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RICE, TEXAS (Smith County). Rice is a small residential community on Old Bullard Road west of U.S. Highway 69 and just south of Tyler in central Smith County. There was no school in the area in 1903, but one had been constructed by 1918. That year the May, Porter, and Liberty educational systems were merged into the Rice school district. In 1936 153 white students attended the five-teacher school, but the 142 black children of school age were not enrolled. The community at that time also had a business and a cluster of farms. By 1952 local schools had been consolidated into the Rice Independent School District, and in 1956 the Tyler Independent School District absorbed this system; the Rice School, however, was still shown on a 1973 map, which also showed two churches and a radio tower at the townsite. The 1981 county highway map did not name Rice, but showed a residential section at its site, right at the Tyler city limits.


Edward Clayton Curry, An Administrative Survey of the Schools of Smith County, Texas (M.Ed. thesis, University of Texas, 1938). Smith County Historical Society, Historical Atlas of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Tyler Print Shop, 1965). Donald W. Whisenhunt, comp., Chronological History of Smith County (Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1983).

Vista K. McCroskey


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Vista K. McCroskey, "RICE, TX (SMITH COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed April 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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