BURL E. RICE- Among the progressive young men of Santa Clara County is Burl E. Rice, who was born in Madison, S. D., November 5, 1895, the son of Emmett R. and Anna F (Eaton) Rice.  His father, was a native of Vermont, was the station agent for the Union Pacific Railroad at Madison, S. D.  On the mother’s side the family proudly trace their ancestors back to the two Eaton brothers, who came to the United States in the Mayflower.  Grandfather Eaton was an early settler of Illinois and the story is told that he was once offered the land where the city of Chicago now stands for an old horse.  When Burl was but three years old he accompanied his parents  to Kansas, and there his father became station agent at Randolph, Kans.  From Kansas they moved to Denver, Colo., and his father became identified with the Union Pacific Railroad there, when his health failed, and his son, Claire, took his place with the railroad.


The Rice family lived in Denver six years, and then Burl attended the Marie Wolcott School, later removing with the family to California.  They lived a short time at Watsonville, but finally settled at Hollister, San Benito County, and lived there one years, his father taking up the carpenter trade. In 1906 the family moved to San Jose where Burl attended the San Jose High School a short time, but when nineteen years old, stopped school to make his own way in life. At first he worked in various lines then started working at the T. & D. Theater as an user, and within six months through his ability and pleasing personality, became assistant manager.


In July. 1917, Mr. Rice enlisted in the Naval Reserve Force and was sent to San Pedro for three months, and from there to the San Francisco Naval Port Guard.  Later he was transferred to the Asiatic Squadron on board the Flagship Brooklyn, where he served in foreign waters eighteen months, dividing his time between China, Japan, the Philippines, and Vladivostok.  Later he returned to California and was released to the Naval Reserves in August, 1919, and July 5, 1921, received his honorable discharge and went back to San Jose, and in a short time was back in his old position. Filling it until Oct. 1, 1921, when he resigned to accept a position in the office of the San Jose Lumber Company.


Mr. Rice is the next to the youngest of a family of eight children, six of whom are living; Claire R., Dwight M., Elsie A., Glenn H., and Verne D., and our subject.  Claire R., at present is a train dispatcher at Stockton.  He entered the service in August, 1917, in the Russian Railway Service Corps, and was sent directly to Japan, and was there six months, being instructed in the Japanese and Russian languages.  He was then sent to Vladivostok and thence in to the Siberian interior.  He visited every station on the Siberian Transcontinental Railway, and was discharged form the service in November, 1919; Dwight tried to enlist several times, but was rejected; he then volunteered his services  to the United States in the Oakland ship yards  and when the first draft was called he was accepted April 1, 1918; he was stationed with the Infantry at Camp Kearney about one year, and was discharged from there in July 1919; Glenn enlisted in the One Hundred Nineteenth Engineers at Camp Fremont in August, 1917, and after six month; training he was sent to France.  Arriving at Brest, he was later sent to the firing line, and in one of the engagements was knocked unconscious by a piece of shrapnel which hit his helmet.  He returned to the United States and received his discharge in July, 1919; Verne, the youngest brother was under the draft age, so gave his services working in the Oakland shipyards he was in line to enter service when the last draft was called, at the time the armistice was signed.


On January 30, 1921, Mr. Rice was married to Miss Ethel LeMieux, the talented daughter of Jas. A. Le Mieux and Agnes E. Le Mieux, of Menominee, Mich., where she was born. Her father came to California when she was nine years old and went into the building contracting business in San Jose, and here she was reared, attending the St. Mary’s grammar school  Mr. Rice keeps p his interesting military associations by membership in the American Legion, and is one who stands high in the estimation of his many friends.

Transcribed by Carolyn Feroben, from Eugene T. Sawyers' History of Santa Clara County,California,  published by Historic Record Co. , 1922. page 1311