Mount Morris Index, Mount Morris, IL

March 30, 1904 p. 1, col 1



Passing of Wm. Swingley and Mrs. Mary Etnyre of Oregon and John Harmon of Maryland

The rapidity of the passing of the old settlers of Ogle County is called to mind by the death, during the past week, of members of three of the most widely known pioneer families of the west part of the county. The following account of their long lives will be found of interest:

Mrs. Mary Etnyre

Last Monday another death occurred in the well-known Jacob Rice family, so closely identified with the settlement and development of this county in the passing away of Mrs. Mary Etnyre at her home in Oregon. Her death again necessitates the calling back of the well known story of the early settlement of Mount Morris Township and the part played by Jacob Rice and his large family of twelve children, of whom Mrs. Etnyre was one. It is well remembered that this remarkable family was among the first families to arrive in this part of the county, which was at the time of their arrival a trackless wilderness.

The senior Rice family left Washington County, Maryland, in September, 1836, intending to locate in Illinois. They wintered in Ohio with Mr. Rice's brother-in-law, John Wagner, Sr., and in the spring both men came on horseback to Ogle County, to take up claims, which they did within three miles of Mount Morris. Their families, each consisting of twelve children, followed them in July. Mr. Rice's claim was the old Rice farm north of town, now owned by his grandson, J. L. Rice. Here the large family was reared and scattered to different parts of the country. Those of the family best known in Ogle County were Hon. Isaac Rice, father of Banker J. L. Rice; John Rice, father of Banker John H. Rice; and Jacob Rice, Jr., father of Fred, William and Eldridge Rice, living north of Mount Morris; all three of whom are now dead. Mrs. Susan Thomas of Leaf River still survives. The death of Mrs. Etnyre leaves her as the only surviving daughter of the family.

Mrs. Etnyre was born in Washington County, Md., Sept. 5, 1825, she being the tenth child of the family, and came to Ogle County in 1837, as above mentioned. She was married Jan. 12, 1843 to Daniel Etnyre of this county, who died in 1893. They made their home in Oregon for many years, where Mr. Etnyre was very successful in business. To them were born twelve children, the same number as in her father's Jacob Rice's family. Four of these twelve are dead, viz., Mary D., Mrs. J. Mix, Augusta and John J. Those living are Mrs. Loretta Coffman of Pine Creek, William A., Lydia C., Edward, Samuel, Mrs. C. S. Hass and Katherine, all of Oregon; and Mrs. S. B. Wadsworth of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Mrs. Etnyre passed away after a short time with pneumonia. She was aged 78 years, 6 months and 23 days.

The funeral services will be conducted at the family residence in Oregon Thursday afternoon at 2 o'clock, by Rev. H. C. Funk. Many of the relatives and friends at this place expect to attend.

Contributed by Peg Allen Arnold

Return to Ogle Co. Genealogy Site