Harvey Rice

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Harvey Rice
Harvey Rice (1800 - 1891)
Born (1800-06-11)June 11, 1800
Conway, Massachusetts
Died November 7, 1891(1891-11-07) (aged 91)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Residence Cleveland, Ohio
Alma mater Williams College
Known for co-founder of The Plain Dealer, state legislator
Spouse(s) Fannie Rice (m. 1828) (d. 1837),
Emma Maria Fitch (m. 1840)
Children Percival Wood Rice (1829–1909)
Fannie Maria Rice (1832–1888)
Henrietta M. Rice (1834–1837)
Harvey Hayden Rice (1836–1837)
Henrietta Maria Rice (1841-1874)
Emma Fitch Rice (1842–1867)
Mary Wood Rice (1844–1911)
James Stephen Rice (1846–1939)
Harvey Rice, Jr. (1848–1903)

Harvey Rice, LL.D. (1800–1891) was an American lawyer, a Democratic state legislator, poet, author and newspaperman prominent in Cleveland, Ohio.

Early life and education[edit]

Harvey Rice was born in Conway, Massachusetts, June 11, 1800 to Stephen Rice and Lucy (Baker) Rice. He received his A.B. degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1824. After graduation, he moved west to Cleveland to study law under the tutelage of Reuben Wood. In 1826, was admitted to the bar that year and entered law practice as a partner with Reuben Wood. His doctor of laws degree was awarded by Williams College.[1]

Professional career[edit]

In 1828, Rice and other partners started a newspaper The Independent News Letter, that was later reorganized and renamed The Plain Dealer in 1842. In 1829, Rice became the managing editor of the paper. That same year he was appointed as Justice of the Peace. In 1830, he was elected as a Representative in the Ohio House of Representatives as a Democrat, serving for two years. He was appointed in 1830 as agent for the sale of fifty thousand acres Western Reserve School Lands. Over a three-year period he raised the sum of $150,000 through the sale of the public lands which was used to establish the public school system in Ohio.

In 1851 Rice was elected to the Ohio Senate and served for two years. During his time in the senate, he was responsible for introduction and passage of laws to reorganize the public school system of the state and establish a system of public libraries. From 1879 until his death, he was president of the Early Settlers Association of the Western Reserve.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Rice, H. (1858). Mt. Vernon and other Poems. Boston, John P. Jewett & Co.; Cleveland, Henry P. B. Jewett, 179pp + notes.
  • Rice H. (1875). Nature and Culture. Lee and Shepard Publishers, Boston. 202pp.
  • Rice, H. (1883). Pioneers of the Western Reserve. Lee and Shepard Publishers, Boston. 350pp.

Family life[edit]

Harvey Rice married Fannie Rice, daughter of Truman Rice on 27 September 1828 and they had four children: Percival Wood Rice, Fannie Maria Rice, Henrietta M. Rice and Harvey Hayden Rice. Fannie Rice died 21 December 1837. Three years after her death, Harvey Rice married Lucy Baker, and they had five children: Henrietta Maria Rice, Emma Fitch Rice, Mary Wood Rice, James Stephen Rice,[2] and Harvey Rice, Jr. Harvey Rice died on 7 November 1891 in Cleveland and was buried at Cleveland’s Lake View Cemetery.[3]


For his support of education in Cleveland, an elementary school was named in his honor.[4] In 1899, the City of Cleveland erected a statue by James Hamilton in his honor at the Fine Arts Museum Garden Area on East Boulevard in Cleveland.[5]


Harvey Rice was a direct descendant of Edmund Rice, an English immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony, as follows:[6][7]

  • Harvey Rice, son of
  • Stephen Rice (1769 – 1850)[8] son of
  • Cyrus Rice (1726 – 1804), son of
  • Josiah Rice (1696 – 1730), son of
  • Ephraim Rice (1665 – 1732), son of
  • Thomas Rice (1625 – 1681), son of


  1. ^ Coggeshall, William T (1864). "Harvey Rice". Poets and Poetry of the West: With Biographical and Critical Notices. New York: Follett, Foster and Company. p. 265. 
  2. ^ "Guide to the Rice Family Papers". University of California Irvine Special Collections. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 
  3. ^ "Harvey Rice (1800–1891)". Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  4. ^ "Harvey Rice Elementary School". Cleveland Metropolitan School District. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  5. ^ "Harvey Rice Monument Conservation". National Institute for Conservation. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Edmund Rice (1638) Association, 2009. Descendants of Edmund Rice: The First Nine Generations.
  7. ^ "Edmund Rice descendants: First six generations.". Edmund Rice (1638) Association, Inc. Retrieved 1 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "Stephen Rice (1769–1850)". Edmund Rice (1638) Association, Inc. Retrieved 6 March 2010. 

External links[edit]