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 The Rice Family History

SECTION 1

 

Foreword

 

Introduction

 

History of the Rice Family

 

Barnhart Rice

 

Fredrick Rice

 

 

SECTION 2

 

The Children of Frederick Rice

 

Barnhart Rice

 

Henry Rice, Sr.

 

 

 

APPENDIX

 

Destruction of Hannastown

 

Real Estate Records

 

Fort Rice

 

John Rice Will

 

Rice's Dam

 

 

SECTION 1

Foreword

There are three known histories of the Barnhart Rice Family and his son, Frederick Rice. One family history was published in about 1920, was coordinated by William H. Rice of Huntington County, Indiana and concentrates on descendants of Frederick Rice's youngest son, Henry Rice, Sr. Another family history, The Genealogical Record of the Henry Rice Family," was written in the mid-1960s by Glenn Monroe Rice, again concentrating on known descendants of Henry Rice, Sr.   The Rice Reunion Committee, in Wayne County, Ohio, in about 1926 prepared another Rice history, "Record of the Frederick Rice Family, 1753 - 1926."  This history includes much more information about the descendants of Frederick Rice's ten other children, as well as Henry Rice, Sr.

A Frederick Rice Family Reunion report, published in the Jacksonian newspaper on 3 Sep 1885, also contributes some history, as well as a little confusion, to the history of the Frederick Rice family.

We owe much to our predecessors who diligently researched our family and recorded our family history for the knowledge, enjoyment  and sheer delight of later generations.  We hope to continue to update the information they first compiled, and expand it with new found information, making it all more accessible to future researchers by the advent of the Internet.

I want to thank those Rice researchers who contributed their research and knowledge to this site, and provided many of the images on the Photo Album pages.

- Gary Rice


Introduction

For this section I will rely on the words of Glenn M. Rice in his description of the early Rice ancestors who came from Germany to settle the wild lands of opportunity in the land called America.

"From the Barnhart and Rice History we find that Fredrick Rice was a miller, and owned a stone mill. He moved from Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania and bought two sections of land in Crawford County also in Pennsylvania and located near Meadville. He later disposed of this land. and moved to Wayne County in Ohio, where he bought two sections of land south of Wooster, Ohio, which is now the property of the Ohio Experimental Station.

"His granddaughter, Mrs. Sarah Rice Albright has given us this account; It appears that the record of our ancestors who first came to America is very obscure. By tradition, we learn that a Father and Mother and two sons, Fredrick William and Barnhart Rice, left their home in Germany (Wittenberg was once named as the home place) and settled in the unbroken wilderness of Pennsylvania, enduring the hardships of a rude pioneer life.

"No further trace of the parents can be found but the elder son, Fredrick William was mortally wounded in 1775 [sic - should be 1755] in the French and Indian War at the time of Braddock's defeat. Here, we will add that a Mr. T. J. Rice of Oberlin, Ohio claimed Fredrick William to be his paternal ancestor, and we quote, "My great grandfather, Fredrick William Rice was under Washington when Washington was Colonel during the French and Indian War at the time of Braddock's defeat in 1775 [sic - should be 1755], and that Frederick William Rice was one of the rear guard and was cut off in retreat. He escaped the Indians by hiding in the swamps and for days laid in the hollow of a log in which he finally buoyed across a river in Maryland, when he was supposed to have been killed."  This story was recalled by Mrs. Harriet Milton and was often repeated in the Simon Rice household about a brother who died in Baltimore, Maryland."

 

-  Glenn M. Rice

Please note that the Reunion Report published by the Rice Family Reunion Committee in 1887 in the Jacksonian Newspaper in Wayne County, Ohio, refers to Barnhart Rice's brother as George Rice.  Other researchers think his name might have been William Frederick Rice or William Rice.  And he settled in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Bedford County, Pennsylvania or Frederick County, Maryland.  We have been unable to solidly confirm any information about this brother as mentioned in the known Rice histories.

Since we have a notation that Captain John Diemers return of his company Sept 1746 Pennsylvania Archives 5:1:6 lists "Reis, Bernard, 18, Jul 11 occupation laborer."  This places Barnhart's birth at about 1728.  If the two boys were born before coming from someplace in present day Germany, Wittenberg is mentioned in the Rice histories, then the family must have immigrated to America between 1728 and 1746.

