Search billions of records on

Homepage for Anita Cooper


Thomas McClure Rice heard the call for settlers to come to Texas while living in Ohio. He arrived in Fort Bend County soon after Texas has declared its independence from Mexico in 1836. Thomas brought with him his wife of 12 years, Elizabeth Wilson Rice, a native of Ireland, and four children aged 11, 7, 6 and 1. Thomas and his family soon moved to DeWitt County where many of his descendants still reside.

In 1842, General Santa Anna sent troops to San Antonio under the command of General Adrian Woll, a European mercenary. On September 18 this infantry and calvary of several hundred Mexican soldiers battled about 200 Texians under the commands of Captain John C. Hays and Colonel Matthew Caldwell. Answering a call to arms, Captain Nicolas M. Dawson assembled the nucleus of his band under the historic oak in La Grange, Thomas M. Rice among them. The Battle of Salado Creek found the Texians under Capt. Dawson’s command entirely exposed to the fire from the enemy’s cannon, being in a smooth prairie only partially protected by small mesquite trees. With many of their horses either killed, wounded or otherwise broken loose from their charge, they found no means left of retreating.

Thomas M. Rice was among those killed in action, leaving his wife and now five children, the youngest only 7 months old. Elizabeth Rice received $80.75 from the Late Republic of Texas for her husband’s horse, saddle and three weeks pay for military service. The Republic later granted her 640 acres, which she sold for $65.00.

Six years later, the patriots of this Battle of Salado Creek were given a military burial in a concrete vault on Monument Hill in La Grange in the presence of Sam Houston and a great concourse of dignitaries and citizens from all over Texas. The State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission now own this historic park. Born in Ireland in 1805, Elizabeth Wilson immigrated to Ohio about 1818 where she married THOMAS MCCLURE RICE in 1824.

Answering General Sam Houston's call to help gain freedom for Texas, in 1836 Elizabeth, Thomas and their four children came to Texas. They settled and farmed near Little Brushy Creek, DeWitt County, where their fifth child was born in 1842.

On September 18, 1842, Elizabeth and her children were suddenly without husband and father as Thomas was killed in action in the Battle of Salado Creek. In 1848 with then President Sam Houston officiating, Thomas was among the Texian soldiers enshrined on Monument Hill in LaGrange.

Elizabeth lived in DeWitt County until she died in 1859 and is believed buried in Clinton Cemetery.

The sacrifice and legacy of Elizabeth and Thomas Rice will always serve their hundreds of descendants and the people of Texas.

Here are some of my favorite websites:

Edmund Rice Association (

This page belongs to Anita Cooper.