Death in Wisconsin

Isaac Ricks married his second wife Jane Breadmore in 1835 at Purton, Wiltshire. Their first daughter Elizabeth had been born the previous year, and Isaac had at least four children from his first marriage.

The family arrived in America on 1 June 1836, via Liverpool to New York aboard the Barque Doures. The Passenger and immigration list shows Isaac Ricks 36, Jane Ricks 20, Richard Ricks 21, Joseph Ricks 11, Martha Ricks 8, Reuben Ricks 4 and Elizabeth Ricks 2. Isaac and Jane produced another seven children over the next 20 years, the last being born in 1855 in Wisconsin where they had settled in 1852.

It was in May 1879 that disaster struck. John Ricks had invited his parents Isaac, then 91 and Jane, 65, to join his family for a meal at their home. Isaac suggested they buy a piece of boiling beef so they could have soup. The meat was bought, and boiled with potatoes and dumplings by John's wife. It was accompanied by bread and butter, pie-plant pie and tea.

Soon after dinner the Jane complained of a severe pain in her stomach and all four adults became very ill. John was too ill help his parents but called the doctor who made every effort to relieve the adults who were suffering greatly. Isaac died the same evening and Jane the next evening. John and his wife, although very ill, both survived while their children were not affected at all.

The newspapers at the time gave lengthy explanations as to the suitability of the meal and its affect on the gastric system. It was also pointed out that the children who ate just the broth were unaffected so dispelling any doubts that the meat had been poisonous.

Jane Ricks was the third daughter of William and Hannah BREADMORE of Brinkworth, Wiltshire. The Breadmore name continued in Wisconsin as Isaac and Jane named their first son James Breadmore RICKS in 1836, and a grandson was also named James Breadmore RICKS in 1884.

Andrew Young - - © Margaret and Andrew Young
Breadmore One-Name Study - Death in Wisconsin -