A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for William C. RICE
The History of Franklin County, Iowa, by I. L. Stuart. 2 vols. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1914., says: For over forty years William C. Rice has been a resident of Franklin county, having come here in 1870. In early days he made his living as a hunter when wild animals were still plentiful and he is now a successful apiarist. He was born in Indiana, January 6, 1838, and is a son of Nicholas and Delilah (Samuels) Rice. The father, a boat builder by trade, moved to Knox county, Illinois, in 1838, and came to Iowa in 1851, locating in Hardin county, where he built the first sawmill. When he settled in that county there were only five other families in the neighborhood. He passed the rest of his life there, and his wife died in Cherokee county. They were the parents of ten children: Jacob K., of Port Angeles, Washington; Jonathan, deceased; Henry Harrison, also deceased; James N., of Cherokee county; William C.; Marilda S., the widow of W. B. Fail, of Kansas; Catherine and Emma, deceased; Clementine T., the widow of Charles Marx, of Lemon Cove, California; and N. John, also of Lemon Cove, that state.
William C. Rice was reared under the parental roof and acquired such an education as the early schools provided. At the age of seventeen he worked in a sawmill his father owned and for seven years followed that occupation in Hardin county. After his marriage he turned his attention to farming, buying in 1862 eighty acres of land near Ackley, at the rate of six dollars per acre, and remained there for about three years. He greatly improved this property, selling three years later at twenty-five dollars per acre. He then removed to Ackley, where at that time the Illinois Central Railroad was in course of construction. Mr. Rice had been quite successful as a hunter in those days, shooting elk and other wild animals. He shipped these to New York, having a contract with a firm in that city. As a game collector he also trapped and caught buffalo, cranes, wild geese, beaver, swan and antelope. Mr. Rice was for many years a hunter and disposed of his animals at an advantageous price in eastern markets. He captured more wolves than any other man in his section, receiving a bounty for his efforts, and he estimates the number of these animals that he killed at over three thousand.
In 1870 Mr. Rice came-to Franklin county, locating at Oakland Valley, and there he has since made his home. He has given much attention to bee culture and has derived a gratifying income from this source. He owns one block and two lots in Oakland and is also the possessor of twenty acres of valuable timber and farmland.
On September 25, 1856, Mr. Rice was united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Barnum, a relative of P. T. Barnum, and a daughter of Jabez and Anna L. (Goodsell) Barnum, natives of New York. Mrs. Rice, at the age of seventeen, taught the first school held at Steamboat Rock, Iowa. Her father was one of the pioneers of Hardin county, having entered land there in 1854. Both parents passed away in that county. They had the following children: Abraham G., Joseph S. and Olive, deceased; a son and a daughter who died in infancy; Mary Elizabeth, the wife of our subject; and Cordelia, Emory E., Anna and Lura, all deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Rice had ten children: Frank M., of Popejoy; Rosetta, deceased; Burton B., of Nebraska; Irene M., of Cedar Falls; Iva L., who married F. C. Holmes, of Iowa Falls; Myrta D., the wife of L. B. Patterson, of Des Moines, Iowa; Daisy M., at home, who is a teacher in the Waterloo schools; Blanche R., also a teacher, and the widow of T. W. Christopher, at home; Loretta V., of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and a son who died in infancy.
Mr. Rice is one of the well known and highly esteemed residents of this section. Although he has passed his seventy-sixth birthday, he is still hale and hearty and takes interest in all affairs that affect his township, county, state or nation. In his political faith he is a progressive republican and for two terms has served as township assessor of Oakland township, performing his duties in a highly satisfactory manner. He has the full confidence of his friends and neighbors, who know him to be a man of good character and a public-spirited citizen.
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