Nebraska Authors

Eli S. Ricker

Born 1883-09-29 Brownfield, ME (USA)

Died 1926-05-17
Mesa County, CO (USA)

Orchard Mesa, CO (USA)
Orchard Mesa Cemetery

Ricker was a journalist, newspaper editor and judge in the Chadron area after the Civil War. Intending to write a history of the settlement of the West from a Native American perspective, he collected over 1500 pages of unique and irreplaceable interviews with Native American informants, frontier scouts and settlers. He was unable to pull the materials together into a book during his lifetime, but the tablets were donated to the Nebraska State Historical Association. They are among the most significant eye-witness source materials on the Indian Wars and western settlement in Nebraska and the broader West.

The Nebraska State Historical Society has the Eli S. Ricker Manuscript Collection [RG1227]. Addison Sheldon recognized the importance of the collection and, as an old Populist Party crony and Chadron friend of Judge Ricker, was able to obtain it for the NSHS. Mari Sandoz was the first person to assess the collection when she was hired to arrange it under FERA, a Depression era aid program.

Places Lived

Chadron, NE (ca. 1885)

Author Of

  • Nonfiction
  • Journalism


History; History--Native American; Nebraska- History; Indian Wars




Richard E. Jensen edited his priceless but disorganized records for the 2005 University of Nebraska Press book.


Voices of the American West, Vol. I: The Indian Interviews of Eli S. Ricker. 1903-1919.
The Settler and Soldier Interviews of Eli S. Ricker, Vol 2. 2005.

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Eli S. Ricker

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(e.g. Author is buried in Fremont, not in David City / Also wrote for the Daily Nebraskan during her time as a student)