Lucy Witter <I>Geer</I> Rice

Lucy Witter Geer Rice

Perrysville, Ashland County, Ohio, USA
Death 27 Mar 1899 (aged 75)
Lewiston, Cache County, Utah, USA
Burial Lewiston, Cache County, Utah, USA
Memorial ID 35531979 · View Source
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Daughter of Moses Geer and Sarah Thomas

Married William Kelsey Rice, 6 Oct 1845, Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois

Children - Sarah Minerva Rice, Laura Adelia Rice, Maryette Rice, Lucy Augusta Rice, Elizabeth Adelaide Rice, Juliette Rice, Rose Etta Rice, Ira Moses Rice, William Kelsey Rice, Kelsey Leonard Rice, Ellen Mariah Rice, John Asaph Rice

History - Lucy Witter Geer was born on February 23, 1824, at Perry, Ashtabula County, Ohio, and the daughter of Moses Geer and Sarah, his third wife. Lucy was eight years of age when she and her father and older sister, Sarah, were baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Lucy and her sister became expert seamstresses and helped the family financially in this way. This skill proved invaluable to Lucy in her later life. Her parents died and were buried at McHenry, Illinois. Lucy was the only one of her family that traveled to Utah.

After Lucy's marriage to William Kelsey Rice, October 9, 1845, the newlyweds became involved in plans to leave Nauvoo to their enemies and join in an exodus to new places. They were among the sorrowing Saints at the time Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. They were among those first to leave Nauvoo in the winter of 1846. They drove a team that consisted of a steer and a milch cow. The cow gave them milk along the way. It took a certain kind of courage for this young couple to leave a warm home to face the winter blasts of parts unknown. It was a case of "I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord." Their first camp was called Sugar Creek. Winds howled and snow flew. Sickness and death visited many of the homeless outcasts, but a faith stronger than the elements carried them on. Their next camp was Mount Pisgah.

While Lucy's husband was away (returning to Nauvoo for additional supplies) Lucy gave birth to her first child. She was living in a wagon box backed against a hillside and banked with dirt. A Brother and Sister Martin H. Peck had made her bed comfortable with pine needles and cared for her and the baby, Ellen, faithfully. This was the first of twelve children born to Lucy.

They finally arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. They subsisted during the first winter in the "Old Fort" on the meager provisions they had brought with them and what they could procure from neighbors in exchange for milk. In the following spring, they planted a crop of wheat. Although crickets almost devastated the field, they harvested about seven bushels to the acre and ground meal for flour in a coffee mill. Lucy gleaned early-ripened wheat heads from anthill areas and when her husband harvested, she gleaned all that was missed.

When William Kelsey was in Parowan, Utah to settle Indian trouble, he gave a black whip and a lariat for a small Indian boy and girl about to be killed by revengeful and quarrelsome Indians. These children grew up in the Rice home with Lucy's twelve children.

Lucy raised flax, which she cured, spun and wove into cloth. She sheared sheep for wool and made many articles of clothing for men, women and children. She took an active part in early Church activities and, like all the rest of the pioneers, was too busy to ever feel sorry for herself.

She died in Lewiston, Cache County, Utah, March 28, 1899, at the age of 75.

  • Maintained by: SMSmith
  • Originally Created by: Bill E. Doman
  • Added: 4 Apr 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 35531979
  • Kerry H
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lucy Witter Geer Rice (23 Feb 1824–27 Mar 1899), Find a Grave Memorial no. 35531979, citing Lewiston City Cemetery, Lewiston, Cache County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by SMSmith (contributor 46491005) .