"History of Lincoln, Oneida, and Vilas Counties Wisconsin"

Compiled by George O.Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others. Printed in 1924 by H.C.Cooper. Jr. & Co., Minneapoli-Winona MN. ill. 787 pages. The first two hundred pages are history of the three counties, the remainder of the book is biographies.


Rice, John E. pioneer settler and merchant of Pratt Junction, Oneida County, now living on a farm near that place, was born at East Wrightstown, Brown County, Wis., Oct. 24, 1856. He was reared and education in his home locality. In the fall of 1886 he drove his team north from the pineries and put in the winter at Crystal Falls, Mich., returning via Monico and the old mule trail. After spending the summer on his farm in East Holland town, he again headed for the woods, this time going to Monico, where he met a townsman of his, Mr. Henry Graf, and purchased from him seven acres at Pratt Junction. Here in the summer of 1889 he erected a large hotel, which he conducted until 1904, and in the summer of 1898 a store, which he operated there until 1903, and was later in business at Pelican Lake until 1914. He became very well known throughout this region, establishing an excellent reputation as a business man of ability and complete integrity. During this period he also operated a small sawmill in partnership with Mr. SCHOEPKE, and was postmaster at Pratt Junction for 12 years. In 1914 he turned his Pelican mercantile business over to his sons, John J., and Dennis E., and settled on a half section of land near the village, which he had purchased in 1892. This place is Mr. RICE'S present home. It was covered with hemlock and hardwood timber when he acquired it, some of which timber he cut and burned, there being no market for hemlock in those days. He has erected a substantial set of farm buildings, and has cleared and stumped about 30 acres of the land, the balance being used for grazing and pasturage. He has taken an active and useful part in public affairs in this locality. He served as chairman of the town of Pelican when it was still a portion of Forest County, and was treasurer of the town of Schoepke in Oneida County two terms; he was secretary of the school board in District No. 1, Schoepke Township, for four years, and he has served faithfully and ably in all these offices. Mr. RICE was married at Cooperstown, Wis., June 7, 1881, to Mary A. DEWANE. Mr. and Mrs. RICE have nine children living: William, Dennis E., Amanda, John J., Thomas, Robert, Viola, Lucy, and Katherine. William is a physician and is now residing at Tacoma, Wash.; Dennis resides at Elcho, Wis.; Katherine, who is a trained nurse, is living at Ames, Iowa; the other children are all residing at Pelican Lake; Amanda was a supervising teacher in the schools of Oneida County, for six years.

Transcribed by Susan Swanson, from pages 423-424, History of Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties Wisconsin; Compiled by George O. Jones, Norman S. McVean and Others 1924, H. C. Cooper, Jr. & Co

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