George Henry RICE was a resident of California for more than half a century, and was one of the venerable, honored and influential citizens of Redwood City, San Mateo County, at the time of his death in 1908.
The sterling pioneer to whom this memoir is dedicated was born in Herkimer County, New York, on the 27th of March 1833, and he was reared and educated in the old Empire state, where he continued to maintain his home until 1855, when, shortly after attaining to his legal majority, he set forth to seek his fortunes and win pioneer honors in California. He made the long and weary voyage around Cape Horn, and during virtually the entire trip, which was one of tempestuous order much of the time, he was confined to his berth on the little vessel. On arriving in California, he passed an interval in the gold mining districts, but the life of the mining camps did not appeal to him, and he soon made his way to Redwood City, where his marriage occurred soon afterward, and where he established his permanent home. He became one of the pioneers of San Mateo County, and did well his part in the civic and material development of this favored section of his adopted state. Mr. RICE was the founder of the first abstract and title business at Redwood City, made his records complete and authoritative and his concern continues to the present time as a veritable court of final resort in determining and authenticating all real estate titles in San Mateo County. He continued his active association with this business until the close of his long, worthy and useful life, in the fullness of years and well earned honors.
Mr. RICE maintained much of leadership in the directing of popular sentiment and action in his home city and county, and was influential in community affairs in general. He served from 1884 to 1888 as county clerk of San Mateo County, and was for a number of years a member of the municipal Board of Trustees of Redwood City. His character was the positive expression of a strong, noble and unselfish nature, and it shone most effectively in the ideal associations with his family, and his home. Mr. RICE was seventy six years of age at the time of his death on the 23rd of April 1908, and in the attractive old home at Redwood City still reside his widow and only daughter, Miss Mary Laura RICE, the one son, George Stanley, being now a resident of San Francisco. Mr. RICE was an earnest member of the Congregational Church, as are also his widow and daughter, who are popular figures in the representative social and cultural life of the community.
Upon coming to Redwood City, Mr. RICE here formed the acquaintance of Miss Mary L. TIGUE, and within a short time thereafter their marriage was solemnized. Thus was formed a companionship that was to continue its ideal relations until death severed the gracious ties many years later. Mrs. RICE can vividly call to memory the incidents and events of the weary journey which she made across the plains in the pioneer days in company with her parents, both of whom passed the remainder of their lives in California. The company of eight persons made the trip from Springfield, Missouri, with ox teams, and 180 days passed before the weary immigrants arrived at their destination in California. The TIGUE family established residence at Redwood City, and here Mrs. RICE has maintained her home during the long intervening years, freighted with many hallowed memories and associations. Like her husband, she has an inviolable place in the affection and esteem of the community which was the center of their devoted companionship until the death of the revered husband and father.
Transcribed by Deana Schultz.
Source: "The San Francisco Bay Region" Vol. 3 page 270-273 by Bailey Millard. Published by The American Historical Society, Inc. 1924.
© 2004 Deana Schultz.