Any attempt to research the origins of our Rice family in Europe requires us to consider alternatives to the place of origin listed in the several Rice histories.

Wittenberg is the city where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Schlösskirche (Castle Church).  This city is southwest of Berlin on the Elbe River.

I have seen numerous times where Wittenberg is recorded on immigration papers when actually the immigrants came from the kingdom of Wuerttemberg, in Southwest present day Germany.  Historically, Wuerttemberg has been located on the northern border of Switzerland, with the Grand Duchy of Baden on the west and the Kingdom of Bavaria on the east and north and a chunk of land called Hohenzollern taken out of its southwest territory.

There are also a number of towns and villages in present day Germany with names similar to Wittenberg.  There is Wittenberge, also on the Elbe River, northwest of Berlin.  There is Wittenburg, which is in Mechlenburg-Schwerin southwest of the city of Schwerin and southeast of the city of Hamburg, in the far north of present day Germany. 

There is a town of Wittin in Nordrhein-Westfalen.  And a town of Wittenbergen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and is north of Hamburg.  There is also the city and canton of Wissembourgh in northern Department du Bas Rhin region of Alsace, a land that had been an independent state and also has been controlled by both France and Germany, and it has many people speaking a dialect of the German language.

Here is a list of search results using the search criteria "Witt*" in just the stadt of Mechlenburg alone.

MFP Mecklenburg Location Database
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Location Search: Witt*

#LocationParishRemarkGrand Duchynearby Town Distance Direction
1WittenbeckSteffenshagen MSCRostock18 W
2Wittenberg(u) = Bulow MSC  
3WittenbornGehren MSTFriedland15 SO
4WittenburgWittenburg  MSCHagenow12 NW
5WittenfördenWittenförden MSCSchwerin5 W
6WittenhagenFeldberg MSTNeustrelitz24 O 

The location found is located in the given distance / direction from the "nearby Town". MSC is Mecklenburg- Schwerin, MST is Mecklenburg-Strelitz without Ratzeburg and MSR is Mecklenburg-Strelitz / only Ratzeburg.


Using Arthur Teschler's Geo Location Server yields these additional locations in present day Germany using "Wittenberg" as the search criteria. 

Prefix: Wittenberg

Wittenberg
GKZ : 12 0 36 350
County : | +---- Oranienburg {OR}
Land : +--------- Brandenburg
ZIP : 16515
Locat : (Oranienburg) 52d44m N 13d12m E
Maps : TK25 3245 Oranienburg
TK50 L3344 Oranienburg
Euro Ob32


Wittenberge
GKZ : 12 0 37 960
County : | +---- Perleberg {PER}
Land : +--------- Brandenburg
ZIP : 19322
Popul : 29572
Locat : 52d59m N 11d46m E
Maps : TK25 3036 Wittenberge
TK50 L3136 Wittenberge
Euro Me31


Wittenbergen
GKZ : 01 0 61 115
County : | +---- Steinburg (Itzehoe) {IZ}
Land : +--------- Schleswig-Holstein
ZIP : 25548
Popul : 166
Locat : (Itzehoe) 53d56m N 9d31m E
Maps : TK25 2023 Itzehoe
TK50 L2122 Itzehoe
Euro Kd25


Wittenbergerpassau
Part of: Martensrade
GKZ : 01 0 57 050
County : | +---- Pl"on {PL"O}
Land : +--------- Schleswig-Holstein
ZIP : 24238
Popul : 278
Locat : (Pl"on) 54d01m N 10d25m E
Maps : TK25 1928 Schlamersdorf
TK50 L1928 Pl"on
Euro Lc24

--
Other mapping programs yield additional locations, villages, towns, cities and states with similar names in present day Germany.

 

History of the Rice Family

The earliest knowledge we have of our ancestors is very obscure. We only know that a family of four, father, mother and two sons, Frederick William and Barnhart Rice left Wittenberg, Germany, date unknown and sought the forests of America and the hardships of a rude pioneer life in the yet unbroken wilderness of Pennsylvania.

