RICE'S CORNERS CEMETERY
Adams, Jefferson Co., New York
with an explanation of its history and connected families
Albert Rice "son of Jason, was born in 1806, and when quite young located in Watertown. In early manhood he became interested in military affairs, and passed through the different ranks to that of general, which office he filled with honor and ability. He was a worthy citizen, a loving husband and father, and a faithful friend. He married, first, Rebecca, daughter of Dea. Jonathan Davis, by whom he had two sons, Jason and George. His second wife was a sister of his first wife and they had six daughters, namely: May E., Jennette E., Alice A., Carrie R., Ella A., and Mary E. The latter married Alton M. Sanford and occupie[d] the old homestead on road 6, corner 25."
[Hamilton Child's "Gazetteer of Jefferson County, N.Y.", published in 1890;
The Rice Homestead was situated in Adams at the crossroads of Old Salt Point Road and Rice Road, just south of the Hounsfield town border, on the western edge of lot three. The residence is marked "Gen. A. Rice" on Beer's 1864 land owners map of Adams. The place was once called Rice's Corners, but today is known as Sanford Corners, after Albert's son-in-law Alton Sanford, who succeeded him at the home.
Rice's Corners Cemetery, situated in lot three on the south side of Rice Road, two houses east of the Albert Rice home, is probably one of the oldest burial grounds in the town and perhaps the county. It is very small and fenced in, and lies at the edge of the road surrounded by farmland. Though it bears the name Rice, it may have originally belonged to the Manley family, and later the Washburn family, which owned land immediately north of cemetery in the town of Hounsfield.
In 1820, Asa Manley, age 34, appeared in the census of Hounsfield with his wife and children. Around 1822, they were joined by Asa's widowed father, Daniel Manley, a Revolutionary War veteran, born 1760 in Sandisfield, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts.
In 1825, three brothers from eastern New York, Robert, Dyer, and Schuyler Washburn, purchased several hundred acres in the same neighborhood. Robert Washburn married Asa's daughter Emeline Manley, born about 1810, and they established a residence on Old Salt Point Road, about two miles north of the Albert Rice residence.
On June 29th, 1833, Daniel Manley died of old age and was buried in Rice's Corners Cemetery. Today, his stone looks to be the oldest in the cemetery; however, many stones that were once erect have been fallen down and today are partially or entirely covered by overgrowth, so perhaps there were earlier burials. There are also several mounds and empty spaces where one would expect graves to be, but no markers exist for them.
Robert and Emeline's eldest son, Hiram Washburn, born 1832 in the Washburn home in Hounsfield, died July 19th, 1865, age 33, and was buried in Rice's Corners Cemetery, next to his great-grandfather, Daniel Manley.
and Hiram Washburn's graves at Rice's Corners. Merrick Manley's tombstone, which has fallen, can be seen at far right.
Asa Manley's son, Merrick A. Manley, a farmer born 1817 in Massachusetts, was married at age 30 on March 25th, 1847 by the Rev. Barns to Irene Washburn, also age 30, daughter of Dyer Washburn, and niece of Robert Washburn.
Dyer Washburn died 23 October, 1861, age 71, and was buried at the southwest corner of Rice's Corner's Cemetery. Before he died, he made a will which stipulated that his heirs were free to sell or let the farmland, but they were not to sell "the family burial ground." In 1870 when his widow Annie advertised the estate for sale in local papers the announcement noted that the acreage did not include "a small cemetery." These papers make it clear that Dyer had ownership of a burial ground at the time of his death, and since he was buried in Rice's Corners with other family members it seems right to assume that this was the cemetery for which he had made provision in his will.
Dyer also gave his land on the west tip of Point Peninsula, town of Lyme, to his daughters Irene Manley and Annie Harris, and that is where they and their husbands lived. Irene's husband Merrick died on 2 October 1872, age 55, he was taken back to Rice's Corners Cemetery where he was buried between his wife's nephew Hiram Washburn, son of Robert, and her father Dyer Washburn. Merrick's was the last known Manley burial in the cemetery. Merrick and Dyer's tombstones broke many years ago and today lie flat on the ground, but are clearly legible.
The family of Robert Washburn and Emeline Manley's youngest son, Theodore Washburn, born 1845 on the family farm, brings the story of Rice's Corners full circle. Around 1874, Theodore married Jennette Rice, born 1848, second eldest daughter of Gen. Albert Rice for whom the nieghborhood and cemetery were originally named. Theodore and Jennette Washburn had their first son in 1875 and named him Albert, in honor of his grandfather. Albert Washburn died at age 37 in 1912, the same year as his father. Jeanette Rice passed away in 1919, at age 71.
Tombstones of Dyer Washburn
and his son-in-law Merrick Manley.
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