On May 19, 1891 the charter for the William M. Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science and Art was incorporated in Austin, Texas. Captain James Addison Baker, William Marsh Rice's brother Frederic Rice, Houston businessmen Emanuel Raphael, Cesar Lombardi, James E. McAshan and Alfred S. Richardson were named as the first board of trustees. Richardson died in 1899, and William Marsh Rice, Jr., nephew of William Marsh Rice, was appointed to take Richardson's place on the board. After William Marsh Rice's murder in 1900, another nephew was added to the board, Benjamin Botts Rice. Frederick Allyn Rice (brother of William Marsh Rice) died in 1901, but the board left his position open.
After the settlement of Mr. Rice's estate and disbursement of funds occurred in 1904, the board had full authority and ample funding to commence the creation of the Rice Institute. Despite their autonomy, they could be visited by any court for any "mismanagement, waste or breach of trust". They were not allowed to incur debt with Institute funds. They themselves did not receive any salary compensation for their service.
The board members pictured here in 1911 include:
Back row, left to right: Benjamin Botts Rice, Edgar O. Lovett, Emanuel Raphael, William Marsh Rice, Jr.
Front row: James Everett McAshan, Cesar Maurice Lombardi, James Addison Baker, Jr.