Rice built a large frame house with a wraparound porch at 801 Forrest Drive in Edgewood in 1910, a year before the Edgewood Electric Railway made the subdivision more accessible to Birmingham. He was also an officer of the Birmingham Motor and Country Club, which purchased the fledgling Edgewood Country Club on Edgewood Lake in 1914.
Rice was a civic leader in the central Shades Valley area and chaired a committee that helped Trinity United Methodist Church make the move from Lakeview to Edgewood. Later when Edgewood merged with Grove Park and Rosedale to form the City of Homewood, Rice was elected as its first mayor. He served two terms, during which he focused on street improvements and establishing a Homewood City Hall in downtown Homewood. He was defeated in a bid for a third term in 1932 and retired from public life.
- Summe, Sheryl Spradling. (2001). Homewood: The Life of a City. Homewood, AL: Friends of the Homewood Public Library.