Benjamin Rice and Delilah Alcorn (1786-1850)


Benjamin Rice was born in Virginia in the 1770s and died in Monroe County, Indiana, in the 1830s.  Delilah Alcorn was born in North Carolina and died in Monroe County.  They married in Lincoln County, Kentucky, in 1799.


Children of Benjamin and Delilah:

  • Unice Rice
  • William Rice (1801-1878) married Elizabeth Roe (1807-1893)
  • Robert Rice (1802-1863) married Harwar Roe (1805-1899)
  • Lucinda Catherine "Kitty" Rice (1811-?) married William McHaley (1809-1856), Benjamin Roe (1804-1870)
  • Thomas Rice (1812-1898) married Nancy Isom (1820-1893)
  • Tilford Rice (1814-1891) married Mary Isom (1821-?)
  • Elizabeth Rice (1814-1860) married George Alcorn (1810-1894)
  • Isabella Rice (1816-?) married Harvey E. Hamm (1815-1875)
  • Margaret Ann Rice (1819-1884) married Charles N. Isom (1794-1855), Philip Hendricks (1823-?)
  • Mary Ann Rice (1827-1871) married Chambers Baker (1826-1896)
  • Eliza Jane Rice (1830-1912) married Joseph Henry Ison (1824-1907)


US Census records:

  • 1830, Monroe County, Indiana; Benjamin, Delilah, and six others in the household.


According to records of the 1799 marriage of Benjamin and Delilah, Anderson Rice gave consent stating that Delilah "lived in my house several years and always having looked on me as her guardian," and Matthew Rice signed the marriage bond. Anderson and Matthew were brothers who lived on a sizable estate near Crab Orchard, Lincoln County, Kentucky. It is unclear how Benjamin was related to them.


Anderson Rice married Agnes Alcorn in 1789 in Mercer County, Kentucky, and Delilah, born in 1786, was raised in their household. It is quite possible that Delilah and Agnes were sisters. Agnes was a daughter of Robert and Mary Anne Alcorn. Delilah named children Robert and Mary Ann, which suggests that she, too, was a daughter of Robert and Mary Anne Alcorn. Agnes's brother Thomas Alcorn was a witness to Anderson Rice's consent for Delilah to marry Benjamin.


Benjamin, Delilah, and their family migrated approximately 200 miles northwest from Kentucky to Monroe County, Indiana, in the spring of 1826, settling in the Richland area west of Bloomington, Indiana. Also participating in the migration were John and Margaret Burks.


The first white settler in Monroe County, Indiana, arrived in 1815. After Indiana became the 19th state of the union in 1816, many people migrated to the state, mostly from Kentucky and Ohio. These were pioneers seeking a new home in the new state. The population of Indiana more than doubled between 1820 and 1830.


The Richland Church, established by the early settlers of the Richland area, still exists. It is located on Hwy. 48 at Vernal Pike, several miles west of Bloomington. The cemetery behind the church dates to 1837. A marker in the cemetery (shown here) lists the names of early settlers, including Rice and Burks.


The following information about the Richland Church was provided in 2002 by Deacon Lloyd Smith: "Thomas Nesbit came to this area in 1824 with a son in a wagon from the Concord Church in Nicholas County, Kentucky.  He sought the Richland Creek area as an ideal place for his family who arrived the following year.  He had built up the Concord Church with aid of Barton Stone and several others in that community.  Those friends and neighbors soon made their way to Richland upon hearing of Nesbit's ideal find with fresh spring water, deer, turkey and suitable climate for fruit and vegetables.  Byers, Hall, Burks, Foster, Rice, Livingston, Abram, Ranard and others brought their wagons and families in the 1820s following Nesbit.  Thomas Nesbit organized the Church in his own house (1824) and there they congregated.  His log house yet stands directly in front of the Richland Church although it is now covered with weatherboard.  Soon, the private residence was too crowded for the Church membership and in 1836-1838 was a log building raised where the cemetery now is.  By early 1840, the crowd was unable to meet in the log building because of number (approx. 200 members).  They made plans to build the present building, and in 1846 commenced to meet in this very dwelling which yet stands…  Thomas Nesbit was 55 years old when he came here.  For nearly 30 years, he oversaw the Richland Church.  His help was David Byers, Robert Rice, Bill Rice, and William Nesbit, a son…  Most of the Burks families attended the Liberty Church in Greene County after it was erected.  The Rice families lived South of Richland Church…"

Marker in Richland Church Cemetery (left) and Richland Church (right)