Clarence Rice, M.D.

Dr. Clarence Rice, a 1912 graduate of "old" Eastern High School, later served as an Army doctor in World War I.

He lived on Kentucky Avenue near Lincoln Park during his childhood and was interviewed by Hazel Kreinheder in 1977, specifically to talk about Congressional Cemetery. The interview expanded well beyond the cemetery and brings alive the Capitol Hill neighborhood of his youth in the first decade of the 20th century: stories of crossing the Anacostia as a boy to get "shimmy sticks," going to band concerts in the park, riding trolley cars to Glen Echo, and taking evening strolls on East Capitol Street for ice cream. A pathologist and specialist on diabetes, Dr. Rice also discusses medical facilities, including Gallinger Hospital and the lonely leper on the Eastern Branch.

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Interview Date
April 25, 1977
Hazel Kreinheder
Paula Causey
Paula Causey

Full Directory

Dr. Clarence Rice was interviewed in 1977. Any use of this material should credit the Ruth Ann Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project website for making it available. The 1977 tape was transcribed by Paula Causey in 2011 with street names and addresses edited to conform to the style used by the Overbeck Project. Notes and some addresses were added in 2014, and some personal discussions were deleted from the final transcript.

Tape One, Side One

Capitol Hill Interviews

Interview with Dr. Clarence Rice By Hazel Kreinheder
April 25, 1977

INTERVIEWER: This is a tape with Dr. Clarence Rice, former resident at 157 Kentucky Avenue SE. Thereason I want to put the information about Congressional Cemetery on the tape is because I’m also workingon that project. That’s where I got sunburn on my nose; I was out there all day Friday. If you know anythingat all about the cemetery, we’re trying to—the Congressional Cemetery Association—is trying to collect information about that, too. I think they really have something going there now. They had 100 Boy Scouts outthere on Saturday working. How much the Boy Scouts accomplished, I don’t know, but there is a concern now that there hasn’t been for, I don’t think, a long time. So, anyway, you tell me what you would like to say about Congressional, about your concerns, and your people.

DR. RICE: Well, I wasn’t interested, particularly interested, in Congressional Cemetery because I don’tknow that I ever went there as a boy living here. It was only after I was married and my first wife died, and her parents had died and they had a plot at Congressional—my wife’s relatives had a plot there also—that I became interested. At that time it was fairly well kept up. That was way back in 1925 when my first wife was buried there and things looked good and it was all right. They had perpetual care and it was kept up. But as Iwent back each year, why things looked rather seedy and the next thing I knew there wasn’t anything beingdone and the weeds were high and more recently, I found the water was turned off so you couldn’t even get any water to water anything. The lot that Julia, my wife, is buried on had grass. I’d been going over there twoor three times a year cutting the grass myself. And then when the plot where her relatives of her parents were, there were actually trees growing up, and our baby was buried in that plot.

INTERVIEWER: What is the name of her family?

DR. RICE: Raymond. Her name was Ruff and the plot on the name so badly taken care of was Raymond, which was right to the east of that. Then the grave stone began to tumble down or was actually pushed down and it just hurt me to go there. The only grave that I can see that is kept up now is John Philip Sousa and they really look after that.

INTERVIEWER: Well, the Marines look after it; I think the Marines. Anyway, the government looks after that. As I say, I think there is this concern. The Cemetery Association was probably formed about a year or so

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Clarence Rice Interview, April 25, 1977

ago and they are really working out there. I was out there with the Cemetery Superintendent on Friday andshe was giving the man that was supposed to be working out there the dickens because he hadn’t done this and he hadn’t done that and he hadn’t done something else. Well, apparently he got himself a terrible case ofpoison oak and had been sick for a week. At least, I think there are people that care. How long it is going to take to get it back the way it should be or whether it ever will be is another question, but I sort of had the impression for a long time that nobody even cared except for people like yourself who might go out and mow their own grass, but there is a very decided ... And, it’s the reason we were out there, the Capitol Hill House Tour is going to be in a couple of weeks. That will be the final point on the house tour, the Cemetery. We’re trying to get more people out there just so to get them interested, to see what the situation is. It’s like, that islike a history of early Washington.

DR. RICE: That chapel was ... the first burial that I was at ... was actually being used occasionally for some Sunday services, and I guess they opened it up if they had a burial and then it was closed and has badly deteriorated in that way. One day I was out there, must have been two years ago, and there were some people handing out leaflets about the Cemetery. I guess they were from the church, Christ Church. I wrote a note to them indicating my interest and I never heard from them anymore.

INTERVIEWER: Well, that’s rather interesting because now they are trying to contact, you know, peoplethat are interested in the Cemetery. They are having something out there Memorial Day. I’m not sure what. I know they said something about a band would be out there and also this tour that we’re working on that willbe used. They want to mark some graves of famous people who are buried there. They’ll put a sheet of paper out telling about some of these people. It will be used for Memorial Day, too. So I know that they’re planning something, but I don’t know if it’s all finalized.

DR. RICE: I suppose it’s very difficult to get in touch with any of these families because so many of them have died or just wouldn’t know. For instance, they might, if they looked in their records, if they have any,see where I am ... My wife is buried there but the rest of the family, they’re all dead and I don’t know howmembers ...

INTERVIEWER: Well, some of them, I have been able to find some people. Unfortunately, if you find adescendant of some of the really early people who were buried there, before 1825, they’re so far away theysometimes know less about their family than I do. But we’ve been, an attempt is being made, and I think, youknow, by trying to get people out there and getting publicity, there are many people like yourself who are no longer living right here, but they are in the metropolitan area. But, finding them ... and this is why Dr. Ramsey mentioned a couple of women that were about your age. One is Mary Murray Kochka. There is another one that he mentioned, too. I marked her name on the list, that are still around that were very

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interested in Eastern High School and that kind of thing. One person kind of leads you to another. Now, I never would have probably gotten a hold of you without having run into Dr. Ramsey. But getting to this particular neighborhood, I mentioned the concept of Capitol Hill. It would be my assumption that you probably would have said that you lived near Lincoln Park rather than you lived on Capitol Hill or would you have called it Capitol Hill?

DR. RICE: I think we both agree on both constructions, both expressions. Capitol Hill was something as to the living area and Lincoln Park was a very nice place to be near. So that I think we used both of them. I used to live over at Third and F Street NE and then the Union Station was put there. Then, just before about the time to get out—when I was seven or eight years of age, it would be about 1902—when we moved down here.

INTERVIEWER: So when you moved here there couldn’t have been too many houses on this street [100 block of Kentucky Avenue SE].

DR. RICE: No, there were this one [interviewer’s home] and one south of us and there were three north of us. There was this man Judd [George H. Judd, 151 Kentucky Ave SE], he was the last one. He was a rich man on the block and was the first one to have the Ford, a red Ford automobile and cost him probably $800 dollars.

INTERVIEWER: He’s the Judd of Judd and Detweiler?

DR. RICE: Yes. He was quite a leader. His family and my family went to the same church, Calvary Baptist, so we had a rather intimate ... my father and he were on a first name basis. But, we always realized that hecould do pretty much what he wanted to do. He had a back yard which he enlarged. It went way back. I don’t know whether it’s still that way.

INTERVIEWER: It’s still that way. It’s a huge yard.

