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William Marsh Rice Papers

Identifier: MSS 0140

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection consist primarily of Rice's personal and financial correspondence as well as financial records covering his residency in Houston, with the earliest papers dating from 1841. There are some financial records dating back to 1869. The collection also contains personal and financial papers of Frederick Rice, Rice's brother, and of John H. Brown, a business associate of Rice and the first husband of Rice's second wife, Julia Elizabeth Baldwin. A grouping of unidentified records and correspondence covers the years 1837-1868.


  • 1831-1869

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research. This collection has been microfilmed and the microfilm is the use copy. Originals will only be pulled if staff determine that items are missing from microfilm version or if the microfilm is illegible.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the William Marsh Rice Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Born in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1816, Rice moved to Houston in 1839, which had been founded only three years before. For the next twenty-five years, Houston served both as Rice's home and a base for his numerous business interests. Even after Rice moved to New York in 1865, he remained deeply involved with Houston for he continued to maintain business ties with the city and, together with his wife, he made almost annual visits to the city until 1897. In 1891, nine years before his death, Rice completed the formulation of plans for his greatest legacy to Houston, his provisions for the founding of Rice Institute. On September 23, 1900 was murdered at his home in New York City. He was cremated and his remains are under a monument in his honor on the grounds of Rice University.


1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



The materials in the William Marsh Rice collection are arranged by subject matter (e.g. personal correspondence) in three boxes beginning with those materials relating directly to William Marsh Rice, with the second box containing those items relating to Frederick Rice and John H. Brown. The third box contains miscellaneous correspondence and records. Within each of the nineteen folders in this collection, the correspondence or records are arranged in chronological order.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Hugo Neuhaus, Jr. in 1979.

Processing Information

Processed by Steven Strom, 1980. Collection and finding aid was audited and updated by Abra Schnur, June 2018.

William Marsh Rice Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
This finding aid is in English

Repository Details

Part of the Houston History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002