John L. Rice. Clerk of the District Court for Canadian County, John L. Rice represents a family of Oklahoma ’89crs, and from early boyhood he has lived in and has been identified with the activities of the western section of Oklahoma during its many changes and developments. For a number of years his work was satisfactorily and efficiently performed as a teacher, and he has brought the capable qualities which made him successful in the management of the school into the performance of his duties as clerk of court.
John L. Rice was born April 27, 1875, in Elk County, Kansas, but grew up in Missouri and Oklahoma. His father, Theodoric B. Rice, a native of Bath County, Kentucky, was a printer by trade, followed that vocation in early life, and subsequently became a farmer. Soon after his son’s birth in Kansas he removed to Missouri, and thence in 1889, the year of the great opening, came to Oklahoma and found a home on a, farm in Canadian County near El Reno. From that early year he gave an account of himself as a farmer until his death in 1911 at the age of sixty-seven. His wife’s maiden name was Elizabeth Ridenour, who was born in Wabash County, Indiana, and is still living, occupying the old homestead in Canadian County. She was the mother of fourteen children, and nine of them are still living. ’
John L. Rice had the environment and influence of a farm during his youth, and has many interesting recollections of early days in Oklahoma Territory. He graduated from the El Reno High School, and spent some time as a student in the University of Oklahoma at Norman. For eleven years his chief work was as a teacher in the public schools. Six years of this time were spent in country district schools, and for five years he was principal of town schools. In 1912 the democratic party of Canadian County selected him as candidate for clerk of the District Court, and his election followed by a substantial majority. His acceptable service in this office is verified by his re-election in 1914.
Mr. Rice is affiliated with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and belongs to the Methodist Church. In 1899 he married Miss Fannie Coykendall, also an “’89er,” a daughter of Capt. John R. Coykendall, captain of Company “G,” Eleventh Illinois Volunteer Cavalry. They are the parents of three sons, Kirk, Roderick and Gordon.