Pages 357-358, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




HENRY F. RICE, one of the early settlers of Kansas, was born in Marion county, Kentucky, August 1816. At an early age he went with his parents to the southern part of Illinois and helped to cut and hew the logs that built a cabin for a home for the family in that heavily timbered country. There were no school advantages except subscription


schools and our subject only received about six months schooling in his life. Add to this the home instruction and he came to maturity with a good practical education. When about twenty-five years of age he married Miss Mary K. Thompson, of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and settled near Marion, in that state. He and his wife were devoted members of the Presbyterian church.

Mr. Rice was a stone-mason by trade, but lived upon the farm. He and his wife lived happily together for twelve years, when death claimed her. Mr. Rice conceived that it would be better to take his little ones to his widowed mother and both give and receive help and comfort, and so taking the two oldest children, seven and nine years old, on horseback they started on their journey of sixty miles. He singing "Guide me, Oh though great Jehovah. Pilgrim through this barren land; I am weak. But Thou art mighty; hold me with thy powerful hand."

After passing through many trials and misfortunes his family were beginning to scatter. The father's love was so strong as to keep him with them thirty years. He remarried and some years afterward sold his beautiful home in Illinois, gathered his family together and emigrated to Kansas. In May, 1867, six covered wagons drove up and halted near Rufus Perkins' home in Iola, (now known as Mrs. Canatsey's). After stopping there a few days to look around Mr. Rice bought the Barry farm about five miles south of Iola. Reaching Kansas the year after the grasshoppers came (in 1866) times were very hard, but the brave man who had endured so much only laughed at the discouragements which made others despondent and leave the country. By lending a hand here and giving a kind, encouraging word there and more substantial help to those who needed he endeared himself to those who knew him. The last fifteen years of his life were spent on his Kansas farm in the company of his single daughter, Miss Sarah Rice. He was public spirited, generous hearted and an earnest consistent Christian, helping in all good works. He died at his home in June, 1880, of heart failure, leaving three children: Miss Sarah Rice, afterwards Mrs. Sarah Toop, of Ulyses, Nebraska; Mrs. M. J. Barth, of Iola, and C. M. Rice, of Bentonville, Arkansas. The remains were laid to rest in the Iola cemetery.

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