DR. RICE: ... cause I think one of the reasons, he married a lady, and his wife was rather [inaudible]. Theyhad a little boy and I think he thought the boy needed more space, but he didn’t have much contact with people out front, so that’s one reason I think he had this. But, he did a great deal in helping to keep the neighborhood up. And next to me to the south of us was a family by the name of Ayer, A-Y-E-R. I don’tknow whether he was a Civil War veteran or a man who had been injured in an accident. My sister, who is seven years younger than I, I remember, she used to visit with them. They had a daughter that liked her. Shecame back one day and she said “Mr. Ayer has only one leg.” She had never seen ... he had an artificial leg. Next to us to the north was a man by the name of Morgan. He was with the Eastern Star, I mean the Evening Star. He was the distributor. He had a son and he and I were quite friendly. There was a house next to them, I think, and then Judd. Then there was a vacant lot where we played baseball and then there was another house

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by itself. I often wondered why there was just one house by itself. And there was a man named Speidel lived there. He was, I guess, he was sort of an inventive type and was doing all sorts of queer things. I rememberthe story got around that he put molasses in his bicycle tires so they wouldn’t get punctured. Things like that,you know, among us children. He had three sons and I was quite friendly with two of them. The older one Frank was much older and we didn’t have ... Then there were Fred and Carl. Carl eventually became, was made, came to be, the professor of anatomy at the University of Virginia. He was a very bright type. I liked him; he married a dear friend of my wife and so that there was a contact there. Then, up the street, here,[points to picture] there was a group of, I don’t know whether this was one of the houses or not ...

In there was a fellow by the name of Healey. There was a girl I went to school with named Ann Kathleen and she had a brother Harry. I’m not so sure whether Harry was in my class or not, but he was a very bright chapand I think later on either became a professor of law or something of that sort at either Catholic University orKnights of Columbus School. I don’t know whatever happened to Kathleen. Then there was another family next to them. I think their name was McDowell, or something of that sort, and they had a boy who was mentally deficient. And he was ... I remember, being kind of afraid of him. I think the Healeys lived up onthe corner, I’m not sure.

Across the street on this ...INTERVIEWER: The big house.

DR. RICE: ... was the Thompson family. They were something like the Judds to me that they were a little bit above the rest of us because they seemed to have that big house [1207 East Capitol Street]. They had a son named James and I liked him and we were quite friendly. And then, next to him up on East Capitol Street there was a family named Dieterich. German. Mr. Dieterich was a patent attorney [Fred G. Dieterich, 1209 East Capitol Street]. He had a daughter who, I think, went into grand opera. He had a son about my age named Louie, kind of tubby like the typical German. His father was that way. His father was an inventor and Louie would take us in there to see these things. I remember there was a great big streetcar model that he had. Things of that sort. I was somewhat in awe of the Dieterichs.

An interesting thing, I think it was next to their house, or across the street here, was a family named Stutts [Rufus A. Stutts, 112 Kentucky Avenue]. S-T-U-T-T-S. An interesting thing. Fred was, he was, a stutterer. Fred Stutts, he stutters. Poor Fred, he had his troubles. He was a very pleasant person to know. I never knew his family very well. Either next door to him or there, was a family with the name of Stephan. Mr. Stephan was I think at one time a colonel or head of the National Guard here. We knew them fairly well. They went to our church also, Calvary Baptist.

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INTERVIEWER: Now, Calvary Baptist is the Baptist Church that’s downtown?

DR. RICE: Eighth and H Street NW. So, by being in the same religious group, why we knew them fairly well and I always had a, stood more or less in awe of him because he was, I think he was a Brigadier General or something like that; he was also the manager of Dulin & Martin Company, which is no longer in existence. The last place they were located was at the corner of Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW.

INTERVIEWER: And what was that? I know the name.

DR. RICE: It was a ... they handled furniture and dishes and kitchen affairs and things like that. They used to be on F Street, right in the middle between 13th and 14th. They were an outstanding place if you wanted to getsomething good of that sort, you’d go to Dulin & Martin. The bedroom set we have now was purchased there.It’s a very fine thing. So that was Mister, I don’t know whether it was Colonel or General, Stephan. He had a daughter Selma, who was considerably smaller, or younger, than I am. She was a playmate of my sister. Down the street, a few doors away, I can’t remember, there was a family named Allen.

INTERVIEWER: What was the name?

DR. RICE: A-L-L-E-N. Mr. Allen was an employee of the public printing office. His wife was a very fine woman. They had two sons, Harold, and I can’t think of the other. Harold and I were really, became theclosest friends I almost ever had. He went on and got a scholarship to one of the universities in New York City and went to be, went on as a chemical engineer and did very well. I followed him up until he died. It’sinteresting, he developed diabetes in his later life and his brother did the same thing. Both of them had diabetes and both died of it. His father, though, introduced me to something as a child it never happened. That was attempted suicide. His father had something to do with the union at the government printing office. Idon’t know what he had done with the funds, but he couldn’t account for all of it and he went over to someplace in the country here and took laudanum, I guess it was. I guess he just slept. But, that always had an effect on the family, that the parents had this experience.

INTERVIEWER: Seems to have been one in every neighborhood around.

DR. RICE: So the Allens ... and then they moved up on Florida Avenue, and then Georgia Avenue in Maryland. Harold, he acquitted himself very well, his brother did, too. Further down the line was a family, Ican’t remember, let’s see if I put his name down. Finally, I’ve got the name ...

INTERVIEWER: While you’re looking, I’m going to ... [checks tape] I hope this is picking up. There it goes, OK, Ferguson.

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DR. RICE: ... a guy by the name of Ferguson. They were further down the block, almost across the street from 157. He was one of my playmates. The rest of them, the people around here I can’t remember. They didn’t make too big an impression on me. There was a store.

INTERVIEWER: I was going to ask you about that corner store [202 Kentucky Avenue SE, on the southeast corner of the 13th Street, Kentucky Avenue, and Independence Avenue intersection].

DR. RICE: A corner store. We never used it. I don’t know that we ever went there. It just didn’t have muchof a reputation.

INTERVIEWER: Well, I don’t think it still does. We don’t go there. My son goes there to buy baseball cards and that’s about it. I never go there. Where did you shop?

DR. RICE: Down here at the corner of East Capitol and 11th Street. There was a drug store on East Capitol Street and around on 11th and on to Massachusetts Avenue there was a grocery store. The grocery store was run by a man named Bernard Wall. W-A-L-L. He ran a fine store. I remember we had an account and we’d go down every end of every month and pay the bill and he’d give us a box of Lowney’s chocolates. So I liked it.

INTERVIEWER: Did he have the drug store and the grocery? No, he just had the grocery?DR. RICE: No, the grocery store was run by a man name Haley. H-A-L-E-Y.INTERVIEWER: But it was all in that same building?

DR. RICE: All in that same building. Haley had a drug store and Wall had the grocery store. Wall, I guess hedelivered, I don’t know. He had good food and we had great confidence in him. But, there was another drugstore just two doors, two blocks, away and that was De Molls. It was in a little wooden shack and that was on East Capitol Street. I think it was Ninth and East Capitol Street. [Note: De Moll and Helsmen Drug Store waslocated at Eighth and East Capitol according to Boyd’s 1909 City Directory, page 73.] So there were twodrugstores within two blocks of each other. I don’t know how they survived. There was another one down here on 11th Street, just a block further down. Neely’s pharmacy. They certainly had plenty of drug stores around. Then there’s, on 11th Street coming up from there, there was an ice cream place. I can’t remember. It was about in the middle of the block. Those are ... but, um, I went to school at Maury School.

INTERVIEWER: You went to Maury? It’s on what is now Constitution Avenue, B Street, I guess.

DR. RICE: It was an old school then, but it was a good school. I had some of the finest teachers that you can imagine. One of them lived right up here opposite on the park, on East Capitol between 11th and 12th. A Miss Stevens, a heavy woman, but she was ...

