Wentworth Garvin Ricker was born December 21, 1841 in Wakefield, New Hampshire. His parents were Carr Ricker and Eliza Garvin but Wentworths time with his mother would tragically be cut short. At the young age of 6, Wentworths mother passed away in Feburary of 1848. In his youth Wentworth wanted to study medicine and he would maintain a very active interest in it throughout his life. His father moved the family to Maine sometime shortly after the death of his mother where Wentworth would meet his wife Abbie F. Taylor, born August 26 1866 in Kennebunk, Maine. The new family then moved to Massachusetts where Wentworth worked as a machinist. He also served in the 10th Massachusetts Infantry during the last year and a half of the Civil War. He survived and was mustered out in 1864. In the late 1860’s he moved to Rochester, NY where he starts his Manufacturing company and witnesses the birth of two beautiful daughters. Wentworth secures his first patents for his hay trolley designs in July of 1870 and June of 1871. He begins manufacturing his first single sheave trolley around that time.
Sadly, his wife Abbie passes away at the age of 46 in 1890 followed closely by his father Carr Ricker, who pass away the very same year. Wentworth is granted more patents for hay carriers throughout the 1890’s and produces several different models. In June of 1893 he marries his second wife Marcena E. Sherman who was an accomplished doctor at the time. Marcena continued to be a very well-known doctor with the support of her husband in a time when a woman’s role was believed to be as a caretaker of the home and children. This was an era where women still were not allowed to vote so having such support was a luxury and a statement of love and admiration for Marcena.
Together Marcena and Wentworth made a large impact on the Rochester community. For the duration of their lives, the Rickers would be among the most active leaders of their church. In addition, Dr. Ricker’s inspiration and leadership led to the creation of the Fairport Baptist Home. In 1904 Wentworth made his wife a partner in his company and began manufacturing refrigerators, elevators and tool making machines. Wentworth passed away March 10th 1926 with his wife by his side. He was 84 years old. His wife gained some fame for being a caretaker for Susan B. Anthony at the end of her life. The story of Susan’s final hours was published on the front page of the New York times and featured quotes from Marcena Ricker. Marcena followed her husband in death Jan 17th 1933.
Biography compiled from census records and court documents by Ashara Shapiro and Clint Flack
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