• 1880, Van Buren Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Alfred is listed in the household of his parents.
• 1880, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Annie is listed in the household of her parents.
• 1910, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana. Alfred, Annie, and four children in the household; Alfred's occupation is planerman at a stone mill.
• 1920, 142 St. Paul Ave., Detroit, Michigan. Alfred, Annie, and three adult sons in the household; Alfred's occupation is motorman for the street railway.
• 1930, 1778 Concord Ave., Detroit, Michigan. Alfred and Annie are listed; Alfred's occupation is motorman for the street railway. Son William and his family lived in the same house.
• 1940, 1778 Concord Ave., Detroit, Michigan. Alfred and Annie are listed. Son William and his family lived in the same house.
Alfred's nickname was Gus.
From the Bloomington Telephone, March 12, 1912: "GETTING READY FOR NEW RAILROAD. A number of people near Clear Creek have moved as their properties have been on the right of way taken by the Bloomington Southern Railroad. Guss Rice and J. A. Gilaspie have taken houses in Clear Creek, George Jenkins has moved 1 mile west of where he formerly lived, and Joseph Lovell has moved to the Thomas Randall house on the Rogers Street Pike. The Illinois Central has already appropriated money to build the extension of the Bloomington Southern which has been contracted for and on which work has started." At about this time, Frank worked on railroad construction as a teenager.
Buildings such as the Empire State Building and the Pentagon were constructed from Indiana limestone, quarried in south central Indiana between Bloomington and Bedford. After limestone blocks are removed from a quarry, they are processed into a variety of building products at a mill. Alfred worked as a planerman at one of these mills.
Apparently finding work in the Bloomington area was difficult for Alfred and his sons, and so the family migrated 350 miles northeast to Detroit, Michigan, the booming "motor city". Erma married Gustav Axelson, a stone mason, on May 30, 1914 in Monroe County, Indiana. From the Bloomington World-Courier, November 6, 1914: "Mrs. Erma Axelson of Clear Creek has been called to Detroit to the bedside of her mother, Mrs. Gus Rice, who is critically ill." (Annie recovered.) This note indicates that Erma and Gustav arrived in Detroit after the rest of the family. Yet this appeared in the Bloomington Weekly Courier, March 23, 1915: "Gus Rice has gone to Detroit, Mich., to take up his work as a stone planerman." So the family's move took place between 1914 and 1915.
Alfred no doubt could not find work as a stone planerman in Detroit and began his career as a motorman for the Detroit Street Railways. The motorman ran a streetcar (trolley) and called out the stops, and worked with a conductor who collected the fares.
In 2003, Betty Lou Rice (granddaughter of Alfred and Annie) wrote "I remember walking up to the car barn to meet him, Gus Rice, after work, with my cousins Bill and Jack Rice [sons of William and Edna]. They lived on Concord across from the Odeon theatre $.05 admission for a double feature and previews and an ongoing serial (maybe Jack Armstrong, the all American boy). Our grandfather, Gus Rice, was a motorman for Detroit Street Railways. The streetcar turned around at the corner of Kercheval and Concord, it was the end of the line and Grampa walked home from there. He was quite dapper in his dark blue or black uniform with a badge and a cap with a badge also. I think the fare was $.07 at the time or less."
Alfred's obituary, Bloomington Telephone, February 12, 1942: "Alfred A. Rice, former Monroe county resident, died this morning at his home in Detroit, Mich. Mr. Rice, known to his many friends here as Guss Rice, was born and reared in Monroe county. He moved to Detroit several years ago and was a retired street car motorman. He leaves the widow, Mrs. Anna Douglas Rice; three sons, Fred, William and Frank, all of Detroit; a daughter, Mrs. Erma Axelson, Detroit; two brothers, R. H. Rice, Flagstaff, Ariz., and J. M. Rice, Monroe county, and six grandchildren. Funeral services have not been completed, but burial will be in the Clear Creek cemetery."
Annie's obituary, Bloomington Herald-Telephone, August 22, 1959: "A former Clear Creek resident, Anna I. Rice, 87, died Thursday at her home in Detroit, Mich. She had been a resident of Detroit 40 years. She was a member of the Clear Creek Christian Church where funeral services will be Monday at 2 p.m. with Rev. Richard Hittle officiating. Burial will be in Clear Creek Cemetery. Survivors include three sons, Fred Rice of Petoskey, Mich., Frank of Florida, and William of Detroit; a daughter, Mrs. Erma Axelson of Detroit; a sister, Mrs. Margaret Jones, 212 N. Grant St., several nieces and nephews, nine grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. Her husband, Alfred A. (Guss) Rice died in 1942."
Alfred and Annie are buried at the Clear Creek Church Cemetery, Lot 18, Section 2, at the intersection of South Rogers Street and Church Lane in Clear Creek, Indiana, near the graves of their daughter Erma and Annie's sister Margaret. It is also near the grave of Alfred's uncle Thomas E. Rice; Alfred was one of the pallbearers at his uncle's funeral in 1905.
1870s tintype photo of Annie Irene Douglas
The Rice Family, October 1909 (top: William, Erma, Frank; bottom: Fred, Annie, Alfred)
Migration of the Rice Family from Indiana to Michigan, 1914
The Rice brothers (Bill-left, Fred-center, Frank-right), circa 1915
Annie and Erma Rice, circa 1910-1915
Detroit street scene with streetcar, 1927
Detroit Street Railways, 1932 weekend pass
Alfred and Annie Rice, circa 1940
Alfred and Annie Rice Grave in Clear Creek Church Cemetery