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INTERVIEWER: What was on that corner, it would be the southeast corner of 11th and East Capitol? Rightacross from the park. There’s a laundromat there now.

DR. RICE: As I recall, on the south ... on the northwest corner of 11th and East Capitol, where Massachusetts Avenue comes in, I thought there was an apartment house.

INTERVIEWER: No, on this side of the park, on the south side.
DR. RICE: Oh, on the south side. I don’t remember what was there. It never, whatever was there, didn’t

make an impression.

INTERVIEWER: You know one thing that I’ve never been able to find out, and there are people still in this neighborhood who have been around for a while. Now this one woman, Edith Keleher on 11th Street [a Fannie R. Keleher lived at 118 11th Street SE in 1908], she’s about 90 years old and she is confused, so it is verydifficult to ask her a question and get the answer that you want, but there’s a whole row of stone houses that face Lincoln Park. They’re on the south side, and they’re big stone houses, and I can’t find anybody thatknows anybody that lived in those houses. They are huge houses.

DR. RICE: Well, one of them Miss Stevens ...INTERVIEWER: Miss Stevens lived in one of them.

DR. RICE: Miss Stevens lived there. She’s almost certainly dead long ago, but she was there. I’ll alwaysremember what a fine person she was. The teachers were exceptionally good. In fact, one of them I had who lived on Massachusetts Avenue out here between 13th and 14th. She actually took me after school because Iwasn’t doing too well in one subject and once or twice a week I’d go there in the afternoon and she’d brush me up, so to speak, so I’d get along. You don’t find that ... Another person that lived on the other side of Lincoln Park between 11th and 12th on the south side was Senator George Norris.

INTERVIEWER: Where did he live? I know he lived around here someplace, but nobody has ever ...
DR. RICE: He lived on the south, no, on the north side about in the middle of the block as I recall. Between

11th and 12th, as I recall.

INTERVIEWER: Between 11th and 12th ? [George Norris, both a congressman and a senator from Nebraska, lived in 1200 East Capitol Street in 1908.]

DR. RICE: That’s my recollection. His daughter was in grade school and I think she went to high school withme for a part of the time. Then later on when we lived out here at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Wisconsin NW, he had an apartment almost next door to us there. I remember telling him that his daughter

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and I went to school together. He is about the only one I can remember. Over on Tennessee Avenue was a family by the name of Irey, and one of those boys became, I don’t know whether it was head of the Bureau ofInvestigation or something to do with investigative things that the government had, maybe the CIA.

INTERVIEWER: How do you spell that?

DR. RICE: I-R-E-Y. I think that his children—I think he had two sons, I think they’re sons—they’re doctors now. One of them. They had a daughter, their first child, a daughter who was in school with me. I think I’vetold you about all the people I can remember. [In 1908, Charles W. Irey, Edwards, Edwin, and Elmer lived at 123 Tennessee Ave NE.]

INTERVIEWER: How about that big building on the north side of the park. It’s an apartment building now. It’s kind of in the triangle between 12th and Tennessee [1200 East Capitol Street]. It’s the only building that’sright in that little triangle and it faces the park. We had heard that originally that was built as a house or something and then later converted to an apartment building.

DR. RICE: I think that’s quite likely because there weren’t, in fact, no apartment houses around here at the time that I lived here. So, I guess that’s so.

INTERVIEWER: Now, what was, we have some stores down at the east end of the park, too. Were there stores on that end of the park when you were a kid?

DR. RICE: No, the only stores around here were those. There probably was one on this corner as youmentioned it, I said I didn’t remember it, but the drug store and grocery store were the only ones there. And,beyond that, it was sort of a vacant ... we used to call it the commons. I don’t know why they called it thecommons.

INTERVIEWER: I wanted to ask you about that. So this was pretty much the eastern fringe of what was built up.

DR. RICE: They were just beginning to build up when we left, moved away.

INTERVIEWER: Because we, this is one of the things we sort of ... we were not responsible, the Joint Committee for Landmarks was responsible for determining the boundaries of the so called Capitol Hill Historic District ... was what the eastern boundary was. They felt that pretty much, well maybe, 13th Street, the end of Lincoln Park here, was probably pretty much what would have been built up. What we used was kind of the date, that period, before World War I, because after World War I the architecture styles, or during World War I, the style of architecture changed. I assume the car barn was there. The end of the line.

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DR. RICE: Yes, that was really the end of the line. I’d go out there and watch them sometimes. They usedthe so called commons for a baseball diamond. I remember in those days, they had what they called churchleague baseball. I’d go out there and watch these fellows play. I remember one time a ball, a foul ball, hit mein the head. Our Calvary Baptist team was playing there. I think they had folks who probably never went toCalvary Baptist Church playing on the team, but they were there. That’s about all I remember. The boys used to be going to what we called shimmy stick. We’d go across the river, across the bridge. Dig up the roots ofyoung trees. The boys over there would chase us back. They didn’t want us to come over there. But that wasreally just like going out west.

INTERVIEWER: What was a shimmy stick?
DR. RICE: To play, you could call it hockey, or something like that. We didn’t have anything bought. They

dug them up or made them.
INTERVIEWER: And then you played like what our kids call street hockey?

DR. RICE: We’d go and get a stone or something like that and knock it around. We’d play down here or outin the street.

INTERVIEWER: Of course, you could play in the streets because you didn’t have any cars.DR. RICE: There really was very little traffic.
INTERVIEWER: Did the trolley run around Lincoln Park out to the car barn?

DR. RICE: Yes, that did that. This might be interesting. They had in those days the Washington Railway Electric Company. That is what it was called. They had two lines, one the Capitol Transit and the Washington Railway Electric. The Washington Railway Electric was always in more or less financial trouble. It was the poorest of the two lines or companies. They had a—their board of directors—had a parlor car. It was a beautiful thing with occasional chairs and just like a Pullman and that thing ran around and every once in awhile it’d go out to Cabin John or Glen Echo with the board of directors. It was an expenditure of money that was not indicated.

I had an incident here that was one of the things in my life that I’ll never forget. My father was a podiatristwho also graduated in medicine and he would come home at a regular time. At night I would always walk uphere to wait for him to get off and he’d always bring the Star home with him. So I’d wait there fifteen ortwenty minutes. I got tired one day of waiting and looked around and there was a sheet of sheet metal that was about so wide [gestures with hands] and must have been three or four feet long. They had these underground trolleys, you know, the power that went down there. So I took this thing and stuck it down in this [makes

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“whrrr” sound] thing and, fortunately, I realized that it might do something to the streetcar. So, I found a barrel stave and fortunately it was dry weather and not wet. And I took this thing like that, so I took this barrel stave and started to pull it up and sparks flew up in the air and I dropped it. Fortunately because it was wood,it didn’t pass this thing along to me. Pretty soon a trolley came along and I could see this thing going alongwith sparks flying. It’s a wonder I wasn’t killed.

INTERVIEWER: It’s a wonder. It’s amazing you’re here today to talk to me.
DR. RICE: Yes. I don’t think I ever told my parents what I had done, but it scared the life out of me. But,

that ...

INTERVIEWER: You said the kids pretty much played baseball, I guess, was the game that everybodyplayed. You said something about a lot on the block that you played in and so on. You weren’t allowed to play in the park?

DR. RICE: Oh, no, you didn’t go there. We went there for band concerts. It was a nice place to go, I think.Sometimes on evenings we might go there and sit just because it was a nice place to go. There was no rowdiness or anything of that sort that deterred you. In fact, one of the nicest, best things that we could do, especially when I was courting my wife, was taking a walk from there, along East Capitol Street up to the Capitol and walk around the Capitol grounds and back, stopping at Steinle’s ice cream confectionary place[500 East Capitol Street] and get something there and then go home. Nobody ever bothered you; it was just a lovely thing, a fine thing to do.

