Robert Rice, who will long be remembered as a prominent farmer and a noble hearted citizen of Grinnell township,
was a native of Wayne county, Kentucky, born May 3, 1853. He was the son of Ebenezer and Rebecca (Parmley) Rice,
both of whom were born in Wayne county. The family came to Iowa in the early '70s, and located in Jasper county
west of Grinnell, where the parents lived until their death.
Robert Rice received his preliminary education in Kentucky and grew up under the shelter of a kindly home. His
opportunities of attendance at school were limited, but he possessed a bright mind and was a close observer and
became a man of good general knowledge and thorough discrimination. He came with his parents to Iowa and after
his marriage began working on his own account on a farm east of Kellogg, Jasper county. He applied himself with
such excellent results that he acquired about five hundred acres and was known as one of the most prosperous farmers
of that part of the county. About 1897 he sold his farm, and later purchased one hundred and sixty acres adjoining
the fair grounds in Grinnell township, Poweshiek county. He also was the owner of two hundred and forty five acres
six miles west of Grinnell. He engaged in general farming, but made a specialty of cattle feeding, a branch which
he understood scientifically, and in this line he was remarkably successful, becoming one of the important cattle
feeders of the county.
In 1876 Mr. Rice was united in marriage to Miss Martha Armelda Parmley, a native of Wayne county, Kentucky, and
a daughter of Robert and Zerilda (Strunk) Parmley of Parnileyville, Kentucky. Mrs. Rice came to Iowa in her young
womanhood with an aunt. In 1877 her parents removed to Kansas and located near Tisdale. The father died March 24,
1907, being then in his seventy ninth year. Mr. Rice was called away April 4, 1907, at the age of fifty four years,
in the height of an honorable and useful career. Politically, he gave his support to the democratic party, and
fraternally he was identified with the Odd Fellows.
His success in business was due to his great energy and thorough knowledge of a vocation which he studied in all
its details. He spared no labor or pains to become thorough and efficient and the honorable record he attained
is evidence of his high character and ability. By his many estimable qualities hem gained a host of friends who
extended to him their sincere regard as a worthy member of the great brotherhood of man.
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa
A Record of settlement, organization
progress and achievement
By: Prof. L. F. Parker
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Poweshiek County, IA
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