No further trace of the parents can be found but tradition according to Mr. T. J. Rice of Oberlin, Ohio, who claims Frederick William to be his grandfather, quotes "My great grandfather Frederick William Rice was under Washington at Braddock's defeat during the French and Indian war of 1755 and was one of the rear guard and was cut off in the retreat and escaped the Indians by hiding in the swamps for many days."

Barnhart Rice the older son married and settled in Bethlehem, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and had a family of two daughters and one son.  The daughters were named Christine and Anna Margaretha and the son was named  Frederick.


Barnhart Rice

Barnhart Rice is believed to have married a woman named Anna Elizabeth, but her surname is presently unknown. They married and settled near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the county then known as Northampton and now known as Lehigh.  He had a family of three children, one son, Frederick - our ancestor, and two daughters, Maria Margaretha who was confirmed with Frederick, and Christina, who married in Greensburg, Pennsylvania in the month of June, 1781, to Johannes Wentzel/Vensel.  Johannes Wentsel died in testate in 1812 in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania.  Their children were Philip (for John's father); Johannes; Jacob; Anna Catharine, b. 10 Sep 1786, sponsored by Uncle Friedrich and (Anna) Catharine Reiss; Bernhard, born 9 Oct 1790, died in 1848; married in 1813 to Hannah Harmon; Elizabetha was born on 15 Jan 1793; Anna Elizabetha, bpt. 22 Mar 1795; Salome, born 15 July 1797; and Joseph, born 18 June 1800, (sponsored by Joseph Wehl and "Margaretha").

(Note:  much of the information in this section was made available by Ellen and Lloyd Yost.)


Frederick Rice

Fredrick Rice was born near Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in Northampton County, September 29, 1753.  At the age of thirteen years he, with the family, moved. to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Six years after they settled in Westmoreland County, when the colonies rebelled against the tyranical rule of the mother country, the father, who had taken an oath of allegiance to England, gave a gun to his only son and bade him fight for his country.

After serving in the regular army for two years, Frederick Rice joined Berry's men and remained with them until the close of the War.  While he was in the regular army, he fought at the battle of Trenton where Washington captured 1000 Hessians.  Here (according to D.A.R. history, he, acting as a spy under General Marshall, assisted in the capture of the Hessians).

Frederick also served under General Washington at Valley Forge.  While serving with Brady, he led an expedition for the recovery of two white children who had been captured by the Indians, and was successful.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, at the age of twenty three years, he married Anna Catherine Lauffer, also of Westmoreland County. He owned and operated a grist mill on the Sewickley River near Greensburg, Pennsylvania which his father-in-law, Christian Lauffer, had established.  Frederick then erected a mill three miles south of Greensburg and followed the occupation of a miller until his eldest son, Barnhart, became old enough to take charge of the mill.  Frederick Rice accumulated 300 acres of land at this site.  From Westmoreland County land descriptions we find that his farm bordered on the south of the Greenhill Farm that existed by that name well into the twentieth century.

From a Westmoreland County Rootsweb mail list post by Chris Morgan, we find the location of this land owned by Frederick Rice.  Chris writes:  

"I would be very interested to learn anything more about this Greenhill Farm, if anyone has any further knowledge about it. Other details I do know follow."

"The land was originally patented by Samuel Baers in 1799. Surrounding properties at that time included Frederich Seife to West, Samuel Fulton to the North, Mary Sandorf to the East, Frederick Rice to the South. Originally it was 130 acres. (This was sold to my gr. gr. gr. gr grandfather-Michael Leader)."

"When the land was sold in 1844, it was 143 1/2 acres, land being bounded by these property owners: land of the late widow Sindorf, Frederick Sleiff on the west, then by lands of Abraham Bowman and John Leighty. Upon the death of Michael Leader the land was purchased by Adam Snyder, in 1844."

In a second email Chris Morgan describes the Frederick Rice property from a patent map like this: 

"Frederick Rice's south part of the property looks like it goes right up to the Unity border.  From the map it appears that his property was south of Smarnick Road in between route 819 and Brinkerton Road (not filling this whole area, just about 1/2 way, or less.  The property appears to go across Smartnick Road to the Unity Township border. It appears that the property follows some of Brinkerton Road. There is also a little jut out that follows Pattern Shop Road (Route 5) over a ways and again south to Unity border. Frederick Rice's property on the east corner connects to the Leader land (Samuel Beer-Patent 1799).  This corner is not a perfect one, though. This will all be clear when you get the Patent Map."

