Allison, Nathaniel Thompson. History of Cherokee County, Kansas, and Representative Citizens. Chicago, IL: Biographical Publishing Co., 1904. Online index created by Carolyn Ward, instructor at USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, and State Coordinator for The KSGenWeb Project.

Chris Rickner

CHRIS RICKNER, one of the earliest settlers of Cherokee County, has a fine farm in sections 33 and 34, township 34, range 25, in Garden township, but is not now actively engaged in business. He was born in Washington County, Missouri, in December, 1833, and is a son of Samuel and Permelia (Baker) Rickner, the father a native of Switzerland and the mother, of Kentucky.

Samuel Rickner carried on a tan-yard and was engaged in farming about four miles east of Carthage, Missouri, for many years. He came to Cherokee County, when Kansas was still a Territory, and lived here until his death in 1861. His wife died in Jasper County, Missouri.

Chris Rickner was the oldest of 1O children born to his parents, of whom five are now living. He was reared on the farm and accompanied his parents when they removed to Jasper County, Missouri. In 1861 he settled upon his present farm in Garden township, Cherokee County, but soon after returned to Missouri where he remained five years. In 1866, he again came to this farm on which he has lived continuously since. At the time of his becoming a resident of the county the country was in a very wild and unsettled condition, and the streams and prairie were alive with wild geese, ducks, turkeys and prairie chickens. He has always been fond of hunting, and has frequently in late years had friends out from Baxter Springs and Joplin on hunting trips. There were many Indians here in the early day, with whom he was friendly, being a great friend of Davey Harlem, a 16th blood Cherokee, and Tommy Fields and John Blythe, who were half-blood Indians. It was necessary to go to Baxter Springs or Carthage to trade and, as there were no bridges or flat-boats, the crossing of the streams was attended with a great deal of danger. Our subject was always in favor of locating the Court House at Baxter Springs and was one of those who fought against its present location. His present farm was purchased from the government by our subject. The old log house on the claim is the oldest house in the township, having been built by George Grimmett for the Cherokee Indians. An interesting feature of this old place is its old-fashioned fireplace, in which big logs can be placed and burned without cutting. Mr. Rickner has been very successful as a farmer, although in the early days he experienced considerable difficulty with the coons, which ate his corn crop. He continued actively in the management of his farm until 19O1, when he retired and was succeeded by his son.

In 1856, Chris Rickner was united in marriage with Catherine Scott, of Illinois, who died February 19, 1902, and they became the parents of six children, four of whom are living, namely: Peter, a resident of the Indian Territory, who married Nancy Ball and has six children; Thomas E., who was married in Colorado and has seven children; Nancy (Mrs. John Manly), who has three children; and Andrew S., farming the home place, who married Annie Brookshire, and by whom he has two children. One child died at the age of 12 years, and the other in early infancy. Our subject is a member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association, and belongs to the Old Settlers' Association. He is widely known throughout this section of the country, and the number of his friends is limited only by his acquaintances.

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