Mary Ritchie <I>Rice</I> Lacy


Mary Ritchie Rice Lacy

Petersburg City, Virginia, USA
Death 15 Sep 1880 (aged 64)
Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
Burial Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 42757038 View Source
Suggest Edits

A descendant of Rev. Drury Lacy was kind enough to transfer ownership of this and related family memorials to me, and with thanks to "Dacanta" I offer this brief biography.
Mary Ritchie Rice was born 1816 in Virginia, reportedly at or near Petersburg, VA, the eldest of 4 known surviving children (2 boys/2 girls) born to the Rev. Benjamin Holt Rice, DD and his wife, Martha Alexander.

She was the paternal grandchild of Benjamin Rice & Catherine Holt of Bedford Co, VA; and gr-grandchild of David Rice & Mary Searcy of Hanover County, VA; and a direct descendant of the family's patriarch, Thomas Rice (1656-1711), an Englishman of Welsh extraction, who was an early adventurer in Virginia, and a settler in Hanover Co. Thomas Rice left New Hanover Co. to travel back to England to collect a considerable estate which had been left him, but returned no more, dying at sea on the return trip. The sailors reported he had died at sea; but speculation abounded that he was assassinated. No return was ever made of the property after which he had gone and his wife and 9 children in Virginia were left destitute.

On her mother's side, she was the maternal grandchild of William Alexander & Agnes Ann Reid of Augusta (formerly Rockbridge) Co, VA and sister to the Dr. Archibald Alexander (1772-1851), President of Hampden-Sidney College, VA and professor at Princeton College (University), in NJ. Her great uncle, Rev. David Rice DD (1733-1816), was the founder of the Presbyterian church in Kentucky, which erected a monument to his memory.

Her father, was a Presbyterian minister of distinction, who founded the Presbyterian church at Petersburg, VA and was Moderator of the General Assembly in 1829, and so Mary's early years were spent in Petersburg. When she was 17, her father accepted the position of pastor of the church at Princeton College (University), NJ, where the family remained from 1833-1847. Mary was 28 years old in 1844 when her mother died and was buried in Princeton. Two years later, she and her father returned to Hampden-Sydney College Church, where he died in 1855.

It was through their association with Hampden-Sydney College that Mary knew Rev. Drury Lacy; and on November 13, 1849 the 33-year old became the second wife of 47-year old widower, he having lost his wife of 22 years, Williana Wilkinson, to tuberculosis in 1846. Rev. Drury Lacy, by his first wife, was father to 7 children, and Mary became stepmother to them; becoming particularly beloved by his younger children who were still quite young.

Following the marriage, Mary joined Rev. Lacy in Raleigh, NC where he was pastor of the Raleigh Presbyterian Church. They would become parents to 3 known children: Mae "Agnes" Lacy (1852-1940); Benjamin Rice Lacy (1854-1929) and Dr. John Holt Lacy, MD (1856-1940).

In 1855, the couple removed to Charlotte, NC where her husband took over as President of Davidson College (1855-1860). With the outbreak of Civil War, Rev. Lacy resigned his position and they removed briefly to Warrenton, Warren Co, NC (1861-62), and finally back to Raleigh from where her husband served as Chaplain at Confederate military hospitals (1862-1865).

Following the war, Rev. Lacy joined Peace Institute as a teacher in Raleigh (1866-1878), a Presbyterian-founded school for young ladies, and Mary was "Lady Principal". This school eventually became Peace College.

Mary Ritchie Rice Lacy died in Raleigh in 1880 at age 64. Her husband of almost 31 years survived her 4 years, passing in 1884 at 81.

As for her children, daughter Mae "Agnes" married Frederick Van Wagenen in 1880, descendant of a long line of old New Amsterdam (NYC) Dutch settlers, and was mother of 3 known children. Agnes lived most of her married life in Newark and Orange in Esssex Co, NJ. Agnes died in 1940 at age 88, and is believed to be buried in New Jersey.

Her middle child, Benjamin Rice Lacy, married Mary Strudwick Burwell in 1882 and was father to 7 known children. He was North Carolina State Treasurer for 28 years and died in office in 1929. He, his wife, and several children are buried here in Oakwood.

Her youngest, John Holt Lacy graduated Hampton-Sidney College in Virginia, and became a physician. He married May Aileen James of Virginia in 1887 and relocated to Gila County, Arizona where he died in 1940 a few weeks shy of his 84th birthday. He was father to 3 known children. He and his wife are buried in Pinal Cemetery, Gila Co, AZ.

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees


See more Lacy or Rice memorials in:

Plant Memorial Trees Sponsor and Remove Ads