Wilson Benjamin Rickenbach (1859-1918) grew up at Rickenbach Station and worked closely with his father James at the drydock building canal boats. The photograph on the left (late 1880s?) from his brother Adam Rickenbach's photo album, was thought to be Wilson. This was verified by the photo below, from g-g-grandson Mark Stettler, as Wilson.

Based on the arrangement of photos in the album, the photograph at bottom is likely Wilson's wife. She could be either Susanna Moyer (1859-1887), Alice Williams (1868-1890), or Annie Rubright (? - aft. 1913). Susanna and Alice both died soon after their marriage to Wilson. Wilson had most of his children with his third wife, Annie Rubright.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson built canal boats with his father James and several of his brothers. As the canal era came to an end, and perhaps precipitated by a coal miners strike in the 1890s, Wilson left Tuckerton perhaps around 1897, and moved to the Cramer Hill section of Camden N. J. to look for work in the shipyards along the Delaware River. Then, according to his daughter Anne, "Due to the fact that the Rickenbach boatyard had built many boats for concerns in Philadelphia, his reputation preceeded him so had no trouble locating himself. Before long he started his own yard and expanding into a corporation with my uncle Morris Noecker and a Mr. Ake (Yard became known as Noecker, Rickenbach and Ake)".

Wilson kept a detailed work journal documenting the work at his father's drydock at Rickenbach Station for the year 1882.

There is a photograph of an older couple with two of Edwin Rickenbach's grandsons (Howard and Russell), taken around 1912 or so. I think it is the same couple pictured on this page, just 30 years later. It is not Edwin Rickenbach and his wife Catherine Hoover, as Edwin died in 1894. Wilson would have been about 52 years old in the photo. Based on the strong resemblance of the woman below with the more recent photograph from 1912, this woman would be Wilson's third wife, Annie Rubright.

Wilson died in October of 1918. At the time, there was a worldwide epidemic of Spanish flu, and I speculate that he died of this disease.

Wilsons grandson, Morris Rickenbach Jr. (1923-1944) was part of the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, where he lost his life. Find out more about his role during the D-day campaign here.

The photograph below shows Wilson as an older man, perhaps near the time of his death at age 59 in 1918. (courtesy of Mark Stettler)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson's third wife Annie Rubright?