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Mamie (Walker) Rice Poland


Mamie Rice

Mamie (Walker) Rice was born in August 1869 in Missouri or in Millersburg, Green Township, Iowa County, IA, the daughter of William "Crawford" and Electa (Minard) Walker. She spent her girlhood in Iowa and was a pioneer of Kansas.

At the age of nine, in 1878, Mamie and her parents migrated from Iowa to Mulvane, Sumner County, KS. 

At the age of 20, Mamie married 34-year-old Alfred W. Rice (1855- ? ), a Virginia native. She was 14 years younger than her husband. The nuptials took place on April 11, 1889, in Carnall County, (?) Carolina (?). (The location is not proved, but is provided here as listed on one legal document where Mamie was the source.)

Alfred had been married once before, to Minda (?), and brought two sons to the marriage -- Holledge Berne "Holly" Rice and Roy "Clifford" Rice. During Alfred's marriage to Minda, they lived in Newton, Carroll County, IA, where they were farmers.

Mamie and Alfred went on to have five children of their own, the first three in Iowa, and the younger two in Kansas -- Clara Rice, John Rice, George Wilson Rice, Lena Rice and William Sebring "Willie" Rice. 

When the federal census was taken in 1900, the Rice brood made their home on a farm in Gypsum, Sedgwick County, KS. They moved to Wichita, Sedgwick County in 1905.


White Chapel Memorial Gardens

By 1910, living in Wichita, Alfred was employed as a house carpenter. Boarding in their home was 21-year-old carpenter William Kime. They were members of the Pentecostal Church. 

When son Willie registered for the military draft during the First World War, in September 1918, he stated that Mamie was his nearest relative, and that she resided at 155 North Emporia in Wichita.

Sadly, Mamie and Alfred separated, likely before 1918. They divorced, with the decree made in Sedgwick County in May 24, 1919. She claimed his abandonment of the family as the cause.

By 1920, Alfred had moved to El Dorado, Butler County, KS, where he lodged in a bunk house and was a carpenter on a local mill project. While he reported himself as widowed, in truth he was divorced. Alfred is believed to have died during the decade of the 1920s. This needs to be proven with precision. 

Just a few months after her divorce, Mamie married again in Wichita, to Napoleon Poland (1854-1933), on Dec. 4, 1919. She was age 49, and he 65, at the time. The ceremony was performed by Sedgwick County Probate Judge B.W.C. Jones. 

Napoleon was a native of Plattsburgh, New York, and had been married at least once before. A retired farmer, he brought adult children to his marriage with Mamie, including daughter Mrs. Ed Morris of Marland, OK and son Julius Poland of Triplet, MO.


Wichita Eagle, 1951

The Polands dwelled in Wichita in 1920 when the federal census was taken. Their residence was on Arkansas Street. That year, Napoleon had no occupation.

They may have spent the final years of wedded life together in Sayles, OK. Unfortunately, their marriage was rocky, and she eventually claimed "gross neglect" against him. She filed for divorce for the second time in her life. Despite the fact that Napoleon contested, it was granted, again in Sedgwick County, on Oct. 3, 1927. She then resumed using her first married surname, "Rice." 

Napoleon married again within a year or two to Lucinda (?) and lived at 1812 Arkansas in Wichita. He died on Nov. 4, 1933.

Mamie passed away on March 15, 1951, at the Faith Sanitarium, relieved of her suffering. The Culbertson Mortuary in Wichita handled her funeral arrangements, with the service led by Rev. H.A. Thomas. Burial followed in the White Chapel Cemetery. At the time, she was survived by her sister Angie Oliver in Denver, CO, and by her brothers Marion Walker and Ellet Walker, both of Brookville, Linn County, MO. In an obituary, the Wichita Eagle said she was survived by eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She rests beside her grandson, Corky Nelson Rice, who joined her in eternity in 1980.


~ Stepson Holledge Berne "Holly" Rice ~ 

Stepson Holledge Berne "Holly" Rice (1877- ? ) was born in November 1877 in Newton, Carroll County, Iowa. He was age 12 when our Mamie became his step-mother.

He is believed to have married Mabel A. (?) (1879- ? ).

If so, they were the parents of at least two daughters, Marjorie V. Rice and Marian C. Rice. 

In 1920, this family lived in Wichita, where Holly was employed as a post office clerk.


