George W. Rice, one of Henniker’s most able and prosperous farmers, was born in this town, January 17, 1825, son of Jacob and Louisa (Howe) Rice. His grandfather, Elijah Rice, a Revolutionary patriot, was an early settler in Henniker. An account of his parents and of the ancestry of Elijah Rice will be found in the biography of Harrison A. Rice, which appears elsewhere in this work. George W. Rice passed his youth in attending school and working upon the farm. He was still young when his parents moved to the property now owned and occupied by his brother, Harrison A. Rice. At the age of twenty-one he went to Manchester, N.H., where he worked at butchering for two years. Upon his return to Henniker he bought a small farm, which is now the home of W. B. Barnes. A short time later he entered the meat business, selling at wholesale in the Manchester market and conducting a retail business in this town. While carrying on the butcher business for nine years, he gradually got a foothold in lumbering. At length he sold his farm and business to W. B. Barnes, and thereafter, for nearly forty years, gave his whole time to that industry. Besides cutting and hauling the timber, he operated a saw-mill at Hillsborough Bridge for several years; and he retired from that business some three years ago. Earlier in his life he purchased a farm on the outskirts of the village, and resided upon it until 1874. Then he again took up his residence in the village, but continued engaged in agriculture. He still gives his personal attention to his property. In all he owns seven hundred acres, which include his farm of one hundred and fifteen acres, two other tracts, and some timber land. Several tenements at Hillsborough Bridge are also his property. For several years he was engaged in furnishing railroad ties, piles, etc.; and he dealt in cattle, which he sold in Manchester, Nashua, and Lowell.
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On June 6, 1848, Mr. Rice was united in marriage with Abbie Colby, daughter of Levi and Betsey Colby, of Henniker. She died July 4, 1893, leaving four children. These were: Susan L., who married George C. Bunting, of Manchester; Nellie A., who is the widow of Walter Prestin, and resides in this town; James G., who is now engaged in farming in Hopkinton, N.H.; and Edwin, who resides at home. In politics Mr. Rice is a Republican. For many years he was a prominent party leader. Upon many occasions he 1868 and 1869, he rendered able services to his constituents and the community in general. A self-made man, he has shown that energy and ability properly applied will overcome the most adverse circumstances. He fully merits the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow-townsmen.