INTERVIEWER: Steinle’s was really quite a place, I understand.
DR. RICE: Oh yes, and their daughter went to high school, she was ahead of me. I think they later on must

have gone out here to Georgetown and have a Steinle’s auto, Ford or Chevrolet, place.

INTERVIEWER: I had heard at some point that there was a problem because he was German and he was not a naturalized citizen or something and when World War I came along he became undesirable or something.

DR. RICE: That might have been.
INTERVIEWER: But, he was very popular on the Hill. I guess it was just the ...

DR. RICE: It was the place and if anybody had Steinle’s ice cream, you knew they were really getting along.And of course they had the band concerts and things of that sort.

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INTERVIEWER: Oh, you mentioned band concerts in Lincoln Park and nobody has ever told me about band concerts in Lincoln Park.

DR. RICE: Yes, they would have them at intervals. They would set up a platform, wooden platform, there for the band and usually it would be one of ... it wouldn’t be the Marine Band usually. Sometimes it would be anengineer band or something like that from one of the stations around the area. But they had concerts about once a month and we went to enjoy them.

INTERVIEWER: Now that’s the first I’ve ever heard of any band concerts in Lincoln Park.
DR. RICE: Then, of course, they had some sort of celebrations occasionally at the statue of Lincoln. I guess

it was on Lincoln’s birthday, probably.

INTERVIEWER: Was there—this is a question that I’ve never been able to get a straight answer on—was there some kind of, not really a fence, but the park service still has them in some places, metal poles with a chain that kind of went between, went around that park ever?

DR. RICE: Not that I remember. I don’t recall that they had any barrier at all.
INTERVIEWER: The style was open with the elm trees. We really fought for those elm trees. As you know,

they’ve changed the park.

DR. RICE: Yes, it looks very different.

INTERVIEWER: It sure does, but one of the things was the elms. Of course, for years that park was justneglected and I’m from New England where there are a lot of elms. And we’d just sit here and watch onecome down after the other. And then when it came time for the restoration, they were going to put in crabapple trees. We said we couldn’t have that. They weren’t elms. They were pretty, but they weren’t elms. So then they said well, we’ll give you something bigger. They were going to give us some kind of a Japanese maple tree. Well, those were pretty, too, but they weren’t elms. So then we got up to a Norwegian maple tree,which was almost as big as an elm, but we stood our ground and said elms or nothing, if we have to go over there and plant them ourselves. Because, of course, they ring the park and where they were missing they were just going to stick these other things in and not keep the continuity. Well, there are a couple, we’ve lost a couple, but they were insured and they’re supposed to be replaced. But, we had quite a to-do. But we said no, the big trees are really one of the things that really make that park. We were going to have elms if we had to go out there and plant them ourselves.

DR. RICE: There was no elm disease, was there?

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INTERVIEWER: A lot of it was just old age. Some of those trees that came down were very old and thenwe’d get a bad windstorm and they just couldn’t withstand it. And of course, a great deal of it was old agecombined with neglect. You said you shopped over here at the grocery store and a drug store on the corner, but did you ever go over to the Eastern Market area?

DR. RICE: Oh yes, my mother and I would go there on Saturday usually and buy things. Usually the thingsthat the people from the country would bring in, we didn’t do much inside. That was always quite an event togo over there. She got to know some of them fairly well.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have people with wagons who came around the neighborhood? Hucksters and that sort of thing?

DR. RICE: Yes, the hucksters used to come around and sell. Of course, that went on for many years after we left here.

INTERVIEWER: Well, we still have a few that still come. We came here in the beginning of 1963 and there were a couple of men with trucks who still would come up here periodically. One man used to have wonderful strawberries.

DR. RICE: When you’re speaking about stores. On the south side of East Capitol Street, up around about Fourth was a place called the Swiss Diary and I used to, my mother used to send me up there with a can andI’d get a quart or whatever of milk and they’d dip it out of this big can into this thing. They kept wagons. I don’t know how much delivering they did, but that was always quite a trip for me to be sent up there for a quart of milk.

INTERVIEWER: That’s a hike, with a pail.

DR. RICE: But you could get it for something like six cents or something, five or six cents a quart.

INTERVIEWER: How much did you spill by the time you got home?

DR. RICE: Well, it had a top on it. It was a regular milk pail for that purpose. Swiss Dairy was it. If she wanted buttermilk, they had it.

INTERVIEWER: Was there a post office up there someplace?

DR. RICE: Yes, there was one. I think it was at Fourth and East Capitol on the northern side. The reason Iknow it is because my first wife’s father worked there. He was a postal clerk there, and then he wastransferred to the post office department down on Pennsylvania Avenue. Yes, you could go there. In those

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days, you could mail a letter here, or down there, in the morning to Georgetown and it would get there the same day.

INTERVIEWER: Now, you’re lucky if it gets there much later.
DR. RICE: Of course, the postal card was one cent and a letter was two cents. Yes, it was a little one there, as

I recall, it was a one story building, and you could go down there and get what you wanted.INTERVIEWER: That must have been a building that was later. It was just a one story building?

DR. RICE: I think it was. I wouldn’t be sure about it. They called it Station A, as I recall. Station A. [Note:Baist 1903 shows a branch post office on the northeast corner of Fourth and East Capitol; the 1909 Washington City Directory lists “Station B” at that site.]

INTERVIEWER: Was that the only one, or was there another?
DR. RICE: Oh no, they were around the city.
INTERVIEWER: No, I mean, that would have served most of this area.

DR. RICE: I think all the carriers came from there. They got on the streetcar and rode to where they were supposed to go. They usually stayed with you for years and you got to know them very well. They were fine people. They also used to have, the transit company, had a mail car. It was actually, well, I guess Station Awould gather their bags up there on East Capitol Street and when this car came along they’d throw them onthere.

INTERVIEWER: Just like a train except it was a trolley.
DR. RICE: It was painted white and quite distinctive. I never saw it very often, but it was there.INTERVIEWER: I never heard that.
DR. RICE: It was there and it ran.
INTERVIEWER: It was a much more efficient system then obviously ...

DR. RICE: Speaking about streetcars, they had the open cars in the old days and you’d get on here. In those days you could buy a ticket, six for a quarter, and one of them would give you a ride and take you out toGeorgetown and you paid your extra fair and got on one of these open cars labeled “Cabin John” and you saton the front seat right in back of the motorman. And you really had a wonderful ride and when you got out there this car just went about 25 miles an hour.

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INTERVIEWER: Cabin John must have been—and Glen Echo and all that area— must have been quite a place.

DR. RICE: Cabin John was first and then Glen Echo. I can remember going to Glen Echo one time as a childand we had a musical. “The Triumph of Normandy” I think was the show that they put on. Then they had other musicals. Until the trouble with the blacks came along, it was a quite a nice place to go to.

INTERVIEWER: Is that one of the reasons a lot of people left this area? The area changed and they just wanted bigger houses? I know a lot of people from here seemed to have moved out toward now what they call Massachusetts Heights and ...

DR. RICE: We moved out on 16th Street extended. Now it’s all built up. We had a detached home there. I suppose for my father it wasn’t that there was any racial element that had anything to do with it. At that time,there were no blacks around here.

INTERVIEWER: Were you out toward Mount Pleasant?

