Wherever she went, Kate Rice always had a particular item with her. It wasn’t a locket, it wasn’t a wallet, nor medication. The item was something every prospector girl needed when working by herself in the wilderness. It was a rifle.
Kathleen (Kate) Creighton Starr Rice, born Dec. 22, 1882, thrived in the outdoors. Her love began with canoeing, camping and hunting trips with her father, Henry Lincoln Rice. While her mother read bedtime fairy tales to her young daughter, Kate’s father ignited the child’s imagination with tales of adventure and nature.
Fine-featured, pretty and nearly six feet tall, Kate Rice was regarded by friends and family as eccentric and independent, with a stern “don’t mess with me” personality. The family living in St. Mary’s in southwestern Ontario was upper middle class. Henry Rice operated St. Mary’s Milling Company, the firm inherited by his wife, Charlotte Carter.
Their status provided a comfortable lifestyle and better education for their two children. Although it was the Victorian era when women had fewer rights and opportunities, Kate Rice was encouraged to grow, learn and succeed.
Enrolling at University of Toronto in 1902 with scholarship awards, Kate Rice graduated with a bachelor of arts in 1906. Physics and astronomy were among her courses, and she earned a gold medal in mathematics. As well, Rice received her Ontario teaching certificate.
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