Image of Rice, Edward Y.

Rice, Edward Y.

b. February 8, 1820, in Logan County, Kentucky; d. April 16, 1883, in Hillsboro, Illinois. After moving to Illinois with his family in 1835, Edward Y. Rice attended Shurtleff College in Alton, Illinois. He studied law under John Palmer, was admitted to the bar in 1845, and moved to Hillsboro, Illinois, to begin the practice of law. A Democrat in politics, Rice was elected recorder of Montgomery County in 1847. In 1849, voters elected him to the Illinois House of Representatives and also as Montgomery County judge. In 1853, circuit court judge Charles Emerson appointed Rice as master in chancery of the Montgomery County Circuit Court. Voters elected Rice as judge of the Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, which included Lincoln’s home county of Sangamon, in 1857. Judge Rice presided over at least 470 cases in which Lincoln was an attorney. Rice served as a member of the 1870 Illinois constitutional convention. That same year, voters elected Rice to a single term in Congress, and he resigned his seat on the judicial circuit.
Daily Illinois State Register, 17 April 1883, 3:4; John J. Duff, A. Lincoln: Prairie Lawyer (New York: Bramhall House, 1960), 364; John Palmer, ed., The Bench and Bar of Illinois: Historical and Reminiscent (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1899), 1:155; 2:987-89; United States Biographical Dictionary: Illinois Dictionary (Chicago: American Biographical Dictionary, 1876), 276-77; Albert A. Woldman, Lawyer Lincoln (Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1936), 109. Illustration courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, IL.