RICKERT, John, farmer, was born near Gratz, Lykens township, Dauphin county, Pa., January 4, 1829; son of Henry and Sarah (Romberger) Rickert. Adam Romberger, maternal grandfather of John Rickert, married Mary Werner. She died, and he was married the second time to Miss Paul. He was the father of twenty-four children, twenty of whom were girls. Henry Rickert, father of John Rickert, died aged sixty-five years, five months and fifteen days; his wife died at the age of eighty-three. Their children were: Elizabeth, Hannah, Mary, William, John, Sarah, Rebecca, Jonas, and Lucetta.
John Rickert was only a few years in the public schools of his native township, receiving a limited education. He was early thrown upon his own resources, and began to earn his livelihood at nine years of age. He first hired out to do farm work for Daniel Leopold, Lykens township, for three years, receiving one dollar a month for the first year, tow dollars a month for the second year, and three dollars a month for the third year. For the next three years he was with George Rutter, in Armstrong Valley, Halifax township; after this he was in the service of the Summit Branch Railroad Company until 1854. He worked the next year at the saw mill of Benneville, Witmer & Co., Millersburg; then a year for the Northern Central Railway Company. After this he was engaged in various occupations until 1859. From that year until 1862 he worked for Peter Berl, Georgetown, Northumberland county.
On October 18, 1862, Mr. Rickert enlisted at Harrisburg for three years in Company H, One Hundred and Forty-seventh Pennsylvania infantry, veteran volunteers. The regiment was sent from Harrisburg to Harper’s Ferry, thence to Dumphreys, thence to Wolf’s Run Shoals, thence back to Dumphreys, thence to Chancellorsville, thence to Acquia Creek, and to the battlefield of Gettysburg, where they remained a few days. Here Mr. Rickert received a dangerous wound in the groin and was sent to the hospital at Washington, where he lay two days and two nights, and was then sent to Tener’s Lane Hospital at Philadelphia, where he was under treatment for six months. When discharged from the hospital Mr. Rickert rejoined his regiment at Bridgeport, Ala., and move with it to Lookout mountain, thence to Chattanooga, from which point they set out on the Atlanta campaign. The regiment then moved with Sherman’s Army and shared in the encampments, marches and battles which have become famous in history. It went down to the sea and up the Atlantic coast, was at the final surrender and marched in the grand review at Washington, D.C. It was finally mustered out and the men honorable discharged July 15, 1865.
After his discharge Mr. Rickert was employed by the Summit Branch Railroad Company on the road for nine months, after which he was transferred to the round house, where he remained about one year. In the spring of 1867 he removed to Halifax township, and farmed one year for Sawyer & Read; the, returning to Millersburg, was employed by N. C. Frick & Co. for two years; after that, until 1890, he was engaged in a variety of occupations. In 1890 he was put upon the pension roll. In 1877 he bought the ground and built the house where he now has his residence.
Mr. Rickert was married, July 31, 1853, to Sarah Ann, daughter of Abel and Mary (Keiter) Palmer. They have five children: Benjamin Franklin, born June 23, 1854, married Lizzie Keagy; John Henry, born July 28, 1857, married Hannah Litich; Elizabeth Salome, born October 3, 1859, wife of John Crawley; George McClellan, born March 17, 1862, married Annie Sharon; James Monroe, born July 7, 1866, married Mary Carl. Mr. Rickert is a Republican. He attends the Reformed church, and his wife the Lutheran.
Abel Palmer, father of Mrs. Rickert, died aged about seventy. His wife is still living.
Historical Review of Dauphin County