DR. RICE: Oh, beyond there. Way out. I don’t know how well you know the neighborhood, but if you knowwhere the old Decatur streetcar barn, out there on 14th. Well, anyways, as you go out 16th Street, as you go to the 16th Street Piney Bridge, and we were out about a mile and a half beyond there [4832 16th Street NW]. It was all woods, just been cut ...

INTERVIEWER: So you moved out to the country, that’s what you did?

DR. RICE: My mother wanted a yard. That’s where we moved. He had the house built to order and he had his own architect, told him what to do, so that we had a lovely place. But, I finished my second year of high school here, and then we moved out there in the fall. So I continued to come ...

INTERVIEWER: You did come ... you commuted back?

DR. RICE: ... back to Eastern. Sometimes I’d use a bicycle and sometimes I’d use a streetcar. It was a, it took me about an hour to make the trip. But I was wedded to Eastern. I had so many friends. I’m differentfrom Dr. Ramsey. He’s a very outgoing person. I tend to withdraw more and so once I got into this group at Eastern, I just didn’t, I hated to go to Central High School, which would have been where I would have gone.It was a good thing because I—this probably hasn’t anything to do with your historical thing—but it has to do with Dr. Ramsey and myself. We got to the fourth year and we had one cadet company there and that was one thing I was ... If I could get into a uniform, my father said, we’d have to give you an anesthetic to get you out of it. I was just crazy about this cadet corps. Well, Herbert and I took the examination for commission and apparently I must have edged him by a few points. So one day the principal called me into the office and said

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you have the right to be an officer in the company, but we don’t think you’re the person for it and Herbert Ramsey is. He doesn’t rank as high in his average—I’m sure it wasn’t very much different—but we think he might make a better company officer and you can be the battalion adjutant, so what do you want to do? Well,I said, I think I better talk to my father. My father had been in the National Guard up in Massachusetts, that’s where he was from, and so he says you go back there and tell them you’re going to be the company officer. So, I turned it down. It was the best thing that had ever happened to me because it made me get out in front of people and order them around and make me feel like I could do something.

INTERVIEWER: Well, I read your name in the—Dr. Ramsey loaned me a XEROX copy he had made of athing called “Old Eastern,” a booklet that was written I guess when they moved out here to the new Eastern—and, I read your name in it as being all involved with the rifle team and this kind of thing.

[2014 note: The “old” Eastern High School was located on Seventh Street SE, near C Street. When the “new”Eastern opened on East Capitol Street in 1923, G. P. Hine Junior High School was established in the former Eastern building. The building was eventually replaced by a “new” Hine on the same square during the1960s.]

DR. RICE: Yes, I was the captain of the rifle team.INTERVIEWER: So obviously you were interested in that.

DR. RICE: I was not an athlete and so my rifle shooting ... I’d had a range, my father had a shooting range down in the bottom of our basement and Herbert used to come out there with a boy named Johnny Bixler andwe’d shoot. We were big enough so we could escape into this thing underneath there—it was all open—andride a bicycle in. But that’s what this thing involved Herbert and me. It really made me because, after all, Iwent into the army as a young doctor and I had certain responsibilities that I’m sure I wouldn’t have managed well if it hadn’t been for that thing that my father made me do.

INTERVIEWER: You served during World War I?

DR. RICE: I was in the medical corps. I went to France.

INTERVIEWER: What was your specialty?

DR. RICE: Pathology. I went to Garfield. When I was in medical school, I wanted to get an internship at Garfield Hospital, which was the best hospital in the area.

INTERVIEWER: Where was Garfield?
DR. RICE: Up at Tenth and Florida Avenues. It was beautiful.

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INTERVIEWER: I went there once.

DR. RICE: Did you? My father was one of the first patients there. It was a farm then. Schneider’s Farm. That was the boundary, Florida Avenue. Well, anyway, I wanted a job there and wanted this job because I knew that if I got into the laboratory as a technician and a medical student, then they would see me and know me and I might have an opportunity to get this job as an intern. There were only four to be given out. In those days, it was just the opposite from what it is now in getting into a hospital. Nowadays you could put down eight or ten places and select almost where you want.

Tape One, Side Two

DR. RICE: Well, I was just telling why I wanted to be an intern at Garfield even before, so that if I could get in there and they could see me every day I thought I had a better chance of getting this job. The internship was a valued thing, so that ... and that’s the way it worked out. I did get that and worked in the laboratory. Andthen the next thing, the pathologist and I got to know each other and in a few years he offered me a positionon the staff after I’d graduated. Then the war came along. I came back and I went back with him andeventually after I’d been there for about twenty years, well, he retired and I took over the laboratory there almost where Children’s Hospital got started. We served both places, Children’s Hospital and GarfieldHospital. They were only three blocks away. It was a wonderful experience.

INTERVIEWER: Well, you must know my ...
DR. RICE: And Herbert was a ... came there to Garfield and he was in obstetrics and he and I went to

Washington Hospital Center together, so we kept along almost all our lives.

INTERVIEWER: You must know my pediatrician then if you went to Children’s. It is Margaret Nicholson.

DR. RICE: Oh yes, I’ve known her ever since she went there. I was there before she came. She’s a ...

INTERVIEWER: ... a magnificent person ...

DR. RICE: ... a wonderful woman. She’s greater than people know. I mean, from what I know of her. I thinkshe’s kept her light under a bushel. She goes the second mile as a doctor.

INTERVIEWER: She is really a fantastic person.DR. RICE: Is she still practicing?

INTERVIEWER: Well, the last experience I had with her was when I called her recently and she had brokenher hip. She was getting out of a cab in front of Doctor’s Hospital, right down there to go to her office next

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Clarence Rice Interview, April 25, 1977

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door. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but anyway, she fell and she broke her hip. When I called, she’dbeen in Doctor’s Hospital about three days. They said she’s in the hospital and I said, give her my best. We’ve gotten very close and she’d come to our house at the drop of a hat ... and call us to see how things were going when my children were ill. They said, oh well, you can talk to her.

So I talked to her and told her what I wanted. She said, well, you come in, I’ll tell you how you sneak into thehospital before hours and you just tell them you’re coming to Dr. Nicholson. You’re bringing me something and you’ve got to come in, even if it’s not visiting hours. So I got in there and she put me to work and I’venever worked so hard in my life. For two hours, she had me addressing letters and making telephone calls.This was a month or so ago. And, she said they told me that if I don’t behave I can’t practice anymore. I don’t know if she’s started back yet. Another friend who uses her called me a couple of weeks ago and she saidshe’d been into the office to take care of some business matters and she thought she’d overdone it. Now, howmany eighty year old women do you know who break their hip in four places and they’re back to work threeweeks later? She is just amazing. She’s told me a little bit about Capitol Hill. Of course, she’s always so busythat I hate to bother her when I go there as a patient. She grew up at 1000 Maryland Avenue NE. She still lives there. She still has her family home. [2014 note: Dr. Nicholson’s papers were donated to the Gelman Library at George Washington University after her death; a biography and inventory of the papers can

be found at]

Is there anybody else that you remember, not specifically from this neighborhood, who was an interesting character or anything that lived in the Hill area just generally? Like people that you went to school with or became famous or were interesting?

DR. RICE: Well, there was one man that I’ve kept in touch with just like Herbert Ramsey. That’s Joseph R. Harris, who is head of the Joseph R. Harris women’s clothing ...

INTERVIEWER: Where did he live?

DR. RICE: I don’t know. One incident that I’ve often told him that I can remember this just as plain as if it was right now, was in the fourth grade. One afternoon this well-dressed woman with golden hair came in andshe was Joe Harris’ mother.

