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Submitted by Rose M. May, 10/12/2007

Morris (Maurice) was born to a Black Slave Woman named Hannah, and son of the Slave Owner Master James M. Thomas August 1855 Jefferson County, Kentucky (Louisville).

Morris had the privilege of living in the Big House with his white father and went to school with his step brothers and sisters. Never to see his birth mother again. 
After the SOUTH surrendered, all Slave Owners were ordered by law to free slaves and pay salary or the Slave Owners property was seized.
Those Slave Owners who did not comply in a reasonable time, faced enforced legal proceedings of stronger more personal persuasion.
Master Thomas house was torched, He, (Master Thomas) escaped with his white family and informed Morris as a young boy to flee and not use the last name of Thomas.  Morris left the area.
While on his journey he seen a helped wanted ad at a restaurant in the window.  Morris applied when asked his name Morris panicked, he saw a man eating a bowl of rice and informed the owner is name was
Morris found refuge in Bourbon County Kentucky (Paris), where he met Harriett Elizabeth Litton, born August 1863 in Paris, Kentucky.  Daughter of Lawson Lytton and Hanna Breckenridge. Birth place of both Harriett's parents are listed in Kentucky.  Morris became a Farm Laborer. 
Together they raised had ten children who were born in the Bourbon County (Paris) and the Nicholas County (Carlisle) Kentucky.


1. America Rice 1879
2. John Rice 1881
3. Benjamin Rice 1882  (my grandfather)
4. George James Campbell Rice 1883
5. Iroberta (Iro) Rice 1887
6. Mary Rice 1889
7. Henrietta Rice 1891
8. Maggie Mae Rice 1892
9. Bruce Rice 1894
10. Stanley Rice 1903
During 1915-16, Morris and Harriett migrated to Springfield, Ohio, where some of their grown children and grandchildren were living. 
In Springfield, they lived on Wiley Ave.
Morris attended CME Church on Fair St, and Harriett attended St. Martin Catholic Church in Springfield. Morris did masonry work while in Springfield and is known to have help build the brick homes on North Fountain Avenue.
Morris died May 31st 1935. in Springfield, Ohio and is buried in a marked grave at Ferncliff Cemetery.  His wife Harriett died March 16th. 1944. in Springfield, Ohio and is buried in a marked grave at Ferncliff Cemetery.

1910 United States Federal Census, Magisterial Dist. 4, Nicholas County Kentucky
Morris Rice 54 Kentucky
Harriet Rice 49 Kentucky
Maggie Rice 18 Kentucky
Bruce Rice 16 Kentucky
Stanley R. Rice 7 Kentucky

1880 United States Federal Census, Bourbon County Kentucky, Millersburg, District 19 HH# 296/312
Sylvia Matson 55 MU Female Keeping House KY KY KY
David Matson 50 MU Male Brother Farm Laborer KY KY KY
Hannah Matson 40 B Female Sister in law at home KY KY KY
Harriet Matson 18 MU Female Niece At Home KY KY KY
America Matson 7M MU Female Sept Niece At Home KY KY KY
Bettie Matson 12 MU Female Niece At Home KY KY KY
Addie Matson 9 MU Female Niece At Home KY KY KY
Morris Rice 25 MU Male Boarder Farm Laborer KY KY KY


America Rice Wells

Benjamin Morris Rice

Bruce Rice

Campbell Rice

Henrietta Rice Williams Family

Iro Rice Williams

John Rice

Maggie Mae Rice Coward


Mary Lou Rice Gray

Stanley Rice


Edward Hurst Williams

Professional Horse Trainer from KY.  Henrietta (Rice) Williams's husband.  It is also on display at the American Saddleburg Museum thru Dec 2007, in Lexington, KY.


1895 Moorefield School Census






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