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Lemuel Rice

  • Birth 1802 Tennessee, USA
  • Death 29 Feb 1849 Bruceville, McLennan County, Texas, USA
  • Burial Houston County, Texas, USA
  • Memorial ID 72212357

Lemuel rice died 29 Jan 1849 Masterville Texas now called Bruceville.
Lemuel Rice was born between 1800 and 1802 in Tennessee. His father is thought to be John Rice (circa 1780-1856), but his mother's name in not known. There were four documented children in the family. Lemuel was the oldest. He had two younger brothers, Joseph Redmond Rice (circa 1803-1866), and Clinton A. Rice (born circa 1811), and one sister, Catherine Rice Grounds (circa 1808-1880).

On December 19, 1822 in Louisiana , Lemuel married Mary "Polly" Masters, a daughter of early Texas pioneers Jacob Masters Sr. and Elizabeth Shaw. In 1828 Lemuel officially emigrated to eastern Texas , in the region that eventually became Houston County , to begin a new settlement with his family, Polly's parents and various siblings. This group of family members was among the earliest pioneers in this region.

A "Passenger and Immigration List Index" confirms that Lemuel came to Texas in 1828. At this time Texas was still a part of Mexico , largely unsettled, and subject to Indian raids and other dangers. Lemuel's brother Joseph Redmond Rice, who had married another Masters daughter, Willie, was also among the group who came to Texas.

Lemuel's and Joseph's younger sister Catherine was encouraged to join her older brothers in Texas . She and her husband, George Grounds, joined the Masters/Rice family sometime between 1829-1835. The youngest Rice brother, Clinton A. Rice, is listed in both the1840 and 1850 Texas census as living in Houston County , so apparently all four Rice siblings moved to Texas.

In 1834/35, Lemuel's father-in-law Jacob Masters, Sr. and his brother-in-law Jacob Masters, Jr. applied for and received land grants from the Mexican government. These were among the earliest land grants in that area. They settled outside of Crockett, now the county seat of Houston County.
Lemuel's land ownership is somewhat less clear. One researcher reports finding a record stating that on January 5, 1838, Lemuel was certified by the Board of Land Commissioners of Houston County as having "emigrated to this Republic in the year 1828 and that he had remained in the same and was entitled to One League and one Labor of land as his headright under the Constitution and Laws of the Republic of Texas." Some eight years later, on February 10, 1846, Lemuel Rice was granted a land patent for 4,605.5 acres in McLennan County. Did he own two parcels of land? Did he sell or trade the Houston County land in order to move to McLennan County?

Lemuel and Polly had at least 11 children. The first four were born in Louisiana before the move to Texas and the next two were also born in Louisiana. Lemuel and/or Polly apparently fled back to Louisiana temporarily to be in a safer location, away from the Indian raids of eastern Texas. They had lived in Louisiana previously and had various family members who lived there. Lemuel and Polly returned to eastern Texas and had at least five more children born there.

Lemuel died in 1849, at age 47 or 49, of unknown causes. Some records say he died in Houston County , others say he died in Bruceville (formerly called Mastersville, named in honor of his family), a small town in McLennan County , Texas. Polly, his widow, lived for at least 30 more years in Houston County.

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  • Maintained by: MYates Vandver
  • Originally Created by: Petty & Pickens
  • Added: 29 Jun 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 72212357
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lemuel Rice (1802–29 Feb 1849), Find A Grave Memorial no. 72212357, citing Rice Cemetery, Houston County, Texas, USA ; Maintained by MYates Vandver (contributor 46783522) .