Biography of Dr. Fordyce Rice (1806 to ?)
Daniel H. Weiskotten
5/25/2003

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From: Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington County Iowa.
 

DR. FORDYCE RICE is a retired physician living in Washington. He was born in Conway, Hampshire Co., Mass., March 14, 1806, and is the son of Isaac and Anna (Ware) Rice, his mother being a daughter of Deacon Ware, one of the good old primitive stock. His grandfather on his father's side was Israel Rice. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Rice had twelve children, six sons and six daughters, eleven of whom grew to be adults, and three yet survive: Judith, residing in Cazenovia, Madison Co., N.Y.; Dr. Fordyce, of Washington, Iowa; Caroline, in Northwestern Ohio. In early life Mr. and Mrs. Rice were Presbyterians, but later they became members of the Baptist Church. They were sincere Christians and enjoyed the respect and confidence of all who knew them. Both died many years ago at Cazenovia, N.Y., and are buried in the cemetery at that place.

The subject of this sketch, Dr. Fordyce Rice, was reared upon a farm and was early made acquainted with hard work. In the common schools of his native county he received his education, supplemented by an attendance at Cazenovia Seminary for a short time.  From the time he could remember he had an earnest wish to attend college, but this desire was never gratified.  When twenty-one years of age he left the farm and commenced teaching school, and, while engaged in that profession, he was persuaded by Dr. Kennedy to study medicine, and commenced reading in his office and under his instruction.  After reading for a time he attended Cazenovia Seminary, as already stated.  Leaving the seminary, he entered the office of Dr. Silsby, where he remained five years, reading under the Doctor's instruction.  In the meantime he attended a course of lectures at a medical college in Albany, N.Y., was there examined and licensed to practice by a County Board of Examiners.  He then commenced the practice of his profession at Utica, N.Y., where he spent three years and then returned to Cazenovia.  In 1831 he went to Lebanon, N.Y., where he spent three years and again returned to Cazenovia, and engaged in practice.  He there became acquainted with Miss Laura Parker, a daughter of Daniel and Lucy (Clark) Parker, of Massachusetts, to whom he was married in 1834.

The Doctor remained in active practice in Cazenovia till 1863.  His removal was brought about by a queer circumstance.  In Cazenovia he had living with him a boy, who came west to Washington County, Iowa, and when the war of the Rebellion commenced he enlisted in an Iowa regiment, got sick, and was sent back to Washington for treatment.  Before leaving Cazenovia, the Doctor told him if he ever got sick to send for him and he would come and attend him.  After being in Washington for a time and experiencing no relief, and doubtless a little homesick, the young man telegraphed for the Doctor, who at once came on and took charge of the case.  In a short time he raised him from the sick bed.  The young man subsequently returned to Cazenovia, N.Y., and there died.  While here the Doctor received many calls and was urgently requested to settle.  Believing it to be a good place, he returned to New York, disposed of his practice and other effects, and the same year came back to Washington, and has since made it his home.

Dr. Rice commenced practice as an allopath, but not being satisfied with the treatment of that body of physicians, read homeopathic works, became convinced of the truth of the theories enunciated by that school, became a disciple of Hahnemann, and has since practiced homeopathy.  He has never had cause to regret the change, believing it is right.  For over fifty years he was in active practice, but having passed his fourscore years, has thought best to retire, leaving the field to younger and more active men.  In early life the Doctor was an old-line Whig, and always with anti-slavery views.  Since the organization of the Republican party, he has acted with and voted its ticket.  As a citizen, he is universally esteemed by all who know him.