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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
John F. Rickard

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 788-789 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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Successful men in business affairs may be relied upon to make successful administrators of public affairs. That is accepted generally as an axiom the soundness of which is not weakened by an occasional rare exception to the rule. Fort Plain, Montgomery county, New York, evidently holds with the axiom, and in choosing a man for the office of village president selected John F. Rickard, one of the active and most prosperous young merchants of the village, who acquitted himself so creditably during his first term that he was at once reelected for another term, which he is now serving. Mr. Rickard, who is also president and general manager of,the Fort Plain Coal Company, Incorporated, was born in Palatine, New York, on July 19, 1885, the son of Arthur and Almina (Saltsman) Rickard, both born in Palatine, the father being a successful farmer and passing all his life in Montgomery county. He died on January 15, 1913, at the age of sixty-four and the mother died on December 26, 1909, at the age of sixty-seven.

John F. Rickard's education was obtained in the district public schools and in the St. Johnsville high school. After his student life was finished he remained with his parents on the farm until he was twenty-four years of age, moving to Fort Plain in 1910. In 1916 Mr. Rickard bought an interest in the Fort Plain Coal Company and for a time was secretary and treasurer of the company. Since 1918 he has been the company's president and general manager, operating two offices, and handling building material as well as coal. The company's business is not confined to Fort Plain, but extends all over Montgomery county, and its transactions are on a most extensive scale. Mr. Rickard served as trustee of the village of Fort Plain one term before he was elected to the office of president, and for three years before he engaged in the coal business was in the theatre business in Fort Plain. Politically he is a republican, and in religion has been a member of the Reformed church for many years. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Masonic order, being a member of Fort Plain Lodge No. 433, F. & A. M.; Mohawk Valley Consistory, in which he has taken the thirty-second degree; and is also a Noble of Ziyara Temple at Utica, New York, A. A. O. N. M. S. Mr. Rickard is also a member of the Fort Plain Club and the Fort Plain Masonic Club.

On October 21, 1905, Mr. Rickard was married to Miss Grace A. Wood, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Levi Wood of Ephratah, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Rickard have four children: Margaret G., born September 10, 1906; Florence E., born December 16, 1907; John W., born September 14, 1908, and Charlotte June, born March 15, 1919. The Rickard home is at No. 20 Prospect street, Fort Plain.

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