Saratoga Orchardist

Bio- Pen Pictures


            William Rice was born in Murray County, Tennessee, February 17, 1821.  His father, Ebenezer Rice, was a native of Vermont, and his mother, Catharine (Baldridge) Rice, was a native of North Carolina.  She was of  English and Irish descent.  When she was six years old her parents moved to Tennessee, where she married Ebenezer Rice.  When Mr. Rice was a very small boy his father was sent from the East to Tennessee as a missionary to the Indians.  In the fall of 1833 he removed with his family to Morgan County, Illinois, where he made it his home until his death, in 1858.  Mrs. Rice, his widow, afterward died at the residence of her son William, near Saratoga, California, March 17, 1888, aged nearly ninety-eight years.  There were twelve children in her family, of whom three are now living.  William Rice made his home with his parents until he was twenty-five years of age.  He was married in 1847 to Eliza Jane Campbell, who was born in Murray County, Tennessee.  Her father, James Campbell, was a native of Kentucky, his parents having come from Ireland and settled there.  Her mother was Margaret Berry, a native of Kentucky, but her parents were natives of Scotland.  Before his marriage, William Rice purchased a farm of eighty acres, and lived on it until 1875. During this period he made several additions to it, until at one time he had about 600 acres.  In May, 1875, he sold out and came to California, and shortly after his arrival here bought his present place, in Santa Clara County, near Saratoga, which at that time contained 190 acres.  Afterward he bought seventy-five acres adjoining it.  He has sold off this land from time to time, until now he has but thirty acres.  The place is all in orchard, consisting of twenty acres of prunes from four to eight years old.  The rest of the land is mostly in pears, from two to four years old.  It is one of the finest pear orchards in this part of the country, and is just beginning to bear. There are three acres of the eight-years-old prunes which have been bearing heavily for the past four years.  In 1887 they bore about sixteen tons, which is a big yield for three acres of ground.  Mr. Rice has been a member of the Christian Church ever since he was twenty years old, and now belongs to that church in Saratoga.

            Mr. and Mrs. Rice have one son:  William Allen Rice, born at Concord, Morgan County, Illinois, March 10, 1870. They have lost eight children, several of whom were grown.

Pen Pictures From The Garden of the World or Santa Clara County, California, Illustrated. - Edited by H. S. Foote.- Chicago:  The Lewis Publishing Company, 1888.
Pg. 316-317
Transcribed by Kathy Sedler
Proofread by Betty Vickroy