J. F. Riker

J. F. Riker, a well konwn and representative farmer of Cherokee County, who owns a farm of 280 acres in section 1, Crawford township, was born in Menard County, Illinois, 18 miles northwest of Springfield. In 1860; he is a son of Frederick Risckley and Susan (Yardley) Riker.

Frederick Risckley Riker followed the trade of harness-maker all his active life, and died at White Hall, Greene County, Illinois, in 1874, aged about 50 years. His widow, who still survives, at the age of 79 years, lives in Menard County, Illinois. She has a daughter, Mrs. Kate Swan, residing at Fort Madison, Iowa.

The subject of this sketch was reared in Illinois, and attended the common schools. Since he reached the age of 16 years, he has been entirely dependent upon his own resources. He has always provided well for his necessities, has made friends in all directions and now, in the prime of life, enjoys the satisfaction of being considered one of Cherokee County's substantial men. For about seven years prior to coming to Kansas, Mr. Riker lived in Missouri, his residence in this county dating from 1883. He settled first in Pleasant View township, but one year later sold his farm there, and bought the excellent one he now occupies. His farm is devoted to general farming and to stock-raising. He has made practically all of the improvements upon it, which include a comfortable home, commodious farm buildings and all necessary structures, fences and other conveniences.

In 1886, Mr. Riker was married, in Cherokee County, to Hattie Ridenour, a daughter of Layman Ridenour, who came to Cherokee County in 1867. Mrs. Riker died in 1894, leaving three children,—Carl, Pearl, and Ray, the two last named being now deceased.

In March, 1897, Mr. Riker married Etta Lansdon, who was born in Linn Conty, Kansas in 1865, and is a daughter of Henry and Atalanta (Ewing) Lansdon. Mrs. Lansdon resides now at Columbus, aged 62 years. Mr. Lansdon was born in 1830, near Lexington, Kentucky, and about six years later accompanied the parental family to Schuyler County, Illinois, whence he came to Kansas in 1861. He engaged in farming in Linn County, and thence in 1873, came to Mineral township, Cherokee County. There he continued to farm until 19O1 when he moved to Columbus, where he died October 5, 1903. His widow was born in Illinois, and was the mother of five children, namely: Mary F., who died, aged four months; W. C., superintendent of the city schools of Fort Scott, Kansas; Etta (Mrs. Riker); Laura J., wife of Lee N. Wallace, who resides at Anadarko, Oklahoma; and Charles H., who died, aged eight years. Mr. Lansdon crossed the plains to California in 185O, being one of eight brothers who, at various times, made the same trip. He served in the State militia of Kansas during the early days of the Civil War. In politics, he was a Republican.

Mrs. Riker was educated in Cherokee County and taught school about six years in Oregon, at Le Grande and Union, in the northeastern part of the State. Before going to Oregon, she taught seven years in Kansas. Mr. and Mrs. Riker have three children.—Henry Perry, born December 12, 1897: Earl George, born February 17, 1899, and John Sampson, born September 8, 1903. Politically, Mr. Riker is identified with the Republican party. Frateranlly[sic], he is associated with the lodge of Odd Fellows at Crestline. He is a man of sterling character, who enjoys the esteem of all with whom he has business or social relations.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Israel Rivera, student from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, January 17, 1997.


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