Indiana McCaslins

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Dates are from headstone in the Rice Cemetery, Scott County, Indiana (Find A Grave Memorial# 39839340). H. H. Rice letter about Ebenezer Rice 1772-1836 Written by Halleck Rice, (1871-1966) one of Ebenezer's great grandsons, through son Giles and grandson Russell + Viola Rawlings. "It was the latter part of winter or early spring in a small village on the Allegheny River (records show it was actually the Susquehanna River) in state of New York, when my Great Grandfather awoke one morning to find river flooded and everything he owned washed away except small amount of personal property. Being a mill-wright and owner of small sawmill, he was broke and a discouraged man. He was a young man at that time in his late thirties, or early forties. My Great Grandfather Ebenezer and Great Grandmother Rachel (Name on tombstone in River Cemetery is Esther Rice) and their small family of five children namely: John Wesley, Stephen, Ebenezer Jr., Rheuben and little girl of five years old, her name has slipped my memory. My Grandfather, Giles Rice was not born until three years after they came west. The father being of hard pioneer spiritthey decided to start for new country. Building themselves a large raft and loading what little property they had left on raft and start down river. Their personal property consisting of some house-hold, two or three cows, one team of horses and one covered wagon. We realize what it is to start for new country not knowing where your home will be or what you will do for livelihood having come west with family in 1907. But our forefathers were people of courage and will power. So their loaded family, stock and house-hold on raft and started down river. I imagine the river was still high and full of debris, floating logs, stumps and even uprooted trees. But Great Grandfather was river man and said to be a great swimmer and did not fear the hazardous trip down river on raft. So they floated along keeping as close to shore as possible, no doubt on account of family and stock. They finally came to small settlement on river called Lawrenceberg or Lawrenceville. The little girl being sick, they decided to abandon raft and start across country with family in covered wagon driving the stock in front of them as customary in early days but the little girls to their sorrow, died on trip and they had to bury her at side of trail, there being scarcily any roads at that early date of 1808 or 1809 (It must have been later because Ann Rice was born in Otsego NY in 1814 and Giles Rice was born in Scott County IN in 1818.) So they piled up stones on grave to keep predatory animals from disturbing it. Thinking no doubt to return at some future time and place marker at her grave. My Great Uncle Stephen did return 40 years later and found his sister's grave. He went on to his old home in New York but fine none of Rice's. They had all left home and their descendants are scattered over U.S. somewhere. They seemed to be of a restless adventuresome nature. After the death of the little girl they must keep their courage and travel on and get settle as soon as possible. There was great risk in traveling in those days, the Indians were still a menace and to be considered. There were hungry timber wolves, panthers and other wild animals that might prey on them or their stock so they had to be ever on the alert. My Great Grandfather being chased by panther at one time and had a very narrow escape, according to my Grandmother's story, just being able to get in house as panther struck door, according to story the marks of his talons were on door until the old homestead house burned down. The old folks finally arrived with their family on what was at that time the new purchase which now is southern Indiana where they settled. So they decided to settle down and clear their home in what was solid woods at that time, now the eastern part of Scott County, Indiana. But another tragedy and sorrow was heaped upon them. John Wesley, their oldest son was killed by falling tree while working in clearing. It was late spring when they arrived at their destination. The woods were noisy with song birds of all kinds, there were wild bees, coveys of quail, the red-buds and dog-woods were in full bloom, the foliage on trees was full, there was a clear stream of water near by and spring on hillside, so it must have seemed an ideal spot for a home to them with abundance of wild game almost a paradise to them after their long trip down river and overland trip through wilderness. But a few years later there was great excitement in the settlement, the Indians had broken out and were on war-path, having killed and scalped 22 people, twelve miles from their settlement but they were never molested by Indians. But the Pigeon Roost Massacre was not soon forgotten by them. There stands a monument to the memory of those that were buried there today. We are well acquainted with some of their descendents of that terrible tragedy. But the first, second and third generations are all gone and nearly half of fourth generation. The older Rices are most of them are buried upon hill in what is known as Rice Graveyard. I am the fourth generation and in my 80th year. 142 years has passed since that first settlement of Rices and old brick house that my Great Grandfather Ebenezer Rice built still stands on the old homestead. The older Rices were all religiously inclined and I have every hope and faith that they have attained that more abundant life and their influence lives on through their posterity."
Given names Surname Sosa Birth Place Death Age Place Last change
Ebenezer Rice (Royce)
October 22, 1772246Claremont, Sullivan, New Hampshire8June 22, 183318560Johnson, Scott, IndianaJuly 7, 2012 - 5:00:00 a.m.