Sunday, February 21, 2016

William B. Rice, Civil War Veteran

William B. Rice was born to Charles and Laura Rice in Sandusky, Ohio on September 14, 1835. During the Civil War, Mr. Rice enlisted in Company B of the 101st Ohio Infantry. He enlisted as a Corporal, and he rose to the rank of Sergeant. On December 31, 1862, William B. Rice was captured at Stone's River. For a time he was imprisoned at the infamous Libby Prison, but eventually he was exchanged. After the Civil War, Mr. Rice came back to Sandusky for a short time. Later he lived in Chicago and Detroit, and eventually he moved to Los Angeles, California. In September of 1919, William B. Rice returned to Ohio for the 53rd Annual Reunion of the 101st Ohio Infantry. The unit, which was organized in Monroeville, originally had over one thousand men. By 1919, only 166 of the soldiers were still living. A brief article about the reunion appeared in the Sandusky Star Journal of September 3, 1919.

In 1921, it was believed that William B. Rice was the oldest man alive who had been born in Sandusky, Ohio. He shared his recollections of his time spent in Sandusky, and they were recorded in the April, 1925 issue of the Firelands Pioneer. He recalled that his father had a blacksmith shop in Sandusky. Circuses were held in the block south of Adams Street. There was a quarry not far from the public square, which provided the stone for Grace Episcopal Church, Oran Follett's house, and other homes in Sandusky. Mr. Rice attended school in the basement of the Episcopal Church, where he recalled that among the older scholars at the school were Rush Sloane, Jay Cooke, and F.D. Parish. You can read the entire article about the recollections of William B. Rice in the Firelands Pioneer. On January 10, 1925, William B. Rice died in California. Funeral services under the auspices of the G.A.R. were held in California, and burial was in the family lot at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. An obituary for William B. Rice was featured in the January 23, 1925 issue of the Sandusky Register.

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