Nathan Lewis Rice (1841-1907) and Nancy Elizabeth Burks (1845-1927) Married 1861 in Monroe County, Indiana
Nathan Lewis Rice was the son of Robert Rice and Harwar Roe. Nancy Elizabeth Burks was the daughter of Floyd Burks and Helen E. Thompson. Nathan and Nancy were born in Monroe County, Indiana and died in Bloomington, Indiana. Nathan was probably named for Rev. Nathan Lewis Rice, a famous Presbyterian theologian from Kentucky.
Children of Nathan Lewis Rice and Nancy Elizabeth Burks:
• 1850, Van Buren Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Nathan is listed in the household of his parents.
• 1850, Beech Creek Township, Greene County, Indiana. Nancy is listed in the household of her parents.
• 1860 Van Buren Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Nathan is listed in the household of his parents; Nathan's occupation is farmhand; Nancy is listed in the household of her parents.
• 1880 Van Buren Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Nathan, Nancy, and three sons in the household along with Nancy's sister, Dora Burks; they live near Nathan's mother Harwar; Nathan's occupation is farmer.
• 1900, 516 W. 3rd St., Bloomington, Indiana. Nathan, Nancy, and son Roy in the household; Nancy is listed using her middle name Elizabeth; Nathan's occupation is physician.
• 1920, 516 W. 3rd St., Bloomington, Indiana. Nancy is listed as Elizabeth and has rented a room to a lodger.
The 1860 U.S. Census indicates that Nathan and Nancy lived on adjacent farms. The Civil War began in April 1861. On July 11, 1861, Nathan (age 20) and Nancy (age 15) were married. On June 21, 1862, their son Benjamin Floyd Rice was born. On August 27, 1862, Nathan enlisted as a Corporal in the 82nd Indiana Infantry (Company I) of the Union Army. Imagine how worried Nancy must have been at age 17 with an infant son and her husband headed off to war.
Fortunately, Nathan would return in five months. He became ill in early October 1862, suffering from "catarrh of head and throat and weakness of back and legs caused by hard and force marching from Louisville to Broonerstown, Kentucky." He spent part of his time in army hospitals before being honorably discharged from service on January 12, 1863, with the official reason for his discharge given as "bronchitis." A few days before, on January 9, 1863, Nathan's father Robert Rice died at the age of 60. Two months later, on March 13, 1863, part of his father's land was deeded to him, which Nathan would farm for nearly 20 years.
Nathan and Nancy in the 1860 U.S. Census
In 1881, Nathan graduated from the Indiana Eclectic Medical College in Indianapolis, and at the age of 40, began his new career as a doctor.
In 1882, he sought and received a Civil War Invalid Pension for chronic nasal catarrh and several other ailments. In his pension application, he states he hasn't "been able to plow more than half a day at a time for the last five years and at times not able to do any walking without great pain in my back and legs." A number of people submitted letters in support of his application, including Captain William F. Neill, Nathan's commanding officer in the 82nd regiment, who stated that Nathan was a "sound and able bodied man prior to enlistment."
The pension was initially $8 per month, but was raised to $16 in 1887, $18 in 1890, $24 in 1891, and $30 in 1905. With each legislated increase, Nathan needed to submit more forms along with accompanying documentation of his health, in order to be approved for the increase. Sometimes the increase was approved, other times it was not. These forms, acquired from the National Archives, tell us he lived in the town of Dudley (in Monroe County, Indiana) from 1882-1887 and the town of South Union in 1888-1889, and moved to Clear Creek by the Fall of 1889. Doctor's reports of Nathan's health were filed in 1882, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, and 1905. His height is listed in these reports as 5'11" to 6'1" and his weight as 132 to 141 lbs. He had a fair complexion and blue eyes. He had dark hair in 1882 at age 41 and gray hair in 1905 at age 64. The 1905 doctor's report says he had "no vicious habits."
In January 1889, Nathan placed the following ad in the Eclectic Medical Journal: "For Sale. Eight years practice, 54 acres of land, new house of 3 rooms, new barn, wood house, smoke house, office, good water, sugar orchard of 180 trees, 50 acres in grass. Good church, school, store, post office. 7 miles from county seat. Good pay. Will introduce my successor, an Eclectic preferred. Reason for selling, poor health. Price $1,200 dollars, half down, balance in one year. Call on or address N. L. Rice, M.D., Box 10, South Union, Monroe Co., Ind."
