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William Whitney Rice

In office
March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1887
Preceded by Amasa Norcross
Succeeded by John E. Russell

Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1877 – March 2, 1883
Preceded by George Frisbie Hoar
Succeeded by Theodore Lyman

In office
1875 – 1876

District Attorney
Worcester, County, Massachusetts
In office
1869 – 1873

In office
1860 – 1861
Preceded by Alexander H. Bullock
Succeeded by P. Emory Aldrich

Member Worcester, Massachusetts
School Committee

Born March 7, 1826
Deerfield, Massachusetts
Died March 1, 1896
Worcester, Massachusetts
Political party Free Soil Party, Republican
Spouse(s) Cornelia A. Moen d. June 16, 1862;
m. Sept 28, 1876 Alice M. Miller
Children William Whitney Rice, Jr., Charles Moen Rice
Religion Unitarian

William Whitney Rice (March 7, 1826 - March 1, 1896) was a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts.

Born in Deerfield, Massachusetts, Rice attended Gorham Academy, Maine, and graduated from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, in 1846. He served as the preceptor of Leicester Academy, Leicester, Massachusetts from 1847 to 1851 before studying law in Worcester. He was admitted to the bar in 1854 and commenced practice in Worcester. In 1858 he was appointed judge of insolvency for Worcester County.

Rice was elected mayor of the city of Worcester in December 1859.[1] He served as district attorney for the middle district of Massachusetts from 1869 to 1874 and was a member of the State house of representatives in 1875.[2]

Rice was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth and to the four succeeding Congresses (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1887). After a failed re-election bid in 1886, he returned to Worcester and resumed the practice of law. He died there on March 1, 1896, at age 69, and was interred at Worcester Rural Cemetery.


Rice family and relations

William was a direct descendant of Edmund Rice, an English immigrant to Massachusetts Bay Colony, as follows:[3]

  • William Whitney Rice, son of
  • Benjamin Rice (1784 – 1847), son of
  • Caleb Rice (1755 – 1809), son of
  • Benjamin Rice (1722 – 1796), son of
  • Azariah Rice (1693 – 1779), son of
  • Benjamin Rice (1666 – 1749), son of
  • Edward Rice (1622 – 1712), son of


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.


  1. ^ Rice, Franklin Pierce (1899), Worcester of eighteen hundred and Ninety-Eight. Fifty Years a City, Worcester, MA: F.S. Blanchard & Company, p. Page 728.  
  2. ^ Hoar, Rockwood. 1897. William Whitney Rice Biographical Sketch. Press of Charles Hamilton, Worcester, MA. Library of Congress E664-R49-H6
  3. ^ Edmund Rice (1638) Association, 2007. Descendants of Edmund Rice: The First Nine Generations.

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