Kentucky Authors

Historical Marker #1508 in Dixon remembers the birthplace of noted author Cale Young Rice and his educator brother, Laban Lacy Rice.

Kentucky has produced many notable authors who have delivered works in different eras and genres. James Lane Allen, John Fox, Jr., Harriet Simpson Arnow, and Robert Penn Warren were all novelists of national acclaim. Hunter S. Thompson, Helen Thomas, Joe Creason, and John Ed Pearce were renowned journalists. Allen Tate, Wendell Berry, and Cale Young Rice, among others, have become well known for their works of poetry.

Cale Young Rice was born in Dixon, Kentucky, on December 7, 1872. Rice received a quality education at Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, and at Harvard. He taught for a year at Cumberland after completing his master's degree at Harvard in 1896.

Shortly after moving to Louisville in 1897, Rice wrote "From Dusk to Dusk," which set him on a writer's career that lasted for more than forty years. In 1902, Rice married fellow author Alice Caldwell Hegan, who had penned "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch," the year before. Alice Rice went on to write twenty books before her death in 1942. The couple collaborated on three books of short stories. After Mrs. Rice's death, Cale Young Rice became depressed and committed suicide the following year. Both Alice and Cale are buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

Cale Young Rice's older brother, Laban Lacy Rice, went on to have a distinguished career as a student, educator, and president of Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee. Laban Rice died in Florida in 1973 at the age of 102 and was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery in Lebanon.