~ Stepson Roy "Clifford" Rice ~ 

Stepson Roy "Clifford" (or "Clifton") Rice (1879- ? ) was born on Dec. 9, 1879 in Newton, Carroll County, Iowa. He was age 10 when his father married our Mamie, and she considered him as a son. 

In adulthood, he was of medium height and build, with brown eyes and dark hair.


South side of the town square in Newton, Iowa


Roy married Margaret Frances "Maggie" (?).

During World War I, as did his brothers, Roy registered for the military draft. At the time, he and Maggie lived in R.F.D. 1, Douglas, Butler County, KS, where he was a self-employed farmer. 

He resided in Newton, Harvey County, KS in 1951.


~ Daughter Clara Edna (Rice) Myers ~ 

Daughter Clara Edna Rice (1890-1980) was born in January 16, 1889 or 1890 in Iowa. 

She married (?) Myers ( ? - ? ).


Beautiful Yucaipa Valley, California


Circa 1951, at the death of her mother, Clara was named in the Wichita Eagle as residing in Yucca Valley, San Bernardino County, CA.

Then in 1970, at the passing of her brother George, she again was mentioned in the Eagle, with her home given as Yucaipa, CA.

She died in Riverside, San Bernardino County on Nov. 18, 1980, at the age of 90. A search of Wichita newspapers in October 2011 failed to locate an obituary.


~ Son John Albert Rice ~ 

Son John Albert Rice (1893-1957) was born on Aug. 15, 1892 in Dedham, IA. He was tall and slender, with brown eyes and black hair.

He married Ellen M. (1898- ? ).

They bore at least one daughter, Thelma G. Rice.


Bird's eye view of Wichita, 1920s or '30s


During World War I, in June 1917, John at age 24 registered for the military draft. He stated that he was employed as a fireman with the Missouri Pacific Lines Railroad in Haisington (?), Kansas, and was living there at the time.

The Rices moved to Wichita, Sedgwick County, KS by 1920. The census that year shows them making their home on Grand Avenue, with John now working as a truck "chauffeur." Living under their roof was John's 25-year-old brother George, roomer Mandy Rhodes and her daughter Carrie, and boarder Neil H. Hartfield. 

Circa 1951, he made his home in Altamont, Labette County, KS. 

He died in 1957, at the age of 64, and was laid to rest in Mound Valley Cemetery in or near Altamont.


White Chapel Memorial Gardens

~ Son George Wilson Rice ~

Son George Wilson Rice (1895- ? ) was born on Jan. 9, 1895 in Dedham, IA. As an adult, he was tall and slender, with light brown eyes and dark brown hair.

When required to register for the military draft during World War I, George was single and listed his home address as 210 North Washington Avenue in Wichita, Sedgwick County. He reported that he was employed as a farm hand by Clare Shull in Early,  Sac County, Iowa. 

In 1920, George worked as a common laborer and boarded in the Wichita home of his brother and sister in law, John A. and Ellen Rice.

He later married Zatha (1900-1978). 


Wichita Eagle, 1970

Together they produced one son, Corky Nelson Rice.

The 1930 census shows this family boarding in the home of Zatha's brother-in-law Orville and Hertha Nelson, in Wichita, with George employed as a laborer in odd jobs. Later, he spent most of his working career in construction. 

Their home was located at 236 South Athenian in Wichita.

George died at the age of 75 on Feb. 11, 1970, with funeral services provided by Culbertson Mortuary. Burial was made in White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Wichita, and an obituary published in the Wichita Eagle. At the time, George's only surviving sibling was his sister Clara Rice, living in California.

Zatha survived her husband by eight years. She joined him in death in February 1978. 


~ Daughter Leona Rice ~ 

Daughter Leona Rice (1898- ? ) was born in July 1897 in Kansas.


~ Son William Sebring "Willie" Rice ~ 


Son William Sebring "Willie" Rice (1900- ? ) was born on May 30, 1900 in Wichita.

As an adult, he was tall and slender, with blue eyes and light brown hair.

Willie was required to register for the military draft during World War I. He stated his home address as 155 North Emporia in Wichita, and that he was employed in farm labor for H.L. Hildinger of Nash, Oklahoma. He claimed his next of kin was his mother Mamie, also of the same address.

Nothing more is known.


Copyright © 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2021 Mark A. Miner