"Now I just discovered something else, on the Unity Patent Map it has Frederick Rice also listed as number 147.  This part in Unity was actually obtained in 1794.  Whoa!  He had a lot of land.  The part in Hempfield and Unity connect together, from what I can tell.  This property is very irregular, but if you can place the Hempfield part, just follow south a little more. The property crosses part of Lr64174 whatever that is (Just looks like the Brinkerton Road continuing, with another name or number)."

 

 

 

A third email was recently received (11 Dec 2004) from Chris Morgan's mother's after much research.  I received the following email from Chris Morgan's mother's further describing the area around the Frederick Rice farm in Hempfield Township, Pennsylvania.

Subj:Rice - Frederick 
Date:12/11/04 9:15:52 AM US Eastern Standard Time
From:XXXXXXXXXX
To:datafox@aol.com
Sent from the Internet (Details)
 

Gary

I had written you several years ago on the Greenhill Farm.  You quote David Morgan – but it actually was Chris Morgan that gave you the information.  Dave is my husband.  Regardless, I now know a little more about the Farm, and actually have visited where the Greenhill farm use to be – It is now divided up and many homes.  I even have a picture of the farm house believed to have been built around 1798-1800, but the owner of the photograph, picture being taken around 1907 or earlier.  –Though this would not be your Frederick Rice’s home, it would have been similar in structure.  

My point in writing now, is that one of the children of Michael and Catherine Leader, Salome Leader in 1800– when she was baptized,  the witnesses were Frederick and Catherine Reis. (Rice of course) and am trying to find out if there was a connection with the Lauffer family or the Rice family to the Leader Line (Leader being spelled Leider, Lider, Lieder, Lidder, Litter, Litner, Linder,  Luder, etc.) I do not know Catherine Leader’s maiden name.  I am looking at every witness to the baptism of their children, to see if I can find something there.   I know that Michael and Catherine Leader came from Eastern Pa – and that there may be connections to York or Franklin PA.  They came to Westmoreland between 1798-1800.  

ON a side note other sponsors besides Frederick and Catherine (Lauffer) Reis for  children of the Leader’s include:   George and Rebecca Schaeffer, Frederick and Rebecca Schleif (Slife, Schleiss, etc.), Philip and Margaretha Kuntz, Henrich and Elizabeth (Hauck) Schleif, Jacob and Magdalena Zimmerman, George and Anna Maria Magdalena(Mechling) Kepple.  These baptisms were all from 1800-1811.  

If you can shed any light on the Lauffer family or send me to a site or person, that could add more, I’d certainly appreciate it.  

You also have my permission to edit some of what I sent you earlier, in what you have published online.  You don’t have to put all my words.  In fact I probably can give you a better idea on where Frederick’s land was today, then in the past. 

Michael Leader's farm bordered that of Jacob Leighty and Frederick Rice.  The land deed was from Samuel Beer  and Barbara, his wife, of Hempfield Twp., on April 15, 1799, for 340 pounds  It was for 130 acres of land, called "Greenhill."  This land adjoined John Fulton, John McGuire, Frederick Rice, with allowances for Roads, at the time of purchase.  .  At the death of Michael, the land was sold to Adam Snyder, on 4 Sept. 1844.   (At this time the land was bounded by  Widow Sindorff, Frederick Sleiff, Abraham Bowman, John Leighty.) Today it is about 45 properties.  It's north boundary is believed to be Sunny Lane incompassing Kintigh Lane going towards the Greensburgh Mt. Pleasant Rd, and including today's road of Brinkerton and Smarnick Rd.  This is all just south of Skidmore Rd coming out of South Greensburg.

Now perhaps you can place the Rice Farm in relation to an everyday map.

Hoping to hear from you,

Most sincerely,

Chris Morgan

From the Glenn M. Rice Rice history, we find that Frederick Rice sold this property of 300 acres to George Brown in 1815.

