., where he purchased a tract of timbered land. A log house stood in a little clearing, but otherwise it was a dense forest. It proved, however, a profitable investment. The timber was in itself valuable, and after it was cleared, Mr. Rice brought it to a high state of cultivation. Here Mr. and Mrs. WiIliam Rice passed the remainder of their lives. The former died at the age of eighty-two years.
The family of William Rice consisted of six children, and Joseph was the fourth in order of birth. The school privileges were very limited at that early day, and he grew to manhood assisting his father clearing the farm, but aquirinf little education otherwise. At the age of eighteen he commenced his life as a wage-worker, hiring out both by month and by the day. In the course of five years ho married and aquired sufficient capital to purchase 100 acres of land in Taylor Township, N.Y. where he resided until the year 1863. He then sold out and came to Stephenson County, purchasing 350 acres of land in West Point Township. His estate was located on section 1, where he resided a few years and then removed to section 6, where he lived until 1881, when he again sold out and purchased the place where he now resides.
William A. Rice was reared on the farm, where he passes his boyhood attending school and assisting his father. He accompanied his parents from New York to Illinois in 1863, and continued with them until he reached the age of twenty-one. He then rented a farm by the year and commenced business for himself. In the meanwhile he made a purchase of 120 acres of land, which he began cultivating and improving, while renting at the same time. As opportunity offered he purchased more land at different times until he now has a fine farm of 412 acres located in Wes Point and Winslow Townships.
Mr. Rice, Jan 28, 1875 was married to Miss Rosetta Saterlee, daughter of Zenas and Leethe (Tumbleson) Saterlee, of West Point Township. Her father was a native or Southern Illinois.
Mr. and Mrs. Rice have a family of four children -- Kittie, Star, Fern and Pearl. Mr. Rice is one of the substantial men of the township. He possesses much executive ability and carries on an extensive farming business, which usually engrosses his attention to the exclusion of public affairs. While not actively interested in politics he always vote with the Republican party.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Stephenson County, IL, published in Chicago by Chapman Brothers 1888.
Submitted by: Rebecca Lamb on 7/12/98