Rice - Thomas N. - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

Go to content

Rice - Thomas N.

Source: Parke County Indiana Centennial Memorial, 1816-1916 p 55

Thomas N. RICE was for 40 years one of the foremost men of Parke County. He was born of Kentucky parentage, near Waveland. He came to Rockville to study law in the office of David H. Maxwell, and took a legal course at the Louisville University before his admission to the bar. While not an alumnus of any institution of learning, yet Mr. Rice was a classical scholar of no small reknown, and had a profound knowledge of polite literature. he great epic poets, Homer and Milton were his favorite authors and he could quote from them with masterly effect. Mr. Rice entered upon a large and lucrative practice almost at once. He held the office of Prosecuting Attorney when Judge Bryant was on the bench. In 1869 he formed a partnership with James T. Johnson which for many years continued. He ably represented this county in the legislature, both in the House and Senate. Mr. Rice had many of the characteristics of a great lawyer. He never refused a litigant's case because it was a close one. He had no fear of getting beaten. The more desperate the case the more untiring and determined were his efforts. Mr. Rice appreciated humor, and occasionally used it with splendid results before courts and juries. Of absolutely pure life, of the highest integrity, of genial, kindly, charitable disposition, he was respected and admired by all his brothers of the bar. Thomas N. Rice was a patriot when it comes to the true meaning of what word as it applies to the daily walks of life. He unselfishly devoted himself to the welfare of Parke County and particularly to the upbuilding of the county seat. His public spirit was greater perhaps than that of any public man of his generation. Every movement for the improvement of the community, morally or intellectually found in him an enthusiastic advocate. He in was prominent in church and Sunday School work. He advocated good roads for the county, good streets for Rockville, and gave his time and his money to any attempt to get additional railroads and other advantages for the town which he so long honored by his citizenship. Thomas N. Rice was a man whose life might well be taken as a criterion of good citizenship. He died Nov 3, 1904. kbz

Source: 1880 Parke County JH Beadle History p 140

RICE, Thomas N., a leading attorney of Parke County, residing at Rockville, was born near Waveland, in Montgomery County, Indiana June 7, 1829. He spent his minority on his father's farm and during that time obtained an academic education at Waveland. In 1851 he came to Parke County, and after 9 months spent in school teaching became a student in the law office of DH & Judge Samuel F. MAXWELL, Continuing his studies with these gentlemen until the fall of 1853 he entered the Louisville University, and graduated in the law course in the following March. He immediately began practice in Rockville with Judge Elias S. TERRY, now of Danville, Ill. In 1856 he was elected prosecuting attorney of the common pleas court, the counties of Parke & Vermillion composing the district. In 1858 he was elected prosecutor for the 8th judicial circuit, which embraced the following counties: Boone, Clinton, Montgomery, Fountain, Warren, Parke & Vermilion. Mr. Rice lent an active and vigorous support to the war for the union, and assisted in recruiting every company raised in Parke County. He traveled and addressed war meetings, rendering valuable service to the cause in encouraging and strengthening the loyal sentiment. In 1864 Mr. Rice became a member of the Indiana house of rep. and in 1866 also of the state senate, serving in the latter body four years. During the whole of his service in the legislature he was on the judiciary committee, and in the senate serving in the latter body four years. During the whole of his service in the legislature he was on the judiciary committee, and in the senate was chairman of the committee on corporations. He took a prominent part in shaping the educational legislation which is now in force. The people of Parke County are indebted to Mr. Rice for the present admirable system of gravel roads. In 1865 or 66 he graded 1/2 a mile of road on Howard Avenue, in Rockville, the first of the kind ever made in the County. This resulting with that success which Mr. Rice had clearly foreseen and confidently predicted, the enterprise has gradually been carried forward until there are now in Adams Twp. alone not less than 30 miles of free turnpike. Mr. Rice is reckoned among the foremost in active endeavors to advance the moral, social, material and intellectual interests not only of the immediate community in which he lives but of the whole County. During the past 6 years he has been an efficient member of the Rockville School board. In 1869 he made a business trip of 3 months through Ireland and Scotland. In 1878 he ran for circuit judge in opposition to the present incumbent of the office, William P. BRITTON, but was defeated. Mr. Rice was married November 7, 1855 to Miss Margaret DIGBY, They have had 4 children, two of whom are living. The eldest, recently married, is the wife of Shannon NAVE of Attica. Mr. Rice is a Christian gentleman and a republican of progressive ideas. Both he and his wife are communicant sin the Presbyterian Church. kbz
Back to content