Rice - Harrison - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Rice - Harrison


Source: Portrait & Biographical Record of Montgomery, Parke & Fountain Counties, Indiana - 1893 Chapman Brothers

Harrison J. Rice, M.D., who lives in an elegant home, surrounded by the comforts of life, is a resident of Rockville, Parke County. For the reason that he is now approaching his three-score years and ten, the Doctor is, in a manner, retired from active practice, and with his loving wife is now in the enjoyment of his well-earned rest. The Doctor was born in Shelby County, Kentucky, August 25, 1823, and, as the name would seem to indicate, he is of German origin. More than one hundred years ago Daniel Rice, his paternal grandfather, settled in Washington County, Pennsylvania, then a part of Virginia. There in the wilderness, with the help of other kindred spirits, he erected Ft. Rice. Hardy and bold were the men who faced the trials and dangers of that day, and often were they called upon to do battle with their savage foes, which roamed the neighboring forests. In these fierce contests Daniel Rice was ever ready to take an active part, and by his bravery won considerable reputation. In this fort, about the year 1796, was born to him a son, Isaac, who afterward became the father of our subject. Amid these rugged surroundings, Isaac Rice grew up tall, deep chested and strong. He was a carpenter by trade, and became very proficient, so much so indeed that he could upon demand turn out with equal facility a house or mill, a bridge or boat, a cradle or a coffin. In early manhood he immigrated to Shelby County, Kentucky, where he married Miss Narcissa, daughter of James Allen, who came from Rockbridge County, Virginia. In the year 1827, Daniel Rice came to Indiana, locating in Montgomery County, where he entered a piece of land one mile north of where Waveland now stands. At once he proceeded to the talk of making a home for his wife and little ones, and on that farm he spent his remaining days, and reared a family of nine children, many of whom have since won honors and distinction in the communities where they have resided. Six of these are still living: Harrison J., our subject; James M., a highly respected, honorable, Christian gentleman, who still lives on the old homestead near Waveland; Hon. Thomas N., of Rockville, whose sketch appears on another page of this work; Margaret, wife of Levi Sidwell, a retired merchant of Rockville; A. Alexander, one of Lafayette's prominent attorneys; and Dr. John T., who stands high in his profession at Attica, Indiana, and is surgeon of the Wabash and Illinois Central Railroads. Politically, Isaac rice was a Whig and a life long follower of Henry Clay. For many years prior to his death, which occurred January 11, 1852, he was a member of the Presbyterian Church. As a citizen and neighbor, he stood well in the community, but it was particularly in the home that his best qualities were seen. It was his greatest pleasure to use his utmost efforts in directing the moral and intellectual training of his children, and though he was not permitted to see the fruits of his labors to any great extent, the good he has done lives after him. The boyhood days of Dr. Harrison J. Rice were similar to those of other farmer lads of his time. During most of the year, he worked hard upon the farm, and attended a short term of school in the winter. He had a receptive mind, however, and made the most of the scanty educational advantages afforded by their primitive log schoolhouse. Later, he entered Wabash College, at Crawfordsville, Indiana, where he remained for two years, and there gained a fair knowledge of Latin, Greek and the higher mathematics. About the year 1845, Mr. Rice determined to adopt the medical profession, and accordingly came to Rockville, entering the office of his uncle, Dr. James L. Allen, as a student. Dr. Allen was a man of great skill and reputation in his profession, and performed amputations and many operations requiring great skill long before the discovery of anesthetics. In the office of this eminent physician, the Doctor laid the foundation of that professional and business knowledge which was to serve him so well in after life. He took his first course of lectures at Louisville, Kentucky, one of his teachers being Samuel D. Gross, the "Nestor of American Surgery." Later Dr. Rice attended Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia, graduating form that institution in 1849. In October of the last mentioned year, the Doctor married Miss Nancy Moxley, of Shelbyville, Kentucky, who was born in Bourbon County. Her father, George Moxley, who came from near Mt. Vernon, Virginia, was one of the wealthy farmers and stock-growers of Shelby County, Kentucky. Mrs. Rice, a lady of slight physique and domestic in her tastes, has been of untold service to her husband, as she is endowed with an accurate memory, good judgment and great practical sense, which have made her a fitting helpmate, and it is but proper and fair to say that much of the prosperity and happiness of their union, which has now lasted more than forty-three years, has been due to the faithful and loving service which she has given to her husband and children. To. Mr. and Mrs. Rice were born four children, viz.: Victoria, wife of Jeremiah Brown, a printer at Rockville; Henry Haller, a farmer near this village; Catherine, wife of Capt. Frank Stevenson, now a prominent dry-goods merchant of Rockville, and lately the distinguished chief officer of the Rockville Light Artillery, a company which under his drilling won the first prize in competition with the crack companies of the United States; and Leta, the youngest daughter, who died in 1887 at the age of nineteen. Besides the above named, Mr. and Mrs. Rice have reared and adopted the child of the former's sister, who is deceased. Miss Rena is a young lady of rare literary attainments, and possesses many useful accomplishments. Immediately after his marriage, Dr. Rice formed a partnership with his late preceptor, Dr. Allen, and upon the death of the latter in 1857 the former succeeded to the business. He rapidly rose in the esteem of the people, as from the first he possessed in an eminent degree the faculty of inspiring his patients with confidence in his skill. For a period of over a quarter of a century, he maintained a position of greater influence in the profession than any other physician who has lived in Parke County. He was called to al parts of this and surrounding counties, these distant trips frequently taxing his powers of endurance. From 1860 to 1870, prices were remunerative, and one fee of $1,450, which he received, was the largest sum ever paid to a physician of this locality for services rendered in a single case. During his career, he had more than twenty students, many of whom have honored him by rising to places of distinction. For many years the Doctor was Master of the Masonic Lodge of Rockville, and was High Priest of the chapter. He is also a Knight Templar and recipient of the Thirty-third Degree, Scottish Rite. Upon the occasion of laying the cornerstone of the new courthouse, September 11, 1879, he delivered an eloquent address. He is a member of and faithful attendant at the Presbyterian Church, to which, as well as to other churches, he is a liberal contributor. For many years past he has been noted as a fine marksman and an e3nthuiastic sportsman, and one of his favorite companions has been Judge John W. Jones, of Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Doctor's home is always open for the entertainment of his many friends, whom he delights to welcome. - kbz

