JAMES RICE, farmer, residing on section 12, Taylor Township, was born in Rockingham County, N. C., Dec. 6, 1810, and is a son of Nathan and Sarah (Poyner) Rice, natives of that State, where his mother died. His father was a second time married, taking for his wife Mrs. King, a widow. In 1828 he emigrated with his family to Smith County, Tenn., where he spent the remainder of his life, his death taking place in 1834. When James was sixteen years of age he went to Danville, Va., where he was apprenticed to learn the tailor's trade. In 1835 he went to Hartsville, Tenn., where he started a tailor-shop, and continued that business until 1846, when he commenced farming, and followed that occupation three years in that State. He then determined to come West, and on the 18th day of April, 1849, arrived in Iowa, locating where he now resides, on section 12, Taylor Township. He bought the claim of Jesse Brody. He hauled his first load of wheat to Muscatine, and sold it for fifty-seven cents per bushel. At one time, in company with F. Bryson and A. Johnson, he went to Muscatine with a load of produce, it requiring two weeks to make the trip. Mr. Rice was elected one of the County Commissioners of this county in 1851, and served until the office was abolished. He served as a member of the Board of Supervisors for eight years, and has been Justice of the Peace for about twenty, and is still holding the office. He has probably served on more grand juries than any other man in the county.
Mr. Rice has been married three times. His first wife was Margaret Hunt, of Virginia. She died in Tennessee, leaving three children — Mary Spencer, Sallie Gaylor and Nathan. The latter served in the army during the late Rebellion, and was First Lieutenant of Co. C. 9th Iowa Vol. Inf. He was killed at the battle of Pea Ridge. Mr. Rice's second wife was Lucinda Bryson. She died Jan. 22, 1854, leaving five children — Fielding, Leroy, Henry C., Elizabeth and Lucinda. The first was a member of Co. A, 27th Iowa Vol. Inf., and was killed in the battle of Cedar Creek, Va. Mr. Rice's present wife was Mary Floyd, from Clinton County, Ohio. They were married April 20, 1856, and have one son — William O., a farmer in Taylor Township. Few men are better known in this county than Mr. Rice. When he located here the Indians were still all around, and many of them called at his cabin door. Mr. Rice is now the owner of 140 acres of fine farming land, eighty of which are under cultivation.
Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies" [database online] Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <http://iagenweb.org/benton/>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 321.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on February 13th, 2009. Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.