An Illustrated History of Central Oregon, Western Historical Publishing Company, Spokane, WA. 1905, page 306-307.

* A portrait of Mr. Rice appears between pages 304 and 305.

* A portrait has been posted on-line at

HORACE RICE has so labored in Wasco county and the Willamette valley that he is entitled to be classed both as one of the builders of the country and one of its most substantial citizens at this time. He was born in Portage county, Ohio, on May 20, 1829, and now lives on Jackson street in The Dalles. His father, William K. Rice, was born on December 30, 1793, in Connecticut and came from an old colonial family, the progenitors of which on this side of the ocean were brought hither on the Mayflower. Members of the family participated in all of the struggles of the colonies and down until the late war and have been prominent as professional men and commercial operators for many generations. Mr. Rice's father went from Connecticut to New York and was there married and later journeyed to Portage county, Ohio. There he followed his trade of cooper and finally died in Illinois, on December 29, 1839, where the family had stopped temporarily, while en route to Iowa. He and his wife were members of the Methodist church. Before marriage, she was known as Mary Pettingill and was born in Maine, from an old colonial family, some of which came to this country in the Mayflower. She was born on February 5, 1790, and died on February 5, 1874, the latter event occurring in Polk county, Oregon. When our subject was nine years of age, he went with the balance of the family to Illinois and there his father died near Ottawa. The mother took her five children and moved on to Iowa in the spring of 1840, and there married Beckwith Cook, a miller. Horace was with the family most of the time until his marriage. In 1851, with his own family, with his mother, stepfather, and other relatives, he made the trip across the plains to Oregon. They used ox teams until arriving at Bridger, Wyoming, when they traded them for horses. The trip was continued with much hardship and suffering. Their food was exhausted and at Fort Boise, they traded a portion of their bedding for dried salmon skins prepared by the Indians. They were obliged to dig roots, eat hazel brush and roseballs to keep themselves alive until they arrived in The Dalles. At Umatilla our subject assisted some Indians to butcher and dress a steer which gave them a feast, as the Indians gave them meat enough to last several days. At The Dalles, there was a trading post and a tent. From The Dalles to the Cascades the trip was made on the steamer Flint and from there to the mouth of the Big Sandy in a bateau, and Judge Taylor drove them from that point to Milwaukee. Mrs. Rice soon obtained employment at one dollar per day, cooking in a boarding house, and her husband at two dollars and fifty cents per day, in a sawmill. Later, he made excellent wages, from ten to forty-five dollars per day in handling wood and timber. Typhoid fever attacked his family and much suffering ensued and finally they journeyed on to Lane county and took a donation claim where they remained twelve years then sold out and came to what is now Wasco county. He took a homestead on Fifteenmile creek and bought railroad land until the estate was one of one thousand acres. He was the first man to plant grain on the upland of Fifteenmile creek. The neighbors laughed at him and he was the butt of ridicule until they saw the excellent crops which he raised when they too took up land and commenced to raise wheat. Thus Mr. Rice may be noted as the leader in opening up the hills of Fifteenmile creek. They continued on their ranch, one of the best in the county, with an ideal residence location, until 1901, when they moved to The Dalles; then he sold out to his oldest son, George W., and since has been enjoying the well earned retirement of his life.

On February 19, 1849, in Cedar county, Iowa, Mr. Rice married Miss Eliza J. Bolton, who was born on June 8, 1830, in Giles county, West Virginia. Her father, George Bolton, was born in Virginia, on December 25, 1802, and died on March 6, 1848. His father was stolen by a press gang and brought to the United States from Holland. Daniel Bolton, George Bolton's brother, is well known. The mother of Mrs. Rice was Margaret Duncan, born in Virginia, on July 10, 1800, and died at the age of eighty. She came from a prominent Virginia family. Mr. Rice has one brother, Cyrenius, deceased; and four sisters, Nancy, Mary, Lucinda and. Ruth, deceased. Mrs. Rice has one brother, Charles H., and four sisters. Margaret, the widow of A. Smith, and Elizabeth A., Mary F. and Louisa, all deceased. To Mr. and Mrs. Rice the follow-ing named children have been born: George W., on the old home place; Austin C., a farmer in The Dalles; Emma, wife of Charles H. Southern, mentioned elsewhere in this work; Nellie D., wife of Daniel W. Mann near Collins, Washington; Ettie M., wife of M.M. Waterman mentioned elsewhere in this work; Charles W., who died in Riverside county, California, on February 10, 1899, aged forty-five; and Amelia A., the wife of Lemuel Gassaway, who died on Fifteenmile creek, on January 4, 1885. Mr. Rice is a good stanch Republican, has been county commissioner, justice of the peace and held various offices both here and in the valley. He and his wife are estimable people, having labored long and faithfully to build tip and improve the country and are highly deserving of the retirement they are now enjoying and the admiration of a large circle of friends.


Submitted to the Oregon Bios. Project in January 2005 by Jeffrey L. Elmer. Submitter has no additional information about the person(s) or family mentioned above.

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