Joseph Marion Rice married Louella Carpenter on August 9, 1896. A newspaper article in the Bloomington Telephone says the wedding reception was held at the home of Nathan and Nancy. The groom is described as "a well known young farmer" and "an excellent young man." The bride is "one of Monroe County's most successful school teachers."
Nathan was a doctor back in the day when doctors routinely made house calls. A grandson, Frank Burns Rice, Sr., passed this recollection down to his son, Clarence Alfred Rice, who wrote in 2001: "Dad [Frank Burns Rice, Sr.] said the Doc, his grandfather, said the horse that pulled his buggy got his best rest before midnight, people do, too. Thus he disliked being called out before midnight, after was okay."
The state of Indiana began licensing physicians in 1897. At the Indiana State Archives in Indianapolis, there is a book with the handwritten names of all licensed physicians in the state including Dr. Nathan L. Rice.
From the Bloomington Weekly Courier, November 30, 1897: "Dr. Nathan L. Rice has sold his property on East Eighth street to Dr. U. G. Galloway of Ellettsville. Dr. Rice has purchased the Harris stock of drugs at Ellettsville and his son will conduct the business." Thus began Joseph Marion Rice's career as a druggist.
In March 11, 1906, Benjamin Floyd Rice died at age 43 of Bright's disease at the home of his parents, Nathan and Nancy.
The Bloomington Evening World reported on September 21, 1907 that Dr. Nathan Rice "is in Indianapolis taking treatment for cancer of his jaw and is improving." However, from the paperwork acquried from the National Archives, it was learned that Dr. Lindermuth gave Nathan about 15 "electrical therapeutic" treatments for his jaw in Indianapolis, and according to Dr. Lindermuth's report, they "did but little good." Doctor's reports disagree whether he had cancer. He died on December 4, 1907 at age 66. Frank Burns Rice, Sr. was 11-1/2 years old when his grandfather passed away.
From the Bloomington Weekly Star, December 6, 1907: "Dr. N. L. Rice died in this city last Wednesday. He formerly lived in Ellettsville and was highly esteemed as a veteran soldier and an honorable citizen." His obituary reads: "Dr. Nathan L. Rice died at 7:15 this morning at his home on west Third street of cancer, after an illness of about five months. He was 67 years old and a veteran of the Civil war. He was graduated in 1880 from the Indiana Medical college at Indianapolis, and previous to locating in this city twelve years ago, practiced at Clear Creek. He was united in marriage in 1861 and his wife and the following children are living: Gus, Marion and Roy Rice. Dr. Rice was a faithful member of the Morton street Church of Christ. The funeral will be held at the church Friday at 10:30 in charge of Elder H. H. Adamson."
In October 1908, Nancy applied for a Civil War Widow's Pension. She wrote: "I was married about 47 years ago, last July, the 11th day. I was not quite sixteen when I was married. There was just 4-1/2 years difference between our ages. Neither of us had been previously married – we had been raised up together. Rev. Barry Bray of Bloomington married us… For about five or six months before he died I noticed him beginning to fail. He commenced with a hurting in his teeth and from that time on he kept getting worse… He had a lower tooth pulled along in the summer before he died. It was paining him sour before he had it pulled. It didn't help the hurting after it was pulled… He was operated on, and the bone of his lower jaw removed… Dr. Allen of Indianapolis operated on him. Dr. Rice went to Indianapolis for the operation and was there about a week. Dr. Allen told him there was no cancer… My son, J. M. Rice of Bloomington went with him. He works in Wile Drug Store. It seemed like the doctor improved when the operation was first done, and then he started to fail even more rapidly than before… He was confined to his bed off and on about two weeks before he died, and not more than a week continuously before death… He just gradually grew weaker and weaker. He doctored himself mostly… Dr. Wiltshire of Bloomington was in to see him frequently. Dr. Thurston Smith was in to see him a day or so before he died… The only income I have is from the rental of part of my house, amounting to six dollars per month."
