Lucius Cozzens Rice, state treasurer of Idaho and one of the leading business men of the commonwealth, is a native of Riceville, Fulton county, New York, where he was born June 30, 1867. being the only son now living that was born to the marriage of Harvey P. and Sarah C. Rice.
The Rice family is one of the oldest in Central New York; and in the old dwelling, which is still standing, and in which Mr. Rice was born, five generations have lived. This residence was built prior to the war for American independence, by Colonel Oliver Rice, who was a soldier under Washington.
Mr. Rice prepared for college at the Clinton Seminary, at Clinton, New York, and subsequently entered Union College at Schenectady, same state, where he took the classical course, was president of his class and a member of the college society, Alpha Delta Phi. Completing his college course, Mr. Rice came west and first located at Gunnison, Colorado, and later was engaged in merchandising at Sapinero, Colorado, for nine months, and then for some time at Delta, the same state; and in 1891 he came to Idaho, on horseback, looking for a location, and settled at St. Anthony, where, under the firm name of Rice & Findley, he opened a general merchandise store. This business venture has been a success from its inception and has been continually extended, so that today it is the most extensive general merchandise establishment in southeastern Idaho. In 1898 the firm of Rice, Findley & Company was incorporated, and today the name of this reliable firm has become a household word in the southeastern portion of “The Gem of the Mountains.”
Mr. Rice, during his career in Idaho, has demonstrated that he is both an enterprising and a public-spirited man, and St. Anthony and Fremont County have particularly been benefited by his business ability and public spirit. He organized the First Bank of Fremont County and has been its president since its organization in 1893. Through his influence the Snake River Valley Telephone Company was organized and the Hne built. Of this company he is one of the directors and officers. He was the leader of the great reform movement and investigation in Fremont County which was the means of turning back many thousands of dollars to the county treasury. This was a long fight, some of the cases being carried through the district and supreme courts of the state.
In August 1898, he was nominated by the Democratic Party for state treasurer of Idaho, and later was indorsed for the same office by the silver Republicans and the Populists, and at the November election of 1898 he was elected by the largest vote ever cast for any candidate for public office in the state. He has always been an ardent supporter of the principles of the Democratic party, and in 1896 was a delegate to the Democratic national convention that nominated Hon. W. J. Bryan for president. As state treasurer Mr. Rice is prudent, careful and painstaking, and it is already conceded that he is the best state treasurer the state has ever had and that in his hands the public funds have been safe.
In 1896 he was united in marriage to Miss Alice L. Tarr, of Gloversville, New York, and he and his wife are prominent in the select circles of Idaho.