Montana History:  Governor Biographies



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John E. Rickards

Brief Biographical Sketch
quoted from Mt.Gov site

Governor John E. Rickards, a Republican, was born July 23, 1848 in Delaware City, Delaware. Montana's first Lieutenant Governor, Governor Rickards served from 1893 to 1897. As Montana's second governor Rickards oversaw the creation of the state legal code and continued to build Montana's infrastructure in the first years of statehood.

Longer Biography
from Montana Capitol exhibit

John Ezra Rickards, Montanaís first Lieutenant Governor and second Governor, was born July 23, 1848 in Delaware City, Delaware. At the age of 19, Rickards became a clerk in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1870 he went to Pueblo, Colorado, where he remained employed as a clerk and bookkeeper until 1873. He then went to San Francisco, California and worked as a city salesman in the mercantile business for four years. In September, 1882, Rickards came to Montana and became engaged in the insurance and real estate business in Butte.

Rickardís first political service was as a councilman, as members of the upper house of the territorial legislature were called. He served as a representative of Silver Bow County from 1887 to 1889. After serving as a member of the constitutional convention of 1889, he was elected lieutenant-governor by the Republicans at the same time that Joseph K. Toole (Democrat) was chosen as Montana's first governor.

After finishing his term as governor, he moved to California and engaged in business for a time. Later with the help of Senator Carter, Rickards was given a federal appointment in the census bureau at San Francisco. He held the post for 18 years. Rickards died December 25, 1927 in Berkeley, California.

Montana Governor Index


Montana History Net is produced by Bruce Gourley.  Photographs, except Clark signature, copyright Bruce Gourley,