Joseph Marion Rice wrote the following in support of his mother's pension claim: "Nathan L. Rice was my father. I visited him quite a good deal during his last sickness and helped take care of him… The beginning of the very last sickness occurred to date from the pulling of a tooth which fractured his jaw… His jaw ached continually from that time and he could not get any relief except from drugs… He was operated on in Oct. 1907, about the 19th as I remember at Indianapolis, by Dr. Allen. The bone was removed from his jaw. My father remained in Indianapolis something like ten days after the operation in the hospital… Dr. Thurston Smith and Dr. Wiltshire were the physicians that were with father during his last sickness. No physician was present at his death… I wasn't present at death, but was told he died easy." H. J. Brannock, a 63-year-old shoemaker and next-door neighbor, wrote the following in support of Nancy's pension claim: "I have known the claimant and her husband, Dr. Nathan L. Rice, intimately about nine years. During this time they have lived right by the side of me. The only property owned by the doctor at his death was a little house and lot for which he paid $800. This is the property now occupied by the widow. One thousand dollars would be a good price for the property today. This is all the property the widow owns or has any interest in. She has part of this rented – she has a widow woman living in two rooms of it, I believe… The rental of the entire property would not be more than $10. She has no interest in any stocks, bonds or investments. The doctor was a nice plain old man who never made much money, but who was a man we all liked. There is no one legally bound for the widow's support."
Nancy was approved for a Widow's Pension of $12 per month, raised to $20 per month in 1916, and then raised to $50 per month in 1926. Nancy lived with her son, Joseph Marion Rice, in 1926 at 400 East 2nd St., Bloomington, Indiana.
Nancy's obituary, Bloomington Daily Telephone, December 27, 1927: "Death of Mrs. Rice at the age of 82. Mrs. Nancy E. Rice, age 82, ill for several months from the infirmities of age, died Saturday night at the home of J. M. Rice, the son, who lives on east 2nd street. She was the widow of Dr. Nathan L. Rice, who died in 1907. Mrs. Rice was a devout member of the Church of Christ and had a large number of loving friends. The children who survive are Gus, of Detroit, Roy, of Flagstaff, Ariz.; and Marion, of this city; also a sister, Dora Rice of Owen county. The funeral was Monday at 2:30 at the Lincoln Street Church of Christ in charge of Elder A. W. Harvey and burial at Rose Hill. The pall bearers were Harry Gale, Claude Burch, Harry Rice, Wood Wiles, Harry Harris and Waler Hottel." (Roy H. Rice was a forest ranger at the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona.)
A 1914 history of Monroe County, Indiana describes Nathan as a physician of "marked professional ability" who was "notably successful in the practice of his profession." He enjoyed "the confidence of the people among whom he mingled."
Nathan and Nancy are buried in Section L of the Rose Hill Cemetery, West 4th Street and Elm, Bloomington, Indiana, along with their sons Benjamin Floyd Rice and Joseph Marion Rice.
Nancy Rice, circa 1915-1925
Nathan and Nancy Rice Grave in Rose Hill Cemetery
William H. Douglas (1833-1896) and Ellen Russell (1843-1916) Married 1862 in Monroe County, Indiana
William H. Douglas was Scottish and was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and moved to Monroe County, Indiana in 1861. Ellen Russell was born in Newport, Rhode Island, the daughter of James Russell and Margaret Fitzpatrick. William and Ellen died in Monroe County, Indiana. Children of William H. Douglas and Ellen Russell:
• Mary Cathrine Douglas (1863-1864) • James Russell Douglas (1865-1949) married Rosa Belle Jones (1872-1971) • John W. Douglas (1867-1955) married Mary L. Greene (1863-?) • Annie Irene Douglas (1871-1959) married Alfred Augustus Rice (1872-1942) • Margaret Douglas (1873-1962) married Walter H. Jones (1871-1943) • William H. Douglas, Jr. (1876-1908) married Elizabeth Florence Wright (1875-1941) • Alice Douglas (1879-1906) married William Ezra Mercer (1876-1963) • George B. Douglas (1881-1956) married Avah Grace Wright (1886-1963) U.S. Census Records:
• 1860, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Ellen is listed in the household of her parents.
• 1870, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana. William, Ellen, and three children in the household along with Ellen's parents; William's occupation is stone mason.
• 1880, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana. William, Ellen, and six children in the household; William's occupation is farmer.
• 1900, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Ellen is listed along with her daughter Alice's family; Ellen's occupation is farmer.
• 1910, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Ellen is listed; her occupation is farmer.
On June 10, 1862, William enlisted as a Private in the 54th Indiana Infantry (Company A) of the Union Army during the Civil War. From June 20, 1862 to August 17, 1862, his unit was stationed at Camp Morton in Indianapolis where they guarded Confederate prisoners. From August 17, 1862 to September 10, 1862, his unit guarded railroad bridges near Shepherdsville, Kentucky. On September 10, 1862, his unit was mustered out and he returned home to Monroe County, Indiana. Two months later, he married Ellen.
