Page 851-852, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


A. A. Rice, a Butler county pioneer and early day merchant, now deceased, was a native of Defiance county, Ohio, born in 1840. He was a son of Oney and Lydia (Bowers) Rice, natives of New York. Oney Rice and his wife came to Ohio, from New York City in the early thirties, and was the third family to settle in Defiance county, Ohio, permanently. Oney Rice was an early day physician, and practiced his profession as successfully as the average physician of his time. He died in Ohio, however, when he was practically a young man.

A. A. Rice was the youngest of a family of four children, and he was reared in the pioneer surroundings of Defiance county, Ohio. He married Miss Julia Alden, a native of Defiance county. Mr. Rice lived on a farm in Ohio for some time after his marriage, and in 1877, came to Kansas on account of his wife's failing health. They located in Harvey county, and after remaining there a year and a half, returned to Ohio. In 1882, Mr. Rice and his family came to Kansas again, this time locating in Augusta, where he leased land and engaged in sheep raising, and had about 1,500 head, but on account of the low prices of wool and mutton, he decided to abandon that industry, and in 1887, traded his sheep for a stock of merchandise at Potwin, and engaged in the mercantile business there, which he conducted for several years. He died in February, 1894. His wife had departed this life in 1880. To A. A. Rice and wife were born three children, of whom F. A. Rice was the youngest.

F. A. Rice received his education in the public schools of Butler county, and was practically brought up in the mercantile business, for during his boyhood days, he assisted his father in the store at Potwin much of the time. In 1894, at the time of the father's death, F. A. was about twenty-one years of age, and he and his sister took charge of the business. The stock at that time was valued at about $1,500, and Mr. Rice set out to develop and enlarge the business, and make of it a profitable and up to date mercantile establishment, and he has succeeded beyond any doubt. He now carries about $15,000 worth of stock and everything that is usually found in the department stores of the larger cities, is to be found here. He carries a full line of groceries, dry goods, clothing, hats, etc., and in addition to his regular mercantile line, Mr. Rice is an extensive dealer in automobiles, and is meeting with marked


success in this new departure as well as in the regular mercantile lines. Mr. Rice has followed a system of square dealing, and has won the confidence of the public and built up a large business. He is one of the live merchants of Butler county.

Mr. Rice was married in 1899, to Miss Sarah R. Joseph, a daughter of James and Nancy Joseph, of Butler county. To Mr. and Mrs. Rice have been born the following children: Floyd, Meirl, Ronald and Ruth, deceased. Mr. Rice is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Potwin, and one of Butler county's leading citizens.

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