Biography of Martin L. Rice
Springfield, Clark County, OH Biographies





MARTIN L. RICE, of the firm of James Neill & Co., manufacturers of and dealers in boots and shoes, Springfield. Mr. Rice has been identified with the growth and business of Springfield for nearly twenty years. He is a native of Worcester Co., Mass., born Dec. 2, 1824; he was one of five sons, whose father, believing every young man should have a trade, had each one apprenteed at a proper age. Martin L. was apprenticed to a baker, and afterward became associated with his father, Anson Rice, who was a merchant, and the Postmaster at Northboro, Mass.; he remained in business there about fifteen years, then came West and located at Springfield; he was connected with the Yellow Springs Agricultural Works, and one of four who lost $70,000 by the fire which destroyed the works in March, 1860, after which he became connected with the Lagonda Agricultural Works, and continued there about five years, during which important progress was made. In 1865, he retired, and became interested in merchandising, Rice & Co. being successors to W. S. Fieid & Co. in the business now conducted by Andrews, Wise & Putnam. After a very successful career of about ten years, he sold out and became connected with the management and construction of the now Springfield Southern Railway, with which he continued to be actively interested about three years; in the meantime, he had purchased and become sole proprietor of the "Springfield Curved Elbow," which he still continues to manufacture with marked success. By reason of his conneetion with this patent, he became the defendant in the case known as that of Price vs. Rice, one of the most tedious, as it was the most persistently prosecuted and firmly defended, suits known to the courts of Clark County; after three trials in the Court of Common Pleas, and a hearing by appeal in the District Court, Mr. Rice triumphed, and, though the litigation cost him a good sized fortune in money, and more in annoyance, he defeated what he then considered and what he now considers a very carefully planned and ably executed attempt to levy blackmail under cover of a claim for indebtedness. In 1879, he purchased the stock of the assignee and succeeded to the business of W. A. Hance, and has since conducted a large and flourishing trade in boots and shoes, at No. 38 East Main street, under the firm name of James Neill & Co. It will thus be seen Mr. Rice's life has been an unusually active one in fact, he has earned the reputation of being indefatigable in business He belongs to a family remarkable for their activity and capacity; his oldest brother, John A. Rice, now of the Tremont House, Chicago, has acquired distinction as a hotel manager; another brother, Myron G., now deceased, was prominent in railroad circles; Charles A. has been connected with the management of the United States & Canada Express Company for the past thirty years; and the youngest brother; Solon W., has been identified with the mining interests at Gold Hill, Nevi., for the past fifteen years. Mr. Rice began life for himself as an apprentice, and has worked his way by a life of intense activity, and, though he has suffered losses, has accumulated a considerable estate, and now owns a number of valuable pieces of city property, including that occupied by the firms of which he is the financial and managing head; his residence, on Center street, corner of Mulberry, is a fine property; the building, having cost him $17,000, is a model of convenience and beauty. Mr Rice has been a member of the Republic Printing Company since its organization, and is a public spirited citizen, generous toward all worthy charities and enterprises of public benefit. His wife, nee Miss Maynard, is a daughter of Calvin and Judith Maynard, of Marlboro, Mass., and a sister of James F. Maynard, of the firm of Maynard, Skinner & Co., wholesale grocers of Boston, Mass.; her first husband, Stephen W. Eager, also of Marlboro, Mass., deceased only three months after their marriage; her marriage with Mr. Rice was celebrated in Boylston, Mass., Dec. 22, 1846; this union has been blessed with four children, three daughters and a son; the son died in infancy; two daughters, Emily A. and Addie M., are still at home; the other daughter is the wife of J. C. Brecht, who resides in Springfield, and is the well known and reliable conductor of the "Short. Line" accommodation between here and Cincinnati, he having held that position from the date of the first train (July 3, 1872) to the present time; his record, in the language of one of the railroad officials, may be summed up in three words, viz., sobriety, honesty, industry. In 1858, Mr. Rice was made a Mason at Marlboro, Mass., and has ever since taken a deep interest in the Masonic fraternity, having been for twenty one years a member of Clark Lodge. No. 101, of Springfield. In politics, he was a Whig, and, since the organization of the Republican party, has been voting that ticket, having been always opposed to slavery and in favor of all men being free and equal.

From:
History of Clark County, Ohio
W. H. Beers & Co.
Chicago 1881


Privacy Policy for OnlineBiographies

NAVIGATION

Clark County, Ohio
Biographies

Online
Biographies

New York
Histories

New York
Biographies

Maine
Histories

Pennsylvania
Histories

Pennsylvania
Biographies

For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium

Family Tree Maker 2012