Benjamin F. Rice

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Benjamin F. Rice
Benjamin F. Rice - Brady-Handy.jpg
United States Senator
from Arkansas
In office
June 23, 1868 – March 3, 1873
Preceded byCharles B. Mitchel
Succeeded byStephen Wallace Dorsey
Kentucky State Representative
for Estill County
In office
Personal details
Benjamin Franklin Rice

(1828-05-26)May 26, 1828
East Otto, New York
DiedJanuary 19, 1905(1905-01-19) (aged 76)
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Resting placeOaklawn Cemetery in Tulsa
Political partyRepublican

Benjamin Franklin Rice (May 26, 1828 – January 19, 1905) was a Republican politician from Arkansas, among several states, who represented that state in the United States Senate during the Reconstruction years from 1868 to 1873.


Rice was born in East Otto in Cattaraugus County in southwestern New York. After private schooling, Rice studied law, and upon his admission to the bar began practice in Irvine in Estill County in east-central Kentucky. From 1855 to 1856, he was a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives. In 1856, he served as a presidential elector for the Republican ticket pledged to John C. Fremont. In 1860, he relocated to Minnesota and soon joined the Union Army Union as a captain during the American Civil War. Eventually, he gained promotion to the rank of major and was a judge advocate with the 3rd Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

In 1864, Rice settled in the capital city of Little Rock, Arkansas, where he resumed his law practice. He was active in organizing the Arkansas Republican Party and was appointed the chair of a committee which in 1868 prepared the state's code of practice. Upon the readmission of Arkansas to the Union, Rice was elected by the Arkansas General Assembly to the Senate. At one point, he held the chairmanship of the Committee on Mines and Mining, now the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

On returning home, Rice resumed his law practice. In 1875, he moved to Colorado for health reasons. He then returned to Washington, D.C. in 1882, where he continued his law practice until his death. He died in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is interred there at Oaklawn Cemetery.


  • United States Congress. "Benjamin F. Rice (id: R000195)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on March 24, 2009
  • "Benjamin F. Rice". Find a Grave. Retrieved March 24, 2009.
U.S. Senate
Preceded by
(American Civil War)
U.S. Senator (Class 3) from Arkansas
June 23, 1868 – March 3, 1873
Served alongside: Alexander McDonald
Succeeded by
Stephen Wallace Dorsey
Notes and references
1. Because of Arkansas' secession from the Union, the seat remained vacant from 1861 to 1868 when Charles B. Mitchel was expelled from the Senate.