William Rice
article from
IL county history

William Rice

Following is the entry for William Rice found in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Winnebago and Boone Counties, Illinois. published in Chicago by Biographical Publishing company in 1892

WILLIAM RICE. In point of energy, enterprise and determination, the subject of this sketch is looked upon as one of the leading men of Rockford Township, Winnebago County. He is what may be properly termed a "hustler," in the broadest sense of the term, and is genial and generous, one who is a uniniversal favorite in both social and business circles. He is mostly interested in agricultural pursuits, and is the possessor of a large number of acres of land in this township. The original of this sketch had his birth in Solon, Cortland County, N. Y., on the 4th of July, 1827. His worthy father, who bore the name of William Rice, was born in New England, and there reared. He went to Cortland County, N.Y. when a young man, and there bought a tract of timber land, clearing a splendid farm from the wilderness. There were no railroads or canals built in New York State for several years after his advent there, and the people lived off the products of their own farms, the women spinning and carding and making homespun clothes for their families. The father of our subject lived on the home farm with his parents until the year 1850, when he removed to Pennsylvania. After a few years residence in the latter-named state he again came to Cortland County and resided with his son, our subject, until his death, which took place in 1863.

The beloved mother of our subject bore the maiden name of Theodosia Thornton; she was a native of New York State, and died on the home farm in Cortland County. She reared to man and woman's estate six children, named as follows: Almon, Jason, Phoebe, Joseph , Betsey and William. Our subject is the youngest of the children born to his parents, and was reared and educated in his native State and county, and resided under the parental roof until he was seventeen years of age. At that age, he started out for himself in life, and commenced by working on a farm for $7 a month, and later received $10 a month. In this way he earned and saved enough money to help him to get a good start. His father gave him sixty acres of land in the township of Cincinnatus, Cortland County, when he reached his majority, and on this place was an old log house with a frame addition, a small barn, two and one-third acres being improved. On this place our subject lived for only one year, when he traded with his father for the old homestead of one hundred and sixty acres, paying his father $2,500 besides. Here he lived until 1859, when he journey to the Prarie State, and stelled in West Point Township, Stephenson County, purchasing a tract of one hundred and sixty acres on which he made his home until 1868.

In the year mentioned above, William Rice, the subject of this life history, sold his land in Stephenson County and came to the city of Rockford, buying property in the same, and also a fine farm of one hundred and eighty-two acres adjoining the city. He has since then purchased other lands, and now owns a farm which comprises two hundred and thirty eight acres adjoining the city, which whas been his home for the past two years. On this place he is actively and prosperously engaged in tilling the soil, and raising some cattle, which are of the best grades, and he is a splindid example of what may be accomplished by a persistent, sagacious and economical man. He owns an acre of valuable land in the city, which is as yet vacant.

To the wife who has contributed her quota to his prosperity, presides with grace and true hospitality over his home, and makes his interest her own, Mr. Rice was united in marriage in 1848. Mrs. Rice was born born in the Empire State, a daughter of Andrew and Matilda (Fuller) Coleman.

Mrs. Rice was known in her maidenhood as Nancy Coleman, and has become the mother of the following children, viz: Vinton B., Tilla I., Hattie L., Kittie G., Opal A., Lena L. and Willie A.,(Starr A. who was the second child, died when seven years and seven months old.)

The life record of our subject is an honor to him and an example to the youth of the present generaton. He is gifted with a strong, clear mind, tenacity of purpose and far-seeing sagacity, which have enabled him to control his business affairs to the best advantage, so that he has become well-to-do. He is liberal in the use of his money, showing that he has not labored merely for himself. In his political views, he is a staunch Democrat. In their religious views they are liberal, and not connected with any church.

  Information supplied by ">Rebecca Lamb on July 1, 1998

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Created 02 July 1998

LAST UPDATED: Friday, 20-May-2011 22:20:58 MDT

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