Fredrick Rice spent the latter part of his life with his son Simon on the old homestead south of Wooster, Ohio where many a traveler from Pennsylvania was sheltered and refreshed. Some of these claimed relationship, others found various excuses such as having lived' near "Rice's Hollow" south of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, as reason to visit several days or even weeks if it were convenient.

Fredrick Rice died January 23, 1848 at the age of 94 years, 3 months, 25 days. His wife, Catherine, having died many years prior, in the month of August, 1823.

His last request was the administration of the Lord's Supper by Rev. S. S. Cline, pastor of the German Lutheran Church of which he was a member. Early in his teens he was confirmed in Northampton, Pennsylvania, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

He was buried in the church graveyard back of the present Evangelical Church in Wooster, Ohio, but was later disinterred with other members of the family and now lies In the Oakhill Cemetery, south of Wooster. (The Rice lot is next to the lot containing the Karl Merz Boulder Monument.)

Frederick Rice's wife, Catherine, died just a few years after moving to Wayne County, Ohio.  She is assumed to be buried on one of the farms south of Wooster.  The granddaughter of Glenn M. Rice once mentioned being shown an old map of the farm by the then manager of the Agricultural Experiment Station, Mr. Thorn.  This old map of the farm showed an outlined area of the farm marked "cemetery."  Although not conclusive, this is the best explanation to date as to the burial place of Anna Catherine Lauffer Rice

 

Here I turn again to the writing of Glenn M. Rice in his description of Frederick Rice's latter years:

 

"Turning again to the father of these children; He with Philip Wentzel enlisted in the war of 1812." [Not having seen the source of this information, I wonder if this might not be the son, Frederick, who died of illness during this war. - Gary Rice]

"He was brave and courageous, capable of suffering the hardships of war yet having a good kind heart ready to relieve the needy whenever the opportunity permitted.

"It is said that during an expedition against the Indians when their band reached the Indian camp they found it deserted with the exception of one woman whom some of the party would have shot but for the interference of Grandfather; with a bound the woman was at his side, clinging to him for instinct told her that she was safe with him.

"His wife died in August, 1823, and he spent the latter part of his life with his son Simon where many a traveler from Pennsylvania was sheltered and refreshed. Some of these claimed relationship, others were acquaintances who made axcuses [sic] of having lived near Rice's Hollow in Pennsylvania.

"Much of his time was spent in hunting, often being absent for weeks at a time and spending the nights on a bed made of bushes, building a fire about it for the protection from the wild beasts of the forests.

"The deer was his particular aim in hunting, in which he was most successful, always returning home with an abundance of venison.

"He died Jan. 23, 1848, after having seen the country open up to civilization from eastern Pennsylvania to Ohio."

SECTION 2

The Children

To Frederick and Catherine Rice were born thirteen children, two of whom, died in infancy.  Seven sons and four daughters lived to an adult age, and are as follows:

Child's Name Birth date Death DateMarried

                          

Christina RiceApril 14, 1778October 14, 1853Randolph Barnhart
Randolph and Christine settled at Barnhart's Mills, now called Chicora, in Butler County, Pennsylvania.  Christina died October 14, 1853 and is buried in ??? Cemetery near Chicora.

 

Barnhart RiceMarch 18, 1781August 12, 1863Susan Miller
Barnhart operated his father's mill in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.  He then operated a mill near Meadville in Crawford County, Pennsylvania before settling on one of the farms purchased by Frederick Rice in 1822 in Wayne County, south of Wooster, Ohio.

 

(Mary) Elizabeth RiceMarch 17, 1783November 11, 1852(John) Phillip Barnhart
 

 

Fredrick Rice

 

1812

?

Fredrick died during War of 1812 in a field hospital due to complications from an illness.

 

Christian Rice

April 12, 1787

January 17, 1852

Charlotte Hine

They settled near Tylerton, Penn., on a farm which had been previously entered by his father.

 

John Rice

 

 

Margaret Wible

John was married to Margaret Wible and always remained in Butler Co., Penn., and was also a farmer. (See last will transcript)

 

Peter Rice

April 4, 1792

January 02, 1861

Elizabeth Vandyke

Peter followed the occupation of a blacksmith the early part of his life. He was married to Elizabeth Vandike and spent the latter part of his life on a farm in Medina Co., Ohio.

