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James B. Ricks

Previous Illinois Supreme Court Justice

James B. Ricks was born on December 23, 1852 near Taylorville in Bear Creek township, Illinois. He attended Wesleyan University at Bloomington from 1869 - 1872, and in 1874 was admitted to the Illinois Bar after studying law under Judge Andrew Simpson and John B. Jones in Taylorville. He practiced law alone until he formed a partnership with J. C. Creighton in 1885. In 1892 he was a delegate to the national Democratic Convention in Chicago, where he supported the nomination of Grover Cleveland. He served as Master in Chancery for Christian County, Illinois, and in 1889 he was elected mayor of Taylorville. He was elected to the Illinois Supreme Court on April 12, 1901 to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Jesse J. Phillips. He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, serving as Grand Chancellor in 1885, and again in 1886. Judge Ricks died on July 23, 1906 in Taylorville, Illinois.