Education: Call to the Semifrontier

One fall day in 1900, in a swank Manhattan apartment, a trusted butler clamped a chloroformed towel across the face of his master. So died William Marsh Rice, 84, leaving some $10 million—most of it to his lawyer. To his old friends in Texas, where Yankee Merchant Rice had made his pile, the will seemed strange. They thought that Rice, a widower with no children, had planned to leave nearly all his money to the founding of a college in Houston.

Rice was murdered to make sure that no such thing happened. Lawyer Albert T. Patrick had forged Rice's will, hired Butler...

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