WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)
JOHN HOLT RICE
(banker, Wells Fargo agent, school board trustee)
BIOGRAPHYJohn Holt Rice was born October 15, 1836 in Farmville, Prince Edward County, Virginia.
John moved to Silver Reef sometime in 1875 or 1876. There he built a two-story building of mortared adobe brick and cut rock, with a full basement and wooden floors, on Main Street. This building housed the Leeds Banking Company, where John served as cashier for several years. He also had a palatial residence in Toquerville where he intended to go soon.
John also built the Wells Fargo and Company building, which still stands in Silver Reef today. At the time, it was touted as one of the finest structures of its kind in southern Utah.
William Stirling sold an entire block of land to John H Rice in 1878. John later sold it to Thomas Judd; later it became the location of the Leeds Tithing Office.
John Rice and the McGrady brothers owned the Stormont, Last Chance and Duffin mines, as well as a ten-stamp mill about five miles south of Silver Reef on the Virgin River.
In 1880, John married Susan Eunice Spencer at Silver Reef. He was her third husband.
John was on the original board of trustees that arranged for the Silver Reef school building and a teacher. At one point, John used his private funds to make up a shortfall in the school board budget. He served as a trustee until February 1883.
John died on December 12, 1885 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. His body was embalmed and shipped back to Salt Lake City where he was buried next to his previously deceased wife.
REFERENCESJohn Holt Rice
A research report by Elaine Young, PhD.