Centennial video series: Rice University founder’s Houston home

David Ruth

 Centennial video series: Rice University founder’s Houston home
Rice University’s weekly centennial videos run through Oct. 12 

HOUSTON – (July 19, 2012) – More than 50 years before Rice University would open its doors in 1912, William Marsh Rice and his wife, Margaret Bremond, lived in Houston. The couple owned a Greek Revival two-story home across the street from the courthouse square in downtown Houston. At the time, Rice was one of the city’s richest men. He earned his fortune in real estate, land, lumber, railroads and cotton. He purchased the 1-year-old house from his business partner, Ebenezer Nichols, in 1851 and lived there until Bremond’s death in 1863, when he shuttered it and moved back to New York City. Over the next 100-plus years, the home would be moved several times and ownership would change hands. In 1957, insurance executive and Rice Board of Governors member Gus Wortham donated the house to city of Houston. Today the Nichols-Rice-Cherry House is recognized with a state of Texas Historical Medallion and sits at the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park in downtown Houston.

Working with Centennial Historian Melissa Kean, video producer Brandon Martin takes a look at William Marsh Rice’s Houston home. For more information on Rice’s history, visit Kean’s blog at www.ricehistorycorner.com.

To help celebrate the university’s centennial Oct. 12, Rice University is producing weekly videos exploring the school’s unique history.

The video, available on YouTube at http://youtu.be/-pDIWLOSVec, is also available to media in high quality and without music for editing purposes. For higher-quality video, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.


To see other stories in the centennial video series, go to http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL60D6D71E71B66B3D&feature=plcp.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to www.rice.edu/nationalmedia/Rice.pdf.

About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.