INTERVIEWER: This was over at Maury School?
DR. RICE: Maury School, yes.
INTERVIEWER: So, he must have lived somewhere around here then.


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DR. RICE: Evidently Joe had done something and she went in there to see about it. I never met her, but Joe and I were there and he went to high school. Then he was with me and then later on, why it was getting together with Eastern High School, he and Herbert, and another Earl Johnson and I and Mary Margaret Mooreput on several reunions and that’s brought Joe and me closer together and since that time why, of course, hiscompany has grown. I think he has twenty-one stores, the last I heard of him. His son developed diabeteswhich eventually became my greatest interest and he’s been a very generous giver to the Diabetes Association which I’m working with now.

INTERVIEWER: There is somebody else that would have been around your age and I think somebody told me he may be even still practicing medicine. It was Fred Sanderson.

DR. RICE: Fred Sanderson. He’s dead. No, I don’t know that he’s dead. Yes, Fred Sanderson. TheSanderson family was well known. In fact, his mother taught my father-in-law, my first wife’s father. ThenFred was in high school. He was the captain of the company, a year ahead of me and by the time that I was an officer. He had a brother there who was in the high school; he had two brothers. One of them became a Marine Corps officer and well thought of.

INTERVIEWER: Where did they live?

DR. RICE: I don’t know. Over around A Street near the Capitol, or near the Library. Some place in there. Ithink it was around Fourth Street. Fred, though, went to the Mayo Clinic. First, he went to Georgetown and then he went to the Mayo Clinic. He came back and became a professor of surgery at Georgetown. I went to see him about two years ago and something had happened to him. I was asked to go to see him. He and I were never very close together. I always admired him; he was a most handsome man, he had a wonderful complexion and he, I guess because of his brother being in the Marine Corps, he carried himself just like a soldier. But he ... our visit didn’t mean very much. I didn’t have enough contact with him. I went there at another doctor’s request who said go and see him. I got there and it was just one of the poorest visits in my life. Fred, I always admired him. He was one of the outstanding surgeons in the city. I think he may be alive.If he is alive, he’s living with a daughter someplace out in Maryland. Kensington or some place like that.

There was another man named Paul [inaudible]. He was quite a musician and was the organist at one of the churches and he also, seems to me, he was connected with the Washington Oratorio. He was an outstanding musician. He played in the assemblies and things like that at our school. He’s dead, also. I always admiredhim. Let me see if there is anybody else that I can think of.

INTERVIEWER: One person that Dr. Ramsey mentioned that I meant to ask you and I forgot was a girl named Helena Doocy Reed.

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DR. RICE: Yeah, she was a lawyer, became a lawyer.

INTERVIEWER: Is she still alive or did she ...

DR. RICE: I don’t know.

INTERVIEWER: He wasn’t sure, but he seemed to think she lived in this neighborhood.

DR. RICE: Well, she did someplace in this neighborhood, but I don’t know just where it was.

INTERVIEWER: Well, I don’t know, I was just wondering if you knew because she would have been aboutyour class or a little bit before or a little bit after, something like that.

DR. RICE: There was a family turned out some doctors. Jaeger. A Dr. Jaeger. I went to school with his sister, I guess, and later on, all his children, two of them, one was a daughter and one was a son, became doctors and they were down here. He had his office on East Capitol Street. Henry Jaeger. J-A-E-G-E-R.

INTERVIEWER: There were quite a few doctors along East Capitol, weren’t there?DR. RICE: Yes, that’s right.

INTERVIEWER: Associated with Casualty and Providence? [Casualty Hospital was at Seventh Street and Massachusetts Avenue NE; it later went by several other names. Providence Hospital was on the square between Second and Third, D and E Streets SE.]

DR. RICE: It didn’t mean very much to me except Dr. Douglas. He had a son and daughter in school with me. But, I didn’t know the doctor. There was a Dr. Davison there and his daughter was in school with me. He was on East Capitol. Yes, there was a string of doctors down there.

INTERVIEWER: They were probably either with Casualty, or Providence, of course, was here then.

DR. RICE: I don’t know how much connection ... I know that Jaeger had a great deal to do with Casualty. I can remember that place opening up and then as a medical student I went there for clinics. It was just a building, a large building. I got inside there and they were painting the walls and there were these painters there and the paint was dropping down on the face.

INTERVIEWER: Now where was ... and that was the beginning of Casualty? It had been someplace else?DR. RICE: Well, that wasn’t the beginning of Casualty. The first was Eastern Dispensary over here on

Delaware Avenue. It was just a dwelling like this.
INTERVIEWER: Sort of like where the Senate Office Building is now?

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DR. RICE: Yes, it occupied one of the government buildings. It was right down there; the streetcar went right by, and called Eastern Dispensary and Casualty Hospital. I guess it was Eastern Dispensary, becausethere wasn’t any hospital. Then they moved out here to this building and we never thought ...

INTERVIEWER: So this was after you became a doctor?
DR. RICE: Well, as I say, I went there, was sent there as a student ...INTERVIEWER: Oh, as a medical student, right.

DR. RICE: ... to attend a board round or something. It was a fiasco as far as I was concerned. It was just a dump. I always looked down upon it until recently and now it does amount to something. I’ve had friends who’ve been taken there in an emergency and things like that. There was a J. Rogers Young who went inthere and apparently he gradually raised it up to a place where it is rather acceptable and then, of course, Southeast Hospital came along, way after that.

INTERVIEWER: Well, we had, was it called Gallinger Hospital before it became DC General?

DR. RICE: Yes, Gallinger is, I guess, it was no different then what is now DC General. I was ... one of my associates, it must have been thirty-five years ago, was on a committee of the medical society to go over there and investigate Gallinger Hospital and they brought back photographs of the terrible way that people ... lack of supplies and all that. It is always going to be that way as long as, unless they get, become a unit of themselves, but as long as they are dependent on some other hand-out ...

INTERVIEWER: Well, we’ve had one very good experience over there; we’ve had two emergencies, when we had to go, other than with the children. My husband has hypertension and he almost had a stroke one night and I took him over to Casualty and we had a very bad experience there, but they did give him a shot of something that brought the blood pressure down. I guess his doctor was at GW and it was two o’clock in the morning and I couldn’t get a neighbor to come with the kids, so I just went to the closest place not knowingwhat to do, but I guess I should have gone, taken the extra time and taken him to GW. They prevented himfrom having a stroke, but they didn’t know what they were doing, whoever was on that night duty.

Then he had an experience a couple years ago where he had his head split open out here on the street. Took the police a half hour to get here, but we didn’t dare move him because the back of his head was all split open. He was attacked by a gang of kids. And they took us to DC General. Of course, I didn’t know what to do. We couldn’t move him. I almost said, “Oh, we have to go here,” but I didn’t know, so I certainly couldn’t doanything for him. I had to go where the ambulance took him. And we had marvelous care. I was reallyamazed because I didn’t know what was going to happen, but hopefully, fortunately, we had a neighbor on the

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street who was somewhat able to get the bleeding stopped. Her son was a medical student and she obviously knew something about what she was doing because she got a compress on the back of it. They really did a very good job. I was vastly relieved if nothing else, because I thought, oh lord, if we go to DC General, whoknows what’s going to happen to us. And of course, since we had a police escort and everything else, theytook him in immediately. There were other people sitting there waiting. So that probably helped being brought in by an ambulance and having the police.

DR. RICE: I expect it did.
INTERVIEWER: But, wasn’t also—I’ve never been really clear—but wasn’t there some kind of a smallpox

place out there, too? Was it a separate building?

DR. RICE: Yes, there was a smallpox hospital and then there was at one time down on the Eastern Branch there was a leprosy, a home for leprosy down there.

