Charles E. RICKEY, who is engaged in farming and stock-raising on section 1, Lacon township, Marshall county, making a specialty of the raising of hogs, was born in the township where he still resides August 5, 1844, and is the sixth in order of birth in a family of eight children, whose parents are Samuel R. and Sarah (HALL) RICKEY, both of whom were natives of New Jersey. The father was born in Somerset county, that state, and came to Marshall county at an early period in its development, casting in his lot with its pioneer settlers. He turned his attention to fanning, entering land from the government and transforming the wild prairies into richly productive fields. His wife is a member of the Presbyterian church and both are highly esteemed in the community where they reside. Their children are: William M., now living in Henry; Mrs. Catherine HAWKINS, who resides at Houston, Texas; Robert, a resident of Montgomery county, Kansas; Eliza M., deceased; Adolphus A., living in Missouri; Charles E. ; Mrs. Louisa Owens, a resident of Montgomery county, Kansas, and Walter, who is living in Henry, Illinois.
Charles .E. RICKEY was a student in the Lacon school at a time when the little "temple of learning" was built of logs and seated with benches made of slabs. The desk was formed by laying a slab upon wooden pegs driven into the wall and upon this the older children wrote their exercises. Although his educational privileges were somewhat meager, Mr. RICKEY has learned many valuable lessons in the school of experience and has constantly broadened his knowledge through reading and observation. His training at farm labor was not meager and he early became familiar with the work of the fields. In 1874 he sought a companion and helpmate for life's journey and on the 4th of November of that year was married to a Miss SMITH, who was born in Ohio in 1853, a daughter of Frederick and Martina SMITH, the latter now a resident of Lacon. Mrs. RICKEY was educated in Lacon and by her marriage has become the mother of eight children. Nellie May, born upon the farm where her father now resides, is the wife of a Mr. MORITZ, who is engaged in farming in Richland township, Marshall county. Fred is a carpenter by trade and lives at home. Mabel, Samuel, Carrie, Willie, Eunice and Lena are all yet at home.
Since his marriage Mr. RICKEY has engaged in farming on his own account and lives upon land which he rents from his father. In addition to its cultivation and improvement he annually feeds a large number of hogs and his stock-raising interests are an important branch of his business. His political views are in accord with the principles of the republican party and he exercises his right of franchise in support of its men and measures.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties Illinois, 1907.