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John Rickey, who has been successfully identified with the dairy interests of Colville for the past sixteen years, has also been a factor in public life here, having served an unexpired term, to fill a vacancy, and two full terms as treasurer of Stevens county. He was born in Knox county, Ohio, on the 19th of October, 1844, and is a son of Foster and Nancy (Bowles) Rickey. The father, who was one of the pioneer agriculturists of Ohio, passed away in 1851 and the mother survived until 1863.
The common schools of Ohio and Illinois equipped John Rickey for the responsibilities of life by providing him with a good, practical education. At the age of eighteen years he left Illinois and went to Iowa, engaging as a farm hand. Two years later he again started westward, locating in California, where he spent a similar time, working in a flour mill. In April, 1866, he came to the Colville valley and engaged in prospecting in the mines, devoting the majority of his time to this occupation during the next ten years, two of which he spent in British Columbia. In 1872 he took up a homestead in the vicinity of Colville, operating his land in connection with his other activities for twenty years and set out the first orchard in Stevens county three miles below Kettle Falls, in 1874. It was this orchard that revealed to the settlers the suitability of the land and climate for that purpose and it has been resultant in the present large acreage in this district devoted to that pursuit. In 1887 he embarked in the general mercantile business in Colville, continuing in this line for about eighteen months. He was appointed county treasurer in 1889 to fill an unexpired term of one year, at the expiration of which period he was elected to the same office, being reelected in 1892. When he withdrew from public life in 1894, he engaged in the dairy business, which he followed for three years. At the end of that time he retired but the following year again resumed the operation of his dairy and has ever since been identified with the business. He has a fine place, well equipped with all modern appliances and conveniences for the work of dairying, in which he is meeting with good returns.
On the 9th of October, 1882, Mr. Rickey was united in marriage to Miss Delphine Jeanette, a daughter of Frank Jeanette, a resident of Stevens county. Of this union there have been born nine children, seven of whom are living, as follows: Foster, who married Hazel Jameson; Ida ; Meta ; Iona ; Nora ; Bertha, a d Orpha. Those deceased are Walter, and an infant who was not yet named.
In his political views, Mr. Rickey is a republican, and besides filling the office of treasurer he served for several years as justice of the peace while a resident of Kettle Falls precinct, when living on his homestead. He has also been a delegate to a number of county conventions, always having been prominent in his party. Mr. Rickey is a member of the Stevens County Pioneers Society, and has always taken an active and helpful interest in all matters pertaining to the public welfare and the development of the community.
History of the City of Spokane and Spokane County Washington 1912