Archive:20th Century Biographical Dictionary, Volume 9

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Archives > Archive:Extracts > 20th Century Biographical Dictionary, Volume 9

The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. 10 vols. Rossiter Johnson, ed., Boston: The Biographical Society, 1904. [A corrected edition of The Cyclopedia of American Biography (1897-1903) and Lamb's Biographical Dictionary of the United States (1900-1903).] (Republished by Gale Research Company, Book Tower, Detroit, 1968) Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 68-19657. Vol IX: Qua--Stearns.

RICE, William Whitney, representative, was born at Deerfield, Mass., March 7, 1826; son of Benjamin and Lucy (Whitney) Rice; grandson of Caleb and Sally (Abbott) Rice and of Phinehas and Bethiah (Barrett) Whitney, and a descendant of John Whitney, who came to America from England in 1635, and settled in Watertown, Mass., and of Edmund Rice, 1638, who settled in Sudbury, Mass. He was educated at Gorham academy, Maine, and graduated from Bowdoin college in 1846. He was preceptor at the Leicester academy, Mass., 1847–51; studied law in Worcester, Mass., with Emory Washburn and George F. Hoar; was admitted to the bar in 1854, and began practice in Worcester. He was judge of insolvency for the county of Worcester in 1858; mayor of the city in 1860; district-attorney for the middle district of Massachusetts, 1869–74, and a member of the state legislature in 1875. He was elected a Republican representative from Massachusetts to the 45th congress, as successor to George F. Hoar, and re-elected to the 46th-49th congresses, serving, 1877–87. He then resumed the practice of law in Worcester, Mass. He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Bowdoin college in 1886. He was married, Nov. 21, 1855, to Cornelia A. Moen, daughter of Augustus R. and Sophie A. Moen. She died in Worcester, Mass., June 16, 1862. He was married secondly, Sept. 28, 1875, to Alice Miller, daughter of Henry W. and Nancy (Merrick) Miller of Worcester, Mass. She died in Washington, D.C., in March, 1900, at the home of her sister, Mrs. George F. Hoar. William Whitney Rice died in Worcester, Mass., March 1, 1896.

ROBESON, Henry Bellows, naval officer, was born in New Haven, Conn., Aug. 5, 1842; son of Dr. Abel Bellows and Susan (Taylor) Robeson; grandson of Maj. Jonas and Susan (Bellows) Robeson and of the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel William and Rebecca (Hine) Taylor, and a descendant of William Robinson of Watertown and Lexington, Mass., who died in March, 1698; of John Whitney, who settled in Watertown in 1635, and of the Rev. Nathaniel Taylor (1722–1800) of New Milford, Conn., and through him of Daniel Taylor, one of the first settlers of New Milford, about 1638. He was appointed acting midshipman in the U.S. navy, Sept 25, 1856; midshipman, June 15, 1860, and master, Sept. 19, 1861. He served on blockade duty during the civil war; was engaged in the attack on Fort McRae, Nov. 23, 1861, and in the defence of Charleston, April 7, 1863; commanded the landing party from the New Ironsides in the assault and capture of the Congederate works on the lower part of Morris Island, July 10, 1863, and took part in the bombardments of Forts Wagner, Sumter and Moultrie. He was promoted lieutenant, July 16, 1862, and was attached to the Colorado of the North Atlantic blockading squadron, commanding the landing party in the assault of Fort Fisher, Jan. 15, 1865. He was commissioned lieutant-commander, July 25, 1866, and commander, Feb. 12, 1874, and was flag-lieutenant of the Asiatic squadron, 1867–70. He was married, June 11, 1872, to Katherine, daughter of the Rev. John Nelson and Mary (Nichols) Bellows of Walpole, N.H. He commanded the U.S.S. Vandalia, 1876–79; was stationed at the Naval academy, 1879–83, and commanded the U.S.S. Constitution in 1883. He was promoted captain, Aug. 25, 1887; commodore, Feb. 1, 1898, and was placed on the retired list with the rank of rear-admiral, March 28, 1899. He was captain of the navy yard at Portsmouth, N.H., 1895–98; was a member of the advisory board for the construction of new cruisers, 1888–89; commanded the U.S.S. Chicago, 1889–91, and was supervisor of the harbor of New York, 1891–93.

