ALFRED RICE, saw-mill proprietor, and one of the most enterprising and successful business men of Winchester, was born in what is now Carroll county, Ohio, March 10, 1822, the son of George and Nancy (Downes) Rice, natives respectively, of Ohio and Ireland. The father was a wheelwright and a chairmaker, and he and wife were parents of ten children, viz: Erie, Rebecca, Alfred, Harriett, Lucille, Levi, killed in the battle of Nashville; Stephen W., killed at Stonewell Fence, Va.; Julia A., George and an infant, deceased. The father of this family died August 1, 1841, and the mother November 2, 1887, both members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Alfred Rice was reared a carpenter, and remained in his native county until 1866, when he came to Randolph county, Ind., and located at Ridgeville, and there followed his trade for six years and railroad bridge building about five years. About 1876 he came to Winchester and engaged in the operation of plaining-mill and saw-mill until 1887, when he added a handle factory, which he most successfully operated until its destruction by fire in 1890, causing a loss of $6,500, there being not one dollar's worth of insurance on the property. Indomitable, however, and not given to despair, Mr. Rice immediately built, put in new machinery, and now has a plant 46 x 120 feet, with a capacity of 8,000 feet of lumber per day. His energy is most commendable and his success is truly well deserved.
The marriage of Mr. Rice took place in Carroll county, Ohio, January 1, 1846, to Miss Keziah Ward, daughter of William and Polly (Beatty) Ward, and was born in Carroll county, August 8, 1825. The children born to this union were seven in number and were named as follows: Rebecca, wife of William Gwinn, sawyer for his father-in-law; Mary C., deceased; Nancy A., deceased; Eliza, wife of Russell Vaughn, of LaGrange, Ind., Ida L., wife of A. Hutchins; Alice, now wife of William McKinstry, at home; an infant, deceased. The parents are member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and in politics Mr. Rice is a republican. It can be truly said of Mr. Rice that he has made a success of his business, and it is to such men as he that the prosperity of any community is largely due.
A Portrait and Biographical Record of Delaware and Randolph Counties, Ind., A.W. Bowen & Co., 1894