Washington County, Idaho Newspaper Articles

A Frightful Accident

May 5, 1886

A gloom was cast over the whole town Wednesday afternoon, on the receipt of a telegram, announcing the accidental shooting of Jesse Rice, in Butte County. The two brothers, John and Jesse, had recently leased a large tract of land on the Pratt Grant, near Chico, and Jesse was in charge of it. No one was on the premises at the time of the accident, except himself and the Chinese cook. He was engaged in cleaning his rifle. The Chinaman, who was in an adjoining room, heard the report of the gun and rushed in just in time to see Jesse fall. His death was instantaneous, and an examination showed the ball pierced his heart. A man named O’Neal was the predecessor of the Rice Bros., as losses of this land; a few months ago, O’Neal was cleaning the same rife, in the same manner, and it was accidentally discharged and O’Neal, instantly killed. The accidents are almost identical and the coincidence is singular to say the least.

Jesse Lee Rice was born in Yolo County, on the 16th, of August 1862, and was consequently 23 years, 8 months and 19 days of age at the time of his deplorable death. He leaves a brother, John Rice, Cashier of the Bank of Dixon, and a sister, Mrs. Lizzie Padan, who resides near the scene of the accident. He also leaves a large number of relatives, principally in the neighborhood of Dixie.

His remains were bought to Dixon on Thursday afternoon, and the funeral will take place from the Baptist Church, today (Friday) at 11 a.m.

He was universally loved and respected for his high character, sterling integrity and manly virtues. We are not disposed to murmur at the inscrutable ways of Providence, but we cannot understand why young people of such rare promise, in the bloom of health and youth, should have the roses of their young lives turn to ashes prematurely. We cannot always understand why young people, full of truth, virtues and morally whose walk in life is honorable and upright, without a gleam of silver in their hair, without a care gnawing at their hearts, with the morning sun of their existence beaming brightly on their pathway, with young and rich blood coursing through their veins, with a friendly soil beneath their feet and the blue skies of heaven overhead with so much of life before them, surrounded by friends and loved ones—we say we cannot always understand why they should be taken from us in the prime and strength of youth, why, just as we have learned to love and appreciate them, they are stricken down, leaving the innumerable streams of our affection to flow back into our disconsolate hearts. We cannot understand these things, and yet we know they must be right, and yet we know they must be right, and we bow them over the cold and inanimate form of our dear young friend, with the blessed hope that in the Land of the Leal, where the rainbow never fades, where the glimmering stars are like gems set in a sea of azure, we shall meet him and abide with him forever.

Updated 20 Sep 2008