William W. Rice

For other people named William Rice, see William Rice (disambiguation).
William Whitney Rice
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th district
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 3, 1883
Preceded by George Frisbie Hoar
Succeeded by Theodore Lyman
Massachusetts House of Representatives
In office
District Attorney
Worcester, County, Massachusetts
In office
Mayor of Worcester, Massachusetts
In office
Preceded by Alexander H. Bullock
Succeeded by P. Emory Aldrich
Member Worcester, Massachusetts
School Committee
Personal details
Born March 7, 1826
Deerfield, Massachusetts
Died March 1, 1896 (aged 69)
Worcester, Massachusetts
Political party Free Soil Party, Republican
Spouse(s) Cornelia A. Moen died June 16, 1862;
m. September 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]

  • Benjamin Rice (17841847), son of
  • Caleb Rice (17551809), son of
  • Benjamin Rice (17221796), son of
  • Azariah Rice (16931779), son of
  • Benjamin Rice (16661749), son of
  • Edward Rice (16221712), son of


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.


  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.
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
George F. Hoar
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 9th congressional district

March 4, 1877 – March 3, 1883
Succeeded by
Theodore Lyman
Preceded by
Amasa Norcross
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Massachusetts's 10th congressional district

March 4, 1883 – March 3, 1887
Succeeded by
John E. Russell
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