|Birth: ||Oct. 24, 1820|
|Death: ||Jan. 31, 1908|
"Among the honored residents of Vermilion county, now deceased, Daniel Rice long occupied a prominent place. For forty-five years he lived in this county, coming from Kentucky at the time of the Civil war in order to secure protection for his family and being himself a valiant soldier in defense of the flag of the Union, although a native of a southern state and many of his friends in the southern army. He is remembered as a brave and sincere man, who knew no higher motive than duty and who did not hesitate in the hour of danger to cast his lot with the cause he believed to be true.
He was born in Lawrence county, Kentucky, October 24, 1820, and was a son of Elijah and Sarah (Rife) Rice, the former a native of Kentucky and the latter of Virginia and of English and Swiss descent. The paternal grandfather, William Rice, was born near Centerville, Ohio, and was a son of James Rice who came from England and was the founder of the family in this country. He was one of the early settlers of Centerville and it is remembered that upon his one hundredth birthday a family reunion was held at the old home and in the course of the celebration the venerable man ran a foot race with Daniel, the subject of this review, then a boy of twelve or thirteen years, and came out ahead in the race. He lived to an extraordinary age and, according to the records of the family, he did not depart this life until after he had passed the one hundred and thirtieth mile stone, being entirely blind during the last fourteen years of his life. William Rice was a soldier of the Revolutionary war and also a well known frontiersman, who fought many battles with the Indians in Ohio. He nobly performed his part before he was called to his reward and was known as one of the bravest among all the frontiersmen in his region.
The parents of our subject were married in Kentucky, Mrs. Rice having removed to that state with her parents when a young lady, the family first settling in Lawrence county and later locating in Carter county. Mr. Rice died in 1850, at the age of sixty-five years. His wife subsequently came to Vermilion County, Illinois, and lived upon a farm near Fairmount until her death, which occurred in 1866, when she was sixty-nine years of age. She was the mother of thirteen children, twelve of whom-nine sons and three daughters grew to maturity.
Daniel Rice was reared amid the environment of pioneer life. His early home was in the Cumberland Mountains, then a wilderness, with few settlements and abounding in wild game. As he grew up he became an expert with the rifle, killing as many as six deer in a day, and, as he related in giving the reminiscences of his earlier life, he one day killed a bear and four of her cubs without assistance from any other person. The opportunities for education were extremely limited and in his case consisted principally of attendance for three months at a log schoolhouse under a teacher whose accomplishments were limited to the ability of being able to read and write. In the frontier environment he gained a love for animals, which was one of his lifelong characteristics, especially for the horse, which he regarded as one of the most useful friends of man.
Mr. Rice remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-five years of age, when he was married and began independently as a farmer, in which he continued until after the outbreak of the Civil war. His sympathies being with the Union, he proffered his services to the federal government and became a member of Company D, Twenty-second Kentucky Infantry, and October 21, 1861. He was mustered into service at Camp Swygert on the Ohio River and participated in various engagements in the eastern part of Kentucky. At Ashland, that state, he had a severe attack of measles and lay for a time at the point of death, but was finally sent home on a furlough, returning to his regiment at Baton Rouge in February, 1864. His health continued poor, however, and he received his honorable discharge from the army May 10, 1864, his war experience bringing on nervous prostration, from which he never entirely recovered. At the time of his furlough Mr. Rice brought his family to Vermilion County, but after his final discharge he visited Arkansas with a view of making a permanent location in that state. Conditions not appearing favorable, he returned to this county and located in Vance Township. In 1884 he removed to Slidell Township, where he lived until his death, which occurred January 31, 1908. He was for many years afflicted with partial blindness and for some time before his death was totally blind, but, notwithstanding the condition of his health and many difficulties which he was obliged to face at different times in his career, he was always a man of cheerful disposition, looking upon the bright side even when the clouds were darkest, and he became one of the successful farmers of this county.
In August, 1845, Mr. Rice was united in marriage to Miss Flora Ann Jordan, a native of Greenup county, Kentucky, who was eighteen years of age at the time of her marriage. She was the mother of six children: William J., Mary E., deceased; Albert R. U.; James G., a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this work; Edward A.; and Lernuel, deceased. After her death Mr. Rice was married to Mrs. Eliza Jane Moore, a daughter of William J. and Susan (Rawlings) Robertson. To this union five children were born: Martha A., Eliza J., John W., Elijah R. and Catherine. Mrs. Rice was born in Parke County, Indiana, and at seventeen was married to William H. Moore. Five children were the result of that union: Mary E., Charles A., Millie S., Reuben H. and William W.
Mr. Rice was a member of the Baptist church and of the Grand Army of the Republic and from the time of reaching his majority he was a supporter of the Democratic Party. As will readily be seen, he was a man of decided views, fearless and self-reliant, and a worthy representative of a family that has left its impress on American life." - History of Vermilion County, Illinois, Volume II, by Lottie Jones, 1911
Flora Ann Jordan Rice (1826 - 1876)
Created by: Lesa Epperson
Record added: May 23, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 52735320