GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2002-02 > 1013297389
Subject: [GM-L] Thomas Rice Sr., Sutton, MA to Wiscasset, Maine
Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 18:29:49 EST
Subject: Thomas Rice Sr. and Jr. - Massacushetts to Wiscasset, Maine
Source: Groton, Mass. Historical Series by Dr. Samuel A. Green - Vol. III,
p.310 to 312
Thomas Rice was a son of Noah and Hannah (Warren) Rice, born at Sutton,
Mass., on November
He graduated at Harvard College in the Class of 1756 and immediately
medicine under the instruction of Dr. Oliver Prescott of Groton, Mass. About
the year 1760
he settled as a practitioner at Wiscasset Point and with the exception of Dr.
Crawford at Fort Pownal, was the earliest educated physician in that part of
the State of
He became eminent in his profession and had a large and successful practice.
In 1774 he
was a member of the General Court, and the first Representative to the
from any town east of the Kennebec River. From an early period he was
active in political
affairs, and, though a physician, he was called upon to take a judicial
In those days it was customary to select any man best qualified for the
from the medical or clerical professions. On Sept. 7, 1763 he was appointed
one of the
Justices of the Court of Common Pleas for Lincoln County, and later the Chief
the same Court, positions which he held for nearly half a century; and for
during this period he was also Register of Deeds.
On October 25, 1780 he was chosen a Senator to the Massachusetts Legislature,
for the two following years. From 1794 to 1799 he served as Trustee of
although this was before the institution was fairly organized. He died at
his home in
Wiscasset, Maine, on April 21, 1812.
On January 15, 1767, Judge Rice was married to Rebekah, daughter of John and
(Tappan) Kingsbury, of Wiscasset, a native of Newbury, who died on August 19,
Thomas Rice, Jr. was the eldest child of Dr. Thomas and Rebekah (Kingsbury)
Rice, and born
at Pownalborough, now Wiscasset, Maine, on March 30, 1768. He graduated at
in the Class of 1791 and came to Groton, Mass., in order to teach school, and
at the same
time to study medicine under the tuition of Dr. Oliver Prescott, who had been
father's instructor. After a short experience he gave up medicine and
entered the office
of the Honorable Timothy Bigelow, of Groton, where he remained as a law
student for three
After completing his course, he went to Wiscasset, where the Court was then
applied for admission to the bar, but was estopped by the rule which required
that a part
of the professional study should be pursued in the county. His own account
of this new
perplexity is given in Willis's "History of the Law, the Courts, and the
Lawyers of Maine,"
"I knew not then what to do but to return to Groton to consult my friend, Mr.
stopped in Boston, - the Court of Common Pleas was sitting there. I saw
Judge Sullivan, the
president of the bar in that county, and told him my story. He said that he
would call a
meeting of the bar and submit my case, which he did, and they voted
immediately for my
admission to practise in that county. I have the certificate of the clerk of
Ezekiel Price, now before me (1851), which shows that the fifty-seven years
I was admitted to the practice of law."
Mr. Rice then established himself at Winslow, Maine which at that time
included the present
city of Waterville, where he soon became prominent as a lawyer. In 1814 he
the town in the General Court of Massachusetts, and was a member of Congress
Kennebec District, for two terms, from 1815 to 1819 (Fourteenth and Fifteenth
At the end of a long and useful career he laid down peacefully the burden of
a busy life,
on August 25, 1854, at his own home in Winslow, Maine, carrying with him the
kindred and the respect of neighbors.
On April 18, 1776, Mr. Rice was married to (1) Sarah, the daughter of the
William and Mercy (Porter) Swan of Gardiner, Maine, and a native of Groton,
died at Winslow on September 26, 1840; and on Feb. 16, 1842, he married (2),
daughter of Colonel Reuben Hayes and Dorcas (Storer) Green, of Winslow,
Maine. She died
at the same place on December 1, 1879.
Transcribed by Janice Farnsworth, whose ancestral lineage includes the
(Farnsworth Museum) of Maine.