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Below is a family biography included in The History of Dallas County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Wesley S. Rice ranks among the successful farmers of Dallas County, Mo., and was born in Hawkins County, East Tenn., March 23, 1834, his parents being James S. and Frances (Harper) Rice, the father a native of Tennessee and the mother of North Carolina. They lived and died in Claiborne County, Tenn., having reared a family of seven children, five of whom are now living: Harper H., Calvin H., Wesley S., Mahala L. and Roadman H. Wesley S. Rice was reared on a farm in his native State, and was there also educated, subsequently engaging in teaching a portion of the time before the war. In 1856 he and his brother, Roadman H., immigrated with a family by the name of Dodson to Missouri, coming in wagons, and only had $20 between them. They settled in Dallas County, and during the summer were engaged in farm labor, and in the winter attended school. This they continued until 1858, when Wesley S. crossed the plains and spent one summer at Pike’s Peak, where he was engaged in gold mining. He returned to Missouri in the fall of that year, and resumed farming, and saved enough money to purchase eighty acres of land in 1859. He purchased his present farm in 1862, and by industry and good management has made some valuable improvements on each, and is now considered one of the wealthy farmers of the county. He joined the Home Guards in 1861, and in January, 1862, enlisted in the Missouri State Militia, Company A, as a Mountain Ranger, but the ranks kept filling so fast that it was made the Fourteenth Regiment. He held the office of orderly-sergeant of his company, and was at the battles of Pea Ridge, Neosho, and several minor engagements. In 1864 he re-enlisted in the veteran service, Company H, Thirteenth Regiment, Missouri Cavalry Volunteers, and served on the plains against the Indians, being wounded and taken to Benton Barracks Hospital, where he laid for two or three months. He was mustered out and discharged on the 27th of April, 1866, and returned to the peaceful pursuit of farming, which occupation has since received his attention. He now owns 540 acres of land, with about 150 under cultivation, and is also engaged in stock buying and raising. He has two fine orchards on his farm, which furnish them with various fruits. He was married in 1866 to Julia A., a daughter of Spencer and Rosanah J. (Benthall) Dobson, natives of Tennessee, and early settlers of Dallas County, Mo. Mr. and Mrs. Rice are the parents of ten children: Luvernia F. (wife of J. H. White), Rosa B. (deceased), Roadman B., Rosa T., wife of I. C. Killion; Christian B., Virginia A., Wesley W., Levi H., Oliver O. and Estella M. Mrs. Rice is a member of the Primitive Baptist Church. Mr. Rice is one of the progressive men of the county, having always favored advancement. His motto is “Onward and Upward” in internal improvements, science, religion and education. Knowing by personal experience the great need of an education, he is endeavoring to give to his children the benefits of at least the common schools.

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This family biography is one of 74 biographies included in The History of Dallas County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Dallas County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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