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Jul 11, 2018

African American Genealogy: Rev. Ulysses S. Rice, University, Minister, Principal, The Dial, Mason

Rev. Ulysses S. Rice

If we as African Americans were to just take ministers from one area and research the area and research the other counties and states that they serve, we would learn more about their families, people in the new areas, and churches in the new areas. We could find out more about cemeteries, newspapers, masons, even schools. What if we even considered the people that visited them from other places? We could learn more than we could imagine.

Let’s give you an example. Last week, we learned about Rev. L S. Burnett, treasurer of The Dial. I am going to use the next person on the board of The Dial, the African American newspaper in Greenwood, Rev. Ulysses S. Rice, assistant manager:


Rev. Ulysses S. Rice
Rev. Ulysses S. Rice
John Russell Hawkins, Centennial Encyclopedia of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Volume 1 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Book Concern of the A. M. E. Church, 1916), page 281, <


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U. S. Rice, A New Paper Here, (Greenwood Daily Journal), Greenwood, South Carolina, 26 September 1914, Page 3, Column 4,,


We are going to connect these places:

  • Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina
  • Lincoln University, Pennsylvania 
  • Abbeville County, South Carolina 
  • Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Charleston, South Carolina
  • Columbia, South Carolina
  • Anderson, South Carolina
  • Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Darlington, South Carolina
  • Manning, South Carolina
  • Georgetown, South Carolina
  • Wedgefield, South Carolina
  • Florence, South Carolina


Birth in Clinton, Laurens County, South Carolina

Rev. Ulysses S. Rice was born on March 19, 1876 in Clinton, South Carolina. He graduated from State College in South Carolina. This was not my first mention of Rev. Rice. I have researched him previous to moving to Greenwood. I have a cousin, Rev. Ulysses S. Rice, who died in Washington D. C. area and had ancestors who came from Laurens.

I was able to connect the Rice family to the brother of my great great grandmother, Jane Smith Johnson McCoy. She is memorialized in Fairview Cemetery. His name is Henry Smith. I had no idea Rev. Ulysses S. Rice, who we are speaking of in this article even went to Greenwood. He has the same name as my cousin, but I have not connected him. Also, he is not buried in Fairview Cemetery.

Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

Ulysses S. Rice felt called to the ministry, and he attended Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where he graduated from the Theological Department in 1903.

Lincoln University 1900-1901 page 41

Lincoln University 1902-1903 page 42

Lincoln University 1921-1922 page 63, Doctor of Divinity

He joined the Philadelphia Conference of the A.M.E. Church and was given work. He, however, preferred to go back to his own state and work among his own people.

Clinton, South Carolina

Rev. Ulysses S. Rice served as principal of Friendship Graded School for four years while being immersed in church work at the same time. He had to be glad to be among his people of his state again.

Abbeville, South Carolina

He was principal of Popular Grove Graded School for two years. Again, he attended to his responsibilities as minister at the same time.

On September 25, 1906, Rev. Ulysses S. Rice was married to Suepearl S. Suber of Laurens, South Carolina. They had three children: Ulysses S. Jr, Clara Gladys, and Pansy Victoria.

Rev. Ulysses S. Rice pastored some of the leading churches in the A. M. E. conference, we will now turn to my new findings, were he next served in Greenwood, South Carolina.

Service in Greenwood, South Carolina

I have not found when Rev. Ulysses S. Rice began serving in Greenwood, but this article dated, August 9, 1914 is an account of him delivering memorial service of the Grand Lodge held at Weston Chapel A. M. E. Church. The article says Western, but it should be Weston. In addition, the article says “Written for The Journal” which means this article would have appeared in other newspapers.

They memorialized the deceased masons for the year, nearly 100. The most prominent was F. W. Williams the late Grand Master, of Columbia, South Carolina and R. M Anderson, ex-Post Master of Georgetown, South Carolina.

Reports were given by the grand officers. Grand Master J. M McCottrie of Columbia was the best delivered. The Odd Fellows own a temple in Columbia purchased a few years earlier when McCottrie was on the building committee.

Over 1000 attended, and all were orderly and respectable. The leaders of the Order spoke of how Greenwood was one of the greatest cities in the Piedmont and that there existed a good feeling among white and negro.

Richard Carroll attended the meeting. Three loads of cars of colored people came in from the upcountry. F. E. Duval of Charleston led a parade and Patriarchal drill in the fairgrounds. Greenwood and Anderson had a game of baseball.

Georgetown and Charleston patriarchal departments were there. R. H. Richardson of Wedgefeld, South Carolina, an ex-congressman from the black belt during the days of Republicanism, is one of the strongest leaders of the order.


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Rev. U. S. Rice, Memorial Services (Greenwood Daily Journal), Greenwood, South Carolina, 9 August 1914, Page 2, Column 3,,


This was the first article to tie the state together from the upcountry down to Charleston. It also gives great insight into the Knights of Pythias Negro Grand Lodge across the state.

Second Knights of Pythias Negro Grand Lodge Article

This was the 12th annual K. of P. Negro Grand Lodge meeting held in July 1916. It was held at Mt. Pisgah A. M. E. Church in Greenwood, South Carolina. Mayor Sidney Hartzog was invited to present a welcome from the city.

Rev. Ulysses S. Rice gave the opening remarks and Rev. D. E. Rice welcomed all the ministers. It should be pointed out here that Rev. D. E. Rice is on the board of The Dial too. He is associate editor.

  1. H. Henry of Columbia, South Carolina is Grand Chancellor of the Colored Knights. Through the Endowment board $120,000 has been handled. The members of the Endowment board were:
  2. H. Henry, president
  3. B. Lewie, of Columbia, secretary

Dr. R. S. Wilkinson of Orangeburg, South Carolina, treasurer

  1. A. Richie of Abbeville, South Carolina
  2. C. Hardy, Spartanburg

Geo. H. Pugh, Darlington, South Carolina

  1. A. Brown, Charleston, South Carolina
  2. P. Scott of Florence, South Carolina, vice president
  3. M. Butler, Aiken, South Carolina
  4. J. Frederick, Columbia, South Carolina
  5. M. A. Myers, Manning, South Carolina

There was a Grand Military Display by Uniform Rank at the Fair Grounds. This was an impressive list of masons thus far. A search in their locations should reveal more masons, and more genealogy going back in time.


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Rev. U. S. Rice, Negro Grand Lodge K. of P. Meets Here (Greenwood Daily Journal), Greenwood, South Carolina, 24 July 1916, Page 6, Column 2,,


Another search for Rev. Ulysses S. Rice brought up another article for the Greenwood Colored High School commencement exercises. Rev. Ulysses S. Rice offered the commencement address:


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Rev. U. S. Rice, Colored High School Holds Commencement (The Evening Index), Greenwood, South Carolina, 7 June 1918, Page 4, Column 4,,


Sharpen the Saw

Look back over the places revealed in this article. Are you affiliated with any of the people? I have ancestry from Anderson, Greenwood, Florence, Laurens, Columbia, and Charleston just to name a few. Could your ancestor have lived near one of these masons? Was your ancestor a mason? Where was he buried? Let us know in the Facebook group!