Rev. Cyrus R. Rice, of Hartford, is one of the revered fathers of the Methodist Church in Kansas. He comes of a Tennessee family, and was himself born near Lebanon, that state, August 27, 1833. His father was a physician of many years’ practice in Tennessee and Missouri. The son also studied medicine, but his decided inclinations were toward the ministry, and in 1853 he united with the St. Louis Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The next year he was licensed to preach and appointed to the Thomasville Circuit, and in 1855 was sent as a missionary to Osawatomie, Kansas. In March, 1856, he returned to Patterson, Missouri, married Lucy A. McCormick, and spent most of his bridal trip on horseback with his wife, returning to Kansas. During the succeeding three years he organized various societies along the Neoshe River, at Fort Scott and Tecumseh, and in 1859 was assigned to the Shawneetown charge, where he ministered for two years. During the Civil war the Methodist Church, South, withdrew from Kansas and Mr. Rice was without regular appointment until March, 1865, when he united with the conference of the Methodist Episeopal Church and was assigned to the congregations at Centropolis and Prairie City. In 1867 he moved to Lyon County, and was the first presiding elder of the district. After four years of service in that capacity he became pastor of Sixth Street Methodist Church of Leavenworth, and, after having other charges, was, for a time, associate editor of the Emporia News. In 1880 he was again appointed presiding elder of the Emporia District, serving thus four years. For another twenty years he faithfully preached and labored wherever he was called by the conference, and in 1904 preached his semi-annual sermon before the annual conference and retired from active work. In 1906 he celebrated his golden wedding anniversary with the partner of his Christian activities at their home in Hartford, and each is still spared to the other.
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