Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thomas Rickard - Berkeley Politician & Civic Leader

[Gravestone photo by Michael Colbruno]

Plot 17
Thomas Rickard (1865-1911) was an early resident of Berkeley and served as the last President of the Town Board of Trustees from 1903 to 1909, before the new city charter went into effect, creating the office of Mayor.

Rickard was born in France in August of 1865. Both of his parents were English-born. He immigrated to the United States with his family in the 1870s. In 1889 he married his wife Alice Whitmore. They had four children: Leontine (1889-1902), Helen (b.Jun.1891), Donald (1894-1915), and Thomas, Jr. (1899-1927).

Rickard had a cousin whose name was also Thomas, but regularly used his middle initial "A" (for Arthur). Thomas A. Rickard was a prominent writer on the subject of mining.
Rickard was a graduate of the University of California, with a degree in mining engineering. From 1901 until his death, he served as vice president of the San Francisco mining firm of Harron, Rickard and McCone. He also served as a trustee of the California Institute for the Deaf and Blind, located in Berkeley.

Mountain View Cemetery docent Jane Leroe discusses Thomas Rickard:

Rickard's father Reuben Rickard also served as President of the Town Board of Trustees in Berkeley from 1891 to 1893 and again for about a month in 1895. He was also a mining engineer, having worked throughout the western United States. Thomas' brother Edgar Rickard was the editor of a mining newspaper in London and a close acquaintance of Herbert Hoover.

Thomas Rickard died on March 25, 1911. His obituary states that he "...died at his home at Berkeley, California, March 25, following heart failure and a fall from his bedroom window." His wife died September 10, 1945 in San Joaquin County. Although she had remarried, she and Thomas are interred together

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Leontine Rickard did not die in 1902 (she was my grandmother) She made it to about 101.