 

Catherine Rice

October 17, 1793 1/

January 18, 1871

John Myers

 

 

Simon Rice

October 4, 1796

November 5, 1863

1st/  Mary France,  2nd/ Barbara Yager

Simon went to Ohio with his father who purchased land south of Wooster, Ohio, and is now the property of the State of Ohio and used as the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station.

 

Susan Rice

 

 

Daniel Reaser

 

 

Henry Rice

June 8, 1804

March 2, 1875

Susannah Franz

Henry married Susannah Franz in Wayne County, Ohio.  He owned farms in Wayne County, Ohio, but moved to Huntington County, Indiana with his wife in 1864.  He died on March 2, 1875 and is buried in France Cemetery on the Old Fort Wayne Road in Jackson Township, Huntington County, Indiana.  Susannah died October 01, 1880 and is also buried in France Cemetery.

1/  One source says Catherine was born in 1794.


Barnhart Rice - son of Frederick Rice, Sr.

Philip Rice

Philip Rice, son of Barnhart and Susan Miller, came to Chatham Twp., Medina Co. and built a saw mill. His son John had the mill. In fact he died as a result of being hit in the head by a board coming off the saw. His grandson, Clement, operated a grist mill and had a picnic grove in the 30s and 40s. on the property. Clement was still producing pan cake flour, etc. into his 90s. He had two daughters so the property was sold in the late 1950s. The government confiscated many of his black walnut trees for gun stocks during WW II. A man from the Chatham Historical Society called and in January [2000] they are having a program on Rice's Dam. Exchanging stories, pictures, etc. Dick and I are planning to go if the weather is okay. Over the years there have been many articles in the papers about the Dam.

- Contributed by Lynne Rice, Chatham, Ohio

 

Henry Rice, Sr.

Henry Rice, the youngest son of Frederick and Catherine Rice, was born in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, on  June 8, 1804.

In the year 1815 at the age of eleven years, he with his father, mother, youngest brother and sister moved to Wayne County, Ohio.

Although still a boy he was busily engaged in helping clear the land of what is now probably one of the finest farms in northern Ohio, the Ohio Experimental Farm.

He was married to Susannah Franz, Aug. 17, 1825, who was born in February 1805, and also of Wayne County, Ohio.

They first settled one mile south of Wooster, Ohio where they lived a few years until they moved to Wayne township in the Killbuck Valley where they settled in the wild woods and cleared a farm on which they resided about 28 years. They then purchased a farm on Clear Creek on which they lived until their removal to Huntington County, Indiana, in the autumn of 1864 on the farm now owned by O. E. Johnson.

To them were born four sons: Nicholas, Simon, Henry, Solomon.

Mr. Rice died March 2, 1875, and his wife died Oct. 1, 1880.

(NOTE:  Information in this section is from the "Genealogical Record of the Henry Rice Family," by Glenn M. Rice.

 

APPENDIX

Fort Rice, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania

A historic item in connection with the Rice family is the Fort Rice which is located in Lewis Township, Northumberland Co., Pa., about seven miles east of Sunbury, Pa.

In a letter from Aaron E. Barnhart of Chicora, Pa., he quotes from a book entitled "Frontier Forts of Pennsylvania."

"The portion of the book relating to Fort Rice was written by John M. Buckalen who quotes "There was a noted Indian chief who boasted that he could take any fort built by the pioneers and it was admitted that it was no idle boast but Capt. Frederick William Rice with a company of German soldiers built Fort Rice which has stood the ravishes of time.

"The land upon which Fort Rice is situated was first patented by William Patterson in 1769 and was later transferred to John Montgomery in 1771 and contained 700 acres and was then known as a paradice [sic] owing to its beautiful rolling ground, its fine groves and excellent water and healthfulness. It is not excelled for fertility, beauty, and healthfulness by any like place in the United States.

"Before the fort was built this Montgomery's house occupied the site upon which the fort now stands. On July 28, 1779, there was a raid made by the Indians and Montgomery fled with his family to the settlement.

"It was during his absence after the Indians had burned all his buildings and grain stacks [sic], that the government thru' Capt. Rice selected the site for the fort. It was built over a very fine spring and upon the site of Montgomery's house in the autumn of 1779 and the winter of 1780 by Capt. Rice with a company of Pennsylvania German troops from Col. Weetner's German Regiment.