INTERVIEWER: These were all separate buildings?

DR. RICE: That was just a shack. They had a man named Early who had been in the Philippines andacquired leprosy there and came back and they didn’t know what to do with him. And he’d go ... they’d find him wandering around. Of course, leprosy isn’t too contagious. And they built this shack down on the EasternBranch, carry his food down there, and he was left to himself. It was an awful thing. That was ...

INTERVIEWER: Of course, that was the way lepers were treated.
DR. RICE: The smallpox hospital ... and then in those days with contagious diseases, Providence Hospital,

which was over here ...INTERVIEWER: Second and D Street.

DR. RICE: ... they took diphtheria. And Garfield, where I was with my internship, they took scarlet fever, and chickenpox, and measles.

INTERVIEWER: Even for chickenpox, they put them in the hospital?
DR. RICE: Well, sometimes, not very often. But most of them were scarlet fever.INTERVIEWER: Well, measles could be pretty serious.
DR. RICE: Measles can be terrible, ear things and mastoiditis and stuff like that.

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INTERVIEWER: We had a neighbor child who was about ten years younger than I who died with measles. I remember it was ...

DR. RICE: It can be an awful thing. And you can do so much about it now. You got treatment, part of the immunization that doctors carry out ... at Providence was, ah ... But, to go back to Gallinger. They used to have three medical schools and sent their students there and their teachers. So, I think as a whole, they got as good treatment as they could get from what they had to work with.

INTERVIEWER: It was always a city hospital, though?

DR. RICE: Gallinger was a Senator from, I think it was, New Hampshire or Vermont. I guess he had something to do with the establishment of it and they named it that and then changed it. Before that it was the Washington City Hospital or Asylum or something like that. I think it was up here.

INTERVIEWER: Was there an insane asylum or something around here? No, that was St. Elizabeth’s.DR. RICE: No, that’s St Elizabeth’s. It’s always been on the other side of the river.

INTERVIEWER: Did the kids from the other side of the river come in here to Eastern High School? Kids from Anacostia?

DR. RICE: In those days they did. I guess they didn’t have a high school. I think there is one now. [Note: Anacostia High School opened in 1935.]

INTERVIEWER: There is, I think it’s Ballou or something like that. So that was, sort of, not a verydesirable area. I think that’s maybe one of the reasons why that area didn’t build up until much later. Whowanted to live there?

DR. RICE: Well, of course, one thing was transportation. When you got to the bridge you had to walk the rest of the way if you wanted to get to the other side. Then later on when they had a trolley it went from the end of the line on this side of the bridge. One track there. It went up the hill to where the fire station is upthere now. That’s as far as it went. But it was always like a different community to me. As I said, that’s wherewe used to go to get our shimmy sticks.

INTERVIEWER: Did you ever go down to the river very much or were you too far away?

DR. RICE: I went there very rarely. And I think I was told that I was not to go to the river. I did go once and my father found out. He was pretty good at spanking and I think I expected one and somehow he didn’t give itto me.

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INTERVIEWER: But mostly it was just sort of open fields that you could wander around in here. There was really nothing. It was vacant land mostly between here and the hospital.

DR. RICE: It was a rather desolate place over there and same way over here where we called it the commons. Everything just seemed to stop right here.

INTERVIEWER: Right, at Lincoln Park.
DR. RICE: I was on B Street SE [now Independence Ave]. I walked down there. B Street looks better now

than it did then; never amounted to too much.INTERVIEWER: Well, that’s very interesting.

DR. RICE: At least that’s my impression just from glancing down that way. Up this way, that was justbeginning to build up. Edmonds School had just been built. Is this the Edmonds School?

INTERVIEWER: No, Bryan School. Edmonds is up at Ninth and G or D or something.

DR. RICE: Well, anyway, my sister went there shortly after it was built. It was a nice school.

INTERVIEWER: You mentioned, and then the tape went off, yourself commuting from Northwest riding abicycle. I’ll have to tell my son, because my older son is in eighth grade now and he goes to a private school called the Heights School and everyday he commutes the other way, he goes up there, Wisconsin and Garrison Streets, right near Lord and Taylor. They were talking about—they have a rather small facility— they’d like to have a larger number of students, plus they’d like more science labs and they don’t have a gym.They were talking about moving the school out to Bethesda, someplace by NIH. And I said, “Oh, if they goout there, that’s just going to be the end of us.” They thought they were going to negotiate one of these dealswith some of these public schools that are going to be put out of business because they don’t have enoughkids. They decided against it. Apparently it just was too far out of the city for a lot of other people who justlive in Northwest and it didn’t really give them all the things that they were especially looking for; it would only solve some of their problems. But, John said he didn’t care if they moved all the way to Columbia he was going to go there.

DR. RICE: That’s the way I felt, too.
INTERVIEWER: So, I know exactly how you must have felt.

DR. RICE: I see these, ah ... once in a while I had to take my car over to Bethesda when we lived in Silver Spring. And twice now, I’ve seen these same children. They get on in Bethesda and come around and have tochange at 16th Street and then they change at the Armory out there at the District line and go on out to Silver

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Spring where I am. They go to a Lutheran School. All these changes. They’re not big fellows, they look like they’re about nine or ten years old.

INTERVIEWER: Well, John started out there in seventh grade last year. He went to school here untilseventh grade. And there just really isn’t anything here beyond sixth grade. We were very nervous about it,but he’s managed very nicely. We’ve been very pleased. And he’s very happy with the school. But, I knowexactly what you mean about this business of commuting. You were over at the old Eastern, what is known as the old Eastern, at Seventh and ...

DR. RICE: Eighth and Pennsylvania.
INTERVIEWER: Eighth and Pennsylvania. That was, well, I know there were other schools.

DR. RICE: Yes, there was a Towers School and the Wallach School on this block. And in the area between there, it was open for playing games.

INTERVIEWER: What grade levels were the other schools?DR. RICE: Up to the eighth.
INTERVIEWER: Both of them had up to the eighth?

DR. RICE: Yes, the Wallach was, I think that was where the supervisor, superintendent, or supervisor of that area had his headquarters. But Eastern, I think they had an enrollment of about 800. It was very nice in those days because you knew everybody.

INTERVIEWER: Was a lot of that area around there commercial? I mean you had the market there, obviously.

DR. RICE: Eastern Market up the street and then there were a lot of stores, little stores and a barroom. Wehad a German teacher. In those days, I’m sure none of the kids drank, but we always said there’s where youcan go and get a beer. That was over on Pennsylvania Avenue, the other side.

INTERVIEWER: I suppose the library wasn’t over there on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue; it wasjust, what we now call Friendship House was on the big square pretty much by itself.

DR. RICE: I don’t know of any library around there.

INTERVIEWER: Do you know where the Peoples Drug Store is? [now CVS.] It probably wasn’t a PeoplesDrug store in your days. At the corner, on the southwest corner of Pennsylvania and Seventh Street. And then, in the next block down, well it’s just the only building there now is a Peoples drug store ... it’s probably been

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Clarence Rice Interview, April 25, 1977

... I don’t know how long it’s been there. We’ve been here since the late 1950s and it was there then, but I don’t know how much before then. The next block down is the house that was called the Maples. It’s now Friendship House. I don’t know what it would have been at the date and period you were here. The lady who lived there, Mrs. Briggs, I think, gave part of that land, that’s where the Southeast Public Library is that facesSeventh Street, faces right where they’re putting that subway.

DR. RICE: I haven’t been there in so long.
INTERVIEWER: Pennsylvania Avenue is mostly a commercial strip.

