Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7






Among the historic characters who played a thrilling and imperish-

able part in the early annals of Ohio were the three Moravian mission-

aries, Christian Frederick Post, David Zeisberger

and John Heckewelder. From the last named in

direct descent is the Rev. W. H. Rice, for many

years past a life and active member of the Ohio

State Archaeological and Historical Society and

at the last annual meeting (February 26), elected

a Trustee. His grandmother was Anne Salome,

daughter of John Heckewelder, and born August

13, 1784. She married Joseph Rice, of that fa-

mous family of Bethlehem Moravians who were

members of the church colony sent over from

Europe by the Moravian church in 1742 to become

the first settlers of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, of

which history has preserved a full account. A

son of this marriage was James Alexander Rice, who married Josephine

Charlotte Leibert, descendant of a Moravian family. William Henry Rice,

the son of this union was born at Bethlehem (Pa.), September 8, 1840,

during the Harrison campaign, whence his name, as we learn from the

history of Tuscarawas county by Byron Williams. From the same source

we condense the facts concerning the life of Mr. Rice.

Mr. Rice enjoyed the home and school training of Bethlehem, that

famous center of Moravian learning, until he was received into Yale

College before his fifteenth birthday as a member of the Class of 1859,

when he was graduated as one of the "scholars of the House", standing

number seven in a class of one hundred and ten students, although he

was the youngest but one of the class. On graduation he became a mem-

ber of the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity. The next two years were spent in

teaching in the public and select schools of New Haven, Conn., after

which he entered Yale Theological Seminary. In his middle year he

joined the Union Army and was elected Chaplain of the One Hundred

and Twenty-Ninth Pennsylvania Infantry. He took part in the battles

of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.