From the Portrait and biographical record of Hancock, McDonough and Henderson counties, Illinois : containing
biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county (1894)
May, 1894. Lake City Publishing Co.
SAMUEL A. RICKETTS, who carries on agricultural pursuits on section 24, township 11 north, range 5 west, has
long made his home in Henderson County, and has resided upon his present farm since 1866. He is numbered among the
early settlers of 1849, and has therefore witnessed much of the growth and development of the county. He has taken
a commendable interest in its progress, has aided in its advancement, and has given his support to its most worthy
Mr. Ricketts was born in Bullitt County, Ky., September 1, 1822, and comes of a family of English origin. He is
the elder of two children who were born to Jonathan and Nancy (Stevenson) Ricketts. His brother, William, is now
deceased. He lost his father when he was quite young, and was reared on his grandfather's farm, spending the days
of his youth in the usual manner of farmer lads. The public schools of his native county afforded his educational
privileges. He continued to engage in farm labor until after the breaking out of the Mexican War, when he enlisted
in the service, as a member of Capt. Hardin's company. His regiment was the last sent to the field. They went to
the City of Mexico, where they remained until peace was declared, when they were discharged and returned home.
Mr. Ricketts continued his residence in Kentucky until the spring of 1849, when he decided to seek a home in
Illinois, and came to Henderson County, reaching Oquawka in the early part of March. Soon after his arrival, he
began farming on rented land, and has since engaged in agricultural pursuits. For some time he cultivated land
belonging to others, but at length purchased the farm on which he now resides, having acquired the necessary
capital through his own industry and perseverance. His farm is now well developed, the fields are highly
cultivated, and the many good improvements upon the place attest the thrift and enterprise of the owner, who is
recognized as one of the practical and progressive farmers of the community.
Ere coming to this State, Mr. Ricketts was married, on the 29th of October, 1848, the lady of his choice being
Miss Louisa Hamilton, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Stickels) Hamilton. Eight children were born of their union, and
six of the number are yet living, namely: Thomas, who makes his home in Nebraska; John H., at home; Mary J., wife
of John Ross, who is living in Denver, Colo.; Douglas, residing in Colorado; Susan, wife of Charles Grassmiller, of
Henderson County; and Charles, who completes the family. Those who have passed away are Sarah F. and Eliza A.
Mr. Ricketts cast his first Presidential vote for James Buchanan, and has since supported the men and measures
of the Democracy. He keeps well informed on the questions of the day, but has never aspired to public office,
preferring to give his entire time and attention to his business interests. With the United Brethren Church he
holds membership. Whatever success he has achieved in life is due to his own efforts, for he started out to make
his own way in the world empty-handed, and the success which has come to him is the just reward of his own