Alfred Augustus Rice (1872-1942) and Anna Irene Douglas (1871-1959)


Alfred Augustus "Gus" Rice and Anna Irene "Annie" Douglas were born in Monroe County, Indiana, and died in Detroit, Michigan.  They married in Monroe County in 1890.


Gus's parents: Nathan Lewis Rice (1841-1907) and Nancy Elizabeth Burks (1845-1927)

Annie's parents: William H. Douglas (1833-1896) and Ellen Russell (1843-1916)


Children of Gus and Annie:


US Census records:

  • 1880, Van Buren Township, Monroe County, Indiana; Gus is listed in the household of his parents.
  • 1880, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana; Annie is listed in the household of her parents.
  • 1910, Perry Township, Monroe County, Indiana; Gus, Annie, and four children in the household; Gus's occupation is planerman at a stone mill.
  • 1920, 142 St. Paul Ave., Detroit, Michigan; Gus, Annie, and three adult sons in the household; Gus's occupation is motorman for the street railway.
  • 1930, 1778 Concord Ave., Detroit, Michigan; Gus and Annie are listed; Gus's occupation is motorman for the street railway; son William and his family lived in the same house.
  • 1940, 1778 Concord Ave., Detroit, Michigan; Gus and Annie are listed; son William and his family lived in the same house.


Buildings such as the Empire State Building and the Pentagon were constructed from Indiana limestone, quarried in south central Indiana between Bloomington and Bedford.  After limestone blocks are removed from a quarry, they are processed into a variety of building products at a mill.  Gus worked as a planerman at one of these mills.  But finding work in Indiana became difficult for Gus and his sons, so about 1915, the family migrated 350 miles northeast to Detroit, the booming "motor city," and Gus became a motorman for the Detroit Street Railways.  The motorman ran a streetcar (trolley) and called out the stops, and worked with a conductor who collected the fares.

Alfred Augustus "Gus" Rice, circa 1909 and 1940
Anna Irene "Annie" Douglas, circa 1876, 1900, 1909, and 1940
In 2003, Betty Lou Rice (granddaughter of Gus and Annie) wrote, "I remember walking up to the car barn to meet him, Gus Rice, after work, with my cousins Bill and Jack Rice [sons of William and Edna].  They lived on Concord across from the Odeon theatre, $.05 admission for a double feature and previews and an ongoing serial (maybe Jack Armstrong, the all-American boy).  Our grandfather, Gus Rice, was a motorman for Detroit Street Railways.  The streetcar turned around at the corner of Kercheval and Concord, it was the end of the line and Grampa walked home from there.  He was quite dapper in his dark blue or black uniform with a badge and a cap with a badge also.  I think the fare was $.07 at the time or less."
Gus's obituary in the Bloomington Telephone, February 12, 1942: "Alfred A. Rice, former Monroe county resident, died this morning at his home in Detroit, Mich.  Mr. Rice, known to his many friends here as Guss Rice, was born and reared in Monroe county.  He moved to Detroit several years ago and was a retired street car motorman.  He leaves the widow, Mrs. Anna Douglas Rice; three sons, Fred, William and Frank, all of Detroit; a daughter, Mrs. Erma Axelson, Detroit; two brothers, R. H. Rice, Flagstaff, Ariz., and J. M. Rice, Monroe county, and six grandchildren.  Funeral services have not been completed, but burial will be in the Clear Creek cemetery."

Annie's obituary in the Bloomington Herald-Telephone, August 22, 1959: "A former Clear Creek resident, Anna I. Rice, 87, died Thursday at her home in Detroit, Mich.  She had been a resident of Detroit 40 years.  She was a member of the Clear Creek Christian Church where funeral services will be Monday at 2 p.m. with Rev. Richard Hittle officiating.  Burial will be in Clear Creek Cemetery.  Survivors include three sons, Fred Rice of Petoskey, Mich., Frank of Florida, and William of Detroit; a daughter, Mrs. Erma Axelson of Detroit; a sister, Mrs. Margaret Jones, 212 N. Grant St., several nieces and nephews, nine grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren.  Her husband, Alfred A. (Guss) Rice died in 1942."

Gus and Annie are buried at the Clear Creek Church Cemetery, Lot 18, Section 2, at the intersection of South Rogers Street and Church Lane in Clear Creek, Indiana, near the graves of their daughter Erma and Annie's sister Margaret.