Friday, February 8, 2013

Stone Mason - Joe Rickman

by Kristine Schmucker, Curator

This is the second in our series featuring the Rickman/Anderson/Clark/McWorter families who settled in Harvey County in 1871. For the first installment which features Mary Rickman Anderson Grant see:

Not as much is known about Mary Rickman Anderson Grant's eldest son, Joseph C. Rickman.

Joseph C. Rickman
Photo Courtesy Jullian Wall
Joseph Rickman was twenty-one years old when he came to Kansas with his mother, Mary Rickman Anderson, to homestead alongside his stepfather, David, sisters; America, Lucy and Tennessee, and brothers; Wayman, Jefferson, and Nathaniel.

Rickman Anderson Brothers
A few years later, Joe returned to Tennessee for a brief time.  On October 26, 1874, he married Lucinda Paige.  The newlyweds returned to Harvey County and Joe farmed.  They had five children, the three girls Linnie, Estelle and Alta died very young and were buried on the Rickman homestead.  Only the two boys, Clarence (b. 1884) and Ocran (b. 1889) lived to adulthood.  

Lucinda Paige Rickman
Photo courtesy Jullian Wall
Joe and Lucinda had moved to Newton by 1885. The family was living at 424 w 5th and  Joe was working as a laborer.  Two years later, Joe is listed as a stone mason.  According to family tradition, he helped to build the Warkentin Mill (today known as the Old Mill), Newton and the Administration Building on the Bethel College Campus, North Newton. It is not known what other buildings Joe might have worked on over the span of his career.  He also could have been part of the crew, along with nephew Pat Rickman that  laid the bricks for Newton's streets. 

Warkentin Mill & Train Yards at Main & Third,
Newton, Ks, ca. 1915 
By 1905 the family had moved to 114 W 4th Newton. Joseph C. "Joe" Rickman died in May 1918 at the age of 68.  Lucinda lived at 114 W 4th until her death in 1931 at the age of 76.  

Clarence, son of Joe C. and Lucinda Rickman, owned and operated a "recreation parlor" located at 114 W 4th, Newton for a number of years, possibly from 1911 - 1913.  Clarence was married to Jessie J. Greenboam, a native of London, England, on June 13, 1917.  

Ocran,  served in World War I.  At the time of his death in 1955, he was living in Omaha, Nebraska.

During the month of  February, in honor of  Black History Month, we will be featuring related stories from Harvey County. Much of the information on the Rickman/Anderson/Grant family is based on oral traditions preserved by Marguerite Rickman Huffman & June Rossiter Thaw and research by Karen Wall.  We are grateful for their willingness to share the stories of this Harvey County family. 


  • Newton City Directories, 1885, 1887, 1902, 1905, 1911, 1913, 1918. Harvey county Historical Museum & Archives, Newton, Ks
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  1. HEY!
    So THAT's Mother's Uncle Nate?! I heard that name often growing up.
    Grandma, Zola(Ramsey) and her older sister, Mary who married a man named "Ramsay", spoke of them often.
    JW Ramsey went up to Alberta where our Canadian cousins kept up the trade!
    It seems storytelling, practical jokes and quick wits were essential talents of the homesteaders survival kit on both sides of my family.
    -Andrea M. Blackwell
    (KCMO,Lawrence, Higginsville Lexington, MO)

  2. I just had a chat with one of my cousins.
    He has a photo with three of these grandfathers
    Grandma(Zola) was the baby of her immediate siblings. I only remember meeting her sister Mary.
    Correcting my information on ancestry is going to be a MISSION!
    I'll get there

  3. If he would like to share the photo, we would be happy to add it to our collection as a scan only copy. A copy could be sent to I'm glad the info was helpful.