The following data is extracted from Biographical Sketches, Coles County, Illinois - Ashmore Township.
Joshua Ricketts, dealer in grain and produce, groceries, glassware, queens- ware, etc., Ashmore; was born in Muskingum Co., Ohio, March 13, 1821. He is a son of Joshua and Sarah (Taylor) Ricketts. He remained at home until he was 13 years old, when he went to Knox County, Ohio, and engaged in study with a view to preparing for the ministry, but meeting with a change in his religious belief he abandoned the idea and engaged in farming, afterward learning the trade of a marble cutter. At the age of 23 he went to Coshocton, Ohio, and followed farming for a while, afterward removing to Terre Haute, Ind., where he engaged in the marble business. In 1849, he came to Illinois, remained one year in Clark County, and removed thence to Charleston, Coles County, in 1850. There he carried on the marble business till 1861, when he enlisted as a private in J. W. Bissell's Engineer Regiment of the West; was promoted to Second and afterward to First Lieutenant. He served in this regiment twenty months; when Gen. Morgan made his raid into Indiana Mr. Ricketts again enlisted in the 109th Ind. Vols. and was commissioned by Gov. Morton, Adjutant of the regiment. After a brief service of eight days the regiment was mustered out, the occasion for their enlistment having ceased. On the call for 100-day men, in 1864, Mr. Ricketts, not waiting for a commission, again volunteered in the 143d Ill. Vols., and served as Sergeant of Co. "A." He took part in the capture of Island Number Ten, siege of Corinth, and the battle of Corinth on the 3rd and 4th of October, 1862. Returning to Charleston he continued in business till 1873, when he was appointed Superintendent of the Coles County Alms-house and Poor-farm, and still remains in charge of the institution. He engaged in his present business in Ashmore in 1875. During the past year he has served as Collector of the township. He was one year Assessor of Charleston, and has twice been elected Justice of the Peace. He was married Dec. 29, 1846, to Miss Catharine D. Roberts, of Coshocton County, Ohio. She died in 1854, leaving three children - Sarah M., now wife of Wm. Killough, of Kansas; Wm. W. and Cornelia M., wife of Geo. B. Shinn, of Coles County. Mr. R. was married again Sept. 4, 1855, to Miss Melvina Jones, of Clark County, Ill. They have nine children - Thomas A., Fannie B., John T., James E., Frank H., Oscar J., Charles W., Nettie M. and Elizabeth.
Source: Biographical Sketches, Coles County, Illinois - Ashmore Township