Santa Barbara County
JAMES BICKLE RICKARD
James Bickle Rickard has been a successful representative of the legal profession in southern California during the past twenty-three years and served eleven years as Postmaster of Santa Barbara. He was born October 3, 1878, in Honokaa, Hawaii, his parents being William Henry and Nora (Treloar) Rickard. His father was one of the pioneer sugar planters of Hawaii and a member of the legislature under the monarchy.
In the acquirement of an education James B. Rickard attended a private school of Tavistock, Devonshire, England, from 1889 until 1892 and during the succeeding five years was a student at Dulwich College of London, England. His professional training was received at George Washington University of Washington, D. C., from which institution he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Laws in 1905. In the meantime he had assisted his father in the management of the latter’s sugar, coffee, and high grade horse and cattle interests at Honokaa, Hawaii, from 1898 until 1902, while from 1902 until 1907 he was associated with the lands and railroad division of the office of the Secretary of the Interior at Washington, D. C., and then was connected with the general land office for two years. He was admitted to practice before the courts of the District of Columbia in 1905, and in 1909 was admitted to practice before the supreme court of the United States. He served as special agent of the general land office on field service in Montana, Arizona and California from 1909 until 1911, when he resigned.
It was in 1910 that Mr. Rickard came to the state of California to live and in the following year was admitted to the bar of this state, at which time he opened an office in the city of Los Angeles for the general practice of law. He was entrusted with much important litigation and became an interested and active participant in many civic enterprises. He served as a director of the Chamber of Mines and Oils, Los Angeles, of the Seventh Street Development Company and also the Seventh Street Company, which last named bodies were closely identified with the establishment of the present large business development of the Seventh Street area of Los Angeles. Since 1910 he has made Santa Barbara his domicile and during the years 1915 and 1916 was city attorney there.
Mr. Rickard was appointed and commissioned postmaster of Santa Barbara by President Harding on the 30th of August, 1922. He was reappointed by President Coolidge on December 30, 1926, and by President Hoover in December, 1930, for four years but resigned effective August 31, 1933, in order to devote closer attention to his private interests. A contemporary biographer wrote: “He brings into his work his comprehensive knowledge of legal principles and his wide experience in executive affairs, and he discharges his duties with characteristic thoroughness and efficiency.” On October 30, 1926, Mr. Rickard was elected treasurer of the Postmaster’s Association of California at the annual convention held in Sacramento and served in that capacity until he was elected president at the annual convention held in Oakland on July 19, 1930. He was also a member of the National Postmasters Association, of which he was appointed and served as a regional director.
On the 21st of September, 1910, in Santa Barbara, California, Mr. Rickard was united in marriage to Teresa Acacia Maria Orena of that city. They are the parents of three children, namely: James Robert Orena, a student at the University of California in Berkeley and Los Angeles; John Treloar, who is attending Loyola University of Los Angeles; and Consuelo Altagracia, a graduate of Marymount College, who is a member of the Junior League. Mrs. Rickard is descended from Don Jose Antonio Julian de la Guerra y Noriega, commandant of the presidio of Santa Barbara from 1815 to 1842.
Mr. Rickard is a Republican and champions every worthy project. At the time of the World War he served as legal adviser of the United States Selective Service Board of Santa Barbara. He was president of the Primavera Association, which staged an historical masque of Santa Barbara in 1920, and is a director of the Old Spanish Days Association, which conducts an annual fiesta in Santa Barbara. Mr. Rickard served as president of the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce in 1922. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, the Pan American Society, the National Geographic Society, the Pacific Geographic Society, the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.
Transcribed by V. Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: California of the South Vol. V, by John Steven McGroarty, Pages 295-297, Clarke Publ., Chicago, Los Angeles, Indianapolis. 1933.
© 2012 V. Gerald Iaquinta.