Was born in Marlborough, Massachusetts, April 8, 1773. He was the eldest son of Samuel and Abigail Underwood Rice. Samuel was born in Sudbury, in November 1752, and was the son of Gersham and Elizabeth Rice. Gersham was born in Sudbury, in June 1703, and was the son of Ephraim and Hannah Livermore Rice. Ephraim was born in Sudbury, in April 1665, and was the son of Thomas and Mary Rice. Thomas was born in 1611, and was the son of Edmund and Tamazine Rice, who came from Barkhamstead, England, in 1638-9, and settled in Sudbury, and lived and died there, on the beautiful old farm on the east side of Sudbury river, near the border of the extensive meadows through which that river flows in its course to the Merrimac. The old farm is now in the possession of the Hon. John Whitmore Rice.
Ebenezer Rice married Martha, daughter of Barnabas and Mary Clark Hammond, of New Salem, Massachusetts. She was born in September 1776, and they were married May 5, 1796, and immigrated to Licking County, Ohio, from Essex County, New York, in the year 1810. The following February they came to Richland County, and entered the farm upon which Alexander Rice now resides, in Green Township. Mr. Rice and his family experienced all the privations and anxieties of pioneer life in their forest home. He cheerfully aided the new settlers in the erection of cabins, at log-rollings and other gatherings. For several years the pioneers were mutually dependent upon each other, and the social relations were largely cultivated. The forests were to be cut away, farms to be opened, schoolhouses to be erected, and public highways to be constructed. Mr. Rice took an active and leading part in all these enterprises. He was particularly interested in the education of his children. He survived until 1821. His family, at his decease, consisted of eleven children-four girls: Elizabeth, Martha, Harriet, and Abigail; and seven boys: Ebenezer, Alexander, Clark, Orson, Reuben, Levi, and Samuel. Only four survive: Elizabeth, wife of the late John Coulter; Martha, of Wisconsin; Alexander, of Green township, and Samuel, of Iowa. The widow of Ebenezer Rice subsequently married Judge Thomas Coulter, and died in September 1835.
Alexander Rice was born in Massachusetts, in August 1801, and immigrated with his parents to Green Township, in 1810. He grew up amid the wild and beautiful scenery of the hills and valleys fringing the Black fork of the Mohican, and a neighbor to the red men of the village of Greentown. His educational advantages at that early day were extremely limited. Being a young man of excellent sense, he acquired much information after reaching manhood. He is noted for his practical ideas, and plainness of speech. He has resided about sixty-six years on the homestead, and been continuously engaged in cultivating the soil.
In 1826 he married Miss Sarah Johnson, of Vermillian Township. Their children were-Rosella, Rosina, Orson, Reuben H., Isaac J., and Rosaline. Mrs. Rice died in 1844. Miss Rosella is a lady of talent and fine literary attainments, and has written a great deal for the eastern magazines.
Mr. Rice subsequently married Mary Vanscoyoc, by whom he had Russell B., Ida Josephine, and Ada Lenore.
Mr. Rice is yet in the full possession of all his faculties, and is quite vigorous for a man of his age. He remembers very distinctly the early scenes in Green township-the excitement of cabin-raisings, logrolling, cutting roads and constructing corduroy bridges over marshes and sloughs. He relates, with historic precision, the opening scenes of the war of 1812, the Indian tragedies on the Black fork, the erecting of blockhouses, and modes of life from 1812 to 1815.
When about nine years of age, his father, mother and a number of neighbors, were invited by the Indians to attend a feast at their village. He accompanied the invited guests to witness the performance. "There were between three and four hundred Indians present. The invited guests were permitted to enter the council house, a building, perhaps thirty feet wide, and nearly sixty feet long. In the center of the building was a mound of earth about three feet high and eight or ten feet in diameter. Forks were driven into it and poles place upon them. Upon these a number of copper kettles were suspended. They contained bear's meat, venison and the like, which was being boiled for distribution among the Indians and invited guests. The white and Indian boys remained outside the building." While gazing at the performance within, a young Indian came up behind young Rice, seized him around the arms and body and held him firmly. The alarm and amazement of young Rice were very great. He states that his first sensation on being unable to extricate himself was that of despair. He thought he could almost feel his scalp disappearing. By the intervention of a squaw he escaped the grasp of the young savage, to the relief of his fears. Although this scene occurred sixty-four years ago he says he retains a most vivid recollection of his sensations on that occasion. Subsequently he became well acquainted with the Armstrong boys, young Pipe, a son of old Captain Pipe, Jonacake, Lyons, Dowdee and other Greentown Indians.
Mr. Rice possesses a most extraordinary memory for dates, and the author of these pages is indebted to him for many valuable reminiscences of the early settlements of Green Township. Mr. Rice is yet (1880) residing on his homestead near Perrysville, aged nearly eighty years, and retains all his mental faculties and much physical vigor.