On various Civil War pension forms, William's physical appearance is described. His height is listed as 5'4" to 5'5-1/2" and weight as 117 to 120 pounds. He had a fair complexion, dark hair, and blue eyes. He had partial loss of hearing in both ears in his later years. He died on May 29, 1896 at the age of 63.
A document dated June 13, 1896 entitled "Affidavit of Civil Surgeon or Physician" reads as follows: "I have been acquainted with him for the last ten years and have been his family physician since 1887 and know that said William H. Douglas was suffering from disease of lungs and I treated him during his last sickness for tubercular consumption. From said disease he died May 29, 1896... I have been practicing medicine for sixteen years." signed Nathan L. Rice, M.D. So Nathan became the Douglas family doctor in 1887. William's daughter Annie married Nathan's son Alfred in 1890.
William's obituary in the Bloomington Courier, June 2, 1896: "William H. Douglass, residing southwest of the city, died early yesterday morning of pneumonia, after a three weeks' illness. He was a prominent farmer and one of the best known and respected citizens of the county. He was 63 years of age and leaves a widow and seven children to mourn his loss. The funeral will occur from the Clear Creek church this afternoon at two o'clock, the remains will afterwards be brought to this city and interred in Rose Hill."
William's obituary in the Bloomington Telephone, June 2, 1896: "Death of William H. Douglas. William H. Douglass, living 7 miles southwest of Bloomington, and one of the best known citizens of that section of the county, died Friday night, after three weeks' illness with pneumonia. He was 63 years old, and though not connected with any church, he was a man of high standing in the community and beloved by all because of his universal kindness and good will to all. Mr. Douglass was a prominent Mason and leaves a wife and 7 children to mourn his death. He has been a resident of this county for over 20 years."
A second obituary was published in the Bloomington Telephone on June 9, 1896: "Death of W. H. Douglas. William H. Douglas passed peacefully away at his home, 5 miles south of this city Friday night at 8:30. He was a well known citizen throughout the county, and one loved and respected by all, having been a resident of this county for the past 35 years. Mr. Douglas was united with the Presbyterian church in his early life, but for the past few years his health had been so bad he had not attended. He realized that the end was near and said he was ready to go. He leaves a wife and seven children to mourn his loss, four being married. The funeral took place Sunday afternoon at two o'clock at Clear Creek church, services in charge of Rev. Williams. The remains were interred at Rose Hill cemetery. Deceased was 63 years of age, and death was caused by spinal and brain trouble."
Ellen's obituary in the Bloomington Courier, September 5, 1916: "Mrs. E. R. Douglas Dead. Mrs. E. R. Douglas, age 73 years, died at her home south of the city last night at midnight after a two week's illness. Mrs. Douglas was a member of the Christian Church at Clear Creek. She is survived by the following children: James, John and George Douglas and Mrs. Walter Jones of this city and Mrs. G. A. Rice, of Detroit, Mich., two children having preceded her in death, W. H., and Alice R., both of this county. No definite arrangements have been made for the funeral."
Ellen's obituary in the Bloomington Telephone, September 5, 1916: "Death of Mrs. Ellen Douglas at Age of 73. Mrs. Ellen Douglas, aged 73, died at her home south of Clear Creek Sunday night after a two weeks illness from a carbuncle on her neck. Mrs. Douglas was well known in the south part of the county having been a resident in that section since 1850. Born in Rhode Island in 1843, she came to the Clear Creek neighborhood when only 7 years old. In 1861 she was united by marriage to William Douglas, deceased, to which union were born 7 children – James R., John W., George B., all residents of this county, Mrs. Gus Rice of Detroit, and Mrs. Walter Jones, wife of Sheriff Jones of this city, and two children are dead. Mrs. Douglass was a life long member of the Christian church at Clear Creek, and was always prominent in church work; and much beloved and respected. The funeral arrangements are not yet made."
William and Ellen are buried in the Spencer Addition of the Rose Hill Cemetery, West 4th Street and Elm, Bloomington, Indiana, next to the graves of their son George, and Ellen's parents, James and Margaret Russell.
The Douglas sisters (Annie-left, Alice-center, Margaret-right), circa 1900