Source: Parke County Indiana Centennial Memorial 1816-1916 p 54

Dr. Harrison J. RICE, a prominent man in Parke County for nearly 50 years was born in Shelby County, Kentucky Aug 25, 1823. After attending Wabash College for two years, he came to Rockville to study medicine in the office of Dr. James L. ALLEN. He supplemented these studies with a course of lectures in Louisville, Ky and in Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia from which institution he graduated in 1849. In Oct of that year he completed his medical education, Dr. Rice was married to Miss Nancy MOXLEY, of Shelbyville, Kentucky a daughter of Hon . George Moxley who was prominent in the affairs of Kentucky. They at once came to Rockville where they resided until their death. Dr. Rice practiced as the partner of Dr. Allen until the death of Allen in 1857. He rapidly rose in his profession. For more than 25 years he maintained a greater influence in it than any other physician of Western Indiana. He was called to all the surrounding counties on distant trips that taxed the endurance of even a man of perfect physical manhood. From 1800 to 1870 prices were renumerative and one fee of $1,450 was paid him in a single case. During Dr. Rice's practice he had an office in his door yard and in this office more than 20 students at different times were under his instruction. Dr. Rice was a charter member of the Parke County Medical Society, a member of the State Medical Society and of the Esculapian Society of the Wabash Valley. He was as remarkably successful as he was in his profession. He was long one of the leading Democrats of the state of Indiana, associated with Wright, Hendricks, Vorhees and McDonald. In 1874 he was the Democratic candidate for Congress but the district was heavily Republican and he was defeated, although he made a splendid canvass. He was a pleasing and effective speaker. His address on the occasion of the laying of the cornerstone of the Parke County Court House September 14, 1879 was a masterpiece in diction and delivery. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church to which, as well as to other churches, he was a liberal contributor. For 10 years he was master of Parke Lodge No. 8 F & AM and High Priest of Parke Chapter. He was a Knight Templar and long stood at the head of the Masonic Fraternity in this county. Dr. Rice was an enthusiastic sportsman, a gentlemanly, companionable man with whom it was a pleasure to go to the field or to talk over the episodes of hunting or fishing. He was courtly in his bearing, with the dignity and ease of manner that characterized the real gentlemen of his generation. He was strikingly handsome -- a man who would attract attention among the most distinguished of the men of his time. kbz
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