ROHLFS, Anna Katharine Green, author, was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Nov. 11, 1846; daughter of James Wilson and Catherine Ann (Whitney) Green; grand-daughter of Richard and Sally (Webb) Green and of Sellick and Betsy (Knapp) Whitney, and a descendant of John Howland and two other of the pilgrim fathers who came over in the Mayflower. Her father was a lawyer and an orator. She was graduated from the Ripley Female college, Poultney, Vt., B.A., 1867, and devoted herself to literature. She was married, Nov. 25, 1884, to Charles Rohlfs of Brooklyn, N.Y., a well-known designer of odd and artistic furniture, and in 1903 they resided in Buffalo, N.Y. Besides contributions to periodicals, she is the author of: The Leavenworth Case (1878); A Strange Disappearance (1879); The Sword of Damocles (1881); The Defence of the Bride and other Poems (1882); X. Y. Z. (1883); Hand and Ring (1883); The Mill Mystery (1886); Risifi's Daughter (1886); 7 to 12 (1887); Behind Closed Doors (1888); The Forsaken Inn (1890); Cynthia Wakeham's Money (1892); Marked Personal (1893); The Doctor, his Wife and the Clock (1895); Dr. Izard (1895); That Affair Next Door (1897); Lost Man's Lane (1898); Agatha Webb (1899); The Circular Study (1900); One of My Sons (1901); The Filigree Ball (1903).

ROOT, Oren, educator, was born in Syracuse, N.Y., May 18, 1838; son of Oren and Nancy Whitney (Buttrick) Root; grandson of Elihu and Achsa (Pomeroy) Root, and of Horatio Gates and Mary (Barnard) Buttrick, and a descendant of Capt. James Root of Great Barrington, Mass., and of Major John Buttrick of Concord, Mass. Oren Root, Sr. (1803–1885), graduate of Hamilton, 1833 (LL.D., University of Rochester, 1865), was professor of mathematics, astronomy, mineralogy and geology, 1849–81. Oren Root, Jr., was graduated from Hamilton in 1856; was admitted to the bar in 1858, and practised in Milwaukee, Wis., 1858–59. He was married, first, Dec. 2, 1862, to Anna Julia, daughter of John Higgins of Waterford, N.Y.; she died in September, 1865; secondly in May, 1867, to Ida Cecile, daughter of John B. Gordon; she died in September, 1896; and thirdly, December 16, 1901, to Anna, daughter of Chief-Justice R. D. Kay of Carrollton, Mo. He was professor of English in the State University of Missouri, 1866–71; president of Pritchett college, Glasgow, Mo., 1873–76; entered the ministry of the Presbyterian church, 1874; changed to that of the Dutch Reformed church in 1890; became professor of mathematics at Hamilton college in 1880, and was pastor at Utica, N.Y., 1890–94. He received the honorary degree of D.D. from Rutgers college in 1891, and that of LL.D. from Union college [p.169] in 1895. He was co-editor of The Columbian Speaker (1874); The Franklin Speaker (1875), and The Hamilton Declamation Quarterly (1895); and is the author of: Brief Elementary Trigonometry (1899).

SHAW, Leslie Mortier, cabinet officer, was born in Morristown, near Morrisville, Vt., Nov. 2, 1848; son of Boardman and Lovisa (Spaulding) Shaw, and grandson of Benoni and Hanna (Whitney) Shaw. He was brought up on his father's farm with few opportunities for attendance at school except the short winter term in his own district. In 1869 be went west and worked his way through Cornell college, Iowa, by selling books and fruit trees and working on farms. He was graduated with the class of 1874, and received the M.S. degree. He studied at Iowa College of Law, was admitted to the bar in 1876, and practised in Denison. He was married, Dec. 7, 1877, to Alice, daughter of James and Jane (Hamilton) Crawshaw of Clinton county, Iowa. He engaged in banking and was the president of the Bank of Denison and the Bank of Manilia. He founded the Denison Academy and Normal school and financially aided a school at Indianola. He was elected, as a Republican, governor of Iowa, Nov. 2, 1897, with six tickets in the field, receiving 224,501 votes, a majority of all the votes cast, and was re-elected in 1899 by an increased vote. In 1900, on the death of U.S. Senator John H. Gear, he unhesitatingly appointed Representative Dolliver to the vacant seat although it cost him the hopes he had long cherished to hold the office himself. On Dec. 25, 1901, he accepted the cabinet position of Secretary of the Treasury offered him by President Roosevelt as successor to Lyman Gage, resigned, and assumed the office Feb. 1, 1902. He was permanent chairman of the International monetary convention at Indianapolis, Jan. 25, 1898; a prominent lay delegate to the general conferences of the Methodist church in 1884, 1888 and 1892, and a trustee of Cornell college, elected in 1890. He received the degree of LL.D. from Simpson college, Iowa, in 1898, and from Cornell college in 1899.

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