Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1870s Autograph Album of Richard A. Rice of Beacon Falls, Connecticut & Passaic, New Jersey


1870s autograph album that belonged to Richard A. Rice, "Dick", of Beacon Falls, Connecticut.  He also spent time at Passaic, New Jersey in the household of his sister Mary Ann (Rice) Gruber and her husband John, and took his autograph album with him.


The album is approximately 6-3/4" x 4" and contains the sentiments of 26, or possibly 27, people.  An alphabetical list of the signers appears at the end of this post.

From online research, hopefully correct:  [corrections and additions welcome!]

Richard A. Rice, "Dick", was born 14 June 1855 at Winsted, Connecticut, the son of Anson Barnes Rice and Hannah Titus (Dayton) Rice, who were born at Torrington, Connecticut, and Winsted, Connecticut, respectively.

During the era when these autographs were collected, Dick was living both at Beacon Falls and at the home of his sister Mary Ann (Rice) Gruber and family at Passaic, New Jersey.  One Passaic signer implied that Dick was going through a "trying occasion".  I can't quite decipher that signer's name but it appears to be something like W. M. Marks or W. M. Manks, with possibly a preceding initial as well.  The page was signed on May 21, 1879.


As noted, Dick's sister married John Gruber.  There is a fantastic page designed by Jacob Gruber of Hartford, Connecticut in August 1875, possibly John's relative.  Jacob must have been an artist or an architect or a perfectionist.


I'm not sure if Richard A. Rice, a weaver, ever married.  He died in 1929 and is buried at Pinesbride Cemetery at Beacon Falls, Connecticut.  If you have corrections and/or additions to the information above, or information on any of the signers listed below, please leave a comment or contact me directly.  Thanks!

Three people named Hart of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, signed pages in the album in 1875, two of them Robert and James, on the same day, November 14.  Below, the page signed by Julius Hart on October 20, 1875.


John P. Strayer of Passaic, New Jersey, signed a page on May 20, 1879.


James Bryce signed a page at Passaic, New Jersey, on October 1, 1879 and sketched a bird.


T. D. L. Keegan, or J. D. L. Keegan, signed a page at Passaic City, New Jersey, on August  28, 1877.


Ellen E. Twichell signed a page.  In other handwriting on the page, written on August 11, 1878, is what appears to be another name.  If you can decipher it, please let me know.


The initials on the page below are so faint and so ornate, I can't make them out, but the surname is Lloyd of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, and the page was signed on December 24, 1876.


Miss Emma Simmons of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, signed a page on March 14, 1875.


Surnames in the album  [Three appear multiple times.]

Abbott
Billerwell
Bryce
Coe
Conant
Egan
Elkins
Gruber
Hallock
Hart
Hill
Jewett
Keegan
Kennedy
Kinsey
Knowles
Lloyd
Manks
Rice
Simmons
Strayer
Titley
Twichell

Signers in the album:  [Note: Given names within a specific surname may not be in alphabetical order.]

  • Clara F. Abbott of Beacon Falls, Connecticut
  • Facing pages signed by Margaret Billerwell on October 17, 1875
  • James Bryce, signed at Passaic, New Jersey, on October 1, 1879; he sketched a bird and scroll
  • James Bryce
  • Benjamin L. Coe of Birmingham, Connecticut, signed on December 30, 1875
  • Edith M. Conant of Passaic, New Jersey, signed on December 1, 1877
  • James Egan of Beacon Falls, Connecticut
  • Mrs. C. W. Elkins, signed on October 12, 1875
  • Jacob Gruber of Hartford, Connecticut, signed in August 1875. He incorporated his name into an incredible design; he must have been an artist or architect.
  • Henry P. Hallock of East Haddam, Connecticut, signed on March 30, 1875
  • Robert Hart of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, signed on November 14, 1875
  • James Hart of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, signed on November 14, 1875
  • Julius A. Hart, signed at Beacon Falls, Connecticut, on October 20, 1875
  • Ada D. Hill of Glenville, Connecticut, signed on April 8, 1876; "Centennial Year"
  • Florence P. Jewett of Passaic, New Jersey, signed on December 1, 1877
  • T. D. L. Keegan, or J. D. L. Keegan, signed at Passaic City, New Jersey, on August 28, 1877
  • Mattie Kennedy of Lodi [presumably New Jersey], signed on December 29, 1877
  • Ernest U. Kinsey, signed at Passaic, New Jersey on September 6, 1877
  • Charles Knowles of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, signed on March 30, 1875
  • Annie E. Lloyd of Beacon Falls, Connecticu
  • Initials are so faint and so ornate, I can't make them out, but the surname is Lloyd of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, signed on December 24, 1876
  • Name is possibly W. M. Manks or W. M. Marks, signed at Passaic, New Jersey, on May 21, 1879; there may be an initial before the M. His sentiment implies that he is older than Dick and that Dick is going through a "trying occasion".
  • Richard A. Rice, "Dick"; album owner
  • Miss Emma Simmons of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, signed on March 14, 1875
  • John P. Strayer of Passaic, New Jersey, signed on May 20, 1879
  • Mathew Henry Titley of Beacon Falls, Connecticut, signed on April 4, 1875
  • Ellen E. Twichell; there's another name on the page that I can't read, with the date of ?, possibly August 11, 1878
Beacon Falls, Connecticut


Passaic, New Jersey


Thanks for stopping by!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment