|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
George W. Rice occupies a foremost position in agricultural circles in Livingston county as the owner of a one hundred and twenty acre farm near Utica, known as Hillside Ranch, and is prominent in the section not only as a successful farmer but also as a merchant and hotel keeper. Whatever line of endeavor he has followed he has made a success of, and he is considered today one of the substantial men of the locality and wherever known is highly regarded. His farm, part of which was the homestead owned by his father, is under high cultivation, bringing him gratifying financial returns.
George W. Rice was born near Detroit, Michigan, July 20, 1853, and came with his parents to this section about 1866, when he was thirteen years of age. He is a son of H. J. and Sarah M. (Johnston) Rice. After settling here the father engaged for many years in the hotel business and invested his earnings also in land, becoming prominent and well known. He was very popular and everyone who had the pleasure of his acquaintance spoke highly of him. He passed away in 1906, having survived his wife for about fourteen years, she passing away in 1892, and both found their last resting place in Utica cemetery. The Rice family is one of the old eastern American families of Pennsylvania Dutch descent.
George W. Rice pursued his education partly in Michigan and completed the same in the public schools of Utica, graduating from the Chillicothe College. To prepare himself for a commercial career and to become acquainted with practical ideas of life he entered upon a course in the Bryant & Stratton Business College of Detroit, Michigan, where he pursued a commercial course. At the age of twenty years his education was completed and he started out well equipped with theoretical knowledge to take up the battle of life. His first employment was as a bookkeeper for a wholesale produce company and he relinquished this position to become clerk in a general store. The life of the open appealing strongly to his nature, he made a change in his vocation and for five years subsequently engaged in farming. He then became connected with the Rice House, a hotel which he managed for several years, and in the conduct of which he acquired sufficient means to enable him to establish himself in the general mercantile business in Plymouth, Missouri, where he conducted a store for seven years. At the end of that time he returned to Utica to look after the farm property which had become his and there he specialized in the raising and feeding of stock, giving particular attention to sheep farming and milk cows. Since he acquired his property he has remodeled the residence which had been built thereon and has instituted numberless improvements, rebuilding and refitting barns and outbuildings and acquiring all such equipment which is considered necessary in the conduct of a modern agricultural establishment.
On July 2, 1874, Mr. Rice was united in marriage in Chillicothe, Missouri, to Miss Lizzie Rogers, a daughter of J. W. and Adeline Rogers, the former of whom for many years was the proprietor of the Rogers House and after disposing of his hotel interests became prominent as a shipper of live stock. Prosperity attended his efforts and he was one of the substantial citizens in this section, highly esteemed and greatly honored. He passed away in August, 1887, and is buried in Creston, Iowa, while his wife survived him for a decade, dying in 1897, in July, and finding her last resting place in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Mr. and Mrs. Rice have three children: Carl L., who is married and lives on one of his father's farms; Harry D., who resides at Brookfield, Missouri; and Ralph L., who is a telegraph operator in the general offices of the Rock Island Railroad Company.
Mr. Rice is interested in various other institutions which have contributed to the growth and development of Livingston county and among others is a stockholder in the First National Bank of Chillicothe. His political convictions incline him toward the republican party, for the candidates and measures of which he has always stood steadfast. For seventeen years he has acted in the capacity of justice of the peace and is a member of the National Americans, a fraternal insurance order. The religious faith of Mr. Rice is that of the Episcopal church, which he attends and in the work of which organization he takes an active and helpful interest. Mr. Rice has always led a busy and useful life to which indolence and idleness have been foreign, and thereby has not only achieved his own success, but has contributed to the development of the resources of Livingston county and the particular section in which he makes his home, and his labors have been largely constructive in the development of agriculture in this section. He is willing and even glad to bear his share in making this one of the richest and most prosperous portions of the state and is actuated in his undertakings by a spirit of contagious enthusiasm and unabating energy that has inspired others to do likewise. Industry and energy, guided by the wisdom of his experience and by his seldom failing judgment, have made him one of the substantial and influential men in these parts, and through the position which he holds and by virtue thereof he has become a serviceable factor in the growth and upbuilding of Livingston county.