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Guide to the

ROY RICKER COLLECTION
1870-1966
(bulk 1920s)

8 inches

Accession Numbers: 0203-101 and 0203-118

Collection Number: 62

Prepared by Kevin Kendro
September 2009

CITATION:  Roy Ricker Collection, Collection 62, Box number, Folder number, Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Biographical Sketch

     Roy Clifford Ricker, the son of Robert Franklin Ricker and Mary Etta Reaves Ricker, was born on May 26, 1909.  The Rickers lived in Dallas where Robert worked as a builder. He built homes in east Dallas in the Gaston Ave./Munger Blvd. area. In 1925, he bought 26 acres along Shady Grove Road near Irving and decided to try his hand at farming. 

     Roy Ricker attended Irving High School, but graduated from Dallas Tech (originally Dallas High School). While at Irving, he was an avid football player. He was a member of the Irving High School football teams of 1928 and 1929.  The 1929 team voted to change the school’s colors from purple and gold to black and gold, which remain the school colors to this day.

     In 1934, Ricker married Hilda Klingbeil, who was also an Irving resident. The couple had two children and made their home in Oak Cliff, where Roy worked at Cedar Crest Golf Club as a groundskeeper. Ricker joined the U.S. Army Air Corps when the United States entered WWII.  He served 18 months in the Air Corps. He then transferred to the U.S. Navy, where he served on ship as a gunnery mate in the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific.

     After three years in the military, he returned to Oak Cliff and began building homes in the Irving area. The Rickers moved back to Irving in 1951 so he could be closer to his work. In 1966, Ricker went to work for the IISD as a building trades class instructor. Each year the class undertook the construction of a house so the students could receive hands-on training in construction. The school district would then sell the house to finance the building of the next class’s project. Roy Ricker was the district’s building trades instructor until 1978. Upon his retirement, the city named a street Ricker Court in his honor.

     Roy Ricker passed away at the age of 96 on September 11, 2005.

Source: Taped interview with Roy Ricker, tape 151 and transcript, January 21, 2003; and Roy Ricker obituary.

Scope and Content Note

     The Roy Ricker Collection consists of material donated to the Archives by longtime Irvingite Roy Ricker. The collection is made up primarily of items relating to Irving High School in the 1920s, mainly sports photos and two letter sweaters. The collection is arranged in four series and contained in two flat boxes.

     Series I consists of two Irving High School letter sweaters. One is a gold pullover dating to 1928. It is missing the letter “I” that was attached to the chest. The other is a black cardigan with a gold-trimmed letter “I” on the front right chest, 1929. The 1929 football team voted to change the school colors from purple and gold to black and gold, which remain the school’s colors.

     Series II is made up of photographs and digital images. Most of the photos are of the Irving High School football team; also included are photos of the pep squad, the basketball team, and school classes, c. 1925-1930.

     Series III consists of a local area directory. It is entitled Directory of the Forks, 1938. It was designed to serve residents of Irving and northwest Dallas County. The title Directory of the Forks indicates that it covers the area between the Elm Fork and West Fork of the Trinity River.

     Series IV is made up of two artifacts: a coach’s whistle and a plaque given to the donor in honor of the Irving High School building trades class completing construction of its first house, 1966.

     The collection provides insight into Irving High School sports of the 1920s. The photos may also be of interest to those researching 1920s-era football in general.

Provenance Statement

     The Roy Ricker Collection was donated to the Irving Archives by Roy and Hilda Ricker in two accessions.  Accession number 0203-101 was donated on January 28, 2003, and accession number 0203-118 was donated on February 18, 2003. Prior to its donation to the Archives, the material was in the possession of the Ricker family.

Literary Rights Statement

     Permission to publish from the Roy Ricker Collection must be obtained from the Irving Archives, Irving Public Library.

Note to Researcher  

See also: The Irving Archives Oral History Collection contains an interview with Roy Ricker on tape 151 and a transcription.  The interview was conducted January 21, 2003. 

Container List

Series I. Letterman Sweaters, 1928 and 1929

Box 1

     Irving High School letter sweater, 1928. Gold pullover sweater. The letter “I” is missing. It was attached to the center chest area of the sweater. On the left sleeve are two purple stripes signifying a two-year letterman. The sweater has suffered insect damage and is in poor condition.

Box 2

     Irving High School letter sweater, 1929. Black cardigan sweater. A black letter “I” trimmed in gold is on the left chest area. On the left sleeve are three gold stripes signifying a three-year letterman. Also on the left sleeve is an emblem in the shape of a football with the number 29 (representing the 1929 team) on it.

Series II. Directory, 1938

Folder

  1     Directory of the Forks, 1938
     Contains a residential directory for Irving and northwest Dallas County. The directory is 74 pages. The first eight pages contain a listing of the residents in the Irving city limits. The listing consists of a resident’s name, wife and children’s names, his address, occupation, and a phone number where applicable. The bulk of the directory contains the same type listing for the residents living outside the city limits, but in northwest Dallas County. The information was gathered by a door-to-door canvas. The directory also contains advertisements for Irving and surrounding area businesses.  Included in the directory is a map of northwest Dallas County and a local business directory. The directory was put together and published by the Irving News.

Series III. Photographs and Digital Images, 1875-1966 (bulk 1920s)

  2     Photographs and Digital Images, c. 1870-1930
     Contains 12 black-and-white photos: nine are of the Irving High School football team at summer practice in Bridgeport, Texas, and at a game in Irving, 1928; one is of the pep squad, 1928; one is a class photo of an Irving School class, 1925 (probably freshmen); and one photo is of four men, three of whom are Ricker brothers, c. 1910. Also included in this folder is a newspaper article written in 1979 for a reunion of the Irving High School football team of 1929 and paper copies of photos of three early Irving scenes: the west side of Main St., c. 1908; a view looking east down First St. (Irving Blvd.), 1908; and a view of the interior of the bank and its employees, c. 1929.

     Digital images include: a poster advertising the 50-year reunion of the 1929 Irving High School football team; the Irving High School football teams of 1924 and 1929; the Irving High School pep squad, 1929; Irving School faculty, 1929; and the Irving High School junior class of 1930.  Also included is an image of Phebe Ann Bridewell Bartley, an ancestor of the Rickers, c. 1870. 

Series IV. Artifacts
 
     Consists of a coach’s whistle and a plaque. The plaque was given to Roy Ricker commemorating the first house built by the Irving High School building trades class, 1966. The plaque contains five photos: Roy Ricker standing by a sign in the yard that identifies the house as a building trades project; a close-up of the sign; the house; six distributive education teachers – left to right – A. W. Covey (automobile mechanics); Bill Schulze (drafting); Roy Ricker (building); Earl Loftus (paint and body); Fred Alan (welding); Coder Parr (director); and Roy Ricker with four unidentified people.