"It was built of surface limestone the building is 26x28 feet outside measurement and is two stories high with an attic of four feet. It is twenty-two feet high from the ground up to the square.

"The walls are two feet thick. It originally had a stockade built out of the same material around it.

"During the time the fort was built the Indians were spying and keeping a sharp watch. After the Indians had destroyed all the other forts and as a last resort the settlers repaired to Fort Rice.

"On Sept. 21, 1780, about 300 Indians made an assault upon the fort but were baffled and defeated by Capt. Rice and his German soldiers.

"The stockade has long since been torn down but the fort still stands and on a stone in the south wall about 8 feet from the ground are the initials F. W. R. which are still visible. The portholes are still visible also, altho' [sic] there has been many changes made in the building.

"The land upon which the fort stands when this was written was owned by an Irishman by the name McIntosh who has tried to have the fort named Fort McIntosh but Mr. Buckalen says it was and is justly due that the name be kept Fort Rice.

"The present owner is using it as a spring and milk house."

Mr. Buckalen says he has failed to find where or what has become of Capt. Rice further than he had gone west.

- History of the Rice Family, Appendix, Fort Rice, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania.


Destruction of Hannastown - by the Indians


Word came on morning to the settlers, Frederick Rice and wife, that the Indians had attacked the village and all the whites in the country around were summoned to help the villagers who were being tortured and killed, and their homes pillaged and burned.

Catherine, the wife, who was washing, had to stop and help to make the place look as though deserted. While the husband and father nailed up the windows with clapboards, she disposed of her washing which was scalding in a kettle, by upsetting the whole kettle full of clothes into a mortar hole, from which her husband had been using mortar to close up the holes about the cabin. Then she got her children ready and they started.

Frederick Rice shouldered his musket and went to the help of the villagers, while the wife took Christina by the hand, Barnhart on her back, and Elizabeth in her arms and started to walk under brush and wheat fields, all bent over so she would not be seen by any skulking Indians, to the nearest neighbor one mile away. When she got there, the house was deserted. Windows were clapboarded, and no response of a living being around, so she plodded on her way to the next neighbor another mile, and there she found about twenty people. There were mothers with their children and only one old man with his musket to protect them against the invading Indians.

The old man was nailing up the clapboards to all the windows and doors, and making the place look as if deserted. There, these pioneer women huddled, not daring to speak above a whisper, and smothering the cries of their young ones.

The father, Frederick, on his way through the woods saw the Indians at a cabin, torturing a mother whom they had tied to a tree, and were impaling her baby in front of her on the picket fence. But as the Indians were a dozen to him (only one), he had to steal past them unobserved on his way to the village, which he found in flames when he arrived there, but joined the settlers in pursuit of the attacking Indians, killing many of them.

- History of the Henry Rice Family, by Glenn M. Rice, Destruction of Hannastown - by the Indians, p. 34.


Real Estate Records


Greensburg, Westmoreland Co., Penna.
Deed Book Vol. II, page 140


The name Frederick Rice as placed in a transfer of deed for several hundred acres of land by Frederick Rice and Catherine Rice to George Brown, April 1, 1815, Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.

***** ****** ******

Frederick Rice's land in Westmoreland County as recorded in survey February 13, 1786, was 300 acres.

***** ****** ******

Congressional Library Records
Washington, D. C.

Note this interesting fact, referring to the purchase of land by the pioneer, Rice, south of Wooster, Ohio. From abstracts, Dr. Thorne, director of Ohio Experimental Station, Wooster, Ohio, gives the data of transfer of this property to the Rice's.

"U. S., James Monroe, President, to Frederick Rice, May 12, 1821. Assignee, Joseph Dorsey and Wells."

Then Frederick Rice to Simon Rice, west half of farm, March 1, 1822. Frederick Rice to Barnhardt Rice, east half of farm, March 7, 1882 [obvious typo - should be 1822].

***** ****** ******

The last owner of the Rice homestead south of Wooster, Ohio, being D. R. Firestone, who transferred it to the State of Ohio for the Experimental Farm.


- History of the Henry Rice Family, by Glenn M. Rice, Real Estate Records, p. 34
=====================