Joel E. Ricks

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Joel E. Ricks served as president of Weber College (now Weber State University) from 1920 to 1922. He had previously worked as a teacher at that institution and continued to teach while serving as president. While at Weber, he pursued a graduate degree at the University of Chicago. He earned both an MA degree (1920) and a PhD degree (1930) in American history. In July 1922, he began his career with Utah Agricultural College. From 1922 to 1967 he was a teacher and served as head of the history department from 1922 to 1955. He served on the board of trustees for the Utah State Historical Society and served as president from 1949 to 1957.

He ardently supported the Sons of the Utah Pioneers organization and was an active member of the Utah State Historical Society.

Ricks published on the history of Cache Valley, Utah, and the region. His works included A History of Fifty Years (1938), the semicentennial history of the Utah State Agricultural College, and he was the co-author and editor of A History of a Valley (1956), a centennial history of Cache Valley. In 1964, his PhD dissertation (Forms and Methods of Early Mormon Settlement in Utah and the Surrounding Regions: 1847-1877) was published as a monograph by USU. Some of his works remained unpublished or were given as radio addresses in the 1950s.

Joel Edward Ricks was born on October 18, 1889, in Rexburg, Idaho. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Utah. His first teaching assignment was at South Sanpete High School in Gunnison, Utah. He also served as the school’s principal.

Ricks was engaged in a project to write a book entitled "Mormon Colonization under John Taylor” at the time of his death on November 27, 1974.