DR. RICE: Yes, that’s right. Right on the corner of Eighth and Pennsylvania, on the southeast corner was a so-called department store run by a Mrs. Haynes, H-A-I-N-E-S or H-A-Y-N-E-S. It was a fairly large building, I think, three stories. But it always reminded me of a country store. I never found anything in there that I wanted and always you wondered how they made a living. Later on some other furniture company went in there. Next to that was a home, some sort of veterans, army, navy or some veterans place, was in a building there and they had a flag pole up and I think they had a cannon or something on the wall, something like that.I’m sure that probably isn’t there.

INTERVIEWER: It’s there. It’s not there for that. DC Government has all kinds of programs. You know they have one of these work incentive programs, or they did. What else is down there? The local Advisory Neighborhood Council [Commission] has its offices in there. It’s used kind of for—now, I don’t know whoowns it—but DC Government uses it for these little office kinds of things.

One thing that was down on Eighth Street as you’re going down toward the Marine Barracks, there is a big building that was an Odd Fellows Hall; it’s on the same side as the Barracks. And so help me, I can’t find itwas really used too much as an Odd Fellows Hall much after the turn of the century. It’s a huge building with a mansard roof and nobody seems to know. I don’t know whether it was always just kind of a furniture store.Millers Furniture Store has had it as a warehouse in recent years, but nobody seems to know what the darnthing was used for. It’s a huge building.

DR. RICE: It doesn’t register with me.
INTERVIEW: Well, that’s it, I guess maybe it just kind of went to pot after the turn of the century.

DR. RICE: I do know that all of the stores down there then were just for the Marines themselves a place to get a drink. I used to go down there when it was the Naval Gun Factory, a few times, to see the boats and things like that.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Clarence Rice Interview, April 25, 1977

INTERVIEWER: I guess they just kind of let people wander around down there then, didn’t they? Whenyou were kids, you could just sort of go down if you wanted to.

DR. RICE: Yes, you could. I don’t think my parents objected to me going into the Navy Yard because it wassupervised. You could get on a boat if there was one in. When they arrived, you could get onboard. It’schanged now. It all seems so odd. Down in that area around there was the place to live at one time. There was a time, it must have been around the Civil War time or before that, I guess, when that southeast area ... it's one reason they put the Congressional Cemetery where it is.

INTERVIEWER: Everything is ... so much of what was really old has been demolished. Like all of Virginia Avenue where they put the freeway.

DR. RICE: That space between the Capitol and Lincoln Park, all that Grant Row and all that. That was all part of [inaudible] when anybody talked about Connecticut Avenue [sic], well, that was swamp.

INTERVIEWER: Well now, was Grant Row there when you lived here? Is that about where the Folger Library is?

DR. RICE: Yes, just about.

INTERVIEWER: So that existed probably up to the 1930s. That reminds me, across the street, and I askedsomebody else about this the other day, didn’t live in this neighborhood. Across the street from what GrantRow was, across the street from the Folger Library, is now Reformation Lutheran Church. But that church, Ithink, is 1920s or 30s. Wasn’t there some kind of a bakery or something over in there? What was across thestreet from Grant Row?

DR. RICE: Well, I think there probably was something like that, although I don’t know what it was. Nothingthat I ever used.

INTERVIEWER: Well, then it couldn’t have been anything too spectacular.
DR. RICE: It may still be there. There was a store near the Church of the Reformation. It was a drug store

which was kind of large. That’s the only thing that I can remember.

INTERVIEWER: In that same block?

DR. RICE: Well, it seemed to me that Reformation was there and a store on the other end of the block, but itmay have been in the next block, I don’t know. I know it was in that same area as this Post Office Station A, was there on the other side.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Clarence Rice Interview, April 25, 1977

INTERVIEWER: You know another place was the Zurhorst Funeral Home [301 East Capitol], was up there,wasn’t it?

DR. RICE: Yes, that’s right. One of those girls went to school with me. The funeral home, then Swiss Dairy was next to that, that is where it was.

INTERVIEWER: I thought that was up there. Well, we had a wild tale going around that Abraham Lincoln was embalmed in that funeral home. We had to shoot that one down, too. I wanted to get your comment about Helen Hayes because somebody else insisted that Helen Hayes lived in the unit block of Kentucky Avenue. Well, to my knowledge there never was a unit block of Kentucky Avenue, was there?

DR. RICE: What do you mean, a unit block?
INTERVIEWER: A number between zero and one hundred. These numbers always started were one

hundred numbers, weren’t they?

DR. RICE: At least in the time when I knew Helen Hayes, she was about ten years old. I know they didn’tlive out there when we were there. We went to this dancing school about the time that I was in high school and I guess, I always ... she represented something special to me because my father knew her mother and he knew something about the family.

INTERVIEWER: Was her name really Hayes? I mean, she was really Helen Hayes, that wasn’t a stagename?

DR. RICE: I think it was Brown, Helen Hayes Brown. That was her last name.

INTERVIEWER: Well, I knew her husband was MacArthur, but I never knew whether Helen ...

DR. RICE: Yes, Helen Hayes Brown, that was it. So, I knew her when ...

INTERVIEWER: Way back when.

DR. RICE: So yes, if she lived on Capitol Hill, I don’t know where it was.

INTERVIEWER: I am not sure, because this person insisted that she lived in the unit block, but I said as far as I know we always start with ... this block had one hundred numbers.

DR. RICE: I remember reading something that she wrote about her early days in Washington, and seemed to me that she said that they lived up on K Street Northwest or someplace like that.

INTERVIEWER: That’s what my husband thought.

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Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Clarence Rice Interview, April 25, 1977

DR. RICE: To the east of the public library, where the old Carnegie Library used to be.

INTERVIEWER: My husband is a great movie fan, or was. He sort of has given it up, the last few years it’snot worth wasting your time and energy on, but he always kind of followed all these old movie stars. I don’tthink he now pursues any of the current ones, but he thought that she had lived up in Northwest Washington.

DR. RICE: I’m almost certain that that’s where she came from. I’m sure that my father, if he knew that theylived around here, he would have told us about it because knowing Mrs. Brown and then finding that Helen was going up the ladder, well he would have told us.

End of recording.


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The Washington Post, April 15, 1989 (b 04)

Capitol Hill Interviews Dr. Clarence Rice Interview, April 25, 1977

E. CLARENCE RICE JR. Washington Pathologist
E. Clarence Rice Jr., 95, a Washington pathologist who specialized in diabetes treatment and research, died of

cardiac arrest April 13 at Sibley Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Rice was a founder in 1946 of the D.C. affiliate of the American Diabetes Association and had served

three years as its executive director.

He had a private medical practice in Washington from 1917 until he retired in 1969. He had served on the medical staffs of Garfield Hospital, Children’s Hospital and the old Episcopal Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. He was an instructor in medicine at Georgetown University medical school from 1927 to 1946 and an associate professor of pediatric pathology there from 1946 to 1959.

Dr. Rice was a lifelong Washington resident. He received a medical degree at George Washington University and did his internship at the old Garfield Hospital. He served in the Army Medical Corps in France during World War I.

He established the diabetes clinic at Children’s and Garfield hospitals and helped establish the hematology clinic at Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Rice was a founder and former editor of Clinical Proceedings, a publication of Children’s Hospital. He was the author of more than 70 technical articles.

In retirement, he had raised funds for Camp Glyndon, a facility he helped establish for children with diabetes.

In 1980 Dr. Rice received George Washington University’s Alumnus of the Year Award.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Mary Siddall Rice of Washington, and a son, David E. Rice of Rochester, N.Y.

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